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.
The Bauhaus Experiment: Art & Design From the Toledo Museum of Art through February 17, 2021. Of world renown, the Bauhaus (“House of Building”), is widely regarded as the most influential German art, design and architecture school of the 20th century. In its brief but remarkable existence from its founding in 1919 to its forced closure by the Nazi regime in 1933, the Bauhaus re-imagined the role of art and design in modern and contemporary society and continues to occupy a mythic position in Modernist art and architecture. Its progressive program of study centered on the unity between crafts, fine arts and architecture – and later, technology – to revitalize daily life and reform art education. The Bauhaus Experiment: Art & Design from the Toledo Museum of Art brings together 33 fine and applied art objects – paintings, glassware, graphics and furniture – to examine the Bauhaus’s founding principles and methods. Alongside works by celebrated Bauhaus artists, including Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Lázló Moholy-Nagy, this exhibition focuses on the institution’s early dedication to spiritual expression through a display of German Expressionist woodcut prints by Ernst L. Kirchner and Franz Marc, among others. It also considers the contributions of William Morris’s English arts and crafts movement and various earlier applied art movements that shaped the Bauhaus’s innovative ideas about the relationship between art, society and technology.
Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change, through February 14, 2021. Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change brings historical and contemporary works together in critical dialogue to consider how quilts have been used to voice opinions, raise awareness and enact social reform in the U.S. from the mid-19th century to the present. Disrupting expectations of quilts as objects that provide warmth and comfort, this exhibition explores the complicated and often overlooked stories quilts tell about the American experience, offering new perspectives on themes including military action and protest, civil rights, gender equality, queer aesthetics, and relationships with land and the environment. While addressing these powerful themes, Radical Tradition highlights how the strategies and materials of quiltmaking over nearly two centuries have called into question long-established hierarchies, both in the art world and in society at large. Incorporating a wide range of media – from cotton and wool to salvaged wood, paint and celluloid film – the objects on view challenge traditional definitions of what a quilt is and the form it can take. Admission is free for museum members and $12.00 for nonmembers. Discounts for military, college students and seniors ($10.00); youth ages 5-17 ($7.00); and children 4 and younger (free) are available.
Telling Stories: Resilience and Struggle in Contemporary Narrative Drawing, through February 14, 2021. The exhibition Telling Stories: Resilience and Struggle in Contemporary Narrative Drawing presents the works of Amy Cutler, Robyn O’Neil and Annie Pootoogook to showcase the extraordinary vitality of contemporary drawing as an expressive medium. Utilizing graphite and paper, these three internationally recognized artists introduce new approaches to mark-making and rendering space to chronicle the complexities of human relationships and their struggles within the natural environment. Though their styles differ, each artist addresses the theme of human resilience intertwined with pressing societal and ecological concerns in their imaginative, open-ended narratives.
Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints and Drawings, February 6 through May 2, 2021. Marking the artist’s 100th birthday, Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints and Drawings celebrates the breadth of Thiebaud’s accomplishments and career. Long affiliated with Pop art, the exhibition shows the expansive depth of his full body of work. Thiebaud’s bright palette, iconic consumerist imagery and graphic presentation were well suited to the Pop art moment that was starting to capture the nation’s attention in the 1960s, and Thiebaud remains best known for his paintings of pies, cakes and other sugary treats. His style and use of paint seemed both remarkably lifelike and tantalizingly delicious. In addition to painting, Thiebaud’s work spans drawings, watercolors and prints. He also beautifully renders people in figure studies and fully realized individuals on canvas, and over time, landscapes have appeared with increasing frequency in the artist’s paintings and works on paper. Admission is free for museum members and $12.00 for nonmembers. Discounts for military, college students and seniors ($10.00); youth ages 5-17 ($7.00); and children 4 and younger (free) are available.
Luminous Visions: Phillip K. Smith III and Light Across the Collection, through April 4, 2021. California-based artist Phillip K. Smith III creates light-based installations that explore the relationships between light, color, space and form. His work “Flat Torus 4,” recently acquired by the Toledo Museum of Art, is one of a series of nine torus-shaped works in which the artist creates a digital display of colored light (a torus is a three-dimensional geometrical form shaped somewhat like a donut). Using computer software and LED lights on a translucent acrylic support, Smith choreographs the precise color, brightness and pace of change seen within the work. The artist describes these color-shifting installations as highly specific three-dimensional canvases that he “paints” with light over time. The effect is a mesmerizing display of gradually transforming and undulating rings of colored light. To mark the significant acquisition of “Flat Torus 4,” this exhibition considers the work alongside objects from the Toledo Museum of Art’s collection that span time, culture and media and explore the theme of light from a wide range of perspectives. These perspectives include the importance of light in religious or spiritual practices; studies of optics and color theory; applications of translucent and reflective materials; studies of light at different times of day; “Luminist” approaches to light in American landscape painting; the absence of light; and photographic explorations of light and shadow.
Rare and Wondrous: Birds in Art and Culture 1620-1820, April 24 through July 25, 2021. Corresponding with an age of exploration, colonialism and the rise of the great European trading companies – including the West African slave trade – intense interest in natural history and attempts to classify and categorize it grew as specimens of plants, insects, shells, mammals and birds were collected from around the world and brought back to Europe. Ornithology, the study of birds and their classification, made especially great strides in the 1700s with many lavishly illustrated studies of birds being published during the century. But naturalists were not the only ones fascinated by these “exotic” birds. Monarchs and aristocrats collected them in cabinets of curiosities and menageries, artists painted them, moralizers found symbolic meaning in them and women wore their feathers as accessories. This exhibition highlights images of exotic birds in European art primarily from the 17th and 18th centuries that show how they became the objects of scientific inquiry, of popular interest, of status and even of household decoration and personal adornment. The exhibition will showcase the museum’s recent acquisition of the important six-volume Ornithologie, written by Mathurin-Jacques Brisson and illustrated by François-Nicolas Martinet, published in 1760. It will also feature paintings, prints and decorative arts from TMA’s collection, as well as select loans of significant prints and illustrated books from the Yale Center for British Art, the University of Michigan Museums Library and Special Collections, and the Bowling Green State University Libraries Center for Archival Collections.
Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art, June 12 through September 5, 2021. Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art is the first museum exhibition to broadly examine the relationship between American artists and the supernatural. Featuring well-known artists together with many who have been overlooked, the exhibition is interdisciplinary, multicultural and multimedia. It includes many generations of artists active in the United States from diverse faith traditions, working with a wide range of topics and approaches. From the Salem Witch Trials to the Legend of Ichabod Crane; the 1848 spirit rappings famously reported by Kate and Maggie Fox to William Mumler’s spirit photographs; and the scientific pursuit of parapsychology to innumerable personal and official government reports of U.F.O.s (unidentified flying objects), American culture is filled with tales of the supernatural and accounts of paranormal experiences. This complex and multifaceted subject has beguiled American artists for centuries, and it remains compelling today. A broad range of artists has engaged this subject matter, which often grew out of their personal experience, religious practices and scientific pursuits. Spanning a chronology of the early 19th century through the present, Supernatural America includes approximately 160 objects. It emphasizes painting at its core, but also includes drawings, sketchbooks and journals, prints, photographs, furniture, clothing and textiles, video and other objects (scientific instruments and mediumistic/occult paraphernalia, including Ouija boards and planchettes). Admission is free for museum members and $12.00 for nonmembers. Discounts for military, college students and seniors ($10.00); youth ages 5-17 ($7.00); and children 4 and younger (free) are available.