realism

Digital Media Tour

Do you have a blog or active Twitter account devoted to the arts or activities in Northeast Ohio?

Thursday, August 22 at 6 pm

If so, we would like to invite you to attend the Akron Art Museum’s first-ever Digital Media Tour. Focusing on Real/Surreal, this tour led by Chief Curator Janice Driesbach explores many themes of realist and surrealist art in American from the 1920s-1950s. Learn how artists balanced the real and unreal, created fantasy/dreamlike images with unique materials, and dealt with the tumultuous events of the era.

To participate send an email to bBeard@AkronArtMuseum.org with your blog address or Twitter handle and a brief description of the subjects you cover and the people you reach. The deadline to register is Tuesday, August 20 and spots are limited.

This exhibition was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

The Akron presentation has been made possible by major grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Henry Luce Foundation with additional support from the Lehner Family Foundation, Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, Corbin Foundation, Ohio Arts Council and Harris-Stanton Gallery.

  
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This is Real! Installing Real/Surreal at the Akron Art Museum

By: Liz Carney, Curatorial Assistant

Have you ever wondered what happens behind closed gallery doors when the museum is changing its exhibitions?

Lots of work goes into installing an exhibition. Most importantly, it takes a lot of time and care to take works of art from their crates to the gallery walls.

Each artwork comes in its own travel frame, which is specially padded and shaped to fit it. Paintings are usually bolted to the bottom of their travel frames to keep them from shifting during transit. Here is Charles Sheeler’s River Rouge Plant (1932) being unbolted by AAM art handlers:

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Then, the painting is meticulously examined to make sure that it hasn’t been damaged during travel.IMG_0552

IMG_0575The artwork is all then arranged so that the curators can fine-tune the exhibition layout. Notice how the painting has been carefully placed against the wall in order to protect it before it is hung in its permanent position.

IMG_0587Finally, everything goes up on the wall! It’s not as easy as it may seem to get everything exactly straight and evenly spaced…

IMG_0661After all of the art has been placed on the walls, we add labels, lighting and other details. You’ll have to come see for yourself the completed installation of these powerful works of art, which are even more striking and intriguing in person!

 

Want to be one of the first people to see this exhibition? The opening party is tonight (Friday, July 19) at 6 pm. Click for more details.

Preparing for Real/Surreal

By: Janice Driesbach, Chief Curator

This week, painters came in to work on one of the galleries where we are installing Real/Surreal , changing the walls from white to dark blue and gray.  For much of the past month, Joe Walton (our Chief Preparator and Exhibition Designer) and Chris Ross (Preparator) have been working with curators to determine the design of our installation.

Part of that process involves painting color samples and placing them in a ½-inch scale model of the museum’s galleries.  This allows us  to look at and talk about wall colors and other design elements in advance of each exhibition.  Wall color is a very important factor in the overall feel of an exhibition, and it can change the way that individual paintings and other artworks look within the galleries.  After considering a number of color schemes, we’ve decided to use dark and light grays and saturated blues for Real/Surreal.  Also look for a splash of bright chartreuse in the section devoted to surrealist photography!

1/2 inch model for Real/Surreal

1/2 inch model for Real/Surreal

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1/2 inch model for Real/Surreal.

Real/Surreal is Coming Soon

By: Janice Driesbach, Chief Curator

Edward Hopper, Railroad Sunset, 1929, oil on canvas, 29 1/4 x 48 in., Josephine N. Hopper Bequest, Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Edward Hopper, Railroad Sunset, 1929, oil on canvas, 29 1/4 x 48 in., Josephine N. Hopper Bequest, Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art

It’s just over four weeks before Real/Surreal opens and Akron Art Museum curatorial, education and design staff have been planning the installation for  months. Although the exhibition is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, we are personalizing it for our Akron visitors.

Our efforts respond to input we received from our constituents in surveys and a focus group last fall.  We learned our visitors are interested in knowing about the historic context in which the artists were working, so we’ve created a timeline for our installation. As well, our respondents indicated an interest in having the artworks installed thematically, so we are presenting the exhibition in sections.

For the first section, we have selected paintings that can be best described as Realist (Charles Sheeler, Andrew Wyeth) and most Surrealist (Man Ray and Yves Tanguy) to contrast the two styles.  Succeeding sections include Alone in the City, Interior Portraits, Social Concern, Empty Landscapes, Leisure, and Man and Machine.  There will also be an expanded section of surrealist photography, reflecting the importance of photography to surrealist artists and to the Akron Art Museum, and three short Surrealist films playing in our Jerry and Patsy Shaw Video Box.

We look forward to your comments on the Real/Surreal exhibition.  Please fill out the contact form below if you would like to be invited to take surveys and participate in community meetings to help us plan future museum exhibitions.

 Clarence John Laughlin, The Masks Grow to Us, 1950 (printed 1962), gelatin silver print, 13 7/8 in. x 11 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum,  Gift of David Cooper  1997.19


Clarence John Laughlin, The Masks Grow to Us, 1950 (printed 1962), gelatin silver print, 13 7/8 in. x 11 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum,
Gift of David Cooper 1997.19