Posts tagged Allen Memorial Art Museum
Posts tagged Allen Memorial Art Museum
Now you see it…: Immediately following Commencement/Reunion Weekend, the exhibition Religion, Ritual and Performance in Modern and Contemporary Art closed and we began preparing the gallery for next year’s show Modern and Contemporary Realisms. Our wonderful “scribble” drawing by Sol LeWitt has now been covered over by a temporary wall in preparation for that installation.
The wall drawing was created by LeWitt specifically for the museum’s Ellen Johnson Gallery as part of a 2007 exhibition, Sol LeWitt at the AMAM, which featured other works by LeWitt from the AMAM collection, along with loans from the LeWitt Collection. When LeWitt died at the age of seventy-eight, shortly after the exhibition opened, it became a memorial to the artist and his legacy. The “scribble” drawing, which measures twenty-two feet high, was a gift from the artist and among the very last of his wall drawings. LeWitt gave instructions to teams of people - in Oberlin’s case, members of his studio, Oberlin students, community members, and students from other colleges - for such drawings, which took weeks to execute, always giving the teams “wiggle room” and insisting that their input made a vital contribution to the final artwork.
To see images from the original installation and read more about how it was created, you can visit an earlier blog post here.
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928–2007)
Wall Drawing #1222 (Scribbles: Curved Horizontal Bands), 2007
Black graphite pencil
Gift of the Artist, AMAM 2007.5
AMAM Year in Review: This small group of photos showcases the variety of public programs offered at the Allen Memorial Art Museum during the 2012-13 academic year. From First Thursday events for students and the public, to a scholarly symposium on the Renaissance, and community day events for kids and the family, it was a very academic year.
While some of our galleries will close to be re-installed over the summer, we will still be offering public programs, such as youth camps, regular Frank Lloyd Wright open houses, and the eighth annual Oberlin Chalk Walk!! Stay tuned!
Rani Molla (Oberlin College, Class of 2008) writes about the about the Tate Modern’s #TateTour twitter tour of their Lichtenstein show - and starts with her memories of Art Rental.
Image: Lichtenstein, Boot on Hand, 1964. Art Rental Collection at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH.
To learn more about Art Rental at Oberlin ($5 per work/semester!), visit the AMAM website…
Or read Nicole Gutman’s (Oberlin College, Class of 2016) first-hand account of renting art: Oberlin Review
Although books of hours were the most common devotional books of the fifteenth century, there were also more varied collections of prayer. This leaf comes from one such prayer book. It shows the hand of the resurrected Christ, whose palm bears the stigmata associated with his crucifixion. Set against a yellow background meant to imitate gold leaf, this inexpensive image was used by readers who looked at the image while contemplating Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection. The text encircling the image translates as, “Whatever has been, or will be, appointed through the right hand of God the omnipotent father shall be blessed.”
This image is one of only two printed works in the exhibition Private Prayer, Public Performance. A woodcut, it was made around 1450, roughly contemporary with Gutenberg’s invention of printing with movable type, which would spell the end of manuscript illumination. This work illustrates that transition perfectly: although the image is printed, the prayer on the other side of the page is handwritten.
This work will be on view in the 2nd floor Ripin Print Gallery through July 31 in the exhibition Private Prayer, Public Performance: Religious Books of the Later Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Friends of Art Fund, 1956.2
OBERLINIA || The Oberlin College administration, faculty, and staff’s tribute video to the Class of 2013 (!!!), who will be graduating on Monday. These are screenshots from the video that show Prof. Erik Inglis (‘89) describing an “object” in the collection of Oberlin’s Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM). This parody work of art is the poster for the failed “Fearless” publicity campaign of 2006, so it’s good to know that the administration isn’t taking itself too seriously || LEARNING & LABOR
STILL can’t get enough of this video!
AMAM Masterpiece Spotlight: Peter Paul Rubens’ “The Finding of Erichthonius”
The subject of this work by Rubens comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: the daughters of Cecrops, the King of Attica, had been entrusted by Athena with a basket they were explicitly told not to open. It contained the baby Erichthonius, son of Vulcan and Gaia, whose legs were in the form of snakes. Naturally, they opened the basket (the youngest daughter, Aglauros, is seen in this act in the AMAM painting), where, to their shock, they found the deformed child. According to some accounts, they were so horrified at the sight, they threw themselves from the heights of the Athenian Acropolis. Art historian Julius Held, however, noted that in the Oberlin painting, Ovid’s version of the tale is depicted, as no harm comes to the daughters and as a landscape-not the rocky outcropping of the Acropolis-is seen in the background.
The AMAM canvas is a fragment of the complete work, whose composition can be deduced through preliminary sketches, prints, and a number of copies. The complete painting was in the collection of the Duc de Richelieu in 1676, but by 1786 when it appeared in an auction as “a female gardener,” it had been significantly cut down, and overpainted: Erichthonius had been covered over by blossoms, so that the entire composition looked like a young girl with a basket of flowers; the various limbs of her sisters, seen in the AMAM work, had also been overpainted. In 1939, the Rubens scholar Ludwig Burchard recognized the composition from a Rubens print, and suggested cleaning the work, after which the original composition was discovered.
The painting is from the last decade of Rubens’s life, and displays the brilliant coloration, sheen of silks and satins, and free handling for which he is known. Rubens was the foremost Flemish artist of the seventeenth century, and was widely known throughout Europe for his inspired compositions and sumptuous coloring. He ran a large studio and served as painter to the Duke of Mantua, the Spanish and French courts, the Habsburgs, and a vast array of other notables, often serving both as artist and diplomat.
The AMAM collection contains a print after the painting by the Flemish artist Pieter van Sompel, as well as two drawings by Rubens, showing The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine and the Head of an Old Man.
Depicted on this chasse is the beheading of Thomas à Becket at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral by knights of King Henry II (the result of an ongoing feud between Becket and Henry over the separation of Church and State). Becket’s blood stained the floor and was collected by the cathedral clergy, diluted with water, and distributed to pilgrims who traveled to Canterbury after the saint’s death. Known as “Becket Water,” this mixture was said to perform miracles, curing illnesses and healing deformities when consumed. Limoges Becket chasses like this one may have contained Becket Water at one point, or perhaps the saint’s corporeal relics that were distributed all over Western Europe.
Reliquary Chasse Depicting the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas à Becket, ca. 1210
Gilded copper alloy and champlevé enamel over wood core
Gift of Baroness René de Kerchove, 1952.20
Clare Leighton - Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
Known for her illustrations of nineteenth-century British novels by authors like Thomas Hardy, Claire Leighton also wrote prolifically on the virtues of rural life in an increasingly urban and industrial world. This series of wood engravings for the 1931 Random House edition of Wuthering Heights combines Leighton’s cherished English countryside with the brooding moors of the novel’s romanticized Yorkshire landscape. Written in 1846, Wuthering Heights was the only novel by Emily Brontë, a member of the famous Brontë family of writers. Leighton’s series of twelve illustrations depicts both crucial moments in the book’s narrative, which chronicles the passionate but doomed love story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, as well as tangential episodes and characters.
These works are on view in the exhibition “Representing the Word: Modern Book Illustrations” through July 31.
Clare Leighton (English, 1900–1989)
Heathcliff’s Grief, from the series Wuthering Heights, 1930
Gift of Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride
In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Oberlin College and Town in 1983, AMAM curator William Olander organized the exhibition Art and Social Change, U.S.A., in celebration of Oberlin’s long tradition of social awareness. The exhibition featured artwork by John Ahearn, Nancy Buchanan, Sarah Charlesworth, John Fekner, Mike Glier, Jenny Holzer, Peter Huttinger, Barbara Kruger, and Sherrie Levine, as well as performances by Candace Hill-Montgomery (b. 1945) and Eric Bogosian (b. 1953, OC ‘76). The performances provided direct social critique that complemented the work of the other artists in the exhibition, located not only in the galleries, but in the museum courtyard, Tappan Square, and around town.
To inaugurate the exhibition, Hill-Montgomery performed Win Within Eye Shot Out. The piece was text based, but defied classification as a poetry reading. Hill-Montgomery’s reading was accompanied and occasionally interrupted by the piercing voice of opera singer Lisa Dunbar. The spare performance, like Hill-Montgomery’s other work, utilized the artist’s perspective as a black female artist to heighten awareness of contemporary race and gender issues. In contrast, Eric Bogosian’s two-part performance, comprised of Voices of America and Funhouse, critiqued current social issues by taking on the guise of the undesirable and desperate characters of the American landscape: the drug pusher, the criminal, the alcoholic, the beggar, the insurance salesman. These characters, which the artist sought to reinsert into public consciousness, grew out of Bogosian’s observations of daily life on subways, in diners, and on city streets.
This work is on view through May 26 in the focus exhibition ’Performance at Oberlin,’ which chronicles the history of performance art at Oberlin College since the 1970s, curated by Thomas Huston (OC ‘13).
Poster for Live Performance, Art & Social Change, 1983
AMAM Exhibition Archives