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.
At their annual meeting this spring the Middlebury College Friends of the Art Museum recognized 18 students with awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the visual arts. Class of 2015 Middlebury College students Krista Duke and Robert Seltzer, nominated by faculty members, were recognized at the Friends’ Annual Dinner in May, while awards were presented to 16 other local fourth- through twelfth-grade students as part of the annual Spring Into the Arts event.
On Friday, May 1 the Middlebury College Museum of Art will be closed for the day to allow for the installation of an important new sculpture in the Boesky Family Entrance Court created by the contemporary Belgian artist Fred Eerdekens.
On May 22 the Middlebury College Museum of Art will open Many Thousand Gone: Portraits of the African-American Experience, 1840–1965, an exhibition co-curated by Associate Professor of History William Hart and the students in his Spring 2015 “African-American History” course. The photographs in the exhibition cover more than 125 years of black life in the United Sates.
This summer, Middlebury College celebrates the centennial of the Language Schools that, each summer, transform the campuses in Middlebury, Vermont, and at Mills College, California, into global villages where virtually no English can be heard. The German school was founded in 1915. In subsequent summers French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Portuguese, and Hebrew were added. Korean is being offered for the first time this summer. The Middlebury College Museum of Art joins in the centennial celebrations with an exhibition entitled The Language Schools at the Art Museum.
Henry Chalfant, co-producer and documentarian of the original street art movement in New York, will screen his award-winning film Style Wars (1983) on Thursday, March 5, at 4:30 p.m. in Dana Auditorium in Middlebury College’s Sunderland Language Center, Route 125. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Chalfant.