OTHERED: Displaced from Malaga at the University of Southern Maine Gallery

In the University of Southern Maine Gallery exhibition, OTHERED: Displaced from Malaga, artist Daniel Minter tells the story of the 1911 forced removal of a interracial fishing community on Maine’s Malaga Island in Phippsburg.

According to the Hyperallergic article, “For the past 10 years, Portland-based painter, children’s book author, and illustrator Daniel Minter has raised awareness of what happened on Malaga. He took part in archaeological digs and designed an information kiosk for people visiting the island. For his seven-week residency with the Department of Art at the University of Southern Maine this past fall, Minter created a series of 11 acrylic paintings, each one measuring 60 by 20 inches, that further his exploration of Malaga.”(Hyperallergic)

Image above: Installation view

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Launches Two Art Education Initiatives

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has announced two intiatives which will help fund $500,000 in scholarships for students in MFA painting departments at Columbia University School of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, and the Yale School of Art. In 2019, the Foundation will also give another $2 million to MFA or art history programs at four additional colleges or universities.

The Foundation has also started the Frankenthaler Prints Initiative, in which ten college- or university-affiliated museums will receive ten Frankenthaler prints, up to ten proofs by the artist, and a $25,000 grant. The museums will use the funds to exhibit and study the gifted works over three years.

The 2018 awardees of the Frankenthaler Print Initiative are:

  • Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art
  • University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum
  • UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts/Hammer Museum
  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • Princeton University Art Museum
  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum
  • Savannah College of Art and Design Museum
  • University of Kansas’s Lawrence Spencer Museum of Art. (Art News)

Image above:  Helen Frankenthaler, Untitled, 1967.

Protesters Request RISD Museum Return Bronze Sculpture to Nigeria

A group of students and faculty from RISD and Brown University gathered at the RISD Museum on November 30 to pressure the museum to return stolen bronzes from the Kingdom of Benin and to decolonize the collection.

The reading material students passed out at the protest.

In response to the protest, the RISD Museum told Hyperallergic:

“The RISD Museum recognizes the looted status of the Head of a King (Oba) made by Benin royal artists in West Africa which was given to the collection in 1939. British forces sacked the Benin kingdom in 1897 in a campaign known as the Benin Punitive Expedition. Cities were burned; the reigning king, Oba Ovonranwmen, was forced into exile; and works of art and other treasures were looted. Soon after, museums and individuals throughout Europe and the United States were collecting Benin bronzes. We have initiated a process of communication with Oba Ewuare II and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria which has been established to address this very issue. We see this as an opportunity to confront the histories of colonialism that exist within museum collections.” (Hyperallergic)

Another University Sells An Art Masterpiece

“If we’re going to start selling … individual items, we are effectively erasing that archive,” he said. “We are effectively undoing the work of faculty and administrators who have been collecting these,” argued SUNY Fredonia English Faculty member Birger Vanwesenbeeck following the single lot sale of  the painting, Georgian Woman Wearing a Lechaki, by the Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani.

Faculty and students at Fredonia, who regularly use the Stefan Zweig Collection in courses, felt as though the sale was wrong, despite the proceeds going to support the Reed Library, the building in which the collection is housed. (Inside Higher Ed)

Image above:  Georgian Woman Wearing a Lechaki, Nike Pirosmani

The Art of Disagreeing: A Reflection Following Mary Baldwin University’s Decision to Shut Down “RELEVANT/SCRAP”

In the wake of Mary Baldwin University’s decision to shut down “RELEVANT/SCRAP,” a exhibit featuring images of Southern Confederate monuments, Emily Chamlee-Wright and Sarah Skwire reflect on this missed educational opportunity.

They argue, “We in higher education must find ways to negotiate between, on the one hand, our responsibilities to the sensibilities of students trying to find their way in our increasingly partisan and tense culture and, on the other, our responsibilities to the educational value of debate, discussion and disagreement. The use of abusive images and terminology is obviously not acceptable on campuses or any civilized institution. But the discussion of them must be. It is our job to find ways to ensure that such discussions can thrive and that they can be respectful, rich and productive.” (Inside Higher Ed)

Image above: The empty gallery after Mary Baldwin University shut down “RELEVANT/SCRAP” two days after it opened following complaints from students that the artwork was racist.

Jessica Hong Joins Hood Museum as Curator of Global Contemporary Art

Jessica Hong will join the Hood Museum of Art as the inaugural Curator of Global Contemporary Art.

“I am honored to be joining the Hood at this exciting time in the museum’s long history,” Hong said. “I have greatly admired the Hood as a premier teaching museum, with its forward-thinking programming, robust and vast collection, advanced research and scholarship, and dedication to cultivating intimate encounters with a diverse range of artistic and cultural dialogues. With the Hood’s reopening, I am eager to be part of the museum’s dynamic and insightful team, engaging with students, faculty, and the broader Dartmouth community while building connections with the world at large in this newly created role.” (Artforum)

Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University Opens to the Public

On November 16, 2018, the Barry Art Museum opened to the public on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, VA. The museum was made possible by a $37 million  gift from Richard and Carolyn Barry.

At the opening ceremony, President John R. Broderick remarked that the Barry Art Museum and the preexisting art and theater buildings on campus reinforces “the ‘Arts in the Village’ concept” at the University.  The cluster of buildings, remarked Broderick, has “sent the message loud and clear to potential students and the surrounding community that Old Dominion University is committed in every way to supporting and celebrating the arts.” (GlobeNewswire)