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Doug Harnsberger first saw the sketch in 2012 while searching through Thomas Jefferson’s papers: a thumbnail drawing of a circle with spokes radiating outwards.

For 200 years, the sketch was mislabeled as a skylight at the University of Virginia’s Rotunda. But Harnsberger had written his thesis on an architectural style of roofs known as Delorme domes. The sketch was the first plans for the Rotunda’s dome, he realized, setting off a yearslong effort to recreate Jefferson’s original vision.

“It’s just a beautiful, simple design,” he said. “It was in use in Europe for hundreds of years. Then Jefferson brought it to America, and for 25 years, every dome was made this way.”

Fifty-two crowdfunding campaigns for a US-wide public art project that aims to bring together art and civic engagement are launching today (4 June). If successful, the non-partisan platform For Freedoms's Kickstarter campaigns—one for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico—will bring artist-designed billboards and civic-minded programming to partner institutions across the US. Led by the artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, who founded For Freedoms in 2016, the 50 State Initiative is due to be held this autumn and timed to coincide with the November mid-term elections. The project is touted as potentially the largest ever public art project in the US.

Inspired by the grassroots campaigns of politicians like Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul, each of the crowdfunding projects, due to end on 3 July, has a $10 starting point for a goal of $3,000. “We’d rather get 300 people giving us $10 than two people giving us $3,000,” Thomas says.

“At the base of this [project] is a desire to increase the quality of civic conversations and inject art into public discourse,” Gottesman says. “The scale of it matches what our intentions are.” To date, over 200 museums, cultural organisations and places of learning have signed on, from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, to the Detroit Institute of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, and Thomas estimates that 300 to 500 artists will be involved.

This fall, thousands of billboard and lawn signs will be erected all over the country in advance of the midterms, bearing names of politicians up for election. But a new campaign by the organization For Freedoms aims to use those tools not to promote specific candidates but to galvanize debate and political participation through art. The organization has enlisted artists like Sam Durant, Theaster Gates and Marilyn Minter to create public artwork and lead town halls as part of a $1.5 million-dollar campaign.

“We are hoping to bring art to the center of public life in the lead-up to the midterms, which is where we think art should belong,” Eric Gottesman, one of the organization’s founders, said in a phone interview.

A central aspect of the effort, called the 50 State Initiative, will be a fund-raising campaign to put up billboards across the country starting in September. Fifty-two Kickstarter campaigns will seek to raise $3,000 per state plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Dozens of artists, including the three mentioned above as well as Tania Bruguera, Trevor Paglen and Carrie Mae Weems, will contribute billboards. Mr. Paglen’s work, for example, will focus on the ethics of data collection; Ms. Bruguera will work with the Rhode Island School of Design to create a billboard there.

If you’d like to bring more art into your life but you’ve always felt intimidated by gallery settings, it’s time to head for the great indoors.

Through Sept. 30, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is presenting “In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior 1950-Now.” The new exhibition is taking the concept of the landscape and switching the perspective around. This time, the focus is on rooms and other indoor spaces that can offer multiple ways to engage and layers of insights to consider. And the interior you end up exploring may be uniquely your own.

“We bring our own biographies, our own experiences, to the art,” said Matthew McLendon, the Fralin’s director and chief curator.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is hosting an exhibition of works titled “In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior 1950-Now.” The show runs through September 2018.

The exhibition explores how artists painted indoor spaces and the various reasons behind it. “A common genre in western painting, landscape painting is understood as a window to the world according to the artist and theorist Leon Battista Alberti and his ideas about the picture plane known as Alberti’s Window,” the museum says. “But, it was after the Industrial Revolution that modern art turned to the interior. Artists started depicting windows into other rooms instead of showing the outside world in their artworks,” it added.

The show raises questions about this shift in the mode of representation and tries to address them. “Painting indoor spaces continued throughout the 20th century for a variety of psychological, interpersonal and biographical reasons. The display takes into account various factors such as architecture, design, and still-life and also the persistent theme of the artist’s studio,” the museum writes. This change from the exterior to the interior also evolved over time. According to the museum, “the show also puts forth questions such as whether social and political events on a global scale affect representations of a space, or whether the presentation of space is more indicative of the artist’s mind or state-of-mind.”

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia presents In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior 1950-Now, May 18-Sept. 30, 2018. The exhibition looks at the inverse of the landscape: the interior. 

Landscape painting, a common genre in western painting, is understood as a window onto the world thanks to artist and theorist Leon Battista Alberti and his ideas about the picture plane known as Alberti’s Window. After the Industrial Revolution, however, modern art erupted with the interior. Notably, modern artists began depicting windows into other rooms instead of painting views of the outside world.

“The interior space has an ability to prompt the viewer to ask questions and to view a space with new perspective,” said Matthew McLendon, director and chief curator of the Fralin Museum of Art. “In an untitled work by Alex Katz, for example, a bed in disarray invites the questions whether someone has left in a rush, to where and why? Interior with Doorway by Richard Diebenkorn uses light and shadow in juxtaposition creating a sculptural feel to everyday objects.” 

Incollect.com

Events Of The Week

May 15, 2018

EXHIBITIONS

In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior, 1950-Now
May 18-September 30, 2018

Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia
http://uvafralinartmuseum.virginia.edu

Landscape painting, a common genre in western painting, is understood as a window onto the world thanks to artist and theorist Leon Battista Alberti and his ideas about the picture plane known as Alberti’s Window. After the Industrial Revolution, however, modern art erupted with the interior. Notably, modern artists began depicting windows into other rooms instead of painting views of the outside world.

envision

Natural Beauty

Apr 13, 2018

When most people think of research, they think of scientists in white lab coats, determinedly peering into microscopes and stirring beakers full of brightly colored liquid. Thanks to an $815,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UVA students and scholars are now enjoying increased opportunities for study in the arts.

The grant—which is the result of a cooperative effort between the College of Arts & Sciences, The Fralin Museum of Art, and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection—provides four years of funding for the study of the indigenous arts of Australia and the Americas at UVA. The University has contributed an additional $886,000, bringing the total investment over four years to $1.7 million.

Although the initiative is large and multifaceted, the focal point is a new, interdisciplinary research center dedicated to the study of these art forms. In addition to centralizing the University’s research efforts, the center provides students with new opportunities for experiential learning, including object-oriented classes and internships.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The University of Virginia Fralin Museum of Art has received a major gift of $2 million from the J. Sanford Miller family to endow the directorship of The Fralin. The Bicentennial Professors Fund will match the gift with $1 million for a total of $3 million in support. This is the first Bicentennial Professors Fund endowment to be announced and fully funded since the initiative was launched last December. 

“The Fralin Museum of Art is central to the educational mission and values of inclusion and excellence of this great public university,” said J. Sanford Miller. “The arts are essential to translate and humanize our shared experience in an increasingly technology-based society. Through this gift, we aim to support in perpetuity the leadership of The Fralin and their goal to foster meaningful engagement with the arts and culture for all students and visitors.” 
 

COMINGS & GOINGS

Virginia Museum Gets Endowed Directorship – The J.Sanford Miller family has donated $2 million to the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia to endow its directorship. Miller, an art collector and venture capitalist, is on the advisory board of the museum. (Artforum)

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has received $3 million that will endow its directorship, which has been held by Matthew McLendon since January of 2017. Of that sum, $2 million is coming from the family of J. Sanford Miller, a venture capitalist and UVA alumnus who is now a general partner at Institutional Venture Partners in Silicon Valley; $1 million is from the university’s Bicentennial Professors Fund, which provides matching grants for various philanthropic efforts.

“The Fralin Museum of Art is central to the educational mission and values of inclusion and excellence of this great public university,” Miller said in a statement released to press. “The arts are essential to translate and humanize our shared experience in an increasingly technology-based society.”

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has received a $2 million gift from the J. Sanford Miller family to endow the directorship of the Fralin Museum of Art. The Bicentennial Professors Fund, a $75 million initiative launched last December, will match the gift with $1 million.

“The Fralin Museum of Art is central to the educational mission and values of inclusion and excellence of this great public university,” J. Sanford Miller said. “The arts are essential to translate and humanize our shared experience in an increasingly technology-based society. Through this gift, we aim to support in perpetuity the leadership of The Fralin and their goal to foster meaningful engagement with the arts and culture for all students and visitors.”

Miller, an alumnus of UVA’s College of Arts & Sciences, is a general partner at Institutional Venture Partners in Menlo Park, California, where he focuses on later-stage technology venture capital. Miller is a member of the Fralin’s advisory board, as well as a member and former chair of UVA’s Arts Council. Miller and his wife Vinie, are also avid collectors of Chinese ink paintings.

NEWSPLEX | CBS 19 News

Gift endows directorship for Fralin Museum

Mar 30, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A multi-million dollar gift will endow a directorship for the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.

The J. Sanford Miller family made the $2 million gift, which will be matched by $1 million from the Bicentennial Professors Fund.

According to a release, this is the first Bicentennial Professors Fund endowment to be announced and fully funded since the initiative was launched in December.

In the first fully funded project of the Bicentennial Professors Fund, a $2 million gift will endow the director’s position at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.

The university announced Thursday that it would match the gift from the J. Sanford Miller family with $1 million from the Bicentennial Professors Fund for a total of $3 million.

Miller is a UVa alumnus who went on to become general partner at Institutional Venture Partners in Menlo Park, California, where he works on late-stage technology venture capital. He is a member of the museum’s advisory board.

Matthew McLendon, a scholar and curator of modern and contemporary art, has been director and chief curator of the museum since 2017.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has received a $2 million gift from the J. Sanford Miller family to endow the directorship of The Fralin. The Bicentennial Professors Fund will match the gift with $1 million for a total of $3 million in support. This is the first Bicentennial Professors Fund endowment to be announced and fully funded since the initiative was launched last December.

“The Fralin Museum of Art is central to the educational mission and values of inclusion and excellence of this great public university,” J. Sanford Miller said. “The arts are essential to translate and humanize our shared experience in an increasingly technology-based society. Through this gift, we aim to support in perpetuity the leadership of The Fralin and their goal to foster meaningful engagement with the arts and culture for all students and visitors.”

Miller is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of UVA (College of Arts & Sciences, drama, 1971) and went on to earn his J.D./MBA from Stanford University in 1975. He is a general partner at Institutional Venture Partners in Menlo Park, California, where he focuses on later-stage technology venture capital. Miller has been personally involved in more than 100 initial public offerings and is one of only eight venture capitalists to be included on all of the Forbes Midas Lists since 2007, which recognize the top venture capitalists in the world.

Standing in The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA, surrounded by paintings from across the 19th and 20th centuries, you notice something about the passage of time in the museum’s current exhibition, “Feminine Likeness: Portraits of Women by American Artists, 1809-1950.” There’s a subtle shift as years slip by, a transformation in the representation of femininity and codes of womanhood.

But if the work makes it seem that artists do the representing, you’re only seeing half the story. “It was always a give and take between artists and the people being painted,” says curator Jennifer Camp. “A lot of these portraits reflect the self-representation of the sitter as much as the representation or painting by the artist.”

In other words, the faces of women on display don’t belong exclusively to those who wield the brush. It’s a dialogue that echoes changing norms on both sides of the canvas.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Thomas Jefferson was never a trained architect. In the American Colonies in the 1760s, there were none to study under.

But, with pen and ink and newly invented graph paper, Jefferson sketched and designed houses, universities and public buildings that would form the foundation of the new Republic.

His architectural legacy is profiled in a new exhibit, “From the Grounds Up: Thomas Jefferson’s Architecture & Design,” at the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art.

Thomas Jefferson was never a trained architect. In the American Colonies in the 1760s, there were none to study under.

But, with pen and ink and newly invented graph paper, Jefferson sketched and designed houses, universities and public buildings that would form the foundation of the new Republic.

His architectural legacy is profiled in a new exhibit, “From the Grounds Up: Thomas Jefferson’s Architecture & Design,” at the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art.

While Jefferson may be best known for his Academical Village at the University of Virginia and Monticello, UVa architectural history professor Richard Guy Wilson pulled from Jefferson’s original drawings, books and source material to create the exhibit.

 

Picasso loved cars, especially American cars, and Samuel Kootz, the resourceful and entrepreneurial New York art dealer, loved Picasso. In 1947 Kootz made a trade with Picasso: an Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 convertible finished in “Nantucket Cream” was swapped for a large still life of a kitchen table upon which a chicken laid with its throat cut. (The instrument of slaughter was at its side.) But, Picasso did not drive. That was left to his chauffeur, Marcel Boudin. One night Marcel borrowed the car to go into the country. He smashed the Olds into a tree, totaling both the car and his job with Picasso.

Ten years later in 1957, Kootz and Picasso did another car-for-paintings deal. The car, which Picasso nicknamed “Baby,” was a Lincoln convertible with every imaginable electrical gadget. Kootz had just retired this vehicle for a Lincoln Continental Mark IV. Making an exchange with Picasso was an exceptional trade-in, considering that it let Kootz buy five, 1920s era paintings that had never been offered for sale. This would make Nelson Rockefeller, Kootz’s client, very happy. Even better, it would help undermine Kootz’s competitor, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, one Picasso’s early supporters.

PURCHASE, NY.- From Motherwell to Hofmann: The Samuel Kootz Gallery, 1945–1966 is the first exhibition to examine the critical role Kootz (1898–1982) played in establishing modern American art as an international force. It focuses on the ways in which Kootz’s New York gallery (operational 1945–1966) was instrumental in promoting the careers of several major Abstract Expressionist artists, including William Baziotes, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, and Robert Motherwell. It features works by these artists and focuses on a selection of important exhibitions that were held at the Kootz Gallery, including a 1946 show of the collection of Roy R. Neuberger, Kootz’s first customer at the gallery, and founding patron of the Neuberger Museum of Art. Until now, Samuel Kootz has been underrepresented in the scholarship of the postwar period, despite representing much of the major talent in twentieth-century art. The exhibition and associated publication, with essays by noted experts, recasts Kootz, focusing on his writings, relationships with individual artists, collectors, and dealers, and the trajectories of the artists who showed at his gallery, in order to provide a new perspective on this moment in American art. 

The exhibition, organized as Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery, 1945-1966 by The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, presents more than 50 works of art and includes highlights such as Adolph Gottlieb’s celebrated paintings, The Frozen Sounds, Number 1 (1951, The Whitney Museum of American Art) and Frozen Sounds II (1952, The Albright-Knox Gallery) that mark the transition from his use of Surrealist ‘pictographs’ to Abstract Expressionist ‘bursts’; Hans Hofmann’s The Vanquished (1959, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive) which illustrates the artist’s famed ‘push-pull’ aesthetic, critical to his teachings and work; William Baziotes’s Figures in Smoke #2 (1947) a recent Fralin acquisition and an important watercolor from a seminal year in Baziotes’s career; and Robert Motherwell’s The Red Skirt (1947, Whitney Museum of American Art) a painting that reflects the artist’s interest in primordial themes, and the first of the large-scale compositions he began in 1947.

Evidence of Thomas Jefferson’s architectural ability abounds in Charlottesville, a city that sits in the shadow of Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and proudly features his Academical Village – collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

While the University of Virginia’s Rotunda might be Jefferson’s most beautiful, iconic creation – we’re admittedly biased – the third president left his architectural fingerprints all over the state of Virginia and the early United States of America.

A new exhibition at The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA, “From the Grounds Up: Thomas Jefferson’s Architecture and Design,” chronicles this extensive influence. The many letters, hand-drawn plans, books and models on display testify to Jefferson’s love of architecture, as does a Jefferson quote emblazoned on the wall: “Architecture is my delight and putting up and pulling down is one of my favorite amusements.”

From fabricators to mummy conservators to private collection managers, the art world is full of fascinating jobs you may not have realized even existed. In artnet News’s column “My I Got My Art Job,” we delve into these enviable art-world occupations, asking insiders to share their career path and advice for others who wish to follow in their footsteps.

This week, we spoke with Matthew McLendon, director and chief curator of the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Education: I planned to be an opera singer, so I studied voice intensively. I ended up doing two bachelor’s degrees, my music degree and an art history degree, both at Florida State University. When it came to the second degree, I knew I didn’t want to spend another two full years in Tallahassee, so I went to their study abroad program in London, interning at what was then the Tate Gallery. I never wanted to leave London, so I got a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art there.

Charlottesville is a much-lauded destination for history buffs, foodies and University of Virginia fans. Thanks to the continued efforts of UVA’s Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, it is also a premiere destination for Australian Aboriginal art.

Kluge-Ruhe – home to the most comprehensive collection of Aboriginal art outside of Australia – is the nexus point in a global network connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists with museums all over the world. The Kluge-Ruhe’s collection was established in 1997 when the late businessman and art collector John W. Kluge donated his extensive collection to UVA. The museum now welcomes a constant flow of guest artists, scholars and museum professionals to its stately brick building on Pantops Mountain.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Architecture to Educate a Nation

Jan 30, 2018

Thomas Jefferson believed with more certainty than any of the other Founding Fathers that it was architecture that provided the ideal way for new nation-builders to express greatness. “From the Grounds Up: Thomas Jefferson’s Architecture & Design,” a new exhibition at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, explores the aspirational ways that Jefferson tried to forge that identity into something both cultured and uniquely American.

Particularly, he saw as role models and inspirations classical buildings that had already stood the test of time, such as Rome’s Pantheon with its astonishing dome (which he knew only from etchings) and, in Paris, the monumentally interminable east front of the Louvre (which he walked past every day when he was American minister to the French court, 1784-89). Jefferson inordinately praised the Maison Carrée in southern France as “one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful and precious morsel of architecture left us by antiquity,” making it the source for one of his best designs, the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.

 

The University of Virginia has long provided a stage for the arts, and 2017 brought a full list of blockbusters.

There was October’s epic Bicentennial Launch Celebration – one of the biggest arts showcases in all of UVA’s 200 years – plus a star-studded Concert for Charlottesville, a special guest appearance by “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, the reliably high-wattage Virginia Film Festival, and much more besides.

Take a look back at some of the amazing work our students, faculty, alumni and guests produced last year.

 

It’s a bit chilly in the air-conditioned exhibition room at The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA, but the temperature isn’t what’s giving Rebecca Schoenthal goosebumps. It’s the art.

Specifically, it’s William Baziotes’ cool-toned, blue-hued “Night Form” and Adolph Gottlieb’s earth-toned pictograph, “The Sorceress,” hanging on a Fralin gallery wall, together for the first time since 1947. “Individually, they’re phenomenal works,” says Schoenthal, a mid-century American art expert and curator of exhibitions at The Fralin, explaining that Gottlieb’s pictograph series in particular was crucial to the advent of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which put American art on the map in the 20th century.

Together, the two works open a portal to the past, to September 1947, when UVA alumnus and lawyer-turned-crime-novelist-turned-art-critic-turned-art-dealer Samuel Kootz mounted an exhibition titled “Women” at his eponymous art gallery. “Women” was revolutionary in many ways, from the show’s subject matter to its catalog, for which Kootz enlisted writers like William Carlos Williams and Charles Baudelaire to respond to the paintings on view.

envision

Art is Her Mission

Oct 24, 2017

Carol Angle, M.D., has always made it her mission to solve difficult problems. She spent 45 years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a pediatrician, nephrologist, and toxicologist. Over the course of her distinguished career, Angle became known as one of the nation’s leading experts on lead poisoning.

Now retired and living full time in Charlottesville, she is still committed to helping others. This self-described “museum hound” and longtime patron of The Fralin Museum of Art has turned her attention from science and medicine to the art world.

Angle’s fascination with art was born of necessity. “I am profoundly deaf. I have been since the age of 25,” she said. “Because of that, I have always been interested in the visual arts.”

Last year, her interest translated into action when she created the $1 million Angle Exhibition Fund at The Fralin. Her gift is the first endowed fund to support art exhibitions at the museum.

Crozet Gazette

School Notes: October 2017 | Mind's Eye

Oct 06, 2017

Between August 1 and November 10, almost 4,000 area students will visit the Fralin Museum of Art at U.Va. for the annual literacy competition, now in its 31st year, called Writer’s Eye. Using a specially curated collection of paintings, sculpture, and photography for inspiration, Writer’s Eye challenges students to create original poetry and prose based on the art, which they can then submit to be judged anonymously by local writers and educators. Winning entries are awarded prizes, notoriety, and a place in the museum’s printed anthology each year.

Murray Elementary recently sent 45 interested students from its third, fourth, and fifth grades to tour the exhibition, along with their Gifted Resource Teacher, Laura Richardson. “Writer’s Eye is an opt-in field trip,” said Richardson, “and I introduce it to each grade level by doing an in-class exercise in writing a response to art, so the students can see if they like the process.” Students who want to sign up must commit to the writing component (a story of up to 1,000 words or a poem fitting on two pages or less) as part of the experience.

The competition divides entries into groups by grade level—3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and adult—and recognizes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners plus honorable mentions in each group. For the younger kids, Richardson says the event gives them a new way of looking at art. “Developmentally, these students are somewhat newly able to think more abstractly and less literally, and that’s the focus of Writer’s Eye,” she said. “At first they are tempted to be very literal in wanting to label everything, especially in abstract works, but then they transcend that to get to the feeling or the mood of the piece, and they use their imagination to become more responsive.”

C-VILLE Weekly | Fall Arts Preview

Matthew McLendon wants more at The Fralin

Sep 14, 2017

In January, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia welcomed a director and chief curator, Matthew McLendon, formerly with Tate Britain in London, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College and The Ringling Museum of Art, the state art museum of Florida.

While McLendon worked at The Ringling, the art blogazine Hyperallergic named his show “R. Luke DuBois—Now” one of the top 15 exhibitions in the United States. “For me, the most successful exhibitions are ones that pose questions and possibilities for further thought, that leave me wanting more,” McLendon writes in an email. “There is only so much visual information any of us can process in a concentrated setting.”

McLendon’s appreciation of the dynamic relationship between artwork and viewer also informs his vision for The Fralin in its community.

In 1921, Samuel Kootz graduated from the University of Virginia with a law degree. He went on to become one of the 20th century’s most famous American art dealers.

Kootz, who died in 1982, is perhaps most famous for his relationship with Pablo Picasso. After World War II ended, the art dealer flew to France and convinced the famed modernist – who had been forbidden from exhibiting his work in Nazi-occupied Paris – to show his work in America.

Kootz returned home with several Picasso paintings in tow and mounted the first post-war exhibition of Picasso’s work in America at The Samuel Kootz Gallery in New York City. The exhibition sold out on its first day and lines to get in stretched around the block.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville joins a growing number of institutions and galleries holding exhibitions about the careers of art dealers. 

Today, 25 August, the museum opens Dealer's Choice: the Samuel Kootz Gallery, 1945-66 (until 17 December), which looks at the career and legacy of the New York gallerist who championed the Abstract Expressionists. The exhibition includes more than 50 works by artists like Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb and William Baziotes. 

Kootz, an alum of the University of Virginia, came to prominence when he sent a 1941 "bombshell letter" to the New York Times lamenting the state of Modern art in the US. While noting the strong likelihood that the "future of painting lies in America," he admitted little excitement. "My report is sad. I have not discovered one bright, white hope."

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The first exhibition to examine the critical role of art dealer Samuel Kootz (1898-1982) in the establishment of modern American art as an international force debuted Aug. 25 at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966 provides a new perspective on a seminal moment in American art and features the work of Abstract Expressionists including Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb and William Baziotes. 

Through archival research and consideration of works originally handled by the Kootz gallery, Dealer’s Choice highlights Kootz’s efforts to promote a group of American artists who created a radically new visual language that transformed established ideas about art. It was through dealers such as Kootz that New York City’s status was elevated in the art world.

Until now, Kootz has been underrepresented in postwar period scholarship, although he represented much of the major talent in 20th-century art. A law graduate of the University of Virginia, Kootz used his legal training and a keen sense for marketing and advertising to ensure his gallery was critical to the promotion of avant-garde art in America. “This combination of skills created a global impact on the art world, one that is still felt today,” said Matthew McLendon, director and chief curator of The Fralin. “New York City is still an epicenter for modern American art and the artist, dealer, collector relationship.”

The exhibition titled “Dealer's Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966” will soon be on view at The Fralin Museum of Art, U.Va., Albemarle County, Virginia.

The exhibition examines the role of art dealer Samuel Kootz (1898-1982) in the establishment of American modern art as a major player in the art market. The selection of works on display features works by Abstract Expressionist artists such as Robert MotherwellHans HofmannAdolph Gottlieb, and William Baziotes. The show highlights Kootz’s significance in promoting a group of artists who created a radically different visual language that altered the already existing ideas about art. The selection of works on display features 50 works including Adolph Gottlieb’s paintings, The Frozen Sounds, Number 1 (1951, The Whitney Museum of American Art) and Frozen Sounds II (1952, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery) and Hans Hofmann’s The Vanquished (1959, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive) among others.

Dealer's Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945–1966 will be the first exhibition that examines the critical role Kootz (1898–1982) played in establishing modern American art as an international force. The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia presents this groundbreaking exhibition from August 25, 2017, to December 17, 2017.

Kootz’s New York gallery (operational 1945–1966) was instrumental in promoting the careers of several major Abstract Expressionist artists, including Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, and William Baziotes. Kootz was an alumnus of UVA, graduating in 1921, and also made a major gift of paintings to The Fralin in 1976–77.

Until now, Samuel Kootz has been underrepresented in the scholarship of the postwar period, despite representing much of the major talent in twentieth-century art. The majority of the exhibition focuses on the formative years of the gallery, during which Picasso and Motherwell served as proverbial cornerstones to the operation, representing the old and new guard. The show will focus exclusively on art supported by Kootz, and will reflect this critical period in American art through the unprecedented lens of gallerist and agent, one that had a global impact and whose influence continues to be strongly felt today.

Cavalier Daily

Fralin Museum hosts wealth of history

Jul 05, 2017

Recognizable by the organic-looking, stainless steel sculpture titled “Oriforme” that sits by its front doors, The Fralin Museum of Art is a gem of variety. 

“The University museum is the natural space where art meets medicine meets engineering meets philosophy meets anthropology, etc.,” Fralin Museum director Matthew McLendon said. “I think that’s the true gift of museums in general but of the University museum in particular.”

In fact, the Museum holds nearly 14,000 objects that range from 15th-20th century sculpture to art from the Ancient Mediterranean. It holds American, European, Asian and Native American works, and a new gallery will hold space to research African, Native American, Oceanic and pre-Columbian art. Clearly, a cursory walk through The Fralin is not enough to fully explore this diverse collection.

Describe your nonprofit's mission.
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia promotes visual literacy as part of a broader, comprehensive education for all and seeks to enhance its visitors' perceptions and understanding of world cultures throughout history and of art as an enduring human endeavor. To this end, the Museum shall acquire, preserve, study, exhibit, and interpret works of art of the highest quality in a variety of media that represent the world's cultures from earliest times to the present.

What need in our community brought about the creation of your nonprofit?
There is an intense thirst for people to connect with art on an intellectual level, which fits naturally within the academic setting on Grounds at UVA. Ever the progressive thinker, Thomas Jefferson understood that art and artifacts have the power to inspire and teach and included an intended museum on the second floor of his plan for an Anatomical Theater, the final building he designed for the University.

Built in 1935 and open to the public since 1974 , we offer a wide array of programming for both the UVA and Charlottesville communities.

The planning of our annual Power Issue always gives us pause in the arts section. Is an administrator or an artist powerful, or are they a conduit for the evocative grace of emotion that art produces? Assigning a numerical evaluation to people in the arts has always felt uncomfortable to me, so this year, in the face of power struggles on many levels, we sought perspective from the creative community by asking for personal stories about the power of art.

A moment for me was seeing Patti Smith perform her ’88 election year anthem at Neil Young’s 1996 Bridge School Benefit Concert, with a crowd of 22,000 singing along: “And the people have the power / To redeem the work of fools / From the meek the graces shower / It’s decreed the people rule.” Smith’s lyrics and her ethos feel just as crucial today.—Tami Keaveny

When Maximilian Schele De Vere arrived in Scott Nolley’s art conservation studio in Richmond, he was in rough shape.

“To the uneducated eye, it looked like a total loss,” says Nolley, who has been an art conservator for more than 35 years and has done conservation work for UVA and its Fralin Museum of Art, as well as for Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“When something comes to that level of damage, it’s a bit of a tipping point,” Nolley says. “The decision is made whether it’s worth the attention or if they’re just going to let it go.”

Jean Lancaster is the collections manager and curator of The Fralin Museum of Art’s newest exhibit titled “Collect, Care, Conserve, Curate: The Life of the Art Object”.

Host: Kirsten Hemrich
Editors: Lona Manik, Chase Browning
Music used: Podington Bear - By Grace, After Burning B - Lobo Loco, Jahzzar - Please Listen Carefully
Arts on Grounds is a production of WTJU and WXTJ, with generous support from the UVA Arts Council.

For years, the painting was stowed away, first in the attic of Old Cabell Hall and then in new art storage at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. Its subject, a young man with a ruffled collar and a velvet cap, was innocuous, but a small plaque on the frame added intrigue with just one name: “Rembrandt.”

Jean Lancaster, the museum’s collections manager, rediscovered the painting in 2016 as she began to prepare for a new exhibition, “Collect, Care, Conserve, Curate: The Life of the Art Object,” which opened on Friday. When examined from the back, the cradle support and wax seal at first appeared to be old, perhaps old enough to be original to the 17th-century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn. However, Lancaster was skeptical about the painting itself. 

“I realized that it was probably not a Rembrandt, because it had been tucked away in storage for so many years and never studied,” she said. 

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