Fall 2020 brings Paper Dreams and Modern Masterpieces to the Wichita Art Museum--with two beautifully paired exhibitions. Alfred Maurer: American Modern on Paper from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum Collection and Essence of Line: American Modern Works on Paper from the Wichita Art Museum Collection combine the riches of two nationally prominent American art collections--from Minneapolis and Wichita.
Alfred Maurer (1868-1932) participated in the Alfred Stieglitz circle in New York City, the vanguard group for artistic modernism before World War I in the United States. The Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota holds the artist's estate with exquisite works from each evolving chapter of Maurer's career. From the artist's early success with academic classicism to daring Matisse-inspiredfauvism to lanquid modernest muses, the exhibition presents the artistic development of one of America's leading avant-gard artistsin the early twentieth century.
American modernist gems from the Wichita Art Museum will be proudly displayed. Wichitan Elizabeth Navas built the collection for Wichita starting in 1935 while living in New York. She concentrated on the art of her time, and Navas generated a world-class collection for her hometown. Her acquisitions included such incredible moderns as Charles Burchfield, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Edward Hopper, John Marin, Maurice Prendergast, Charles Sheeler, Everett Shinn, and many more. Over time, other patrons donated art to further deepen the importance of Wichita’s American art collection.
When the Maurer exhibition will demonstrate the arc of one artist’s development, the presentation of the WAM collection will present the expansive styles, subjects, and choices that emerging modern artists explored and refined. The combination of exhibitions will be a rare treat for Wichita and Kansas audiences, given the sensitive nature of works on paper and the restrictions that limit the time to place these artworks on view.
Completely reimagined, the museum presents a compelling arrangement of the distinguished and growing glass art collection. For the new display, the museum consulted with the Seattle-based independent curator and craft scholar Vicki Halper.
Notably, Halper curated WAM's popular 2014 summer exhibition Australian Glass Art, American Links for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.
Revealing WAM's rich holdings, the variety, quality, and artistry of Steuben glass will be on view. In fascinating ways, the exquisite work of the Steuben Glass Works, the world-class glass manufacturer (1903—2011), continues to beguile and inspire artists. The new installation acknowledges and examines how contemporary glass artists explore the continuing allure and legacy of Steuben. Magnificent work by such living artists as Dante Marioni and Kiki Smith will be on view.
The new collection display will also feature a new commission--an elaborate, Steuben-inspired candelabrum--by glass artist Andy Paiko. This special work is effervescent! It incorporates an abundantly enthusiastic array of forms and techniques first developed by Steuben. Paiko's tapering candle holders hang gracefully from the central form, each demonstrating the Steuben "air-twist" technique, perfected by designer George Thompson. The cinched, bell-shaped forms of the upper part of the large-scale candleholder are typical of Thompson's designs. WAM's collection includes original sketches by Thompson during his time working for Steuben, making Paiko’s reimagining of Thompson's forms particularly relevant to the collection.
Art of Fire: Frederick Carder and Steuben glass will be on view in the F. Price Cossman Memorial Trust Gallery.
Richard Marquis: Keepers is a late career survey of a towering figure in the Studio Glass movement. Richard Marquis is known for extraordinary technique, comic sensibility, bold innovations, and iconoclastic spirit.
In his 50-year career, he has consistently been gleefully inventive and unfailingly smart. His work is collected and exhibited world-wide. The 119 objects in the exhibition are chosen from the artist’s own comprehensive archives of his art from the 1960s to the present. Marquis calls these pieces his “keepers.”
This retrospective exhibition was organized by the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, in partnership with the Wichita Art Museum and guest curated by Seattle-based curator Vicki Halper. The galleries will be thematically arranged and include areas of his work that have rarely been exhibited, including ceramics and prints.