Middlebury College Museum of Art


Exhibitions 2015–2016

Following is a list of exhibitions that were on view during the 2015–2016 academic year. Please click on the title of an exhibition to view a full press release for that show.

Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World

June 10–August 7, 2016
Curated by master tattoo artist and author Takahiro Kitamura and created and photographed by artist and author Kip Fulbeck, this exhibition explores the craftsmanship of traditional Japanese tattooing and its roots in the arts of calligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking. The exhibit is comprised of more than one hundred full-scale photographs showcasing the splendor of modern works by seven internationally-acclaimed Japanese-style tattoo artists.

Paul Strand in Vermont: 1943–1946

May 27–August 7, 2016
The photographer Paul Strand (1890–1976), who has been described as “one of the greatest photographers in the history of the medium,” is perhaps best known for his pictorialist studies from early in his career, his machine photographs of the 1920s, and his 1955 publication Un Paese: Portrait of an Italian Village. But some of Strand’s most compelling works were taken in Vermont during the years 1943–1946, when he had just returned to still photography after almost a decade of making films. The twenty-five photographs gathered here tell us a great deal about the artist at mid-career and the two projects on his mind at the time: the 1945 retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, and the book A Time in New England (1950).

Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945

January 29–April 24, 2016
This is the first exhibit dedicated to Japanese Art Deco to be held outside Tokyo. Its nearly 200 works provide dramatic examples of the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design long associated with Japan, and convey the complex social and cultural tensions in Japan during the Taishô and early Shôwa epochs (1912–1945). In these pre-war and war eras, artists and patrons created a Japanese modernism that signaled simultaneously the nation’s unique history and its cosmopolitanism.

First Folio! The Book that Gave us Shakespeare

February 2–28, 2016
A rare original copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio—the first complete collected edition of his plays and one of the world’s most influential books—will be on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art for the month of February. The exhibit, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library marks the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. Along with the month-long exhibition, the College will host performances, a workshop, speakers, a film screening, family events, and a folio festival that features Renaissance music, gallery talks, and a live theater performance.

The Art of Storytelling: Five Tales from Asia, Then and Now

September 8–December 13, 2015
The five Asian tales at the center of this exhibition have inspired artists for centuries and continue to capture the imaginations of comics writers and graphic designers today. This exhibit explores many of the painted and printed interpretations of these compelling narratives from the sixteenth century to the present. The works are drawn from the collections of the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Harvard Art Museums, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and Harvard-Yenching Library, and are complemented by contemporary comics, illustrations, and other digital media.

Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early-Twentieth-Century German and Austrian Art

September 18–December 13, 2015
Transcending accusations of “pornography,” Gustav Klimt’s work paved the way for artistic explorations of the nude body as the site through which questions of freedom, desire, beauty, nature, culture, power, and their antonyms could be represented and negotiated. Taking these ideas as one critical point of departure, this exhibition explores the conceptions of the human body and the manner of its visualization in the period leading up to and following the First World War, which changed the world’s notions of flesh and blood forever.