Middlebury College Museum of Art

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American Faces: A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity

cover of the book titled American Faces, A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity

Richard H. Saunders
University Press of New England, 2016
236 pages, hardcover

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

cover of the book titled Naked Truth, Approaches to the Body in Early Twentieth Century German Austrian Art

Bettina Matthias, Eliza Garrison, James A. van Dyke, and Richard Saunders
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2015
112 pages

From the Preface:

In the spring of 2012 the Middlebury College Museum of Art was the recipient of an enormously generous gift from the Serge Sabarsky Foundation. This gift has enabled the Museum to bring Middlebury College students in direct contact with outstanding works of art by some of the most notable German and Austrian artists of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. This exhibition is the outgrowth of a course (HARC/RMN 0344 Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early-Twentieth-Century German-Austrian Art) taught jointly at Middlebury last spring by Bettina Matthias, professor of German, and Eliza Garrison, associate professor of the history of art andarchitecture.

We are particularly grateful to the Foundation for enabling our faculty and students to have access to such a fascinating and important group of prints and drawings. It is an amazing opportunity and one given lasting value by the Middlebury College Arts Council, which has provided a generous subsidy to make this handsome and informative exhibition catalogue possible. It is collaborations such as this that give enhanced depth and meaning to the undergraduate experience at Middlebury and one that Serge Sabarsky (1912–1996), as a collector and art dealer, would undoubtedly have found immensely satisfying.

Richard Saunders
Middlebury College Museum of Art
and Professor of History of Art and Architecture

Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography

cover of the book titled Paul Strand, Master of Modern Photography

Peter Barberie and Amanda N. Bock
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014
374 pages, hardcover

Vito Acconci Thinking Space

cover of the catalog titled Vito Acconci Thinking Space

Richard Saunders, Emmie Donadio, Stephen Donadio
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2013
64 pages

From the Foreword

This exhibition, Vito Acconci Thinking Space, has been almost thirty years in the making. It seems hard to believe, but it is true.

I arrived at Middlebury in August 1985, and one of the first things I was asked to do by then College President Olin Robison was to “clean up the Vito Acconci mess.” Only then did I discover the short life and literally inflammatory history of Way Station I. Created during the 1983 winter term by Christian A. Johnson Visiting Professor Vito Acconci and his students, it was the artist’s first permanent work and remained on view for less than two and one-half years before it was burned on commencement eve in 1985.

What I quickly realized was that this relatively small, unobtrusive yet seemingly mysterious (to some) structure had become the focal point for a bitter and polarizing campus dispute over works of art, the appearance of the Middlebury campus, and freedom of expression.

Somewhat naïvely, I assumed that my task was simply to take the funds from the insurance payment the College received in compensation for the damage and refurbish or recreate the work. To me it seemed only logical that restoring a commissioned work of art by a noted visiting professor was the only course of action. Surely, no one in a position of responsibility at an institution of higher learning devoted to the very premise that here the freedom of expression is sacrosanct and inviolate, could let such a destructive act remain unchallenged. But I was wrong. To my dismay I found that a fear that the restoration of Way Station might precipitate additional acts of campus vandalism trumped, for the time being, any will to defend a fundamental tenet of a liberal arts college.

So although initially thwarted in an effort to restore Way Station, I refused to give up the belief that this wrong would eventually be righted. Along the way such efforts have brought some remarkable tangential results. A 1989 proposal by Eric Nelson, a sculptor and then Associate Professor of Studio Art, and me to develop a campus art collection (that would include the restored Way Station) eventually gave rise to the College’s “One Percent for Art “program and the subsequent creation of one of the most distinguished small college campus art collections in the United States. But only now, after all these years, has Way Station risen, phoenix like, from its own ashes. Thanks largely to the enormous cooperation and trust of the artist, as well as the blessing of president Ronald D. Liebowitz and the Middlebury College Board of Trustees, the campus community and visitors alike finally have an opportunity to see for themselves a work whose very premise was that all of us need to take a moment out of our daily lives to reflect on larger issues, or, as John Gay, the eighteenth century English poet, wrote:

“Give me, kind Heaven, a private station, A mind serene for contemplation!”

After such a long journey, it is very exciting to see Way Station contextualized in this important exhibition and publication and to rightfully recognize its pivotal role in the career of one of the most imaginative, provocative, and compelling artists of our age.

Richard Saunders
Director and Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor
Middlebury College Museum of Art

Buildings of Vermont

cover of the book titled Buildings of Vermont

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
University of Virginia Press, 2014
504 pages

Most people picture Vermont with handsome barns overlooking rolling pastures, white country churches punctuating hillsides of blazing maples, and small villages clustered around gracious greens. While not inaccurate, this image does little justice to the architectural richness of a state that retains so significant a variety of building types, landscapes, and historic environments that it was declared a national historic treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Buildings of Vermont looks beyond the stereotypes to explain the remarkable range, quality, humanity, and persistence of a built landscape that has a compelling appeal to visitors and residents alike. This volume showcases Vermont's rich stew of styles and types begun with traditions from colonial and early federal New England and New York and enriched over time by the contributions of immigrants from Scotland, English and French Canada, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. It explores their dissemination up transportation routes. It showcases local materials (timber, limestone, marble, granite, early iron, brick, and slate) and technologies that range from log and braced frame through cobblestone and snecked ashlar to metal fabrication. It includes classic examples of vernacular types, functional structures, and pattern-book and mail-order designs, along with high-style statements from the likes of Ammi B. Young, Richard Upjohn, Henry Hobson Richardson, McKim, Mead and White, Jens Larsen, Peter Eisenman, and noteworthy regional and local architects and builders who have previously received little attention. Both conservative and trendsetting, the buildings range from some of America's finest Federal and Greek Revival meetinghouses, early Gothic Revival churches, Victorian inns, Italianate and panel brick business rows, wood-framed general stores, robber-baron estates, and hippie houses, as well as early water-powered mills, large railroad and factory complexes with nearby workers' housing, summer camps, roadside cabins, and ski resorts.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art and Its Friends

cover of the catalog titled Middlebury College Museum of Art and Its Friends

Emmie Donadio
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2010
65 pages

From the Preface

On this auspicious occasion, it is a great privilege to acknowledge my indebtedness to the work of my predecessors. When I came to Middlebury in 1985 I knew that the College had an extraordinary record of achievement in its academic sphere. But what has impressed me over the years, and continues to impress me today, is the extreme  dedication of its local friends and its loyal alumni. They have made our goals into realities, our mission into a shared accomplishment.

As Emmie Donadio makes clear in the essay that follows, any survey of the Friends of the Art Museum is tantamount to a history of the Christian A. Johnson Memorial Gallery and of its successor, which now houses that Gallery, the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Our Friends have been essential to all of our transitions and all of our efforts. From the inception of the mission to create a permanent art collection for the College to the present day—when we can be justifiably proud of our Museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums—we have had the benefit of the ongoing generosity, care and attention of a remarkably stable group of Middlebury families. They know who they are, and as you read this publication, you too will be reminded or come to know who they are. A relatively small group of benefactors has aided us immeasurably in our enterprise in these past decades.

But they have not acted alone.

I believe it is fair to say that these benefactors have been impressed from the start by the community—the small village, as it were—that has rallied around the inauguration of the Gallery and continues to maintain its vitality as a local resource. To you, the members of the local community of the Friends of Art—those named and unnamed in the following pages—we are also immensely grateful. The record presented here should stand as a testament to what can be accomplished through relatively modest, but consistent donations.  And without your faithful presences throughout the period of our existence, our public would not have been as distinctive and recognizable as it surely is. I know that I can speak for my predecessors A. Richard Turner and David Bumbeck in telling you how much we have enjoyed the hours of convivial and productive fellowship that we have shared.

The Friends of the Art Museum, the College’s first town and gown association, has been truly successful in realizing its mission to bring visual art to the attention and awareness of the community at large. We look forward to bringing this remarkable history of accomplishment into the future as we now celebrate our forty-year anniversary.

Richard H. Saunders
Director and Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor
Middlebury College of Museum of Art

Pastoral Vermont: The Paintings and Etchings of Luigi Lucioni

 The Paintings and Etchings of Luigi Lucioni

Richard Saunders
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2009
48 pages, paperback

Walter Cerf: A Personal Odyssey

cover of the book titled Walter Cerf, A Personal Odyssey

Constance Kenna, Stanley Bates, with Richard Saunders
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2007
272 pages, hardcover

The Art of Devotion: Panel Painting in Early Renaissance Italy

In December 2005 the Middlebury College Museum of Art (MCMA) was the successful bidder at a London auction for the painting Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints John the Baptist and Nicholas of Bari, attributed to the Florentine painter Lippo d’Andrea (Florentine, c. 1370/71–1451). This purchase and the discussions that surrounded it were the catalyst for this exhibition, The Art of Devotion: Panel Painting in Early Renaissance Italy.

Although the MCMA had been searching for a painting of this type for some time, the serendipity of the art market means that a potential buyer often never knows when an object will become available, nor what events might follow. In this case museum staff first consulted with Katherine Smith Abbott, a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury, to gauge her interest. While faculty are often supportive of museum purchases made in their area of specialization, Professor Smith Abbott’s response to this possible acquisition was particularly enthusiastic. Within a matter of days, I had heard from her several times emphasizing the various ways she might use the panel in her teaching, both in upper-level courses and in a first-year seminar. Clearly, this was a painting she thought belonged at Middlebury. Quite simply, she made the possibility of such a purchase all the more exciting.

With Professor Smith Abbott’s enthusiasm and the endorsement of our Collections Committee, I went to London to view the painting before the sale with a conservator. As the picture seemed to be in remarkably good condition for its age––and it retained its original frame––we sought the additional expertise of the distinguished scholar Laurence Kanter, Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of Early European Art at the Yale University Art Gallery, who further endorsed our bidding on the picture.

The name Lippo d’Andrea is not one that comes easily to those outside the study of Florentine painting. But that simple fact and the reality that he has been a catchall identity for numerous paintings that exhibited loosely shared formal qualities meant that our purchase might provide the occasion for a close examination of related works from the period and afford us a great opportunity to introduce visitors to the vexing world of attribution, the significance of iconographic choices, and the highly collaborative nature of painting in early Renaissance Florence.

So in numerous ways, this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue are exemplary of what a college museum should do: utilize an object or objects in its permanent collection to trigger discussion both within and outside the classroom, promote faculty research and publication, and stimulate collaborative projects with peer institutions.

We were particularly pleased that our colleagues at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum have shared our vision for this project from beginning to end, and that this exhibit will travel to South Hadley, Massachusetts, after being seen in Vermont.

In closing I wish to express my gratitude to Katherine Smith Abbott for curating this ambitious exhibition and organizing and contributing to this handsome catalogue. It is successful collaborations like this that make college museums such rewarding places to work.

Richard H. Saunders
Director & Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor
Middlebury College Museum of Art

Katherine Smith Abbott
Wendy Watson
Andrea Rothe & Jeane Rothe
with an introduction by Laurence B. Kanter
Middlebury College Museum of Art 2009
112 pages

Turning Back: a photographic journal of re-exploration

cover of the book titled Walter Cerf, A Personal Odyssey

Robert Adams
Copyright 2005 Fraenkel Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery, Text and photographs copyright 2005 Robert Adams
164 plates, hardcover

Caribbean Visions: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture

cover of the book titled Caribbean Visions

Samella S. Lewis
Art Services International, 1995
228 pages, paperback

Horatio Greenough: An American Sculptor’s Drawings

cover of the book titled Horatio Greenough, An American Sculptors Drawings

Richard Saunders
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 1999
120 pages, paperback

Carvings, Casts and Replicas: Nineteenth-Century Sculpture from Europe and America in New England Collections

cover of the book titled Carvings, Casts, and Replicas

John M. Hunisak, with introductory essay by Ruth Butler
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 1994
206 pages, paperback

Young America - Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

cover of the book titled Young America

Young America traces the transformation of the colonies into nationhood from about 1760 to the decade after the Civil War. Portraits by John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Charles Wilson Peale, and Thomas Sully from the Revolutionary War era and later reveal values of people in New England and the mid-Atlantic. By the 1820s, landscapes by Thomas Cole, Thomas Birch, and Alvan Fisher tell of growing national ambitions, while still lifes and genre paintings address a range of subjects. Amy Pastan Watson-Guptill Publications Smithsonian American Art Museum 110 pages $19.95

What Became of Peter’s Dream? Court Culture in the Reign of Nicholas II

Anne Odom
Introduction by Richard Saunders
Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2003
112 pages, paperback

Concepts and Buildings

cover of the book titled Concepts and Buildings

Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates Glenn M. Andres Edited by Nancy Price Graff 1993 76 pages $22.95

After Eden: Garden Varieties in Contemporary Art

Middlebury College Museum of Art
"Paradise Lost: The Garden in Art" by Eleanor Heartney
16 pages

Conversations With Traditions

Nilima Sheikh
Shahzia Sikander
Preface by Vishakha N. Desai
80 pages

Differences Preserved: Reconstructed Tombs from the Liao and Song Dynasties

Driving out from Beijing at three in the morning, passing the Great Wall at dawn. It is very cold. But underground, on the walls of the Liao dynasty tombs we visit, vibrant color and lively figuresgive warmth.

A child clmibs to grab fruit from a bowl, a woman pauses in a doorway, sprigs of flowers are painted on a tomb's dome, musicians play. The tomb objects from the ninth to twelfth centuries in our exhibition, Differences Preserved: Reconstructed Tombs from the Liao and Song Dynasties, are depicted on the walls of such chambers. Objects such as fine ceramic pots and bowls, tea services, and furniture present a story of daily life among people of the Liao and Song dynasties and how they thought of themselves.

Hsingyuan Tsao, Assistant Professor of Art History and Humanities, Reed College
Introduction by Susan Fillin-Yeh
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
Reed College, Portland, Oregon
68 pages

Here and Now: Recent Work of the Middlebury College Studio Art Faculty

From the time of its opening in 1968, the Christian A. Johnson Memorial Building has been the primary site of campus activity in the visual arts. Since it houses both the Johnson Gallery and the studio and classroom spaces, the students enrolled in courses here are certain to know that the Art Department at Middlebury remains committed, in the words of the 1968 College catalogue, to the idea that experience in both the practice and history of art constitutes the most rewarding ... program of study in the context of a liberal arts education.

Marina Adams, Suzanne Bocanegra, David Bumbeck, Jim Butler, John Huddleston, Eric Nelson, Barbara Penn, Lindsay Walt
Recent Work of the Middlebury College Studio Art Faculty
Middlebury College 1990
8 pages

Richard Stankiewicz: Sculpture in Steel

Emmie Donadio
Design by Steven Metzler
Middlebury College Museum of Art
Middlebury, Vermont 1994
16 pages

The Hall Park McCullough Collection: Portraits of George Washington

The prints on view in this exhibition have been selected from the extensive collection assembled by Hall Park McCullough. A practicing corporate lawyer in Manhattan for seventy years and a noted collector of Roman coins, early American furniture and a wide range of works on paper, McCullough was best known locally as a benefactor of Middlebury College, where he served actively on the Board of Trustees from 1918 until 1963, and as emeritus trustee until his death in 1966.

The present student activities building (formerly the gymnasium) at the college, a gift of his father, bears the family name. Because the exhibition seeks to introduce the collector as well as the objects of his interest and to place this collection of Washington portrait prints in its historical context, it is important that we know something about McCullough himself.

Jenny Squires Wilker
With introduction by J. Robert Maguire
Middlebury College, 1995
38 pages

Walter Rosenblum Photographer

Walter Rosenblum
Kunstverlag, Weingarten, Verlag der Kunst, Dresden
215 pages, hardcover