Posts tagged museum
Posts tagged museum
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
Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Denise Birkhofer contributes another blog post to Artsy.net on “The Felt Suit of Joseph Beuys.” Our multiple of the suit is on view through May 26 in the Ellen Johnson Gallery.
Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986)
Suit of Clothes, 1970
Fund for Contemporary Art, 1972.48
This work is featured in our current exhibition, Illuminating Faith in the Russian Old Believer Tradition, on view through July 31.
The account of St. John the Baptist’s descent into Hell after his beheading derives from apocryphal literature and carries a particular apocalyptic inflection for Old Believers, who consider the end of time to be near. In Hell, St. John the Baptist, also known as St. John the Precursor in Eastern Orthodoxy, meets the patriarchs and prophets from the Old Testament to announce those souls that Christ would take away during the Second Coming. The artist has portrayed St. John with wings, an indication of his multi-layered sanctity as angel, apostle, and martyr.
Russian, late 18th–early 19th century
Descent of St. John the Baptist into Hell
Ink and color on paper
Gift of Frederick Binkerd Artz, 1958.32H
As part of a recent Kress Foundation Digital Resources planning grant, the AMAM and the Oberlin College Library teamed up to provide high-quality scans of all available Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletins. The Bulletin is a series of scholarly journals published by the Museum since 1944 which contain articles related to exhibitions and works in the collection. A valuable resource for faculty, students, staff, and scholars around the world, these Bulletins provide a wealth of information on collection works, often dating back to when a piece was first acquired by the AMAM.
To browse the complete selection of scans, click here to visit the Oberlin College Digitial Resource Commons page.
Among the ten paintings in the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) that were gifts of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in 1961, is one by the artist Giampietrino of the death of Cleopatra, dating to circa 1515. The painting is the AMAM’s closest link to the work of Leonardo da Vinci, as Giampietrino is known to have worked in his studio.
It had been in storage, due to discolored varnish, uneven surface, extensive overpaints, and cleaving paint. With a generous grant fro the Kress Foundation, the painting was conserved from 2010-2012 at the Intermuseum Conservation Association in Cleveland (an organization founded in 1952 at Oberlin College with the support of AMAM director Charles Parkhurst).
In this video, AMAM Director Andria Derstine and ICA paintings conservator Andrea Chevalier discuss the extensive process of research and conservation, which included submitting the painting to x-ray scans, ultraviolet imaging, infra-red reflectography, and comparisons to similar work in other collections. Very interesting!
“scenes from bedrooms.
A response to Holly Wright’s “Final Portrait: Holly & Charles”
crooks of our elbows
lying. touching in the way
our bodies cannot.
it used to be small-
your spring-mattress college bed.
now i can’t see you.
air is dense between
us. once you were royalty.
now i’ve lost your crown.
sigh to your elbow :
i miss you when i’m with you.
it doesn’t hear me.
sheet corners are tucked.
neat & prepared for nothing.
i feel like they do.
crooks of our elbows
lying. touching in the way
our bodies cannot.
the bed is excess-
ive. encrusted in pretend,
this is how we’ll die:
in our sunday best,
lying next to each other,
my white hands are clasped
yours are loose & unattached.
i wish you’d touch me.
lying next to you,
imagining my death &
somehow you feel odd.”
- Kaitlyn Custer (OC ’ 15)
Submitted as part of the recent Muse in the Museum evening of ekphrastic poetry readings at the Allen Art Museum, Oberlin College.
Holly Wright (American, b. 1941)
Final Portrait: Holly and Charles, 1981–82
Gelatin silver print
Friends of Art Purchase Fund, 1982.87
Our final First Thursday of the semester is this week! Join us as we welcome Audrey Flack to the museum. A pioneer of Photorealism and a nationally recognized painter and sculptor, Flack will give a lecture titled: Women the Passion and the Sorrow in conjunction with the exhibition, “Religion, Ritual and Performance in Modern and Contemporary Art.” This talk is sponsored by the AMAM and the Art Department Ellen Johnson Fund.
Originally scheduled to give a talk in November, and delayed by Hurricane Sandy, we are thrilled to welcome her to campus. The talk will begin at 5:30pm, and galleries remain open until 8pm. Hope to see you there!