A Look Back into the Archives: The Akron Art Club

Akron Art Club, 1915

Akron Art Club, 1915

By: Alexandra Lynch, Kent State University Practicum Student

Founded in 1915, the Akron Art Club had a membership of 20 people and was organized by Herbert Atkins and Kenneth Nunemaker. The club met once a week and allocated one afternoon a month to outdoor sketching. In 1915 the Akron Art Club started holding exhibitions in various locations around the city, which soon lead way to the idea for an art center. On October 19, 1920, 24 Akron citizens met to explore the possibilities of bringing about an institution that would benefit both the spiritual growth and mental development of the Akron Community. A second meeting was held on November 17, 1920, in regards to the development of the art center. Headed by Edwin C. Shaw, longtime advocate for the arts, it was decided that the basement of the Akron Public Library would become the home of the Akron Art Institute. On February 1, 1922, the Akron Art Institute opened its doors the public.

Postcard of the Akron Public Library from 1909

Postcard of the Akron Public Library from 1909

A Look Back Into the Archives: La Wilson

By Alex Lynch, Kent State University Practicum Student

We’re featuring local artist La Wilson for the second time in our galleries. Her first show, Metaphorical Objects, was at the museum from November 14, 1986 – January 18, 1987, and highlighted the charm and wittiness found in the ordinary, everyday objects of our culture.

The examining, collecting, sorting and assembling that is Wilson’s art is evident in her current exhibition, Objects Transformed, on view through September 21, 2014.


Interchange by La Wilson

Interchange and New York Brush, also featured in Metaphorical Objects, are on view along with works borrowed from local collectors and seldom seen works from the collection.

Want to learn more about La Wilson and her artwork? Visit the museum library and check out our books La Wilson Five Decades, 240 College Street and The Art of La Wilson.

La Wilson002

La Wilson on a motorcycle in 2002


A Look Back into the Archives is a new, regularly occurring segment on our blog. Check back for fun facts about the museum, hilarious old photos and juicy tidbits culled from our archives.

Gravity and Grace Travels to Brooklyn, NYC

By: Arnold Tunstall, Collections Manager

Brooklyn_Arnie repair

We’ve begun the next phase of our El Anastui exhibition, Gravity and Grace – after its premiere here in Akron.  Since the exhibit closed last October, the staff has been working nearly every day to prepare it for the national tour.  Our preparators re-designed existing crates, new ones and developed packing methods.

And I went to Brooklyn to assist with the installation.

Watching Brooklyn Museum’s curatorial team re-imagine some of the works was very exciting.  A few pieces were literally turned upside down, parts of Peak were turned into a forest of tin can tree forms and most dramatically, the installation piece Gli (wall) went from a maze of screens visitors walked around in Akron to soaring translucent pieces climbing up the height of the impressive rotunda in Brooklyn.


While in New York, I was able to check in at Jack Shainman Gallery on the last day of Anatsui’s wonderful exhibition of new works. Later, I climbed up on the High Line to see how Anastui transformed the side of a building into a work of art with mirrored panels and rusty metal plates.  If you are in New York for the exhibition in Brooklyn, make sure to see this fantastic piece on the High Line (near 20th st.)


The Brooklyn Museum has posted a number of images and a wonderful stop-motion video of the installation process check it out:

Book Club: The Family Fang

Thursday, April 26
Martha Stecher Reed Library

The Family Fang

The Family Fang
By Kevin Wilson

From art theft to the scandalous lives of artists, the museum’s book club is never boring. Author Kevin Wilson’s debut novel, The Family Fang, is this spring’s book club pick.  Get a crash course in performance art and discuss the book with museum book club members and staff.

The Museum’s Book Club is free but requires registration.  Additional charges may apply for non-members for some events.

Please call 330.376.9186 x 230 to register.

For outré performance artists, Caleb and Camille Fang, everything in life is secondary to art, including their children. Annie and Buster (popularly known as Child A. and Child B.) are the unwilling stars of their parents’ chaotically subversive work. Art is truly a family affair for the Fangs. Years later, their lives in disarray, Annie and Buster reluctantly return home in search of sanctuary—only to be caught up in one last performance. The Family Fang sparkles with Kevin Wilson’s inventive dialogue and wonderfully rendered set-pieces that capture the surreal charm of the Fang’s most notable work. With this brilliant novel, the family Fang is destined to join the families Tenenbaum and Bluth as paragons of high dysfunction.
—Shane Hansanuwat

 The book is available for purchase in the Museum Store and through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.