12498 - 20170731 - Selby Gardens' Marc Chagall exhibition features works on public display for the first time - Sarasota, FLA - 12.02.2017-31.07.2017

Installation view. © Matthew Holler.
Flowers have been a focus of artists worldwide throughout the history of art. Rarely, however, is the floral-inspired artwork by one of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists displayed in a garden setting while showcasing paintings never before publicly displayed.

An exhibition of Marc Chagall’s nature-inspired artwork is on view in a world-renowned Florida botanical garden in an immersive exhibition that introduces a new way of examining the artwork of the prolific artist. Included in the exhibition are the masterwork painting The Lovers (1937), on loan from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, along with two additional paintings, loaned from a private collector, that have not been publicly exhibited before.

“For this artist, flowers were life itself,” said Dr. Carol Ockman, curator at-large for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art at Williams College. “They [flowers] are a response to Chagall’s traumatic life experiences, as well as the source of his boundless hope displayed in his artwork.”

Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida will be on view through July 31, 2017. The paintings are accompanied by the artist’s personal effects – including vases from his private home – along with a collection of archival photographs that chronicle Chagall’s life.

Visitors at the 15-acre, bayfront garden will wander through a glass house conservatory where reproductions of Chagall’s nature-inspired stained glass are being displayed among living plants. The grounds of the gardens are being enhanced with flora such as orchids, bromeliads, bougainvillea and citrus trees that evoke the south of France, the land that inspired Chagall and where he spent much of the later part of his life. Accompanying cultural performances, special events, classes and lectures will be part of the exhibition, which encourages visitors to use all five senses, immersing themselves in the dream world created by Chagall in his artwork.

“Evoking Chagall’s last home, the fairytale village of Saint Paul de Vence, The Color of Dreams capitalizes on the sun-kissed climate of Sarasota to conjure the French Riviera, which long has had a special lure for artists,” Ockman said.

The two private paintings making their public debut in the exhibition are Bouquets de Lilas à Saint Paul de Vence (Bouquets of Lilacs at Saint-Paul) (1978) and Couple aux Muguets (Couple with Lilies of the Valley) (1973). Lilas features two large vases containing lilacs that tower over the distant sunlit village framed in the background, and a figure stretched out in the left foreground. In Couple aux Muguets a man and woman standing behind a light-filled window affectionately embrace – a theme common in Chagall’s work – behind two vases holding abundant bouquets of white lilies-of-the-valley nestled in their large emerald-green leaves. Above Chagall’s signature, the piece is inscribed to his daughter Ida: “Pour Ida, Papa.”

While Chagall’s work has been examined many times and in many ways, from his Jewish upbringing to his origins in Lithuania, and as a modern artist inspired by his life in France, this is the first time an exhibition removes those classifications and reviews the artist as a naturalist. The Archives de Marc et Ida Chagall have endorsed the exhibition’s unique study of Chagall’s love of nature. The estate is managed in part by Chagall’s granddaughters, Bella and Meret Meyer.

“My grandfather was in awe of flowers,” said Bella Meyer, who is also the founder and artistic director of Fleursbella in New York City. “When we were children, together with my mother we would always bring him an armful of flowers from a nearby market, when visiting him in the South of France. How exciting to have an exhibition devoted to his love for flowers at the center of a botanical garden where viewers will be able to be inspired by both his art and the color and light of the natural world around.”

This is the inaugural exhibition in the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series at Selby Gardens. Each installation of the series will blend nature and botanical-inspired master artworks. Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams is presented by The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

“Our Gardens has the opportunity to immerse people into the landscape of flowers and seaside beauty that creates the inspirational dreamscape of Marc Chagall,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “This is a one-of-a-kind experience to come to a garden, encounter Chagall’s international works of art and be immersed in the natural world that inspires so many.”


12497 - 20170528 - Vancouver Art Gallery presents the most extensive solo exhibition of artist Susan Point - Vancouver - 18.02.2017-28.05.2017

Point-08 Susan Point Scanned Salmon, 2008 screenprint on paper Courtesy of the Artist Photo: Kenji Nagai, Courtesy of Spirit Wrestler Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is presenting Susan Point: Spindle Whorl, the most extensive exhibition to date featuring the work by this pre-eminent Musqueam artist. On view from February 18 to May 28, 2017 at the Gallery, this exhibition covers the artist’s prolific career of three and a half decades, including over a hundred print and sculptural artworks that take the spindle whorl as their starting point.

Since the early 1980s, Susan Point has received wide acclaim for her remarkably accomplished oeuvre that forcefully asserts the vitality of Coast Salish culture, both past and present. She has produced an extensive body of prints and an expansive corpus of sculptural work in a wide variety of materials that includes glass, resin, concrete, steel, wood and paper. The range of techniques she has employed is as diverse as her selection of materials, including screen and wood-block printing, wood carving, paper casting and industrial methods of cutting steel. At the same time, the scale of her work ranges from the intimacy of jewelry she produced in the early 1980s to the monumental public sculptures she first undertook in the 1990s and continues to make today.

The Coast Salish spindle whorl has been a persistent motif in Point’s work since the beginning of her career. Comprised of a small (usually) wooden disk with a rod inserted through the centre, this tool was traditionally used by Coast Salish women to prepare wool that would be woven into garments and ceremonial robes. Point has drawn upon the spindle whorl to provide a formal structure for her art while combining this motif with a uniquely Salish vocabulary of circles, crescents and curved triangles, elements that distinguish the art of her people from the formline-based art of northern First Nations peoples.

“While Susan Point’s practice is informed by a profound respect for Coast Salish traditions, she has pushed the boundaries of tradition in her desire to articulate Salish culture in contemporary terms. Although her work has been highly visible in British Columbia for decades—in part through her important public commissions—no consideration of the full range and richness of her practice has ever been mounted by an art museum. Susan Point: Spindle Whorl is intended to address this deficiency and to acknowledge and celebrate her extraordinary accomplishment,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “As this exhibition shows, Susan Point has continually pushed the traditional form of the spindle whorl in extraordinary new directions.”

“I have to say that I have been fortunate in that my artistic expression is rooted in my Coast Salish cultural foundation; however, I consider myself a contemporary artist. Traditionally, the Salish peoples on the Northwest Coast never ever exploited the stories or meanings behind their cultural pieces (which we now call art), as they were private portrayals of family and history. When I design and work on a piece, regardless of medium, there are countless stories, thoughts and memories that go through my mind. I am redesigning the artwork all the time…to challenge myself and to experiment and express my ways of always being original,” says Susan Point in her artist statement.

Susan Point: Spindle Whorl is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Ian Thom, Senior Curator-Historical and Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art. It is accompanied by an extensively illustrated 160-page hardcover book with essays by Bill McLennan on the historic role of the spindle whorl in Musqueam culture, Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse on the perspective of Susan Point’s aesthetics, Myrtle McKay on the place of Point’s work in contemporary Musqueam culture, and Thomas Cannell discussing Point’s important role as a teacher, as well as a text by Grant Arnold. The book is co-published by Black Dog Publishing and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Born on the Salish Sea in 1952, Susan Point grew up on the Musqueam First Nations Reserve. Originally trained as a legal secretary, she entered the art world in 1981 when she enrolled in a jewelry-making course at Vancouver Community College. She quickly moved from working with metals to printmaking—making her first screenprints on her kitchen table—and sculpture. At the same time, she began to research traditional Coast Salish art under the guidance of Michael Kew, her uncle by marriage and an anthropologist at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology. Over the years, Point has produced countless works in a variety of media, such as wood, stone, glass, bronze, copper, bone and silver. Point’s work has been shown in over 60 group exhibitions (a number of them international) and 12 solo shows. Notable solo exhibitions include Salmon People, Coast Salish Fishing on the Fraser River, Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston (2010); Susan Point: Coast Salish Artist, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver (2000); Susan Point, Motherland Gallery, Fukuoka, Japan (1999); and New Visions: Serigraphs by Susan Point, Coast Salish Artist at the Museum of Anthropology, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (1986).

Her work has also appeared in Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON (2009) and Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2010). She has received over 35 commissions for public art pieces, notably at Vancouver International Airport, Stanley Park, Langara College, the University of British Columbia, Museum of Anthropology and the Victoria Conference Centre. She has had nearly 50 commissions from institutions, associations and private collectors.

Point is an Officer of the Order of Canada and holds numerous honours and awards, among them an Indspire Achievement Award, a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, a BC Creative Achievement Award and a Civic Merit Award from the City of Vancouver. She holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.


12496 - 20170521 - Georgia Museum of Art shows prints by Atlantan Michael Ellison Athens, GA - 18.02.2017-21.05.2017


Michael Ellison (American, d. 2001), Waiting Room, 1999. Linoleum cut, 23 x 34 3/4 inches (image). The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection of African American Art
The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia presents the exhibition “Michael Ellison: Urban Impressions” from February 18 through May 21, 2017. Organized by Shawnya Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art, it features block prints and collage works on paper by the Atlanta-based printmaker. This exhibition is part of the museum’s commitment to presenting single-artist shows by under-recognized African American artists.

Ellison was born in New York City but grew up in Collier Heights, a middle-class African American neighborhood in southwest Atlanta. He studied art at Atlanta College of Art on the GI Bill, where he learned printmaking. The title of the exhibition comes from the way in which one of Ellison’s early printmaking instructors, Norman Wagner, described Ellison’s subject matter, referring to his prints as “urban landscapes and/or impressions.”

Ellison continued his education at Georgia State University, graduating with a master’s degree in visual arts. In 1985, he moved to teach at South Carolina State College (now South Carolina State University) and later started an artist-in-residence program and taught at Clafin College. His passion for printmaking flourished, and he developed a style that layered ink thickly enough to create texture as well as bright colors.

Harris says, “Michael Ellison's work represents an important piece to the discussion of not only only African American printmakers, but also the history of Georgia-based printmakers, their unique narratives and their contributions to the medium.”

In 1991 an electrical fire badly disfigured the artist. As he began to recover and re-learn how to make prints, he created works with striking colors focusing on scenes of isolation and community in urban landscapes. The Coca-Cola Corporation, the Federal Reserve, Georgia Pacific, and the High Museum of Art all collected Ellison’s work. He enjoyed success through the end of the decade, creating a mural in the Five Points district of Atlanta and producing solo exhibitions at the Hammonds House Galleries and Georgia Institute of Technology. Ellison passed away from heart complications at the age of 48 in 2001.


12495 - 20170514 - Crocker Art Museum to show Japanese American internment photographs by Ansel Adams, Leonard Frank - Sacramento,CA - 19.02.2017-14.05.2017


Ansel Adams, Calisthenics, Manzanar Relocation Center, 1943. Courtesy of Library of Congress.
Following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, the governments of the United States and Canada forcibly relocated citizens of Japanese ancestry. Two renowned photographers – American Ansel Adams and Canadian Leonard Frank – documented the relocation and internment of their fellow citizens. On February 19, 2017, exactly 75 years to the day after Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the order authorizing the imprisonment of Japanese Americans, the Crocker Art Museum will open Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank. This compelling collection includes more than 60 images taken by Adams and Frank in the incarceration camps. To coincide with the exhibition opening, the Museum will also host a Day of Remembrance, to honor the resilience of Japanese Americans imprisoned in the camps.

While San Francisco-born photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was widely known for his landscape images, his documentation of the lives of Japanese Americans imprisoned in a California internment camp is itself a collection of high artistic as well as historical significance. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the designation of military zones along the West Coast, and effectively led to the incarceration of some 120,000 Japanese Americans in camps scattered through the American West.

Driven by anger and distress at the government’s treatment of Japanese Americans, Adams made numerous trips at his own expense to photograph daily life inside one of the camps -- the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California’s Owens Valley. Surrounded by barbed wire and armed guard towers, people at Manzanar lived in small barracks that provided minimal shelter against the extreme desert temperatures, which could be scorching hot in the summer and bitterly cold in the winter. Adams’ photographs emphasize the resourcefulness of the 10,000 prisoners who overcame defeat and despair, and created a community with schools, farmland, a newspaper, a co-op store, and several essential services. Adams exhibited the photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and published them in his controversial 1945 book Born Free and Equal. He gave the complete collection to the Library of Congress in 1965.

“This is a rare opportunity to see a different side of Ansel Adams,” says Crocker Art Museum Associate Curator Kristina Gilmore. “He’s known for his majestic landscapes, but these photographs are about humankind – and America – at its best and worst. The people pictured are suffering a terrible injustice, but the photos show their courage and upbeat spirit in spite of it all.”

As a German-born Jew, photographer Leonard Frank (1870-1944) moved to Alberni, British Columbia, Canada, in 1894. During World War I he had personally endured racism, which forced his move to Vancouver in 1916. Renowned for his commercial and industrial photography, the British Columbia Security Commission contracted him to record the removal of Japanese Canadians from the coast. Frank documented many who had been given 24 hours to pack one suitcase each before being separated from their families, their property sold without their consent. At Hastings Park, the internment camps in British Colombia, and other incarceration sites, Frank’s stark and disturbing photographs capture the institutional forces at work, with people living in makeshift bunk rooms crammed into agricultural buildings and horse stalls.

Gilmore adds, “Leonard Frank’s photographs reveal some of the grim environments of several holding areas and camps. It must have been especially disconcerting for him to see this happening in Canada because several of his own family members were being persecuted in Nazi Germany. His sister managed to escape Germany and survive the holocaust, but other relatives were ultimately killed in the extermination camps.”

Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank will be on view at the Crocker Art Museum from February 19 – May 14, 2017. The exhibition was organized by Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.


12494 - 20170507 - Exhibition features early works, objects, and documentation of Jean-Michel Basquiat's formative years - Denver, CO - 11.02.2017-07.05.2017

Painted television in the apartment, c. 1979–1980. Photograph by Alexis Adler.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver announces Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980. The exhibition includes the entire cache of works made by Jean-Michel Basquiat during the year he lived with his friend Alexis Adler in a small apartment in the East Village. This archival material provides rare insight into the artistic life of Basquiat before he was recognized as a prominent painter in the early 1980s. While living in this apartment, Basquiat’s creative impulses moved fluidly from his SAMO tags on the surrounding streets and neighborhood into a more sustained practice in their shared home. Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, a notebook, and other ephemera, as well as Adler’s numerous photographs from this period, this exhibition explores how the context of life in New York informed and formed Basquiat’s artistic practice.

As Adler notes, “From mid-1979 to mid-1980, I lived with Jean in three different apartments, but for most of that time in an apartment that we moved into and shared on East 12th St. This was a time before Jean had canvases to work with, so he used whatever he could get his hands on, as he was constantly creating. The derelict streets of the East Village provided his raw materials and he would bring his finds up the six flights of stairs to incorporate into his art. Jean was able to make money for paint and his share of the rent, which was $80 a month, by selling sweatshirts on the street. He knew that he was a great artist."

Spanning four galleries on the first floor of MCA Denver, the exhibition and book present New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s through the prism of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art and provide a window into the art-rich time that he emerged from as well as impacted so profoundly. It sharpens and deepens our understanding of this artist at a vital yet mostly unknown, or at least under-discussed, moment of his career. Ultimately, this exhibition attests to Basquiat’s virtuosity in formation—the creative impulses that yielded a distinctive voice, but also the many diversions or paths he explored as he was developing a signature style.

Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 is on view from February 11, 2017 to May 7, 2017. The exhibition is curated by Nora Burnett Abrams.


12493 - 20170521 - Exhibition at New Orleans Museum of Art provides a glimpse into Venetian life in the 1700s - New Orleans, LA - 16.02.2017-21.05.2017.


Joseph Heintz the Younger, Perspective Map of Venice, c. 1648 – 1650, Oil on canvas, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Museo Correr.
The grandeur of Venice comes to America’s most historic city in “A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s”, an exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art February 16 – May 21. NOMA is the sole venue in the United States presenting this exhibition of objects providing a glimpse into the pageantry, ceremony and extravagance of Venetian life in the 1700s. “It is with great pleasure that NOMA brings this remarkable exhibition to our public. Venice is presented through an elegant, multi-disciplinary installation featuring an exceptional selection of objects, costumes, and paintings that illuminate an extraordinary time in the history of Venice”, says Susan M. Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director at the NOMA.
“A Life of Seduction” illuminates 18th century Venetian life and pageantry during the century of Casanova, Canaletto, and Tiepolo, and countless others who spread Venetian taste and style throughout the world. Visitors to the exhibition will see objects depicting the opulence of the time, when the city was a cultural mecca. Three-hundred-year old carnival masks, costumes and robes, shoes, handbags, and regal glass objects are displayed among exquisite paintings by Canaletto and Guardi. “A significant strength of this exhibition is its historical and cultural point of view and the distinctive range of objects that tell the story”, says NOMA Curator Vanessa Schmid.

Fittingly, “A Life of Seduction” arrives in New Orleans at a time when parallels between the two cities are apparent: just before Carnival and the spring festival season. Guest-curated by the former director of the Civic Museums of Venice, Giandomenico Romanelli, the exhibition presents four themes: A City that Lives on Water, the Celebration of Power, Aristocratic Life in Town and Country, and the City as Theater. The festivals and celebration unique to Venetian culture are depicted in detailed paintings of a city transformed at carnival. Gondola models illustrate the exquisite craftsmanship and elegance of canal life and travel. Palace and country living are brought to life by resplendent costumes, silk waistcoats, gloves and handbags, as well as furnishings and delicate, rare Venetian glass objects, for which the city is still so well known. Theater and opera, vital elements in Venetian life and imagination, are represented through paintings, decorative arts and a full-scale puppet theater lent by the Casa Goldoni of Venice especially for this exhibition.

“It is our hope that visitors will be inspired by the focus on festivals, pageantry and ceremony that present parallels between Venice and New Orleans”, says Susan M. Taylor.

The exhibition is originated by NOMA, organized by the Contemporanea Progetti, and Guest-Curated by Giandomenico Romanelli.


12492 - 20170417 - Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum surveys career of pioneering artist and author Rosalyn Drexler - St. Louis, MO - 10.02.2017-17.04.2017


Rosalyn Drexler (American, b. 1926), Night Visitors, 1988. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 1/8". Private collection, Westport, Connecticut. © 2017 Rosalyn Drexler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
A kiss. A punch. A body braced for impact. The paintings of Rosalyn Drexler exude uncanny stillness, anticipation and, frequently, the dread of imminent violence. Moments of intimacy and conflict are frozen, sliced and readied for examination — excerpts from narratives whose conclusions can only be guessed.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis is presenting “Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?”, the first full-career retrospective for the multitalented artist. Surveying six decades of work, the exhibition features major paintings and collages alongside rarely seen early sculptures. Also included are books, photographs and other materials documenting Drexler’s wide-ranging and colorful career as a novelist, playwright and — briefly — professional wrestler.

Born in the Bronx in 1926, the self-trained Drexler began creating brightly hued sculptural assemblages in the mid-1950s. She received critical praise for her first solo exhibition, at New York’s short-lived but influential Reuben Gallery, which also showcased such experimental artists as Claes Oldenburg, Allan Kaprow and Lucas Samaras. But, in 1961, the gallery closed and Drexler, watching as male colleagues secured representation elsewhere, turned her attention to painting — a practice she would continue intermittently until the present day.

Drexler appropriated figures and subjects from a wide variety of popular sources, especially print media and film. Indeed, her use of cinematic imagery would anticipate the work of Pictures Generation artists such as Sarah Charlesworth and Robert Longo. Yet Drexler’s work also emphasized a sense of material and physicality. Rather than project and trace images onto canvas, as would some of her Pop Art contemporaries, several of whom had commercial backgrounds, Drexler cropped, enlarged, printed and collaged her source material, then applied acrylics on top. This method allowed Drexler to envelop and erase the photomechanical image while paradoxically imbuing it with a tactile sense of the artist’s hand.

Early works such as “Lovers” (1963) and “Self-Portrait” (1964) are striking for their electric palettes and critical exploration of gender roles. “Embrace” (1964) and “Love in the Green Room” (1963) play with Hollywood romantic conventions while “Rape” (1962), “I Won’t Hurt You” (1964) and “Put it This Way” (1963) — the latter of which depicts a woman recoiling from a man’s slap — expose undercurrents of abuse and domestic violence pervasive in popular media. Yet Drexler also captures moments of strength and defiance. In “Self-Defense” (1963), an armed woman knees her presumed attacker to the floor while “The Winner” (1965) raises her arms in triumph.

Works such as “Sorry About That” (1966), “Lear Executive” (1967) and “Decked Him” (1991) subvert and critique the iconography of male authority and power. With their liquid blacks and acid yellow backgrounds, “The Syndicate” (1964) and “Nuclear Blast/Amusement Park” (1998) are twin studies in malevolent ambiguity. “This is My Hell” (2013), one of Drexler’s most recent works, depicts a woman hoisted aloft by two dark-suited men, their heads framed by licks of fire, who seem to carry her toward the flames.

Drexler’s paintings can be found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Walker Art Center, among others.

In addition, she won the first of three Obie Awards for her one-act musical “Home Movies” (with music by Al Carmines), which premiered at the Judson Poets’ Theater in 1964. For several months in 1950, she toured the United States as part of the women’s wrestling circuit, performing as “Rosa Carlo, the Mexican Spitfire” — an experience that later inspired her novel “To Smithereens” (1972), as well as Andy Warhol’s series of silkscreen portraits “Album of a Mat Queen” (1962).

Drexler’s other novels include “I Am the Beautiful Stranger” (1965), “One or Another” (1970), “Art Does (Not!) Exist” (1996) and “Vulgar Lives” (2007). In addition, she has published five novels under the pseudonym Julia Sorel, including a novelization of the film “Rocky” (1976), and she was part of the team of writers who received an Emmy award in 1974 for Lily Tomlin’s television special “Lily.”


12491 - 20170709 - Tastemakers of ancient China explored in Nelson-Atkins exhibition - Kansas City, MO - 12.08.2016-09.07.2017


Vaisravana, Guardian King of the North, Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) or early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Chased, engraved and gilded bronze. Overall: 14 1/8 x 7 1/2 x 5 in. (35.8775 x 19.05 x 12.7 cm). Purchase: the Asian Art Acquisition Fund in memory of Laurence Sickman.
A new exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to view fragile treasures, some of which have not been seen in decades, from the internationally-acclaimed Chinese collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Emperors, Scholars, and Temples: Tastemakers of China’s Ming and Qing Dynasties, explores the art of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties from the perspectives of the three groups that were most influential in its production. The free exhibition gives insights into the canons of taste formed during a period of 500 years.
“Some of the treasures in this exhibition were acquired by Laurence Sickman, the museum’s first curator of Asian art and a Monuments Man who later became the Nelson-Atkins Director,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “Sickman was a visionary with an unparalleled eye who lived in China when he acquired many magnificent objects for our collection.”

The 66 works in the exhibition are arranged in three sections: Emperors presents imperial luxury objects that would have been used in the Forbidden City, Scholars illustrates the world of the educated elite, and Temples showcases examples of architectural ornaments, paintings, sutra covers and devotional figures inspired by Buddhism.

“These sumptuous objects afford a tantalizing glimpse into the sophisticated life and rich culture during the Ming and Qing dynasties,” said Colin Mackenzie, Senior Curator of Chinese Art. ““The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to view pieces that have never or rarely been on display before, including two imperial Buddhist objects that are recent donations. One, a bequest of the late Lee Lyon, is an exceedingly rare red lacquer and gold inlay sutra cover, and the other an exquisite gilt bronze figure of Green Tara (Shyamatara) from the bequest of William A. Scott.”

Foremost among the imperial objects is a rare court robe known as jifu (“auspicious dress”) decorated with nine five-clawed dragons on a cream background dating to the reign of the Kangxi (1662-1722) or Yongzheng (r.1723–­­­1736) emperors. Because of light sensitivity, the robe will only be on display until the end of January and then won’t be seen again for many years. Other notable objects include a court official’s winter fur hat with peacock feather plume, badges of rank, and exquisite ladies’ jewelry of precious materials such as opal, jade, pearl and kingfisher feathers.

Also displayed are a variety of porcelains used at court showing decorative designs and techniques, including underglaze blue, overglaze enamels, and stunning monochromes. The Emperors section also includes a painting, Six Worthies of the Bamboo Stream by Jin Tingbiao (d. 1767), that was formerly in the imperial collection.

The Scholars section explores the cultural life of the educated elite that dominated Chinese society outside the court. The centerpiece is a desk with scholars’ objects dating from the late Ming and Qing, antiques including an ancient bronze ritual vessel and a seven-stringed zither of the type that scholars would have played. Scholars were not just consumers of art, however, but also creators, and the exhibition includes works by two of the most famous scholar-painters of the Ming dynasty, Wen Zhengming (1470–1559) and Shen Zhou (1427–1509). Shen Zhou’s Farewell to Lu Zhi shows the two friends taking leave of each other on a bank by a river. A painting by Gao Fenghan (1683–1749) is unusual in that it was painted with his left hand after he lost the use of his right arm. The emphasis on expressive brushwork in all three of these paintings anticipates European movements such as Impressionism and Expressionism by almost three hundred years.

In the Temples section, a stunning five-foot-tall glazed ceramic roof ornament in the form of two dragons chasing a flaming pearl, two tiles with cavalry surmounts and a large figure of an official evoke the architecture of Buddhist temples during the Ming and Qing dynasties. A different strain of Buddhism is represented by three objects commissioned by the Yongle Emperor (1403–1425), a devotee of Tibetan Buddhism. These include a lacquer and gold inlaid sutra cover, an exquisite gilt-bronze figure of Shyamatara (Green Tara) depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus spray and a spectacular embroidered thangka depicting Akshobhya Buddha, one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas. These three works reflect Tibetan styles quite distinct from those of traditional China and their origins can be found in Indian art.

The exhibition also includes a digital interactive quiz. By playing it, audiences will discover whether they are more suited to be an emperor, a scholar or a Buddhist monk. The exhibition can be seen in Gallery 222 through July 2017.


12490 - 20170612 - Contemporary artists draw upon Asian traditions - Oberlin, OH - 26.07.2016-12.06.2017


Masami Teraoka (American, born in Japan, 1936), Hanging Rock, from the AIDS series, 1990. Watercolor on paper. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1999.12.
An exhibition at the Allen Memorial Art Museum juxtaposes works by artists from China, Japan, Korea, the United States, Vietnam, and Canada. Through June 12, 2017, “Conversations: Past and Present in Asia and America” bridges wide temporal and cultural distances as contemporary artists relate to earlier times, traditions, events, and techniques.
Asian-American artist Roger Shimomura draws upon the graphic sensibilities of the Pop Art movement and Japanese 19th century ukiyo-e prints in his two 2014 works, Liz and Marilyn, which are shown alongside Andy Warhol’s iconic silkscreen works of the 1960s, Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Shimomura, however, presents images of Japanese women, rendered in an ukiyo-e style, looking into mirrors—the celebrities reflected back at them— raising questions of otherness, self-perception, and identity.

Masami Teraoka’s 1990 watercolor Hanging Rock, while also resembling Japanese prints from the 19th century, confronts the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s. Chinese artist Wang Guangyi’s Chanel painting of 1994 ironically juxtaposes advertising imagery with 1970s Chinese political propaganda. It is paired with a Chinese political poster and with Crak!, a 1964 lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein, who drew imagery from commercial advertising, magazines, and comic books. Works by three other contemporary artists, Dinh Q. Lê, Pipo Nguyen-duy, and Jenifer Wofford, use historical photography as a departure point for very personal takes on history, self, and memory.

A selection of ceramic works also emphasizes the robust dialogue between East and West, as contemporary artist draw on glazes and techniques from the past.

These “conversations” do not simply mimic the past, but engage it in a way that references earlier traditions while infusing them with the artist’s present reality. The discussion may take the form of respectful imitation, creative reinterpretation, bitter critique, ironic send-up, and sometimes all of these at once.

The exhibition is organized by Kevin R.E. Greenwood, who is the museum’s Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art.


12489 - 20170618 - "Small-Great Objects: Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas" at the Yale University Art Gallery - New Haven, CONN - 03.02.2017-18.06.2017


Installation view.
The exhibition Small-Great Objects: Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas examines the many resonances between the art-making and art-collecting strategies of the Alberses, two of the most influential figures of 20th-century modernism. Between 1935 and 1967, the couple made numerous trips to Latin America, namely Mexico and Peru, and amassed a large collection of ancient artworks from the region. The exhibition looks at these objects in depth and considers how Anni and Josef’s collection supported their aesthetic sensibilities and teaching practices. In addition to Prehispanic objects, the show gathers together dozens of works that the couple made, including textiles, paintings, works on paper, and rarely studied photographs that Josef took at archaeological sites and museums. Demonstrating the Alberses’ deep and sustained engagement with ancient American art, Small-Great Objects explores a fascinating dimension of the couple’s creative vision.

Anni and Josef’s passion for the art and culture of the ancient Americas was first piqued while the couple was still living in Germany, where they encountered Prehispanic ceramics and textiles in museums and publications. In 1922 Anni was a student at the Bauhuas in Weimar, Germany, when she met Josef, then the head of the Bauhaus glass workshop. A decade after they met, the Nazi Party rose to power, and the couple was forced to flee the country. They received an invitation from Theodore (Ted) Dreier to teach at Black Mountain College, a newly formed, progressive art school located in the hills of North Carolina, and in November 1933 they packed their belongings and immigrated to the United States. Two years later, the Alberses arranged a trip to Mexico with Ted and his wife, Barbara (Bobbie), and the two couples visited Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Acapulco. This was the first of many trips that Anni and Josef took together through the Americas, and on subsequent journeys they frequently wrote letters to the Dreiers detailing their travels. This correspondence, now housed at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, in Bethany, Connecticut, forms the archival backbone of the exhibition.

Anni and Josef began collecting Prehispanic objects and textiles during these excursions to Mexico. In the preface of her 1964 book Pre-Columbian Mexican Miniatures, Anni described a memorable episode in which she was given the opportunity to purchase either a live goat or small ceramic figurine; she went with the latter. In addition to collecting on the road, they also purchased objects from art dealers in the United States and abroad. Over a period of 30 years, they amassed a large and varied group of artworks that today exist as three separate collections: approximately 1,400 Prehispanic objects now at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, the more than 100 textiles that comprise the Gallery’s Harriet Engelhardt Memorial Collection, and the Alberses’ private collection of textiles and ceramic figurines, now held at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

This exhibition weaves together objects from all three of these collections and organizes them according to geographic location, emphasizing the stylistic differences between their sites of origin and retracing Anni and Josef’s itinerary. The Alberses traveled through Mexico on numerous occasions, revisiting favorite places such as Mexico City and Oaxaca, and they also ventured out to the Yucatán Peninsula and eventually farther south to Peru. Over time, they embedded themselves in the social fabric of Mexico City: they visited the Museo Anahuacalli with Mexican artist Diego Rivera, they exhibited Josef’s paintings alongside those of Guatemalan artist Carlos Mérida, and Josef taught courses at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

For Anni and Josef, Mesoamerican and Andean objects were anything but “primitive”; rather, they were modern in their materiality and geometric abstraction, and they provided inspiration for the Alberses’ own work. When seen alongside Josef’s photocollages depicting scenes from Mexico, the artist’s Variant/Adobe series of the 1940s and 1950s—a predecessor to his more famous Homage to the Square paintings of the 1960s and 1970s—is clearly rooted in the architecture of Oaxaca. Techniques that Anni used in her weavings, including the leno weave in Thickly Settled (1957), find an antecedent in the Andean textiles she collected.

The title of the exhibition comes from a quote in Anni’s book Pre-Columbian Mexican Miniatures, in which she praised “small-great objects” such as handheld ceramic and stone figurines. She wrote, “Today, when large size in art is carried to an absurdity, the smallness found here seems to be a special virtue, when contrasted with the arrogance of exaggerated scale.” Anni and Josef were drawn to these objects because they admired the ability of Prehispanic artists to encapsulate the human form in basic materials like clay and stone. Similarly, they marveled at the talent of ancient weavers, who used simple back-strap looms to transform cotton or wool thread into intricate patterns that are present in even the smallest Andean textile fragments. The exhibition invites visitors to look at these objects and textiles through Anni’s and Josef’s eyes, and to appreciate, as they did, the greatness of these small artworks.

“While Josef Albers is known the world over for both his art and his pedagogy, intimately tied to his transformative teaching at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and the Yale School of Art, less is known about what Anni and Josef accomplished together as pioneering modern artists, educators, and collectors inspired by the art and architecture of the ancient Americas,” explains Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director. “The Gallery holds the largest collection of Josef’s work of any U.S. museum. Having the Alberses’ collections and archives reside in the New Haven area—at the Gallery, the Yale Peabody Museum, and the Albers Foundation in Bethany—provides an incomparable opportunity to study these artists and share their rich legacy.”

“From day one, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation opened its doors to me and provided access to their archives and collections,” states exhibition curator Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye. “It has been a delight to work with their team on the exhibition and book, and I am grateful for their mentorship and friendship. Michael D. Coe, the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University and Curator Emeritus of Anthropology at the Yale Peabody Museum, contributed greatly to this project with his expertise in Prehispanic art, stories of his friendship with Anni and Josef Albers, and firsthand knowledge of the Alberses’ collection. On behalf of our collaborators, the Gallery is pleased to share with the public the story of Anni and Josef’s inspiring journeys.”


12488 - 20170507 - Retrospective of contemporary Native American artist on view at the Dayton Art Institute - Dayton, OH - 11.02.2017-07.05.2017


Kay WalkingStick, Chief Joseph series, 1974–76. Acrylic, ink, and wax on canvas, 20 x 15 in. each. (27 panels of a 36-panel series). National Museum of the American Indian 26/5366.000–026. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.
The Dayton Art Institute opens its 2017 special exhibition season with a major retrospective of contemporary Native American artist Kay WalkingStick, on view at the museum from February 11 through May 7.

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist features about 60 of her most notable works, drawn from public and private collections across the country and from the collection of the artist. The special exhibition demonstrates the breadth of WalkingStick’s achievements and her contributions to American art. While WalkingStick’s work has been widely exhibited and discussed, this touring retrospective will be the first survey of her singular career.

The exhibition, which originated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), was co-curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo), Associate Curator, and David Penney, Associate Director for Museum Scholarship at the Smithsonian’s NMAI. Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“We are thrilled to participate in this important, traveling retrospective, and are proud to further the exhibition’s mission by presenting the multidimensional artworks of Kay WalkingStick within the context of The DAI’s encyclopedic collection,” said Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, in-house curator for The Dayton Art Institute.

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist surveys the career of one of today’s most accomplished Native American artists and a leading practitioner of contemporary landscape painting. Over the course of four decades, WalkingStick has tirelessly explored her own complex cultural identity, engaging Native American history along with feminism, Minimalism, and other key art historical movements. She is particularly renowned for her majestic and sensual landscapes, which imbue natural scenery with the charge of personal and collective memory. In addition to tracing WalkingStick’s artistic journey, this exhibition offers a fresh perspective on issues of race, identity, and national history that are central both to contemporary Native American art and to American culture at large.

WalkingStick’s biography is intimately tied to her art. The exhibition examines key moments of her life, which further illuminate the artist’s methods and motivations. As a young artist in the 1960s and 1970s, she created bold, graphic paintings using a color-blocking technique, eschewing modeling in favor of expanses of flat hues.

By the mid-1970s, WalkingStick shifted away from the figure and toward abstraction; at the same time, she grew increasingly interested in her Native American heritage. During this period, she researched American Indian history and made paintings in homage to famous Native figures such as Chief Joseph, the great Nez Perce leader, and Sakajawea. Many of these are marked by thickly impastoed, sculptural surfaces, achieved by scratching and manipulating layers of acrylic paint mixed with wax.

During the 1980s, WalkingStick returned to figuration through diptychs in which she paired abstract and naturalistic representations of the same landscape, charting her travels throughout the United States and around the world. This format, which WalkingStick has continually developed and returned to, has become her hallmark. Shortly after beginning to work in diptychs, WalkingStick suffered a devastating personal loss and her art became more volatile, dark, and intense.

Beginning in 1996, WalkingStick’s extended trips in Italy gave her the opportunity to study that country’s landscapes and art. During this period, she produced sensual paintings and drawings, often embedding personal narratives about sexuality, memory, and the body in representations of architecture and nature. The influences of Greco-Roman and Italian Renaissance art can be seen in decorative motifs; in the use of new materials, such as gold leaf; and in the Mediterranean views that frequently appear. WalkingStick’s sketchbooks, several of which are included in this exhibition, also document her travels in Italy and beyond, attesting to her deft ability to weave together disparate influences.

Over the past two decades, WalkingStick’s interests in landscape, the body, and history have merged in majestic and often monumental compositions. While the diptych format still appears, it does not dominate or dictate her mature practice. References to specific places—often sites laden with historical associations—have become more common and many works indulge, simply and unapologetically, in the beauty of the natural world.

WalkingStick’s most recent paintings synthesize themes that she has explored throughout her career, joining rugged Western scenery with decorative motifs drawn from local Native peoples. These paintings unite figuration and abstraction, Western and Native aesthetics, and personal and collective memories. Through the variety and sustained quality of her paintings and drawings over four decades, WalkingStick has challenged reductive understandings of what contemporary Native art can be.

“We’re honored to be one of only two Midwestern institutions to host this important exhibition,” said The Dayton Art Institute’s Director and CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The DAI, as a civic museum, is committed to being inclusive of all, and this exhibition offers broad appeal for those interested in Native American art, contemporary art, or landscape painting.”


12487 - 20170430 - Exhibition at Yale Center for British Art features nearly three hundred objects from international collections - New Haven, CONN - 02.02.2017-30.04.2017


William Verelst, Audience Given by the Trustees of Georgia to a Delegation of Creek Indians, 1734–35, oil on canvas, Winterthur Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, Art Gallery and Garden, Gift of Henry Francis du Pont.
This February, the Yale Center for British Art premiered the first exhibition to explore the instrumental roles of the Hanoverian princesses Caroline of Ansbach (1683–1737), Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719–1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818)—all of whom married into the British royal family—and how they shaped the nation’s society and culture during a time of significant political and social transformation. Organized by the Center in partnership with the UK’s Historic Royal Palaces, Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World brings together nearly three hundred objects from public and private collections across Britain, Europe, and the United States. The exhibition features works by the artists Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543), Mary Delany (1700–1788), Allan Ramsay (1713–1784), Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), George Stubbs (1724–1806), and Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788); craftsmen and designers Anna Maria Garthwaite (1690–1763), Matthew Boulton (1728–1809), and Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795); and architects William Kent (1685–1748) and William Chambers (1723–1796), among many others. Elaborate court costumes and jewels, musical manuscripts, botanical and anatomical illustrations, architectural drawings and garden designs, royal children’s artwork, and the princesses’ own scientific instruments are being showcased. These important works serve to show how the princesses promoted the arts, sciences, trade, and industry, and underline their development of new models of philanthropy, especially to benefit the health of women and the welfare of children. These efforts spurred unprecedented intellectual exchange and social transformation which continues to have significance for us today. Enlightened Princesses debuted at the Center in New Haven from February 2 to April 30, 2017, and subsequently will travel to Kensington Palace in London, once home to Caroline and Charlotte, where it will be on view from June 22 to November 12, 2017.

“Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte had sweeping intellectual, social, cultural, and political interests, which helped to shape the courts in which they lived, and encouraged the era’s greatest philosophers, scientists, artists, and architects to develop important ideas that would guide ensuing generations,” said Amy Meyers, Director of the Yale Center for British Art and organizing curator at the Center. “The palaces and royal gardens they inhabited served as incubators for enlightened conversation and experimentation, and functioned as platforms to project the latest cultural developments to an international audience. Their innovative contributions across disciplines held great significance centuries ago and continue to inform our lives.”

The lives of Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte straddled the eighteenth century. Caroline, the wife of the future George II, arrived in London in 1714 when the first Hanoverian king, George I, was crowned. She became queen consort after her husband succeeded his father in 1727. Augusta was married to Caroline’s eldest son, Frederick Prince of Wales, but never became queen as her husband died young. However, as mother of the next king, George III, Augusta became crucial to shaping his reign. In 1761, George III married Charlotte, who died in 1818, two years before her husband.

“Until this point, the contributions of these three princesses have been little understood, and it is the aim of this exhibition to demonstrate how they influenced the interests of their era in the most vibrant of ways. In their engagement and support of many important projects and initiatives, they provided a blueprint for the royal women who followed them—right up to the present. For this, it is our intention to bring to the princesses the attention they deserve,” said Joanna Marschner, Senior Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and lead curator of the exhibition.

In addition to masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art and Historic Royal Palaces, Enlightened Princesses presents works from the Royal Collection Trust, who have loaned over eighty objects for this exhibition. In total, nearly fifty esteemed collections are represented, including works from Royal Society; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond; British Museum; National Portrait Gallery, London; British Library; Victoria and Albert Museum; Science Museum, London; Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library; Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library; and Yale University. The display also features a new work created by the artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) (b. 1962) specifically for this exhibition, which has been inspired by a meeting, in 1753, between Princess Augusta and Mrs. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, the owner of a slave plantation in South Carolina, which was then a British colony. A letter written by Mrs. Pinckney to a friend, detailing the encounter, is included in the exhibition as a special loan from the collection of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of South Carolina. The dress worn by Mrs. Pinckney on the occasion, made of silk produced on her plantation, is also on display, courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Enlightened Princesses is organized according to five themes and features a rich variety of objects that offer a glimpse into the princesses’ private lives, courts, and legacies. Oil portraits of Caroline (ca. 1735), by Joseph Highmore (1692–1780); Augusta (1769), by Allan Ramsay (1713–1784); and Charlotte (1771), by Johan Joseph Zoffany (1733–1810) will set the stage for the exhibition.

The Court as a Stage
For Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte, the royal court operated as a stage, not only for the performance of music, dance, and theater but also as a political and cultural arena. In their furnishing of these spaces, the princesses constructed a visual statement of the authority of the Hanoverian dynasty, under which the patronage of music and the arts would flourish. At the same time, they had to navigate the inherently political nature of public and private life at court during a period that witnessed an information revolution, initiated by the mass circulation of newspapers, journals, and magazines replete with commentary, debate, and critique. This section includes Hans Holbein the Younger’s Lady Lister (ca. 1532–43), one of the artist’s many portrait drawings of courtiers at the Tudor court, which were particularly prized by Caroline and hung at Kensington Palace in celebration of the distinguished pedigree of the Royal House. These drawings were displayed alongside images of the present generation of the royal family. The painting “The Music Party”: Frederick, Prince of Wales with his Three Eldest Sisters (1733), by Philippe Mercier (1689–1760), is one such example. It depicts Caroline’s eldest son playing the cello. He is accompanied by his three sisters—Princess Anne (1709–1759) at the harpsichord; Princess Amelia (1711–1786) reading a volume of John Milton’s poems; and Princess Caroline (1713–1757) playing the mandora.

Cultures of Learning: Powerful Conversations
At the heart of their social circles, Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte built relationships with the leading cultural and intellectual figures of their age, including politicians, clergymen, philosophers, gardeners, architects, authors, playwrights, and composers. The princesses’ interests often overlapped or had a common focus, such as in science, medicine, philanthropy, and especially maternity, as well as the commercial interests of the state in Britain and abroad. Their pursuits in this area are represented by such objects as an oil portrait by John Vanderbank (1694–1739) of Sir Isaac Newton (1726); Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of his friend, the musician Carl Friedrich Abel, later acquired by Queen Charlotte for whom he provided music (1777); and Allan Ramsey’s remarkably nuanced portrait of Charlotte’s medical adviser, Dr. William Hunter (1760).

Royal Women: Education, Charity, and Health
Attitudes regarding royal child-rearing changed rapidly over the lifetimes of Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte. There were shifts in methodology and focus in response to the evolving contemporary philosophies about childhood, sentimentality, and individual freedoms. The princesses were active contributors to the educational programs devised for their children, and sought to draw them into conversations beyond the palace walls. In their public roles as encouragers and protectors, the princesses were involved in ambitious and wide-reaching public philanthropic projects, organizations, and societies, especially those connected with health and social welfare. A precious silk satin baby robe (1762) belonging to George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), the eldest child of George III and Queen Charlotte, compares poignantly with tokens left by unmarried and impoverished mothers as they consigned their children to the Foundling Hospital. The hospital was a charity supported by all three of the princesses, which reflected their progressive interests, and it became an outlet to promote social change, through assistance it provided to disenfranchised and voiceless children in the greater society.

Political Gardening
Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte created and recast each other’s gardens, which were political and social spaces, as well as private retreats. They drew in the products of empire—plants and animals were collected from many continents, not only for their beauty and rarity but also their economic value. Similarly, collections of animals and birds brought back from the exploration of these “new” worlds were an important feature in the royal gardens. In the design of their gardens, the princesses explored contemporary garden philosophies and exercised their architectural ambitions. Many of their landscapes were made to be shared, not just with the community of gardeners, philosophers, and scientists the princesses drew into their circle but with a wider community, fostering an unprecedented relationship between monarchy and subject. Mark Catesby’s (1683–1749) dynamic watercolor The Painted Finch and the Loblolly Bay (ca. 1722–26) and an intricate cut-paper collage by Mary Delany, Cactus Grandiflorus, melon thistle (1778), serve as evidence of the princesses’ entanglement in Britain’s imperial ambition.

To Promote and Protect: The Princesses and the Wider World
To promote the arts and sciences, Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte supported and championed national products, and allowed their interest to be used by enterprising industrialists. The development of advanced industrial technologies—including cloth weaving, porcelain production, and metal casting—enabled unprecedented mass-produced consumer goods. This ensured, for the first time, that the image of the British monarchy was widely disseminated in a way recognized as a “brand” to domestic and international audiences. Additionally, Britain’s increased colonial expansion following the American War of Independence resulted in heightened interest in the fruits of empire, which the princesses celebrated by furnishing their homes and developing their gardens with imports from the Caribbean, India, Africa, China, and Australasia. Masterpieces that have been gathered to reflect the princesses’ engagement with the wider world include a painting by William Verelst (1704–1752), Audience Given by the Trustees of Georgia to a Delegation of Creek Indians (1734–35), as well as one of the Center’s treasured works, a painting by George Stubbs of a zebra belonging to Queen Charlotte (1763).


12486 - 20170507 - Philbrook presents world-premiere of found photographs - Tulsa, OKLA - 05.02.2017-07.05.2017


Chrysler Building.
A recent acquisition of over 4,000 photographs by 1930s Condé Nast photographer Lusha Nelson has led Philbrook Museum of Art into a 10-year research and exhibition initiative to tell his untold story. This lost archive was purchased from a New York City estate sale in the early 1980s, moved across the country, and disappeared into private hands for over three decades before transferring to Philbrook. With little written on this successful young photographer who died scarcely six years into his career, Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Curator of European Art Dr. Sarah Lees have embarked on an ambitious multi-year effort to introduce Lusha Nelson and his work to a 21st century audience. The first-ever solo exhibition of his work, debuting in Tulsa on February 5, 2017, focuses on this virtually unknown figure whose diverse portfolio includes subjects like Katharine Hepburn, Jesse Owens, Alfred Stieglitz, circus performers, socialites, and everyday Americans living during the Great Depression.

Born in Riga, Latvia in 1907, Lusha Nelson immigrated to the United States at the age of 15. He worked in various positions during his late teens and early 20s including as a sous-chef in a Catskill Mountains resort where he met his wife, Irene. Nelson had earlier considered becoming a painter, but found his true passion in photography, inspired particularly – as his wife later suggested – by films like Sergei Eisenstein’s October: Ten Days that Shook the World (1928), an account of the Russian Revolution. He purchased his first camera in the late 1920s before ultimately cementing his career as staff photographer with Condé Nast Publications by the fall of 1932. There he worked and socialized with some of the most important photographers of the day, including Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen. Nelson died in May 1938 at the age of 30 following a long illness.

The Philbrook collection includes his self-proclaimed “first photograph with any camera” as well as dramatic shots of celebrities, circus performers, fashion advertising, and more. His powerful, straightforward style as both a commercial and documentary photographer prompted Nelson’s mentor Steichen to write in an article that Nelson “did not try to interpret his subject, he simply photographed” it. His wife echoed this sentiment in 1941, writing, “Although wanting to earn a livelihood through his photography, he would never capitulate to his sitters in the way of retouching or prettifying.” This realist approach in the 1930s centered on documenting his world rather than altering images brings new perspective to the 21st century cultural discussions on the moral use of Photoshop in publications as it pertains to personal body image or even the social media phenomenon “#nofilter.”

“Nelson’s distinctive style was uncompromising – he didn’t use typical retouching techniques of the day,” commented co-curator Lees. “The power of the images is in their simplicity – as an artist, he’s not trying to flatter the sitter and, at the same time, he captures the drama of every day. Even after 80 years, his photos have a freshness and immediacy, offering a new perspective on the 1930s.”

“Reintroducing an artist and his work to the public after nearly a century is such a rare opportunity,” noted co-curator Whitney. “Why are these images ‘lost’? The artistry and this artist deserve attention and we have the opportunity to not only discover the art but also discover the artist and, most importantly, share both with the world.”

“His story is simply fascinating,” reflected Philbrook Director Scott Stulen. “He’s living in New York waiting tables before ultimately landing a job as a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines. He’s completely committed to his craft taking thousands of photos in less than 10 years covering a wide range of subjects: Hollywood celebrities to the forgotten people of 1930s America. This acquisition and subsequent 10-year research initiative gives us the opportunity to introduce this exceptional photographer to the world.”

The first exhibition of this project strives to introduce Nelson and celebrate the rich range of his work by exploring his distinctive vision of 1930s America.


12485 - 20170430 - The Ringling presents "A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe" - Sarasota, FLA - 04.02.2017-30.04.2017

Mirror Case with the Attack on the Castle of Love, France, 1320–40. Ivory.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art presents A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe, a major international loan exhibition that brings together more than 100 works including stained glass, precious metals, ivories, tapestries, paintings, prints and illuminated manuscripts. The show has been organized by The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in partnership with The Ringling with objects coming from 25 prestigious public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with The Walters Art Museum to bring this extraordinary group of objects to our visitors in Sarasota,” remarked Steven High, executive director, The Ringling. “These works will not only allow guests to engage with art in new ways but give them the opportunity to view pieces from world-renowned collections.”

The exhibition focuses on the late medieval and early Renaissance period in Europe (roughly 1300-1500), a time in which societal changes prompted a new interest in human experience, the enjoyment of nature and the pursuit of pleasure. As a result, the art of this period functioned in a rich sensory world that was integral to its appreciation. These works were not only seen, but also touched, smelled and heard. The exhibition will bring together sacred and secular art to reveal the role of the senses in courtly ritual and religious practice.

A Feast for the Senses seeks to recover the traces of sounds, smell, taste and touch inherent in the materiality of these late medieval objects and give them a voice, bringing them to life for the modern viewer. The oft-held notion of the Middle Ages as a period of sensory deprivation is disproven through the many objects on view that encourage sensory engagement. As visitors move through the exhibition space they will encounter interactive displays including Audio Spotlights, Scent Pop stations, and touchable replicas, all designed to encourage an appreciation of how art was designed to stimulate the senses of the medieval viewer.

“These are objects that were meant to be touched and used, not simply looked at. A Feast for the Senses will evoke the experiences people in this period had with them, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of this time in history” stated Virginia Brilliant, Ulla R. Searing curator of collections at The Ringling.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with new research that significantly contributes to the emerging field of sensory perception within art history. The essays, by leading scholars including exhibition curator Martina Bagnoli and Virginia Brilliant, explore the themes of the exhibition through investigations into religious practices and rituals, aristocratic feasts and celebrations, music and literature and the art of courtship, love and marriage.



12484 - 20170430 - Masterpieces in American landscape painting on display at the Wichita Art Museum - Wichita - 04.02.2017-30.04.2017

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), Autumn Woods, 1886. Oil on linen. The New-York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Albert Bierstadt, 1910.11.
For the first time at the Wichita Art Museum, 41 landscape paintings of early American art history from the premier collection of the New-York Historical Society will be on view in The Poetry of Nature, featuring masterpieces by such notable artists as Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Albert Bierstadt. The exhibition offers a varied survey of important paintings conceived in the style of the Hudson River School and further enriched by each artist’s personal vision.

In the early to mid-19th century, the expansive landscapes of the Hudson River Valley as well as Catskill and Adirondack Mountains inspired a remarkably talented group of American artists, a circle now known as the Hudson River School. Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand were the leaders of the early movement, encouraging a generation of artists who found life-long inspiration in the contemplation and study of nature. Landscape was not greatly valued as a category for painting at the time, and the Hudson River School made landscape painting an acceptable subject for American artists.

Utilizing masterful effects of light, the Hudson River School artists created intricate, often idealized views of nature that conveyed the physical details of each landscape as well as its atmosphere. Artists of the Hudson River School also journeyed beyond New York State to other regions noted for scenic beauty, such as New Hampshire and coastal New England.

These artists—part of the romantic movement in 19th-century America that extended to literary figures including Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper—extolled the majesty of the American wilderness and the idea of man living in harmonious balance with nature.

The impact of their visual imagery had great consequences for the way Americans considered this landscape as part of the country’s cultural heritage, evident in the fact that many of the places revered by the Hudson River School are now national parks and state wilderness preserves.

The exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.


12483 - 20170423 - "Modern Masters, Contemporary Icons" exhibition at The Rockwell Museum - Corning, NY - 03.02.2017-23.04.2017

Charles Demuth, Three Figures on a Beach, 1934. Watercolor and graphite on paper. Collection of the Old Jail Art Center. Bequest of Bill Bomar known as the Jewel Nail Bomar and William P. Bomar, Jr. Collection. 1993.038.
The Rockwell Museum announces the exhibition Modernist Masters, Contemporary Icons: Highlights from the Old Jail Art Center. Including featured works by John Marin, Grant Wood, and Andy Warhol, the exhibition is on view at The Rockwell Museum from February 3 through April 23, 2017.

An intimate collection of American masterworks from the Old Jail Art Center (OJAC) in Albany, TX, Modern Masters, Contemporary Icons includes works by the most highly acclaimed American artists in history. Work by American greats like Grant Wood, Alexander Calder, and Thomas Hart-Benton will be presented for the first time at The Rockwell. Other artists, familiar to The Rockwell’s collection like Fritz Scholder, John Marin and Arthur Dove, are also included – providing a new dialogue with The Rockwell’s modernist water colors, works on paper and sculpture. Comprised of 30 modernist works of landscape, portraiture, nudes, modern life stills and wildlife, this exhibition celebrates the work of the most honored American art masters of our time.

The modern visions of the American landscape with subjects ranging from depictions of the desert southwest to the Maine coast are presented in various manners by a range of artists. Yet the dynamic application and handling of media often supersedes the modern artist’s need for a convincing pictorial space. Many landscapes verge on becoming non-objective abstractions, emphasizing the emotive and dynamic powers of brushstroke, color, line, and other formal qualities. The accurate depiction of a scene is secondary—simply serving as a means to an end in order to enforce the concept of art for art’s sake.

The representation of the human figure varies within the collection. The traditional approach of accurately recording the human body stands in stark contrast to more expressive likenesses. An elegant drawing of a human nude reflects the controlled skills of an artist while expressive gestures elicit more emotive responses from the viewer. Other times, simple to enigmatic narratives that provoke interpretation are created by the placement of the human figure in a landscape, engagement with other figures, or the utilization of simple props.

The landscape and human figure are prevalent subjects in the OJAC’s modern and contemporary painting, drawing, print, and sculpture collections as well as those selected for inclusion in this exhibition that span 100 years of artistic creation.

The Old Jail Art Center, Albany TX
Like The Rockwell Museum, many art institutions begin humbly and manifest themselves by the desire of individuals to share their holdings with the public. So it was in 1980 with the Old Jail Art Center’s founders Bill Bomar (1919 – 1991) and Reilly Nail (1920 – 2006). Both were born in Albany, Texas—a small rural town rich in history, ranching, and the new wealth of oil. Both had the financial means to attend prestigious schools and begin collecting art. Upon graduation from Cranbrook Art Academy, Bill Bomar moved to New York City to study with John Sloan, Hans Hoffman, and Amédée Ozenfant. While working and living in NYC, Bomar began to collect domestically scaled paintings, prints, drawings, and sculpture of European and American Modern artists whom he admired and influenced his own artwork. Later, Bomar moved to Taos, New Mexico and collected the works of artists active in the New Mexico region. Reilly Nail graduated from Princeton University and had an award-winning career in New York City working as a television producer. From his college years on, he purchased art from galleries as well as from artist friends. Without a concern of purchasing art as an investment, both founders collected works that they individually responded to including young contemporary artists they befriended and supported.

The OJAC maintains a diverse collection of Modern American and European masters as well as works by well- and lesser-known contemporary artists. Over the past 35 years, the OJAC art collection has grown through gifts and purchases, continuing the approach established by Bomar and Nail of adding to complement and enhance established collections, while supporting contemporary artists through collecting and exhibiting their work.


12482 - 20170514 - The Morgan presents treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Sweden - New York - 03.02.2017-14.05.2017

Rembrandt (Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Dutch, 1606–1669), Three Thatched Cottages by a Road, ca. 1640, pen and brown ink and wash, with touches of white heightening. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Photo: Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseu.
The Nationalmuseum, Sweden’s largest and most distinguished art institution, is collaborating with the Morgan Library & Museum to bring more than seventy-five masterpieces from its renowned collections to New York in an extraordinary new exhibition opening February 3. The show features work by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Antoine Watteau, and François Boucher, and is the first collaboration between the two institutions in almost fifty years. Treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Sweden: The Collections of Count Tessin runs through May 14.

The Nationalmuseum’s core holdings were assembled by Count Carl Gustaf Tessin (1696–1770), a diplomat and one of the great art collectors of his day. The son and grandson of architects, Tessin held posts in Vienna, Berlin, and Paris, where he came into contact with the leading Parisian artists of the time and commissioned many works from them. By the time he left the city in 1742, he amassed an impressive collection of paintings and drawings.

Among the fourteen paintings in the exhibition are three commissioned by Count Tessin and exhibited at the 1740 Parisian Salon. Chief among these is Boucher’s Triumph of Venus, which is making its first journey to North America. Other paintings include Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s Dachshund Pehr with Dead Game and Rifle, and a Portrait of Count Tessin by Jacques-André-Joseph Aved, in which the collector is shown among his art, books, and medals. Six works by Jean-Siméon Chardin, notably the Morning Toilette, complete the group.

The drawings in the exhibition include works by Italian masters such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Raphael, Giulio Romano, and Annibale Carracci. Northern European artists are represented by Dürer, Hendrick Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Anthony van Dyck, among others. The French drawings begin with Primaticcio and practitioners of the Fontainebleau school and include works by Jacques Callot and Nicholas Poussin, as well as Count Tessin’s French contemporaries, Watteau, Boucher, and Chardin.

“We are delighted to host this exhibition of masterworks from the Nationalmuseum,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “The selection of paintings and drawings is of the highest quality. Fine examples of work from the Italian, French, and Northern European schools are represented, with a group of sixty master drawings forming the heart of the show. We are deeply grateful to the museum’s director general Berndt Arell and his curatorial staff for making this collaboration possible.

“The exhibition continues a tradition at the Morgan of partnering with Europe’s leading cultural institutions. Over the last several years, the museum has mounted critically acclaimed shows from the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre, the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich, and the Biblioteca Reale in Turin.”

Tessin Collects
Carl Gustaf Tessin is distinguished among his Swedish contemporaries by his extraordinary versatility: he was a politician, courtier, diplomat, public official, artist, writer, historian, collector, and philosopher. Son of the architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, Carl Gustaf was an amateur of the arts from a young age, an enthusiasm fostered by his early travels through Europe, including a first visit to Paris in 1715–16, a brief return in 1718–19, and another trip with his new wife Ulla in 1728–29. Following his father’s death in 1728, Carl Gustaf inherited a substantial collection of paintings, drawings, and prints and the position of surintendant (surveyor) at the royal palace.

Tessin’s longest stay in Paris was from 1739 until 1742, when he served as Sweden’s unofficial ambassador to the French court. Driven by a passion for art and elegant living, he commissioned and purchased paintings and drawings, assembling a notable collection. The costs of maintaining his lifestyle in Paris would, however, leave him with lasting financial difficulty after his return to Stockholm.

Tessin Sells His Collections to the Royal Family
Tessin was forced in 1749 to sell part of his collection of paintings to the royal family of Sweden as his financial situation deteriorated. He sold 243 paintings to King Frederick I, who then presented them to his daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Louisa Ulrika, who considered Tessin a confidant. The following year, in 1750, Tessin was compelled to sell the majority of his drawings to Louisa Ulrika’s husband, who had succeeded his father as King Adolf Frederick. This series of sales to the royal family helped form the core of the royal collection of old master drawings and paintings. Most of the collection was kept in the Royal Palace, Stockholm, which Tessin’s father designed. Some paintings were kept at nearby Drottningholm Palace, Louisa Ulrika’s favored retreat, also designed by Tessin’s father.

Gustav III and the Founding of the Nationalmuseum
Adolf Frederick died in 1771 and was succeeded by his son, King Gustav III, who had been tutored by Tessin, and who was an acclaimed patron of the arts. Gustav’s ambition was to establish a royal collection open to the public. In 1775, he created the Royal Library, which served as a repository for the king’s collection of drawings. After Gustav’s assassination in 1792, a Royal Museum—primarily a collection of paintings and sculpture—was founded in his memory. These two collections would eventually form the core of the Nationalmuseum’s holdings. In the 1860s, works were inventoried and transferred to the museum: the drawings in 1863, followed by the paintings in 1865. The Nationalmuseum opened its doors in 1866.

The Nationalmuseum Today
Today, the Nationalmuseum houses a wide-ranging collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, and design, but is renowned for its strength in old master paintings and drawings, especially those of the eighteenth century, largely thanks to Count Tessin. Closed for renovation since 2013, the museum will reopen in 2018 with state-of-the-art climate control throughout its historic 1866 building and expanded space to display more of its collection, offering museumgoers a broader and richer experience.