This fall, the Middlebury College Museum of Art features more than forty prints by celebrated artist Keith Haring. Full of playful energy and vibrant color, the exhibition follows the icon’s illustrious career from 1982, when he made his first silkscreen prints, to his death from AIDS related complications in 1990 and covers the full range of his graphic work.
Co-curated by Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture Erin Sassin and the students in her spring 2016 course “Bloom and Doom: Visual Expressions and Reform in Vienna circa 1900,” this exhibition features lesser known works by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, along with prints, drawings, and posters created by other members of the Viennese Secession. Bloom and Doom illuminates how these individuals challenged the artistic and social establishment by rejecting the traditional academic system and turning to new means of expression, often attempting to reunify art and life in a “total work of art,” before giving into cultural pessimism and withdrawing from public life.
A group of six northeast college and university art museums have formed a collaborative partnership, the New Media Arts Consortium, to jointly acquire and share ownership of digital, interactive, and new media works. The partner museums are the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, ME; the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, ME; the Middlebury College Museum of Art in Middlebury, VT; the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in South Hadley, MA; the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA; and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.
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.
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).
This January the Middlebury College Museum of Art will host the first exhibition held outside Tokyo dedicated to Japanese Art Deco. Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 not only provides dramatic examples of the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design long associated with Japan, it conveys the complex social and cultural tensions in Japan during the Taishô and early Shôwa epochs (1912–1945).
On Thursday, September 17, a significant addition to Middlebury’s burgeoning collection of public art will be unveiled. Chaos Xaxis, a non-representational sculpture by American artist Jedd Novatt that is part of his Chaos Series, is being installed on the lawn between Route 30 and the southeast façade of the Axinn Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Starr Library.
The French academic painter Jean-Léon Gérôme is best known for subjects derived from his travels in the Near East. With his meticulous, loving attention to detail, he created images of Turkey, Egypt, and Syria with a level of objectivity and precision unusual for his time. This work is a preparatory oil sketch for a larger painting he completed in 1899.
For as long as stories have been told, they have also been illustrated. Although technical advances such as printing and the advent of the computer have transformed illustration over time, many important artistic techniques and conventions have remained unchanged, even today. The Art of Storytelling compares the ways in which artists over the last five hundred years have retold and reinterpreted five epic works of Asian literature: the Mahabharata and Ramayana from India, Shahnameh from Iran, Journey to the West from China, and Tale of Genji from Japan.
On September 18, the Middlebury College Museum of Art will open the exhibition Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early Twentieth-Century German and Austrian Art. Co-curated by professors Eliza Garrison (History of Art and Architecture), Bettina Matthias (German) and the students in their spring 2015 course “The Body in German and Austrian Art,” the show explores depictions of the body that revolutionized the millennia-old tradition of the nude in Western art and remain just as controversial and thought-provoking today as they were a century ago.