At F&M's Phillips Museum, An Exhibit for All Seasons
Read the story on how faculty in several disciplines are using the landscapes in various contexts from aesthetic to historic to environmental.
Exhibit at F&M's Phillips Museum explores the landscape painting tradition of the Hudson River School
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/901443_Exhibit-at-F-M-s-Phillips-Museum-explores-the-landscape-painting-tradition-of-the-Hudson-River-School.html#ixzz2glL6lV3P
In October 1825, Thomas Cole, a young, unknown artist, boarded a Hudson River steamboat at the New York City docks and traveled about 100 miles north to the village of Catskill, where he hiked into the mountains to sketch.
Upon his return the following month, he produced from his sketches three large landscape oil paintings of the Catskill wilderness that caught the attention of the New York art scene and launched an American art movement.
Selected masterworks of Cole and 11 other artists of the Hudson River School will be shown this fall in the Leonard and Mildred Rothman Gallery of the Phillips Museum of Art in the Steinman College Center off College Avenue at Franklin & Marshall College. "The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th-Century American Landscape Paintings from the New-York Historical Society" runs from Sept. 13 to Dec. 15. The exhibition's sponsors are Jennifer M. and Mark S. Kuhn '85 and the Thomas A. and Georgina T. Russo Family Foundation.
This is the first time the exhibition has been shown outside of New York. It comprises 24 paintings, produced between 1818 and 1890, of landscapes, historic sites and natural wonders of the Empire State -- from the Hudson River, to the Catskill and Adirondack mountains, to Niagara Falls on the western boundary of the state.
The paintings are drawn from the venerable collection at the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan, the oldest museum in New York. This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society. It is part of the "Sharing a National Treasure Program," said Linda Ferber, vice president and senior art historian of the 209-year-old society.
"This is the first of our travel shows to visit a campus outside of New York State, [and] we are especially delighted to share these important paintings with the Phillips Museum at Franklin & Marshall College," said Linda Ferber. "One of the goals of 'Sharing a National Treasure' is to bring important exhibitions to college and university museums where they can provide rich teaching opportunities, whether lectures, symposia or, best of all, courses organized around their content."
David Schuyler, F&M's Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and American Studies, is incorporating the exhibition in his foundations course, "Rivers and Regions," and his "American Landscape" class. Michael Clapper, art history professor and department chair of art and art history, will use it in his "American Art" class, and professors of American Studies Louise Stevenson and Alison Kibler will include it in their "American Studies Senior Seminar." Fourteen other classes also plan to use the exhibition in their coursework.
Themes of discovery, exploration and settlement are reflected in the landscapes, and people are depicted comparatively small against the enormity of the nature around them. Among the paintings to be displayed are Cole's "Sunset View on the Catskill," from 1833, and Asher B. Durand's "View of the Shandaken Mountains," from 1853.
These two painters and their works were critical to the movement's growth, said Schuyler, author of the 2012 award-winning book "Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists and the Hudson River Valley, 1820–1909."
Cole was a deeply spiritual man, seeing the divinity reflected in nature. He emigrated in 1818 from England at age 17, and had been an itinerant portrait artist in cities such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before he journeyed up the Hudson River and into American cultural history.
Durand, one of three patrons who purchased the landscapes Cole had completed upon returning from the Catskill Mountains in 1825, was an engraver. By the 1830s, though, he had become a landscapist. His detail in trees and rocks helped define Hudson River School painting. He would go on to mentor other painters.
Schuyler said the phrase "Hudson River School" was never used by the artists. It was a term coined by an art critic in the 1870s to denounce the paintings as old-fashioned. The artists viewed themselves as landscapists, and they used their paintings as testaments to the importance of appreciating and preserving nature, Schuyler said.
"They were united by a shared interest in exploring the American landscape, and it all started with the Hudson Valley," he said. "Here we find not just the first truly American expression in art, but the seeds of the conservation movement of the late 19th century, and of environmentalism in our own time."
Teri Edelstein, consulting director of the Phillips Museum of Art, praised Eliza Reilly, retired director of the museum, and Schuyler for making the exhibition possible.
The exhibition will open with Ferber of the New York-Historical Society delivering a lecture, "The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: Landscape Views & Landscape Visions," at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in Bonchek Lecture Hall of the Ann & Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building. A reception will follow in the Sally Mather Gibson Curriculum Gallery of the Phillips Museum of Art in Steinman College Center.
Later in the fall, Nancy Siegel '88, associate professor of art history at Towson University, will deliver a lecture titled "Suspend Your Body from the Limbs of the Trees: 19th-Century Women Paint the American Landscape" at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Curriculum Gallery.
Included in the exhibition are works by two of the few women in the Hudson River School, "Pool in the Catskills" by Josephine Walters, the only woman known to have studied with Durand, and "Niagara Falls," Louisa Davis Minot's 1818 visual record of her visit to the landmark three years earlier.
Lastly, a panel discussion, "Looking at Landscapes," will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Curriculum Gallery. It will feature three historians talking about specific painters and their works: Clapper on Durand's "View of the Shandaken Mountains"; Thomas Ryan, president and CEO of LancasterHistory.org, on Jacob Eichholtz's "Portrait of Serena Mayer Franklin"; and Schuyler on Jervis McEntee's "View in Central Park, N.Y.C," which relates to Schuyler's work on Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of Central Park.
Also, in the museum's Nissley and Dana galleries, related works from a private collection will be exhibited with works from the museum's holdings and will feature McEntee's "Grey Day in Hill Country" and "Autumn in the Catskills," as well as "View in the Catskills" by T. Addison Richards.
The integration of the museum with the curriculum is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Guided tours of the Hudson River exhibition are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.
Exhibition Coordinator and Designer and sculpture shop supervisor for the Art and Art History Department, Rus O'Connell wins the 2013 Richard Kneedler Distinguished Service Award.
"On the Observing of the Observer of the Observers," developed by artist and former F&M Mellon postdoctoral fellow James Coupe, comprises a network of 50 surveillance cameras programmed to extract a narrative from people's behaviors and activities. The resulting footage is reorganized through computer algorithms and displayed as a "multi-channel film" projected on screens much like a surveillance control room. One of the screens will broadcast live footage from the F&M Innovation Zone at the Harris Center. Other screens will show simulated and looped footage from the Martin Library of the Sciences, the dining hall, a room in a College House and other locations on the F&M campus.
Full press release available:
The Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College is selling a selection of non-accessioned household goods from the museum's storage areas, through Horst Auction Center in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, at public sale on January 16th starting at 2:00 pm. Most of the objects were collectibles and household furnishings that were gifted to the College as parts of various estates or were objects used to furnish the College that were later housed in museum storage areas but never accessioned into the permanent collection. These objects have no particular historical or educational value and do not support the museum's mission, therefore they were selected and approved by a committee of museum staff and college officials for sale. Objects for sale include silver plate tea services and 20th century furniture. All proceeds from the sale will be used to benefit the collecting, programming and educational activities of the museum.
The Museum Mysteries class has been featured in F&M Magazine
The museum will re-open Saturday, September 15 after being closed for the summer because of construction. The Dana and Curriculum Galleries will be open starting Sep. 15, and will feature two new exhibitions, Examining Nature, by Nola Semczyszyn, and Uncommon Denominator: James Nestor and his Former Students. Visitors can enter the museum through the Dana Gallery. The Nissley Gallery will remain closed while we reinstall the permanent collection pieces.
The museum will be closed for the summer and we will reopen in the fall featuring additional improvements to the Nissley Gallery, upgrades to the HVAC system and a new elevator to improve visitor accessibility throughout the museum. Stay in touch with The Phillips by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Wordpress.
The Diplomat tells the story of the student curators who curated a bilingual exhibition called Napoléon Représente/ Napoleon Represents.
The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era includes an article about the newly renovated Phillips Museum of Art and its four new exhibitions that open on January 18, 2012.
The Diplomat highlights the Roundtable Discussion at Common Hour on America in Black and White: Lancaster Veterans and the Struggle for Racial Equality.
The Curatorial Practices Seminar has been featured in The Diplomat.
On October 21, 2011 President Porterfield rededicated The Phillips Museum of Art, which was recently renovated and expanded to include The Nissley Gallery, made possible by the generosity of Emily Baldwin Nissley and Thomas W. Nissley '55, major supporters of the recent renovation. A special presentation was made to Virginia A. and Thomas G. Phillips, III '54 for their continued support and generous gift to renovate The Phillips Museum of Art.
The following are remarks from Eliza J. Reilly Ph.D., Museum Director:
Thank you Ann,
I want to add my heartfelt thanks to those of Provost Steiner. It’s difficult to express the tremendous difference that Tom Phillips’s generous gift has made to our work at the museum, and its potential to serve as a curricular resource for the college, but I will try.
First, there is the impact on the museum as an exhibition space and working environment. The much needed modernization and upgrading of lighting to energy saving LED’s, and a state of the art security system throughout the museum has already improved our ability to host traveling exhibitions and borrow art from the most demanding lenders.
Each gallery now has the potential to fully realize the national goals and aspirations of their founding donors—the Dana, with its natural light, which makes it ideal for displaying large scale work and sculpture—the Rothman gallery, which is our largest and most flexible space, has no natural light, which makes it ideal for showing light sensitive work such as photography, works on paper, and textiles, all of which are key components of the permanent collection.
The Gibson curriculum gallery, which is devoted to exhibitions emerging from courses, and from faculty or student research, is now larger and better proportioned and directly contiguous to a state-of-the art seminar room.
The creation of a large and well-lit curatorial and conservation space adjacent to the vaults has transformed our working lives— it has it greatly improved our ability to meet the highest standards in the processing, conservation, and documenting of artworks in the collection--a standard we will need to meet as we seek accreditation for the museum. The renovation also created much needed professional offices and workstations for the expanding staff, as well as for the dozens of students whose work as graphic designers, photographers, cataloguers, researchers, art preparators, and webmasters keep the museum functioning. Without that space, a significant part of our educational work—the work that we do initiating students into the complex processes of professional museum practice, would not be possible.
Second, there is the creation of the new museum entrance on College Avenue, which we believe will greatly enhance our presence and accessibility to the larger community in Lancaster city.
Finally, we are tremendously grateful for the support of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Nissley, and the creation of the Nissley Gallery, which will be devoted to the exhibition and interpretation of decorative art and material culture in our permanent collection.
I believe this very space, where you are now sitting, will become a major locus of the curricular work of the museum. The permanent collection contains over 8000 objects in almost every category---from Pennsylvania Heritage material, such as quilts and fraktur, to Japanese armor, from Mayan pottery to ladies’ fans and ceramics. All of it, quite frankly, is lightly documented and poorly understood—This eclectic collection of objects provides research opportunities in almost every discipline taught at the college, including history, art history and American studies, most obviously, but also for students of literature, foreign languages and culture, anthropology and sociology, chemistry and geology—All will be needed to help us with the interpretive challenges posed by such a diverse collection, and for many years to come. I promise you will see this space evolve and develop as our understanding, experience, and engagement with the collection deepens, and as our relationship with our audiences, both within the college and in the community, develops.
I have heard the Phillips Museum referred to as one of the “third spaces” at the college, by which is meant a co-curricular entity that complements student and faculty work in formal classes. I’d to challenge that idea. I think the Philips museum will be an engine, and not a facilitator, of curricular and pedagogical innovation. We are now hosting two courses and adding a third this spring semester, in collections research. Independent study by both faculty and students--using material in the collection--is growing exponentially—and we hope--as we increase intellectual access to our material through the web, that we will see a major increase in the use of the collections by outside researchers and members of the public.
I see the Phillips museum more like a laboratory than a “third space,” and a uniquely un-hierarchal and participatory one, at that. In a museum exhibition, no single person’s vision, from the youngest visitor to the most seasoned scholar, prevails. Our museum has in a short time become that rare place where students, faculty, and professional staff, collaborate WITH audiences and the public to create new knowledge and to offer it to the world—and I think the exhibition now in the Dana gallery confirms that fact. But watching the team that put that show together revealed something more to me…it revealed that what I’ve come to think of as the “radical democracy” of a museum is not solely an affair of people, but a polity that includes the objects themselves, with all their complex identity and history. A teaching museum like the Phillips is a radically democratic environment where everyone commits to learning a different language than the one spoken in most classrooms—that is the language of objects. Here we become translators and vehicles for the wonderful stories that those objects have to share with us. I hope you all will join us as we grow together as a community of learners and listeners to the stories that the wonderful things around us, both precious and quotidian, have to tell us.
It is now my great pleasure to introduce our President, Dan Porterfield, who will say a few words.
Students from the Curatorial Practices Seminar have been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education for their work in curating the "Zorach: Paint and Spirit" exhibition now on display in the Dana Gallery.
Heritage Preservation is pleased to announce The Phillips Museum of Art has been chosen to participate in the 2011 Conservation Assessment Program (CAP). The Phillips Museum joins the 2,600 museums that have participated in CAP in its twenty-one year history of serving small museums. This year, the museum was one of five in the state of Pennsylvania to participate in the program. Heritage Preservation's CAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. CAP assists museums by providing funds for professional conservation specialists to identify the conservation needs of their collections and recommend ways to correctly improve collections conditions. Heritage Preservation's President, Lawrence L. Reger, praised The Phillips Museum for "making the vital work of caring for collections and sites a priority of their institution, even in these challenging financial times, and helping ensure that they are available to present and future generations."
CAP provides a general conservation assessment of the museum's collections. A professional conservator spends one day surveying the site and three days preparing a comprehensive report that will identify conservation priorities. The on site consultation will enable The Phillips Museum to evaluate its current collections care policies, procedures, and environmental conditions. The assessment report will help the museum make appropriate improvements for the immediate, mid-range, and long-range care of their collections.
Heritage Preservation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States. By identifying risks, developing innovative programs, and providing broad public access to expert advice, Heritage Preservation assists museums, libraries, archives, historic preservation and other organizations, as well as individuals, in caring for our endangered heritage. To learn more about Heritage Preservation, please visit www.heritagepreservation.org.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source for federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.
Pook & Pook will publically auction the Robert L. Schaeffer Jr. collection of Viennese bronze figurines from The Phillips Museum Art collection. The collector acquired this unique collection of more than 2300 objects handcrafted by Austrian artists, over a 40-year period. This collection of decorative bronzes is part of a much larger gift from Robert L. Schaeffer Jr. that primarily consisted of rare Pennsylvania German material culture, much of which is on permanent exhibition at the museum. In Summer 2010, the museum participated in the American Association of Museums' Assessment Program, which recommended refining the collections in accordance with the museum’s mission and building upon already existing collection strengths, which are in American art and material culture and 20th century photography and works on paper.
The money from the Schaeffer sale will be used to create an endowed fund that will continue to honor the legacy of Robert L. Schaeffer, Jr. and his commitment to the college’s collections by supporting the addition of new works of art to the collection for many years to come.
The Phillips Museum of Art adheres to the stringent ethical standards set forth by the American Association of Museum Directors’ guidelines for deaccesioning. According to these guidelines, “Deaccessioning is practiced to refine and enhance the quality, use, and character of an institution’s holdings. There are two fundamental principles that are always observed…The decision to deaccession is made solely to improve the quality, scope, and appropriateness of the collection, and to support the mission and long-term goals of the museum. Proceeds from a deaccessioned work are used only to acquire other works of art.”