MAY 25 – SEPTEMBER 1, 2014
"Workt by Hand": Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts showcases approximately thirty-five American and European quilt masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum's renowned decorative arts collection. Spanning two centuries of quilt making, the exhibition features superlative examples of the most iconic quilt designs and techniques, including the "Barn Raising" or "Log Cabin" style, the "Garden Basket" style, "Double Wedding Band" designs, the "Rose of Sharon" pattern, and the Amish "Sunshine and Shadow" style, as well as a variety of album quilts.
Combining social and quilt history, the exhibition includes a remarkable early nineteenth-century patchwork "Liberty Quilt," attributed to Elizabeth Welsh of Warren County, Virginia (now West Virginia) that exemplifies how women created and disseminated iconic American revolutionary symbols. A major example of the popular and highly publicized "Crazy Quilt" pattern by Mary A. Stinson (circa 1880), intricately made with newly affordable, vibrantly-colored textiles, speaks to women's role as producers and consumers at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Historic installation photographs depicting the variety of quilt display techniques, newspaper clippings, sample pieces of quilts, and other ephemeral and contextual material will provide further insight into both the history of quilts and the history of exhibiting quilts, which has influenced the way they have been seen and understood. Quilts will be presented both vertically—as they are now frequently shown in museums and galleries—and horizontally, as though on the beds for which they were originally designed.
"Workt by Hand": Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts is organized by the Brooklyn Museum.
Image credit: Elizabeth Welsh (American), Medallion Quilt, circa 1830. Cotton, 110 ½ x 109 in. (280.7 x 267.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, 78.36. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012.
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JUNE 29 – SEPTEMBER 21, 2014
This exhibition of works seldom seen outside the Smithsonian presents 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs by African American artists, drawn from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Crocker Art Museum is the only West Coast venue for this stunning survey of African American visual heritage, its rich sources, and future directions. The 48 featured artists include not only icons of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance but lauded figures of the 20th century's major artistic movements. Included are such artists as William H. Johnson, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, as well as assemblage artist Renee Stout. Depicted in these works are the many and varied concerns of the 20th century before, during, and after the Civil Rights movement.
Image credit: Allan Rohan Crite, School's Out, 1936, oil. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from The Museum of Modern Art.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 – JANUARY 11, 2015
Drawn from the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition explores the idea that we are "a nation of immigrants" by considering the varied contributions of Latino artists to American art and culture from the mid-20th century to the present. Featuring nearly 100 works across all media by some of the leading contemporary artists working in the United States, the exhibition will examine how their works express an evolving and particular American experience. Latino artists across the United States were galvanized by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They created new images of their communities and celebrated hybrid cultural traditions. Approaching their practice with humor, irony, and valor, Latino artists critically probed American history and popular culture, revealing the possibilities and tensions of expansionism, migration, and settlement.
Image credit: Luis Jiménez (American, 1940–2006), Man on Fire, 1969. Fiberglass in acrylic urethane resin on painted wood fiberboard base, 106 1/4 x 80 1/4 x 29 1/2 inches. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Philip Morris Incorporated, 1979.124.
OCTOBER 12, 2014 – FEBRUARY 1, 2015
The tumultuous period following World War II proved fertile ground for a generation of Japanese photographers who responded to societal upheaval by creating a new visual language dubbed "Are, Bure, Boke" — rough, blurred, and out of focus. Named for the magazine Provoke, which sought to break the rules of traditional photography, this exhibition traces how Japanese photographers responded to their country's shifting social and political atmosphere. Showcasing photographers like Masahisa Fukase, Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, and Shomei Tomatsu, the works in this collection all come from the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which holds one of the preeminent collections of Japanese photography in the United States.
The Provoke Era: Japanese Photography from the Collection of SFMOMA is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The presentation of this exhibition is made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.
Image credit: Eikoh Hosoe (Japanese, born 1933), Man and Woman #6, 1960. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches. Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase, © Eikoh Hosoe.
OCTOBER 12, 2014 – FEBRUARY 1, 2015, Gallery 240
This exhibition showcases the ideals, individualism, and intertwining artistic lives of modern Mexican artists. Composed of 30 paintings and works on paper by nearly 20 artists, the exhibition highlights their varied responses to the post-revolutionary call for a distinctly Mexican visual art. Arte Mexicano will cover a wide range of artists active throughout the 20th century, and will trace the impact of the Mexican Revolution, as well as the influence of Mexican muralism, pre-Columbian traditions, and European artistic movements. The show hopes to bring a fresh perspective to popular conceptions of Mexican art by showcasing a variety of artists working throughout Mexico and the United States—including Diego Rivera, Gunther Gerzso, Carlos Merida, Remedios Varo, and Alejandro Santiago—and consider their interpretations of Mexican, modern, and personal identities.
Image credit: Alfredo Castenada (Mexican, born 1938), Port of Veracruz, 1993. Oil on canvas, 39 x 39 inches. Courtesy of Bond Latin Gallery.
FEBRUARY 1 – APRIL 26, 2015
Between 1880 and 1910, Paris was a breeding ground for artistic and literary movements that came to define a shifting, complex society. Modernity took various forms, including the work of the Naturalists, the Symbolists, the Incohérents and the Nabis, but the art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) epitomized the new tendencies. With his art as a central focus, this exhibition investigates a generation of artists who sought to shake the constraints of French Academic standards. A special focus is the intoxicating gathering of artists, writers, performers, and musicians in Montmartre, where everyone from Toulouse-Lautrec—whose style and subjects embody the times—to Sarah Bernhardt and Paul Verlaine worked amid the swirl of cafés, concerts, circuses, and theatres.
This exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia.
Image credit: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901), Le Divan Japonais, 1892/93. Color lithograph, 31 x 23 3/8 inches. Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.
FEBRUARY 22 – MAY 17, 2015
William Bragdon was a ceramic engineer trained at Alfred University in New York. He moved to Berkeley in 1915 to teach at the California School of Arts and Crafts and shortly thereafter formed a partnership with his Alfred University classmate Chauncey Thomas, then running a Berkeley pottery studio. Together they created decorative tiles, vases, and sculpture, calling their wares California Faience. The most prestigious of the company's projects came in the 1920s when architect Julia Morgan commissioned a complete environment of tiles for William Randolph Hearst's palatial home and grounds in San Simeon. The first exhibition on this subject, Of Cottages and Castles presents the full range of the company's accomplishments, with an emphasis on decorative pieces emblematic of Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, and Moderne styles, as well as tiles made for Hearst Castle.
Image credit: William Bragdon (American, 1884–1959) and Chauncey Thomas (American, 1876–1950) for California Faience, Vase with Stylized Moths, 1915–22. Earthenware, 5 x 4 ¾ inches. Collection of Richard Rasmussen, Martinez, California.
FEBRUARY 22 - MAY 17, 2015
This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the private world of William S. Rice (1873–1963), an artist and naturalist known for his ability to distill nature to its simplest forms. Rice was a prolific painter of the California landscape but is today better known as a printmaker, one who authored two books on the process and executed every print himself. He applied the classic Japanese art of ukiyo-e (woodblock printing, or "pictures of the floating world") to images of the West, where he moved in 1900. This exhibition brings to light many of the artist's accomplishments, including several never-before-exhibited pieces capturing the California landscape before development.
Image credit: William S. Rice (American, 1873–1963), Bert's Iris, circa 1920. Block print, 12 x 9 inches. Collection of Ellen Treseder Sexauer.
JUNE 7 – SEPTEMBER 20, 2015
A self-proclaimed Classicist, David Ligare (born 1945) creates perfectly ordered still life, landscape, architectural, and figurative paintings that occupy their own poetic world. The complete range of his subject matter is represented here in this retrospective exhibition of nearly 80 works. Although often grouped with California's Photorealists, the very unreality of Ligare's paintings and his underlying interest in antiquity belie such a label, and the perfection of his unblemished subjects and hyper-purity of his paint application seem more unearthly than real. In achieving these qualities, Ligare looks to the ancients for guidance and references the formal relationships found in Classical sculpture and architecture. And yet, his paintings are firmly based in the specifics of California—and the Monterey region in particular, allowing Ligare to create art that is richly layered, broadly universal, and yet specifically of our time and place.
Exhibition support provided by Kay and Jean Rigg and Clay Tedeschi.
Image credit: David Ligare (American, born 1945), Penelope, 1980. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 inches. Crocker Art Museum, promised gift of the Artist and Gary Smith.
- Martha Drexler Lynn, Ph.D. and Robert Danziger
- Iris and Stephen Dart
- Sullivan Goss- An American Gallery
- Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas
- Stephen and Maribelle Leavitt
- Stephen and Mary Mizroch
JUNE 28 – OCTOBER 11, 2015
Armin Hansen (1886–1957) sought to capture the raw power and vitality of the Pacific and those who sailed it rather than the beauty of the ocean's light and color for its own sake. Although the San Francisco native at times painted lush still lifes, spirited rodeo scenes, and loosely rendered landscapes, his signature subjects were fisherfolk and the sea. Often described as Impressionist, Hansen's art departed from the calm and colorful beauty that characterized the style, even though he used bold colors and, at times, broken brushstrokes. For the most part, Hansen rejected Impressionism's gentility to focus on humanity's interaction and contests with nature. He did so with broad masses of color, dynamic compositions, and the elimination of superfluous detail. At heart a storyteller, he had an ability to create compelling narratives. His stories are told here through some 50 oils on canvas and an equal number of etchings, watercolors, and pastels. The exhibition is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art in collaboration with the staff of the Crocker Art Museum.
Image credit: Armin Hansen (American, 1886–1957), Nino, circa 1919. Oil on canvas, 50 1/2 x 60 1/4 inches. Monterey Museum of Art, Gift of Jane and Justin Dart.