Updated August 28, 2020

NMGL Installs Temporary Exhibit At Toledo Zoo

The National Museum of the Great Lakes, in collaboration with the Toledo Zoo, will offer a small, temporary exhibition, titled What’s in a Name, housed in the Reflections Gallery of the aquarium at the Toledo Zoo. The exhibit is part of a larger collection of Great Lakes ships’ nameboards and tells the stories of the ships as well as for whom and why they were named.

The nameboards range in size from 8 to 13 feet long and each would have been attached to the vessel’s pilothouse.

This temporary exhibit is an expansion of the NMGL’s collaborative efforts throughout the Toledo community. 

Originally scheduled to open in April, the Toledo Zoo and NMGL held off on installation until both entities reopened. The plans call for the exhibit to remain at the Toledo Zoo through December. The exhibit is included with zoo admission.

Fireflies On The Water Reopened At TMA

The Toledo Museum of Art Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water is again on view.

Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water is an immersive installation that showcases the unique vision of one of the world’s most influential contemporary artists. Yayoi Kusama, who experienced hallucinations as a child, uses her artwork to express and communicate her particular psychological world. Visitors experience up to 60 seconds alone in the room, which uses lights, mirrors and water to transport viewers to a space that seems endlessly expansive.

Tickets are $5.00 for nonmembers. Museum members receive a limited number of free installation tickets based on their level of membership. After they have claimed their free tickets, members can purchase additional tickets at $5.00 each.

To purchase tickets, visit tickets.toledomuseum.org or call (419) 255-8000, ext. 7448. Each ticket includes a free museum pass that allows entry to TMA.

Previous ticket holders who were unable to visit Fireflies on the Water due to the closure of the museum should contact TMA at (419) 255-8000, ext. 7448 to reschedule their visit.

Several changes have been made to the Fireflies on the Water experience to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. A face covering is required to enter the installation. Because of this requirement, children age 2 and younger are unable to enter Fireflies on the Water.

Floor markers and other signage will be in place to encourage visitors to remain socially distant as they wait to enter the installation.

For additional information about hours, face-covering requirements, distancing procedures, parking and current exhibitions, please visit TMA’s extensive Q&A about reopening at toledomuseum.org/reopen. In addition, visitor services staff may be reached by phone at (419) 255-8000, ext. 7448.

American Quilts & Social Change Coming To TMA

American quilts have long been connected to notions of tradition, with patterns and techniques passed down for generations in communities throughout the country. As nostalgic symbols of the American past, quilts have also been viewed as antidotes to upheaval during times of change. 

Disrupting our expectations of quilts as objects that provide warmth and comfort, Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change will explore the complicated and often overlooked stories quilts tell about the American experience. Featuring more than 30 quilts that reflect historical and regional diversity, this exhibition will consider how quilts have been used to voice opinions, raise awareness and enact social reform from the mid-19th century to the present.

Radical Tradition will be on view at the Toledo Museum of Art from November 21 through February 14, 2021. The works are drawn from TMA’s collection as well as private and public loans.

Radical Tradition will offer new perspectives on themes including military action and protest, civil rights, gender equality, queer aesthetics and relationships with land and the environment. Among the artists represented are Sanford Biggers, Bisa Butler, Kathryn Clark, Jeffrey Gibson, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Aaron McIntosh, Diana N’Diaya, Faith Ringgold, L.J. Roberts, Aminah Robinson, Hank Willis Thomas and Anna Von Mertens, with works including an abolition quilt (about 1850), a Red Cross fundraising quilt (1917), Judy Chicago’s communal International Honor Quilt (1980) and a panel from the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

While addressing these powerful themes, Radical Tradition will highlight how, over nearly two centuries, the strategies and materials of quiltmaking have called into question long-established power structures. Earlier quilts in the exhibition represent one of the few available outlets that women and other marginalized groups had to express their views and connect with larger social and political networks of their time. Building upon this history, some quiltmakers from more recent decades have chosen to work within this craft-based medium – typically associated with “the domestic” – in order to subvert hierarchies both within 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 will challenge traditional definitions of what a quilt is and the form it can take.

A 100-page fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, with an introduction by the curator.

Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change will be complemented by an array of public programs, including a quiltmaking workshop led by one of the contemporary artists featured in the exhibition, a curator talk and other programs to be announced.

The Port Of Toledo: Then & Now Available Online 

The National Museum of the Great Lakes announces the opening of an online, interactive exhibit meant to capture the vibrancy and importance of the Maumee River and the Port of Toledo over time. The Port of Toledo: Then & Now online exhibit can be accessed for free by visiting nmgl.org/portoftoledo.

The exhibit’s landing page showcases a Port of Toledo map with icons indicating the location of various photos taken throughout history around the Maumee River. The exhibit will be updated every few weeks with new images and stories. Visitors can click to learn more about each individual image and leave comments or share their own memories.

The initial exhibit focuses on the Port of Toledo “then.” Still to come, the museum will explore the Port of Toledo as we know it now by showcasing collected and crowd-sourced images mirroring the historic story of the “Mighty Maumee.” Finally, in September, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will open a temporary exhibit in the History Walk Gallery of ProMedica’s historic steam plant headquarters, bringing together the beauty of the online exhibit with images and the incredibly real experience of artifacts.

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