Fall 2004

Opulent Display: Textiles of Gold from South East Asia
September 24, 2004 through January 9, 2005

Curator: Michael Conner

The courts of Thailand, Cambodia, the Malay Peninsula, and coastal Indonesia are known for their tradition of sumptuous brocades woven with gold. Gold leaf was also glued to fabrics, possibly preceding batik as a technique for decorating textiles. Admired as objects of great beauty, silk and gold textiles were never imbued with sacred values. Instead, these lavish and expensive fabrics were opulent symbols of wealth, prestige, and elegant courtly life, proudly displayed as evidence of heavenly blessings.

Bill Traylor, William Edmondson, and the Modernist Impulse
October 22, 2004 through January 2, 2005

Curators: Josef Helfenstein and Roxanne Stanulis

The lives and work of Bill Traylor and William Edmondson share fascinating parallels despite a twenty-year age gap and the fact that they never met. Both were born into poverty in the South and began creating art as older men after working for decades as physical laborers. Traylor drew and painted at a busy street corner in downtown Montgomery while Edmondson began carving in his Nashville yard in 1931. Although well known in their respective African-American communities, it was contemporary photographers that brought their work to the attention of museum curators. In 1937 Edmondson was the first African-American artist to have a one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Three years later, Traylor had a one-man exhibition in Alabama followed by another in Riverdale, New York.

Traylor, a draftsman, and Edmondson, a sculptor, both created figurative work inspired by their surroundings or people they knew, and employed abstract forms and simplified compositions. By displaying their art together, this exhibition examined the aesthetic connections between their works within the framework of modernism. Drawn from private collections and museums across the country, this exhibition included over fifty drawings and paintings made by Traylor, and twenty five sculptures by Edmondson, along with photographs of them by their contemporaries. The exhibition opened at Krannert Art Museum before traveling to the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas.

Exhibition sponsored in part by A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.; Fox Development Corporation; Hampton Inn; Hickory Point Bank & Trust; Illinois Arts Council; Krannert Art Museum Council; and Ruth and Bob Vogele

Exhibition programming

October 27
3 pm: Gallery Conversation
With Josef Helfenstein, director, The Menil Collection, as well as catalogue essayists and U of I faculty. Program sponsored in part by the Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts

November 14
1 pm: Second Sunday Gallery Tour
Guided tour of the exhibition by Gisela Carbonell-Coll, curatorial assistant

November 20
3 pm: Lecture
"Technique and Representation in the Work of African-American Artists," by Lowery Stokes Sims, executive director, Studio Museum of Harlem, New York. Program sponsored in part by the Jerrold Ziff Distinguished Lecture Fund in Modern and Contemporary Art, the Center for Advanced Study, School of Art + Design, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and African American Studies

Before Recognition: Experiments in Art and Science at the Threshold of Perception
October 22, 2004 through January 2, 2005

Curator: Michael Conner

Exploring the connections between art and science, artist Pamela Davis Kivelson works to illuminate the physical and human constraints that shape our sense of the world. Although her work is primarily about the science of perception, other cutting-edge areas of scientific inquiry, such as the behavior of solids, also play a role. This interactive exhibition of multimedia installations--paintings, sculptures, and beautiful machines designed to probe the humanistic experience of technology—revealed the relationships between knowledge, experience and perception. Kivelson is Director of the Perceptual Sciences Art and Technology Program at Stanford University, and Artist in Residence at the Stanford Humanities Lab.

Exhibition sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council and Hampton Inn

Stars, Stripes, Sousa:
Celebrating the John Philip Sousa Sesquicentennial

November 2 through November 28, 2004

Organized by Scott Schwartz, Archivist, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

This special exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of Sousa's birth included original musical scores, photographs, and other artifacts from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Marine Band Library.

Re-Presenting African Art: One Continent / Many Worlds: Reinstallation of the African Gallery
Opened September 17

Art History professor Dana Rush and her seminar students in "African Art in the Museum: Problems of Presentation and Representation," co-curated a reinstallation of the African Gallery in a manner consistent with Africa's antiquity and its varied global interactions. Themes in this reinstallation explored Africa's many religious systems and associated arts including early Christian and Islamic heritages, the transatlantic migration of African arts and culture, and modern and contemporary African art.

Exhibition programming

October 10
1 pm: Second Sunday Gallery Tour
Guided tour of the exhibition by Dana Rush, professor of African Art History

Art and Spirituality in the Medieval World:
A Sesquicentennial

August 24 through October 24, 2004

Guest Curators: Robert Ousterhout, Anne D. Hedeman, and D. Fairchild Ruggles

This exhibition explored three themes: The Sacred Word, Devotional Objects, and Cultural Interchange, and included artworks from the major religious contexts represented within the diverse Mediterranean region, including Medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Judaic and Islamic traditions. Part of KAM's Featured Works Series (XVIII).

Restoring Byzantium: The Kariye Camii in Istanbul
and the Byzantine Institute Restoration

August 28 through October 10, 2004

Guest Curator: Professor Holger A. Klein

This exhibition was devoted to the restoration of the Kariye Camii in Istanbul, originally the church of Christ in the Chora Monastery. Second in renown only to Hagia Sophia among the Byzantine monuments in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), the mosaics and frescoes of Kariye Camii are comparable to artistic monuments of the early Italian Renaissance. During the Ottoman period, its figural decorations were gradually covered over. A major program of restoration was initiated in 1947, and today the Kariye Camii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul. The exhibition featured photos, artifacts, and seven oil-on-canvas, full-scale copies of the parekklesion frescoes, created in situ during the 1947 restoration. Exhibition and tour organized by the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University.

Exhibition sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council

Exhibition programming

September 12
1 pm: Second Sunday Gallery Tour
Guided tour of the exhibition by Michael Conner, curator

September 17
5:30 pm: Lectures
"Displaying Byzantium: An Introduction to the Exhibition," a talk by Holger Klein, Cleveland Museum of Art; and "Rhetoric and Reality in the Art of the Kariye Camii," a talk by Henry Maguire, Johns Hopkins University. These talks were organized in conjunction with the symposium, "The Kariye Camii: Art and Intellectual Currents in the Late Middle Ages."

School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition
August 28 through October 3, 2004

Showcasing the work of the talented faculty in the School of Art + Design, this exhibition launched the academic year after a productive and inspiring summer for the artists.

Exhibition programming

Exhibiting artists hosted various gallery conversations over the course of the exhibition:
September 1: Nan Goggin and Joseph Squier, Narrative Media
September 8: Alex Fekete, Industrial Design
September 15: Barbara Kendrick, Painting
September 22: Joel Ross, Foundations/Painting
September 29: Ron Kovatch, Ceramics