Past Progressive \ Future Perfect: Recent Acquistions and Promised Gifts
Sept. 15 – Dec. 17, 2017
This exhibition celebrates the Art Museum’s outstanding acquisitions over the past five years with a selection of works acquired both through gift and purchase. Among these are several pieces that were chosen in the Purchase Parties organized by the Museum to give members of Friends of the Art Museum a voice in choosing acquisitions. We have not only built on the historic strengths of the Art Museum’s collection of American twentieth-century and contemporary art but have also expanded the collection’s scope in significant ways. Responding to the University’s curriculum and student demographics as well as to new collecting opportunities, the Art Museum has increased its representation of African American and Latin American artists, has extended its collection of Japanese prints to modern and contemporary works, and has begun to collect photography.
Also included in the exhibition are works that will come to the Art Museum sometime in the future. This selection of promised gifts is but a glimpse of the many significant pieces that will grace the permanent collection as gifts or bequests. It honors the initial members of the John J. Kelly Society, named for the Hartford priest who gave the first bequest of art to the University.
A Creative Colony in the Catskills: Visual Artists and Woodstock, New York
June 16 – Aug. 27, 2017
Since the nineteenth century Woodstock, NY has been the permanent or seasonal home of a wide variety of artists, many of whom were associated with the summer school of New York City’s Art Students’ League.
Mar. 31 – June 4, 2017
The exhibition features European and American paintings and prints that depict agricultural life, including works by Milton Avery, Edmund Blampied, and Thomas Nason. Selected works are accompanied by responses in poetry, music, and prose contributed by members of the University community. The works in this exhibition are drawn from the Art Museum’s permanent collection.
“Our Strength Is Our People”: The Humanist Photographs Of Lewis Hine
Jan. 13 – March 19, 2017
Examining the immigrant and working class experience in early 20th century America, “Our Strength is Our People”: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine features rare vintage gelatin silver prints spanning the thirty years of Hine’s career as a documentary photographer. It addresses major themes of early 20th century America: the immigrant struggle and cultural assimilation, child labor and the working class, and concludes with striking images from the construction of the Empire State building. Lewis Wickes Hine, a sociologist and pioneer in the field of documentary photography, aimed to portray a progressive and empathetic view of immigrants in America, contradicting views of them as criminals, carriers of disease, and contaminants of America’s Anglo-Saxon identity. In his funding proposal to the Guggenheim Foundation for the project he titled “Our Strength is Our People,” Hines states, “This project should give us light on the kinds of strength we have to build upon as a nation. Much emphasis is being put upon the dangers inherent in our alien groups, our unassimilated or even partly Americanized citizens – criticism based upon insufficient knowledge. A corrective for this would be better facilities for seeing, and so understanding, what the facts are.” The Guggenheim Foundation declined to fund his project, but Hine’s photographs are as powerful today as when they were created. They not only portray the dignity and pride of America’s new immigrant labor force, which served as the backbone of American industry, but also underscore the destructive effects of laissez-faire capitalism on workers, particularly the exploitation of minors before Congress set national child labor laws in 1938. Hine’s photographs reveal America as a both a beacon of hope for immigrants, and a melting pot plagued by injustices.
All works in “Our Strength is Our People” are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. This exhibition was organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions. At the University of Saint Joseph, support is provided by the Karen L. Chase ’97 Fund and Friends of the Art Museum.