The Toledo Museum of Art has announced the following calendar of events. Visitors may call (419) 255-8000 or visit www.toledomuseum.org for more information.
Drawn From Classicism: Modern Artists’ Books, Wolfe Mezzanine Gallery, through December 10. This exhibition features a selection of modern livres d’artiste or limited edition, illustrated books and prints that were inspired by classical and mythological texts. Created largely by the French School of Paris artists that include Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Aristide Maillol among others, these innovative and original prints highlight the artist book’s importance as a vehicle to treat a range of Greek and Roman literary themes written by Ovid, Virgil and other classical poets and playwrights. With their classicizing designs of antique texts that focus upon themes of love, imaginary idyllic landscapes and human mortality, these illustrated books exemplify how major artists from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, through their imaginative reconnection to age-old narratives and mythological figures, metaphorically assert the aesthetic and personal values of western classical tradition. This exhibition display is drawn from the Toledo Museum of Art’s permanent collection.
Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art, Gallery 18, through February 18, 2018. This exhibition will dazzle the eye with objects of the Late Roman period, most of which have never been exhibited before in a museum. Drawing on private collections and the Toledo Museum of Art’s own holdings, visitors will be captivated by glittering gold and silver and carved garnets and rubies, blending exquisite beauty with historical significance. Early Christian art borrowed heavily from non-Christian traditions in terms of techniques and choice of media, style and iconography. Glorious Splendor traces these continuities through the most remarkable objects of the period: precious stones and metals.
Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists, through March 18. The discovery of glass as a serious artistic medium in the 1960s – sparked during the Studio Glass Movement that originated at the Toledo Museum of Art – was monumental. Yet in its earliest decades, women faced an uphill battle in their demand for fair recognition of their contributions and work. In Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists, more than 50 objects showcase the women who now rank among the most innovative and celebrated glass artists. Drawn from the Toledo Museum of Art’s renowned glass collection, with notable loans from private collectors, the works document nearly six decades of underappreciated influence, from the art that helped women forge a path in the Studio Glass Movement of the ’60s to the ingenuity of 21st-century installations.
The Mummies: From Egypt to Toledo, Canaday Gallery, February 3 through May 6. In 1906, the founders of the Toledo Museum of Art, Edward Drummond Libbey and Florence Scott Libbey, visited Egypt, where they purchased a pair of Egyptian mummies as part of a collection of artifacts. Due to conservation issues and ethical considerations surrounding the display of human bodies, these mummies are only occasionally on view. This special installation will trace the history of Egyptian mummies, from their lives and burial rituals in Late Dynasty Egypt to their rediscovery during the Napoleonic era and the resulting Egyptomania for subsequent generations. It will place the mummies in historical context through additional Egyptian objects and artifacts from the TMA collection and loans from other institutions. The exhibition will also explore several intersecting issues for TMA and other cultural museums related to the collecting and display of these fascinating and significant objects, including whose mummies are these, do they belong in an art museum and what can we learn from them?
Before Audubon: Alexander Wilson’s Birds of the United States, Gallery 18, April 21 through July 15. In 1808, Scottish-born poet and amateur naturalist Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) began publishing American Ornithology, or The Natural History of the Birds of the United States. Wilson’s impressive achievement inspired John James Audubon to publish his much better-known Birds of America (1827-38). Though Wilson had no background as an artist, he taught himself printmaking and illustrated his nine volumes of careful observations of the birds of the northeastern U.S. with 79 hand-colored engraved and etched plates of 262 species – 39 of which he was the first to describe. Fourth in the Toledo Museum of Art’s biennial exhibitions focused on bird-themed art, the exhibition coincides with local birding festival, the Biggest Week in American Birding, which brings tens of thousands of birders to the area to observe the spring migration of songbirds. It will be the first time the Toledo Museum of Art’s first edition of Wilson’s pioneering multi-volume publication has been exhibited.
Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion, Canaday Gallery, October 13, 2018 through January 6, 2019. This exhibition is the first devoted to the family portraiture of Frans Hals (1582/83-1666), one of the foremost painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Organized by the Toledo Museum of Art and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, the exhibition was prompted by the Toledo Museum of Art’s acquisition in 2011 of Frans Hals’ “Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape,” as well as the recent conservation of Brussels’ “Three Children of the Van Campen Family.” These two works originally formed one composition, separated for unknown reasons likely in the late 18th century or early 19th century. The exhibition reunites the sections of the Toledo/Brussels painting, where it will be shown with the three other family portraits painted by the artist, and includes loans from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the National Gallery in London, the Cincinnati Art Museum and other distinguished collections. The exhibition will travel to Brussels and Madrid following its Toledo debut. A scholarly publication accompanies the exhibition.