MLA Thesis Exhibition: Jessica Roy

The Cason McDermott Art Gallery in Goodwyn Hall is pleased to present “Space: The Final Frontier,” an MLA Thesis exhibition in Painting and Drawing by graduating student Jessica Roy. Completed under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hairstans, the exhibition is open from May 3, 2021 through the summer.

Jessica Roy, MLA Thesis Exhibition: Space, the Final Frontier, May 3, 2021 through Summer.

In preparation for creating this body of original work, Roy completed historical research on mid-twentieth century visual culture depicting the Space Race between the USA and USSR published in popular sources, such as TIME and LIFE magazine. For her MLA Research Methods class, supervised by Dr. Naomi Slipp in spring of 2020, Roy considered how 10 important moments from the Space Race were pictured for general audiences in the USA and USSR.

Titled “The Space Race and How Images Effect the Way History Remembers It,” she concluded the research paper by noting that while “this is but a small collection of the images that show one of the most exciting times in recent history … [they] tell a story of how people came together to support their country’s mission to be the first in space and on the moon. These images were used to spark the imaginations of people everywhere, as political propaganda, and as a record of what happened. From this, we learned how to work together to go even farther. There is now a new space race to reach mars!”

Jessica Roy, MLA Thesis Exhibition: Space, the Final Frontier, May 3, 2021 through Summer.

For the exhibition, Roy then selected 26 significant moments in the Space Race and replicated these iconic popular images in watercolor painting. For the project, Roy spans four decades, beginning the series with “the discovery of the dwarf planet Pluto and end[ing] with Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the moon.”

In her artist statement, Roy explains how she approached painting an illustration of “the USSR’s Vostok 1. This is a watercolor on 9 by 12 inch watercolor paper with acrylic accents. The background is done with the sponge technique to give the painting more of a dimensional quality to it and has stars that are made with acrylic paint. The main part of the painting, the Vostok 1 is done by brush in historical colors.”

Jessica Roy, MLA Thesis Exhibition: Space, the Final Frontier, May 3, 2021 through Summer.

As she explains of her inspiration, “This topic was chosen because of mine and my family’s love of space, and the drive to help children learn how the human race conquered space … I have chosen to illustrate historical points on the space timeline to the best of my ability with the medium of watercolor. I would start with an image … choose the important aspects of it, so that it would not lose its meaning. Finally, with inspiration from art works of Jane Mills and Robert T. McCall, I would paint my image.”

Roy, who is also a Museum Studies Certificate student, recently completed an internship at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, where she worked with the education department to catalog, condition report, and organize the MMFA Student Art Collection (SAC). At the conclusion of her internship, she selected and hung some of her favorite SAC artworks at the museum. She parlayed those gallery installation skills into her own exhibition, which she arranged and hung herself.

Jessica Roy, MLA Thesis Exhibition: Space, the Final Frontier, May 3, 2021 through Summer.

Spring senior show: Brennen Parmer

The Cason McDermott Art Gallery in Goodwyn Hall is pleased to present “Skin Deep,” a BFA Painting and Drawing thesis exhibition by graduating senior Brennen Parmer. Completed under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hairstans, the exhibition is open from April 26 through April 30, 2021.

In this series of 24 original works, Parmer references traditional American tattoo imagery and popular culture. Drawing upon the histories of flash art in historical and contemporary tattoo culture, Parmer’s works engage the technical parameters of tattooing and its material conditions, as he thinks about the physical application of pigment on human skin and the design implications of this process in relation to the desired outcome.

Brennen Parmer, Skin Deep: Senior Exhibition, Spring 2021

As Parmer explains: “Skin Deep is an installation of 24 flash art designs that have been culled from a portfolio of over 50 works that support my interest, and apprenticeship as a tattoo artist. Flash art are preliminary tattoo designs that have been hand drawn, or painted by the tattoo artist on stencil paper. These designs act as a cartoon prior to the application of ink (pigment) into the dermis layer of the skin. This body of work has been developed by researching, and appropriating American traditional tattoo art.   

Throughout the early 20th century American traditional tattoo design imagery consisted of, but was not limited to, swallows, flowers, roses, pinup girls, daggers, hearts, ships, panthers, horses, flags, and patriotic designs.  Towards the middle of the 20th century American traditional tattoo artists began adding designs that were uncommon in the early years of production such as cartoon characters, portraits, celebrity, and popular (pop) culture inspired imagery.   

American traditional tattoo designs have a particular aesthetic that relates to the technical application of rendering the skin with ink. Firstly, these tattoo designs are created with a thick black contour line. The tattoo artist then applies a value, and/or the use of a limited color palette within the line. This aesthetic is thought to prevent the disintegration, and aid the preservation of the tattoo ink over time from ultraviolet light.”  

Brennen Parmer, Skin Deep: Senior Exhibition, Spring 2021

Spring senior show: Olivia Tippett

The Cason McDermott Art Gallery in Goodwyn Hall is pleased to present “More Than A Label,” a BFA Photography thesis exhibition by graduating senior Olivia Tippett. Completed under the supervision of Professor Will Fenn, the exhibition – which is on view in the hallway outside the gallery – is open from April 22 through May 5, 2021.

In this series of color photographs, Tippett explores how clothing can present, playfully challenge, or interrogate issues of identity. As Tippett explains:

” … clothing play[s] a part in defining our identity. People don’t always fit into the clothing categories that society has constructed. From a young age, we are routinely taught that girls wear pink and boys wear blue. This allows for other people to assume someone’s gender identity. People don’t often fit into the boxes that society may desire.

Clothes are a big part of an individual’s identity. With so many restrictions society places on us, garments are a way to express character. As people, we are often assigned categories based on various assumptions that are out of our control. Clothes are such a big part of how we define our own identities that we shouldn’t allow society to decide what labels, designs, colors, or silhouettes we are allowed to wear. 

More Than A Label focuses on clothing that makes us feel comfortable and secure in who we are. Whether one shops in the men’s section, women’s section or a combination of both, clothing is a way to express how we want to represent ourselves and be perceived. Our fashion choices can be a platform to show others that it’s better to wear our truth than be categorized by our labels.”

Gallery spotlight:

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Jessica Roy

Beaching The Dory – Davidson Galleries

Robert von Newman

(German, 1888-1976)

Beaching the Dory, 1954

Lithograph, 9.5 x 13.75 inches

Label for Adults – Printmaker Robert von Newman shows his mastery of his chosen artform in Beaching the Dory. We can see how the fishermen struggle with the water to bring their boat — a dory — into shore. Von Newman demonstrates his ability to render textures in the folds and wrinkles of the fishermen’s clothing, as well as in the texture of the water — from the calmness of it in the left bottom corner to the choppiness in the background. 

Label for Kids – Beaching the Dory shows three fishermen coming into shore after being out on the water catching fish. It was made in a technique known as a Lithograph. Can you see the fish in the boat? Why do you think it takes all three of the fishermen to pull it into shore?

Catalogue entry  Born in 1888 in Rostock, Germany, Robert von Newman studied art at the Vereinigten Staatsschulen für freie und angewandte Kunst (United State Schools for Fine and Applied Art) in Berlin from 1910 to 1914. During WWI, von Newman was in the German Infantry. After the war he taught in Berlin before moving to the US in 1926. Settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Von Newman taught at the Layton School of Art in 1929 and 1930 and at the Wisconsin State Teachers College, where he was a faculty member from 1930 to 1959.

Like the American Regionalist work of the 1930s and 1940s, Robert von Neumann’s drawings, paintings, pastels, etchings, mezzotints, and lithographs illustrated the virtues of the common man hard at work. He is best known for his shoreline scenes filled with bulky and heroic fishermen like in his Beaching the Dory from 1954.

Sources Consulted

“Robert von Newman,” Gallery of Wisconsin Art, website.

“Robert von Newman,” http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/Robert-von-neumann-beaching-dory-1954-1851149940

Image 1 - Moishe Smith Etching, "Green Apples" 1972, Pencil Signed

Moishe Smith (American, 1929-1993)

Green Apples, 1973

Etching, 8.75 x 12 inches

Label for Adults – Printmaker Moishe Smith shows his mastery of his chosen artform in Green Apples with his ability to render texture and dimension — note the boldness of the apple tree in the foreground contrasted with the denseness of the tall grass and the background. The viewer is left with the sense that this landscape is an ideal spot that has not been blemished by human hands.   

Label for Kids – Green Apples shows a giant apple tree in the foreground of the picture with more trees behind it. It was made in a technique known as Etching. Can you see all its apples? Why do you think that the artist named it Green Apples if it is a black and white picture?

Catalogue entry  Moishe Smith was born in 1929 in Chicago, Illinois and died in 1993 in Logan, Utah. Smith started his learning at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1946 and 1947, then he went to Wayne State University in 1947 and 1948. After that, he moved on to Skowhegan School of Art in 1949 and 1950.

Smith received his B.A. in 1950 from The New School, his M.F.A. in 1953 and his M.F. in 1955 from The University of Iowa. From 1959 through 1961 Smith studied at the Academia of Florence and privately with Giorgio Morandi. For most of the time from 1955 through 1977, Smith worked as a teacher in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Utah, and one summer in Calgary, Canada.

Moishe Smith is most famous for his romantic city views and his focus on landscape, such as his Green Apples from 1973.

Sources Consulted

“Moishe Smith,” https://wisconsinart.org/archives/artist/moishe-smith/profile-8541.aspx

“Moishe Smith,” https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.3092.html?artobj_artistId=3092&pageNumber=1#biography

https://davidbarnettgallery.com/artist/moishe-smith

Gallery spotlight: Morgan & Serra-Badue

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Ciera Rogers

Norma Morgan, Moor Lodge, c. 1955 | Dolan Maxwell

Norma Gloria Morgan

(American, 1928-2017)

Moor Lodge, 1954 Engraving, 7.75 x 23.625 inches

Label for Adults – Gaining recognition for her talent of engraving and graphics, the CT-native received a fellowship and traveled to England where she explored the moors and represented her appreciation of the barren landscapes in her engravings. Moor Lodge showcases Morgan’s attentiveness to the delicate balance between light and shadow, depth and shallowness, through the black and white depiction of a secluded wooden lodge centered on a snowy landscape.

Label for Kids – 

Moor Lodge shows a person with a dog walking along a snowy landscape towards a wooden lodge. What adventure do you think the person and dog have just returned from? Can you feel the cool, crisp air as they walk?

“Moor” – Open and often uninhabited land

“Lodge” – A form of shelter, usually near wilderness

Catalogue entry  Born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1928, Norma Morgan showed interest in the arts beginning at a young age when she painted over mildew tainted flowers on wallpaper. As a teen, Morgan furthered her artistic talent through a painting on her classroom wall and later through her celebrated still life painting Reflections which depicted silver objects alongside flowers on an antique cloth.

As a young adult, Morgan studied on scholarship for two years at the Art Students League, and privately with Hans Hoffman and Stanley Hayter who taught her engraving. Studying in England, Morgan became known for her portrayal of the wintery, moor landscapes throughout Great Britain.

Being African American, Morgan was often asked, “Where is the blackness in her work?” to which she responded, she “did what I could in my own way.” Her depictions of “inhospitable, often turbulent” landscapes are her way of portraying “the struggle of man and nature.”

Sources Consulted

Norma Morgan, https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.5026.html

Sandra Lewis Smith, “Norma Morgan: A Matter of Balance,” Black American Literature Forum, vol. 19, no. 1 (1985), pp. 34–35.

“Norma Morgan,” Dolan Maxwell, https://dolanmaxwell.com/artists/106-norma-morgan/works/

Self-portrait at Age 48 by Daniel Serra-Badue | Annex Galleries Fine Prints

Daniel Serra-Badue (Cuban 1914-1996)

Self Portrait at Age 48, 1973

Lithograph, 9 x 10 inches

Label for Adults – Surrealist artist Daniel Serra-Badue created works of art that transport the viewer to familiar yet alien worlds. In Self-Portrait at Age 48, a reflective Serra-Badue depicts himself painting two nude women in an open field. One faces away from Serra-Badue, head turned, an arm raised behind her head. The other faces Serra-Badue, a fan raised to her face as she rests on a hammock. Serra-Badue’s strokes blend between the image of himself and the painting.

Label for Kids – In this image, Daniel Serra-Badue creates an image of himself painting two women in an open field. Notice how the image of the two ladies is split between light and dark. Do you see any areas where the different subjects blend together? What do you think the message behind this piece is?

Catalogue entry  Referred to by many as “The Godfather of Cuban Art in Exile,” Santiago De Cuba native Daniel Serra-Badue was born in 1914 and specialized in surrealist painting and graphics which challenge viewers to distinguish the line between imagination and reality.

Studying across Cuba, Europe, and the United States, Serra-Badue gained worldwide recognition for his lithographs, having participated in solo shows as well as exhibitions at The Whitney Museum, Sao Paulo Biennial, Brooklyn Museum Art School, and more.

Serra-Badue was one of the first to be awarded a fellowship from the Cintas Foundation, later becoming a board member and the first

Cuban-American to receive a fellowship from the Guggenheim.

Having experienced a variety of cultures worldwide, Serra-Badue made it a point to represent where he came from in his works, forging a connection between himself, the art, and the viewer.

In Self-Portrait as Age 48, we see a reflective Serra-Badue hypnotized by his work in progress, seeming to disappear into the lines he has created.

Sources Consulted

“Self Portrait at Age 48,” Daniel Serra- Badue, Cintas Foundation.

https://www.cintasfoundation.org/fellows/visual-artists/366-daniel-serra-badue

Gallery spotlight: Romano & Kaplan

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Taylor Echols       

Frightened Horses | CMOA Collection

Umberto Romano (American, 1905-1984)

Frightened Horses, 1948

Lithograph, 9.25 x 13.75 inches

Label for Adults – Lithography is a printing process in which the artist first draws the design onto a limestone slab with an oil-based crayon. Then he brushes gum arabic and mild acid onto the stone so it can absorb water and repel ink, which is then applied on the stone. Finally, he covers the stone with paper and runs it through a press, which transfers the image onto the paper.

Label for Kids – Frightened Horses displays two horses rearing in the air while two men try to handle them with harnesses. Where do you think the men and the horses might be?

Catalogue entry  Romano Umberto was born in 1905 in Bracigliano, in the province of Salerno, Italy. He and his family later immigrated to the United States where he began painting at age nine. His early works earned him acceptance in New York’s National Academy of Design. Umberto also won the Academy’s Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship which allowed him to travel and study around Europe.

Romano Umberto was an expressionist artist who worked during World War II and the Post-War era in oil painting and lithography. He excelled in drawing, printmaking, sculpture, painting, and taught art until his death in 1984.

Throughout his career, he received many awards and prizes for his artworks, which are included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harvard Art Museum, the Frick Collection, the Corcoran Gallery, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Umberto was commissioned to create prints for Associated American Artists (AAA), including “Frightened Horses.”

Sources Consulted

“About Umberto.” http://www.urromanoart.com/about-umberto

“Umberto Romano.” Cape Ann Museum, http://www.capeannmuseum.org/collections/artists/umberto-romano/

Stanley Kaplan | Home Run (Circa 1975) | MutualArt

Stanley Kaplan (American, 1925-2015)

Home Run, 1972

Etching, 11.75 x 9 inches

Label for Adults – In Home Run, Stanley Kaplan merges three batters together by incising them with an etching needle onto a metal plate. Once done, the artist dipped the plate in acid in order to hold the ink, which is then applied. Finally, the artist transfers the plate onto the paper to create the finished print showing a batter coming up to the plate.

Label for Kids – Home Run depicts four baseball players or batters: one on the right and three merging together on the left, each holding a baseball bat. Why do you think the artist merged the three batters together?

Catalogue entry  Stanley Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1925. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art, he served two years in the army during World War II. Upon his return, Kaplan studied science at New York University in 1952, and art at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute School of Art. Later, Kaplan taught art at Nassau Community College and Nassau County Public School in New York. Kaplan was also a wood carver and a writer for artist books. In 1978, he created the Public Tortoise Press which published eight artist books.

One of his artworks, Home Run was issued by Associated American Artists (AAA) in 1972. Kaplan’s artworks, including prints, received many awards and are in the collections of these institutions: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, New York Public Library, Newark Public Library, and the British Museum.

Sources Consulted

“About Stanley Kaplan.” The Old Print Shop, The Old Print Gallery, oldprintshop.com/artists

“Artist: Stan Kaplan.” IFPDA, 2009, http://www.ifpda.org/artist/1187

Gallery spotlight: Lee & Ross

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Jennifer Hardy

The Dove by Doris Emrick Lee on artnet

Doris Emrick Lee (American 1905-1983)

The Dove, 1951

Lithograph 11.5 x 9.5 inches

Label for Adults – Doris Emrick Lee was a regionalist painter known for her idealized depictions of American life. In The Dove she uses contrast and shadows to highlight the central figure and the dove alighting on the girl’s hand. The background is dark but there is light on the horizon. This, combined with the symbolism of the dove, provides a sense of hope and peace. The girl sits on a swing in her Sunday best, but her position is active. She seems poised to action.

Label for Kids – The Dove shows a girl in her Sunday best, sitting on a swing, as a dove approaches to land on her finger. Doves often symbolize peace. Does the image make you feel peaceful? Do you think the girl feels at peace? The image is a lithograph made using a flat stone. Does this look different from other kinds of reproductions that you have seen?

Catalogue entry  Doris Emrick Lee was born in Illinois in 1905. She graduated from Rockford College in 1927, before traveling to France where she studied under Andre L’hote. She also attended the Art Institute of Kansas City and the California School of Fine Arts. She taught in New York at Art Students League.

In the 1930’s she was commissioned by the US Department of the Treasury and the Works Progress Administration to paint murals for Post offices in Washington, D.C. and Summerville, GA. Her works appear in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Whitney, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The Dove demonstrates Lee’s ability to create atmosphere with contrasting shades of light and dark. She captures the sense of light coming over the horizon, but also highlights the girl, the dove, and the innate symbolism of peace.

Sources Consulted

“The Dove by Doris Emrick Lee,” Artnet.com

“Doris Lee,” Wikipedia

Sold Price: JOHN ROSS (American, b. 1921). ISLAND SILHOUETTE, signed and  numbered 3/100 in pencil lower margin. Color woodcut, circa 1970. -  February 6, 0117 11:00 AM EST

John Ross (American, 1921-2017)

Island Silhouette, 1972

Color Collagraph, 11.5 x 26.5 inches

Label for Adults – In Island Silhouette, John Ross used geometric forms to create an expanse of homes and dwellings depicting an island skyline. Unusually for a work depicting an island, it is completely devoid of nature. Instead, Ross focuses our attention on the imprint of man rather than the image of the island itself. This work is a collograph, created by adhering various materials to a backing and then running it through a printing press.

Label for Kids – Island Silhouette is a jumble of houses and buildings made of geometric shapes and bright colors. It was made by making a collage, which was then run through a printing press. Can you see different materials in the print?

“Collage” – art made by sticking different materials to a backing, such as cardboard

Catalogue entry  John Ross is an American artist, born in 1921. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cooper Union School in 1948. He then studied at Parson School of Design, The Ecole de Beaux-Arts, The New School for Social Research, Columbia University, and Instituto Statale d’Arte.

He went on to teach at Manhattanville College, where he created their BFA program. He also taught workshops in printmaking at The New School and served as the President of the Society of American Graphic Artists. His works are included in several collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Hirshhorn Collection.

Ross uses geometric shapes to create images that are architectural in design. His works look at the imprint of man on the landscape. The images are colorful but muted rather than bright. They do have the feeling of depth and space, along with weight and presence.

Sources Consulted

Island Silhouette | College of Education | University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

Collection: John Ross Collection | Archives and Special Collections at Rutgers

The Rahr-West | Facebook

Gallery spotlight: Hirsch & Margulies

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Danielle Riggs

Joseph Hirsch | Man with Logs | Whitney Museum of American Art

Joseph Hirsch (American, 1910-1981)

Man with Logs, 1954

Lithograph, 16 x 19 inches

Label for Adults – A talented artist from a young age, Hirsch celebrates the heroism in everyday humanity in Man with Logs. Careful etching of details gives us beautiful shadows – look at the folds in the clothes and the shadow cast from the wood haul. The gritty texture adds a realness to the work that, combined with Hirsch’s expert skill, highlights the beauty in ordinary tasks and people that we pass every day, most often without notice.

Label for Kids – Man with Logs is an everyday man doing an everyday job. Look at the strain in the man’s hands, the curve in his neck. People are beautiful in their everydayness, in their ordinary habits – if we look closely. Even the pile of cut wood displays pretty circles.

Catalogue entry  Born April 25, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Joseph Hirsch started pursuing art at the young age of 17 with a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art. During World War II, Hirsch worked as an artist-correspondent for the Navy. Paintings and drawings he produced for them now hang in the Museum of Military History. His artworks also reside in major museum such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The artist passed away on September 21, 1981 in New York, NY.

Hirsch had formal education in Philadelphia, studied under George Luks, and traveled widely. The artist observed the world around him, inspiring many of his artworks. Man with Logs showcase Hirsch’s talent in realism and his interest in ordinary people carrying out their tasks. Hirsch’s deep shadows, texture, and detail, like the strain in the hands, are part of what marks him a master artist.

Sources Consulted

Joseph Hirsch, Kiechel Fine Art, kiechelart.com/artist/joseph-hirsch/

Joseph Hirsch, The Annex Galleries, http://www.annexgalleries.com/artists/biography/1026/Hirsch/Joseph

Joseph Margulies (Austrian, 1896-1984)

Meditation, 1973

Etching, 7.25 x 10 inches

Label for Adults – Margulies is a Vienna-born artist who immigrated to the US at an early age. He had a passion to create art and make it accessible to ordinary people, producing soft etchings like Meditation. He creates high contrast through line and tone, especially in the deep folds of cloth and the weighty curls of hair. A talented printmaker and painter, Margulies’ soft etchings are a brilliant example of the skillset he mastered.

Label for Kids – Meditation is created with thick and thin lines. Look at the creases in his eyes, in the waves of hair – this detail is done with lines. The artist uses these lines to create depth and contrast – there are many lines, but we can see how each section are different.

Catalogue entry  Born in Vienna, Austria in 1896, Joseph Margulies became one of America’s great portrait artists. Immigrating to the US at an early age, Margulies studied at the Art Students’ League in New York from 1922 to 1925 where he learned from Joseph Pennell. He later attended the National Academy of Design and Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The artist died in New York City, in 1984.

From etchings, to lithographs, paintings to drawings, Margulies mastered a variety of mediums. Margulies was commissioned to create portraits of presidents and other high class people; some of his artworks are displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museums.

Meditation is a great example of Margulies’ mastery in printmaking. This soft etching gives viewers an intimate look at the elderly man; the intricate linework, the varied tones and even the depth in his hands create a beautiful artwork with a complex medium.

Sources Consulted

Joseph Margulies, Art of the Print, http://www.annexgalleries.com/artists/biography/1026/Hirsch/Joseph

Joseph Margulies, Smithsonian American Art Museum, https://americanart.si.edu/artist/joseph-margulies-3110

Gallery spotlight: Romano & Copeland

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Thurston Liptrot

Umberto Romano | The Awakening | Whitney Museum of American Art

Umberto Romano (American, 1905-1984)

The Awakening, 1951

Lithograph, 9.5 x 13.75 inches

Label for Adults – Although Umberto Romano rarely worked in lithography, The Awakening surely makes an impression. He deifies the woman in nude, placing her in an almost surreal realm to show she is awakening alone. He also demands the audience’s attention through the contrast and contours of her body. This encourages the viewer to question if the woman is truly the one waking up to their senses — or, rather, if the subject is the viewer’s own awakening, as they acknowledge the godly beauty before them.

Label for Kids – The Awakening shows a nude woman resting peacefully by herself, alone. You can see the shadows and light on the contours of her body. What could she be contemplating? Where could she be resting? What and who is really awakening?

Catalogue entry  Umberto Romano, born in Bracigliano, Italy, had a natural affinity for the arts at a very young age. After immigrating to the U.S. before he was 9, he became a passionate painter, earning recognition from New York’s National Academy of Design and even winning a Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship. Although he died in 1982, his pieces are still displayed all over the nation, from Massachusetts to the Smithsonian.

Romano focused heavily on classical styles and themes with his own modern twist. He indulged in religion, history, and mythology as the framework for his art.

You can see his style in The Awakening, where a beautiful, almost Middle Eastern woman in a reclining pose is deified and shown closely resembling historically famous artworks depicting nude female models. She doesn’t hide herself or her culture. You can see this in the Hindu-influenced beads around her neck and the oud like instrument in the background. She is partially covered by a blanket, but peels it off her head to reveal her hair and face, symbolizing realization and awakening.

Sources Consulted

“About Umberto.” Umberto Romano, 2020, http://www.urromanoart.com/about-umberto.

Lila Copeland (NY, born 1912), Andrea Drawing (Lot 390 - The Winter Estate  Auction, Featuring Arts of the SouthJan 28, 2021, 10:00am)

Lila Copeland (American, 1912-2001)

Andrea Drawing, 1973

Lithograph, 9.25 x 9 inches

Label for Adults – Lila Copeland was a New York-based artist closely associated with depictions of motherly bonds and children. In Andrea Drawing, Copeland focuses solely on the nature of children. The soft lines that Copeland uses to depict the child make the viewer feel welcomed and evokes a time in their own lives when they inhabited the realm of childhood. As such, the work encourages the audience to recall the past in a positive and progressive light, as the child scribbles peacefully alone.

Label for Kids – Andrea Drawing is a peaceful scene of a child quietly working alone. Take notice of the sketching child and how approachable they look at first glance. How does this piece make you feel? What do you think of when you hear the word “childish”?

Catalogue entry  Lila Copeland was born in Rochester. New York in 1912 and is often seen as a ‘one man band”, showcasing her work from The Flint Institute of Art and Golden Gate to the Art Institute of Chicago and Woodstock International Exposition to name a few.

After studying at the Art Students League in New York, she gravitated to depicting themes of motherhood and childhood. Her art features positive themes of youth and early development.

In Andrea Drawing, Copeland depicts a surreal realm that everyone might experience — an almost untouchable space of solitude that all children experience, one drawn from creativity and passion, and innocence and creation. Most adults lose touch with this imaginative space when we grow. They may find themselves pulling from it, however, whenever they find a spark or are in the zone.

Sources Consulted

“Lila Copeland.” RoGallery, 2020, http://www.rogallery.com/artists/lila-copeland

“Lila Copeland.” Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2020, americanart.si.edu/artist/lila-copeland-988

Gallery spotlight: Ahlgren & Margulies

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Ron Blaesing

Roy Ahlgren (American, 1927-2011)

Infinity, 1970

Serigraph 220/250, 9.75 x 9.75 inches

Label for Adults – Like most of Roy Ahlgren’s serigraphs, Infinity focuses on line in repeating and diminishing form. By using straight lines instead of the looping figures we are accustomed to, Ahlgren subverts our preestablished idea of what infinity can be. By using slightly heavier and daker lines for one of the two prominent openings, he has split open the vacuum of the universe filling it with millions of choices. He encourages audiences to examine the vast array of possibilities that lay ahead of us every day.

Label for Kids – Infinity gives the illusion of 2 never-ending tunnels, mirror opposites of each other, made up 100s of tiny squares that we can see. But, if you could travel down either of these tunnels there would be 1000s upon 1000s more, each one opening to a brand-new tunnel filled with infinite options to choose from.

Catalogue entry  Born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1927, Roy Ahlgren was principally a self-taught painter and printmaker. He attended the University of Pittsburg where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education. Returning to his hometown, Ahlgren went to work for Marx Toy Company as a toy designer where his love of line, pattern, and limitless possibility became evident.

In 1964, Ahlgren began experimenting with op art and hard-edged geometric patterns. He worked predominantly in this style into the 1980s when he began doing more literal representational paintings.

Throughout the years Ahlgren’s work has been exhibited at the National Academy of Design, Library of Congress, and the Boston Printmakers Annual Exhibition and won over 60 prizes including purchase awards from the Seattle Art Museum and the Mississippi art Association.

Sources Consulted

“Roy Algren: obituary,” http://www.legacy.com

Joseph Margulies (Austrian, 1896-1984)

Breton Sailor at Rest, 1937

Etching, 14 x 17 inches

Label for Adults – Breton Sailor at Rest is one of numerous etchings by Joseph Margulies of old sailors and fisherman. An exceptional painter and lithographer, Margulies’ finest talent lay in soft ground etchings. By using a soft or liquid ground he was able to create lines that appeared as if they were actual pencil drawings in his prints. The heavy blacks in the folds of the fisherman’s coat suggest the use of a bold pencil, while the soft cross hatching on his face creates stunning detail in this rendering of a weathered sailor.

Label for Kids – Breton Sailor at Rest is a portrait of a worn old man looking into the distance, but at what? The variety of line thickness creates shadow and texture over his weathered face. Where has he been and what has he seen to cause him to look away with such emptiness?

Catalogue entry  Born in Vienna, Austria in 1896, Joseph Margulies immigrated to America with his parents to escape Jewish persecution in Eastern Europe. He, like many other Jewish immigrants, found a new home in New York City.   

In 1922, he began his studies at the Art Students’ League under Joseph Pennell, a master in etching and lithography. Moving back to Europe, Margulies went on to study at the Ecole des Beaux and the National Academy of Design in Paris. Upon returning to America, Margulies took up residence in East Gloucester, Massachusetts, a coastal fishing community, which likely inspired many of his renderings of fisherman. Similarly, his many years studying in France would have given Margulies exposure to the Breton fisherman and sailors of northwest France.

In 1936 Margulies began working with Associated American Artists, which was founded by Reeves Lewenthal two years prior. In his thirty years with the AAA, he contributed numerous etchings but none as relevant to his heritage as the four etchings of a religious subjects. Jewish themed art, or religious works in general, were not the norm for the AAA, but the way Margulies represented that segment of the American everyman needed to be seen. Throughout his life Joseph Margulies was commissioned to paint Presidents Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Nixon, and Hoover, and Albert Einstein.

Sources Consulted

Joseph Margulies, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Margulies