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University Museums at Iowa State University's Brunnier Art Museum opens 2014 fall exhibitions
Lewis and Clark, America in the Making by N.C. Wyeth. Gift of the John Morrell and Co. to Iowa State University. In the permanent collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
AMES, IA.- Brunnier Art Museum, part of University Museums at Iowa State University, is opening the new 2014 fall exhibitions. The new exhibitions include:

• N. C. Wyeth’s America in the Making: 75th Anniversary

• After “America in the Making”

• Asian Export: The Furniture of Carrie Chapman Catt and Selections from the Decorative Arts Collection

• Beauty Through Experiment: The Ceramics of Wedgwood

• HOT and COOL: Three Generations of Gaffers

• Sophisticated Simplicity of the Victorian Era: Selections from the Iowa Quester Glass Collection

N. C. Wyeth’s America in the Making
75th Anniversary
August 26, 2014- December 21, 2014

N.C. Wyeth was an active participant in the golden years of American illustrations, which lasted from the 1870s through the first decades of the twentieth century and included artists like Winslow Homer and Howard Pyle. Wyeth’s first illustration was published by the Saturday Evening Post on February 21, 1903. Up until his death in 1945, he created nearly 4,000 works of art. He also went on to illustrate more than 112 books after receiving national recognition with Charles Scribner and Son’s publication of Treasure Island in 1911.

One of three projects completed for John Morrell and Company of Ottumwa, Iowa, America in the Making depicted twelve dramatic scenes taken from American history of the first three centuries that Wyeth used as inspiration for the Morrell Company’s 1940 calendar.

In 1940 the president of John Morrell and Company presented the twelve panels to Iowa State College as a gift. Although Wyeth created the majority of his works in series, few have remained together, such as American in the Making.

The Wyeth family artistic legacy continued beyond N.C. Wyeth with Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth, both of whom are considered to be significant American artists.

History is constantly being reinterpreted. Viewers are invited to view these N.C. Wyeth paintings and interpret them 75 years later in light of current events and contemporary reevaluations of the first centuries of North American events and outcomes.

After “America in the Making”
August 26, 2014 - December 21, 2014

N.C. Wyeth’s iconic series of twelve paintings, America in the Making, portrays significant events that created this country. The last painting in the series is of Abraham Lincoln, but as a nation America was not even 100 years old at that point. This exhibition asks through art, what other events or discoveries happened in the next 150 years after Lincoln lived that have made America the nation it is today? The answers can be both exciting and difficult moments in time, some are more important than others to different people, but all have been part of what we have come to understand as America and the American experience. This exhibition will run in conjunction with lectures from ISU faculty who will discuss various important moments in time after the 1860s and Lincoln that have come to shape America as we know it.

Asian Export: The Furniture of Carrie Chapman Catt and Selections from the Decorative Arts Collection
August 26, 2014 - July 31, 2015

The monumental furniture of Carrie Chapman Catt exhibits the legacy of an important Iowa State University faculty member. The elaborately carved Japanese furniture was most likely made for the Chinese market, which was one facet of the huge Asian export market that developed from the 18th century and grew even larger with the opening of Japan in 1853-1854. The furniture will be exhibited along with other selections of decorative arts from the permanent collection, both export wares and traditional Asian arts.

Beauty Through Experiment: The Ceramics of Wedgwood
August 26, 2014 –July 31, 2015

Today the name Wedgwood is synonymous with the delicate blue and white jasperware ceramic body, which can be found in a multitude of forms and styles, and has become exceptionally popular throughout the world. The objects that many associate with the English ceramics manufacturer today though are only one small part of the story of a company that has been in existence for over 250 years.

Josiah Wedgwood was born into a family of potters in Staffordshire, England, an area well known for ceramic production, but he would revolutionize the industry. He was not simply a potter, but an innovator, scientist, humanitarian, and astute businessman. He performed thousands of experiments over his lifetime that produced a large range of both everyday functional wares, but also an outstanding line of purely ornamental wares. Josiah first perfected the body and glaze of creamware, which had long been produced in Staffordshire, but his was of such fine quality to be able to compete with porcelain and attract the attention of both the aristocracy and royalty. He also developed several types of attractive “dry bodies” such as basalt, caneware, and rosso antico or redware that would suit the tastes of the times, but it was his complete invention of jasperware which transformed the English pottery industry. Josiah Wedgwood created the jasperware body to perfectly fit with the predominant neoclassical tastes found in the second half of the 19th century and to cultivate the patronage of the wealthy aristocratic consumers, whom he knew would dictate the tastes of the time and all other consumers would follow their lead. His creation was so successful that it continues to be produced today and is what much of the world envisions as the ideal of English ceramics.

The exhibition Beauty Through Experiment: The Ceramics of Wedgwood aims to understand these various facets of this exceptional man, by focusing on the bodies he produced, the innovations he used, and the style of decoration he preferred. As many of the objects are from after Josiah’s lifetime, he died in 1795, the exhibition will also examine how many later generations of his family continued to use his example of innovation to keep the business afloat, through both the good and bad periods. Finally, by exploring several thematic installations of the pottery, the exhibition will shed light on different aspects of decoration, style, technology, and business that began with Josiah Wedgwood and continued through the ensuing generations. This exhibition will put on display the understanding that the decorative arts cannot exist without science and how science can create wonderfully beautiful objects to delight all.

It is through the recent generous donation of objects from M. Burton Drexler, along with many objects donated by Ann and Henry Brunnier, which is allowing University Museums to create this ambitious exhibition of Wedgwood objects.

HOT and COOL: Three Generations of Gaffers
The studio art glass movement of the late 20th century stimulated a fresh interpretation of an ancient substance. Fifty years and three generations later, the glass art movement has provided a stunning array of artistic creativity that transcends glass from utilitarian functions and mass production to a medium of expressive fine art.

Studio glass sculpture emerged in the early 1960s with the experimentation in hot glass by artistic pioneers Harvey K. Littleton (American, b. 1922) and Dominic Labino (American, 1910-1987). In the 1970s, Dale Chihuly began to popularize the studio glass sculpture movement. After studying at U of W – Madison with Littleton, Chihuly established his own glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1971, he co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in the Seattle, WA area. Examples of Chihuly’s early glass sculptures and those of his students, Sonja Blomdahl, Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace, can be seen in the exhibition. Today, the studio glass movement focuses on expanding the potential of the glass medium, creating new techniques and finishes, and experimenting with shape and texture. As the next generation of studio art glass sculptors position themselves in history, it is important to reflect on their predecessors who ultimately laid the groundwork for artistic experimentation in glass form and technique.

This exhibition, located in the entry window of the Brunnier Art Museum, is curated from the permanent glass collection and features 12 works of contemporary studio glass.

Sophisticated Simplicity of the Victorian Era: Selections from the Iowa Quester Glass Collection
August 26, 2014 –July 31, 2015

This exhibition explores the Victorian Era pressed glass pattern Pleat and Panel. “Pleat and Panel is an attractive pattern reminiscent of older stippled designs. This pattern (originally known as Derby) was introduced about 1882 by Bryce Brothers of Pittsburgh, Penn. When Bryce joined the U.S. Glass Company in 1891, it continued making the pattern.”

“This pattern was originally produced in an extended table service from a good-quality clear non-flint glass. Although you may find odd pieces in amethyst, amber, blue, green, milk white, and vaseline, any color is rare. The design consists of heavily stippled panels separated by clear fluted bars. Forms are square and handles are pressed.” --Source: Jenks, Bill; Jerry Luna and Darryl Reilly. Identifying Pattern Glass Reproductions. Radnor, PA: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1993.





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