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Past

Please join us for a free opening reception for this exhibit on November 15, 2019, at 5 p.m. featuring a presentation by Marshall University Professor Jeff Ruff.

The Mamluks ruled much of the area around Syria-Palestine and Egypt from 1250 to 1517. Emerging from slave origins (mamluk is the Arabic word meaning “slave”), they created a powerful empire that repeatedly fended off invading enemies and established the area as a stable stronghold. Their reign saw a flourishing culture that brought with it a rich period of artistic patronage, resulting in a remarkable legacy of achievements in architecture as well as the visual and decorative arts. During the Mamluk period, Cairo established itself as the leading cultural center in the Arab Islamic world.

One of the most distinguished craft traditions that emerged during the Mamluk period was the production of magnificent engraved and inlaid metalwork. Applying gold, copper and silver to the surfaces of metal (usually brass) objects, the work featured elaborate Arabic calligraphic inscriptions and complex geometric and floral motifs. Metalworking centers flourished in Damascus and Cairo, and the work found its way into the collections of prosperous patrons in the region as well as in wealthy European households. Following the demise of the Mamluk sultans in the 16th century, new decorative styles emerged that reflected the culture of the ruling Ottoman Empire or European sources, effectively ending the stylistic era of the Mamluks.

By the late 19th century, new interest was shown in preserving the extant examples of metalwork from the Mamluk period. Many of these were acquired for The Museum of Arab Art that had been established in Cairo, and there was also a growing export market for these treasures to satisfy the wishes of collectors in Europe and the United States. Unable to fulfill the demands for these objects with examples from the actual Mamluk period, merchants began to employ skilled craftsmen in Cairo and Damascus to recreate similar objects, using examples in museums and private collections as guides. For several decades prior to World War I, there was an upsurge in the
production of finely crafted metal objects in the Mamluk style. The intricate craftsmanship demonstrated in these works reflects the long and proud history of metalworking in the area and highlights the complex beauty of flowing calligraphy and highly patterned decoration that emerged centuries ago.

For Dr. Joseph Touma, the desire to collect these objects reflects great pride in his Syrian heritage and brings back rich memories of his childhood in Damascus. “When I was 11 or 12 years old my family moved to the Touma ancestral home in the Christian quarter of the historic old city of Damascus. I was surrounded by artisans who were working in the authentic Damascene craft traditions. What fascinated me most was the metalwork. At that time most of the metalwork was done by Jewish and Christian artisans, who engraved and inlaid with silver brass trays and various other wares. These workshops were in the heart of the Jewish and Christian quarters where we lived. For seven years I observed with fascination the beauty and the complexity of their artwork. Fast forward to the 1980s, and my love for this art was awakened once more during our visits to Damascus while walking the narrow streets of the old city. To my surprise the workshops were still there, and the sounds of chiseling the brass and inlaying the silver had not changed. I bought a few pieces and began a 25-year quest to research and acquire exquisite pieces.” The exhibition will showcase some of the finest examples that Dr. Touma and his wife, Omayma, have collected over the years.

This exhibit is presented by Community Trust Bank.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.


Please join us for a free opening reception for this exhibit on October 25, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.

The series of paintings in The Rivers carries viewers to the very banks of America’s greatest waterways and beyond, into the shipyards, onto the docks, aboard the ships and out on the swift broad currents.

Here, unbeknownst to most Americans, millions of tons of freight – grains, gravel and aggregates, paper, wood, coffee, coal, petroleum, chemicals, iron, steel, rubber and manufactured goods – flow past our towns and cities every year. Huntington has long served as a busy inland port, but most of the activity on the river is away from public view.

Artist Daven Anderson, however, has earned special access to the behind-the-scenes life on the rivers by virtue of his status as a U.S. Coast Guard Artist, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Managing Director of the American Society of Marine Artists. Through this exhibit, visitors to HMA can enjoy a privileged journey across and around the continent as they accompany Anderson as he observes the activities on America’s waterways, including several views on the Ohio River.

This exhibit is presented by Mr. and Mrs. R. Sterling Hall in Memory of Isabelle Gwynn Daine.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Some of the artists represented in the impressive Daywood Collection include William Glackens and Howard Somerville, whose painting “Joyce” is one of the most beloved by Museum Members in HMA’s permanent collection of more than 16,000 objects.

Arthur S. Dayton (1887-1948), and Ruth Woods Dayton (1894-1978) carefully and systematically acquired the works that would become The Daywood Collection and Mrs. Dayton donated the collection of more than 300 works of art to HMA in December 1966.

Born in Phillippi, W.Va., in 1887, Arthur S. Dayton’s father was an attorney, judge and U.S. Congressman. Arthur Dayton earned a law degree at West Virginia University in 1908. He went on to attend Yale and receive a Master’s degree there. He was an avid collector of not only art but also rare books, including Mark Twain first editions and Shakespeare folios among several other Elizabethan-period works.

Also from Phillippi, Ruth Woods Dayton was born there in 1894 and attended what would later become Greenbrier College and earned a certificate from the New York School of Interior Design. She married Arthur S. Dayton on June 14, 1916, and wrote articles and books about early West Virginia settlers. After her husband passed away in 1948, Mrs. Dayton would later give her husband’s legal library to the West Virginia University Law Library and his rare book collection to the West Virginia University Library.

This exhibit is presented by Sansom Foundation.

Additional support provided by generous supporters of the 2019 Open Door Membership Campaign.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

HMA Grant Writer Timothy Adkins will read from Thomas Handforth’s book “The Far Away Meadow” during Saturday KidsArt on November 2, 2019, at 1 p.m. An art project in connection with this exhibit will follow. Saturday KidsArt is generously sponsored by Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Artist Thomas Handforth (1897-1948), a native of Tacoma, Washington, is best known for his children’s book Mei Li, which was awarded the 1939 Caldecott Medal for the best American illustrated children’s book of the year. Set in China, it follows a spirited young girl’s adventures at a New Year fair, where she encounters a host of interesting characters, from animals to acrobats.

Handforth based his lively illustrations on his firsthand observations of China, a country in which he lived and worked for more than six years. He first traveled to China in 1931 after receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship, and during his residence there he created many etchings and lithographs that recorded the land and people that surrounded him.

Handforth’s career as a printmaker spanned more than 25 years and brought him many awards and honors. In addition to his Chinese subjects, he produced a multitude of works that recorded his travels around the globe, from time spent in the rural provinces of France to the more exotic cultures of Cambodia, Algeria and Morocco. His work often portrayed the traditional ways of these places as they struggled to stay relevant in a rapidly modernizing world. He found lithography to be a very agreeable medium that allowed him to create an expressive line and rich texture, though he was also a talented etcher and draftsman. As a contemporary critic remarked in a review of a 1939 exhibit, Handforth’s “deftness and assurance of his clean, swinging line never ceases to be a source of joy ...”

The Huntington Museum of Art owns 100 prints by Handforth, all of which were gifts of the artist’s estate. The exhibition will highlight a broad sampling of Handforth’s work that demonstrates his keen observational skills and mastery of the printmaker’s art.

This exhibit is presented by Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Please join us on September 26, 2019, at 7 p.m. when Doug Casebeer discusses his work during the Walter Gropius Master Artist Presentation. Admission is free. The artist will present a three-day workshop at the Huntington Museum of Art titled “The Potter’s Voice: Utilitarian Vessels” from September 27-29, 2019. Call (304) 529-2701 for workshop fee information.

Born in rural Kansas, Doug Casebeer earned a BFA from Wichita State University and an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University. As a ceramic artist and educator, he teaches, lectures, builds kilns, and exhibits internationally, and is represented in prominent collections worldwide. For many years, he was Associate Director and Artistic Director for Ceramics at the renowned ceramics hub, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, in Snowmass Village, Colorado. Casebeer believes in the power of the art experience to bring grace and beauty into everyday lives. Within his role as United Nations Production Advisor and Ceramics Consultant, he has provided technical support for Nepali potters and advised art centers in Chile and Hawaii, among other initiatives around the world.

“My work looks at issues that honor the spirit of human existence. Within my artwork I search for meaning in the relationships between the ideas of storage, shelter, and nourishment. My work is influenced by rural archetypal forms of the western landscape and by many years of experiencing different global cultures. I look for beauty, balance and grace in my work. Through my artwork, I try to come to an understanding of myself and the world around me.”

Color Improvisations 2

July 13 - October 13, 2019

Please join us for an opening reception for this exhibit on July 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. when Exhibit Coordinator Robert Shaw will speak.

Color Improvisations 2 is a special invitational exhibition of contemporary quilts curated by Nancy Crow, an Ohio artist who is one of the most celebrated and influential quilt artists of the past forty years. The Huntington Museum of Art is privileged to display a selection of 20 large improvisational quilts by artists from Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States that were part of a larger exhibition that opened at the Museum Tuch+Technik in Germany in March 2016.

Quiltmaking, which has a long and rich history in Western Europe, the United States, Canada, and many other parts of the globe, has, over the past forty years, become a favored medium of fine artists around the world. While they honor historic traditions, these artists have revolutionized how quilts can be made and what they can look like. They can dye and manipulate the cloth they work with; they painstakingly assemble compositions piece by piece on a design wall; and, after settling on an arrangement and sewing all the pieces together, they finish their work with complex lines of quilting.

All of the quilts Nancy Crow chose for this exhibition are large abstract compositions that were machine-pieced, primarily from hand-dyed fabrics, and also quilted by machine. Crow says that she has always compared pieced quiltmaking to painting. “Both require a strong classical sense of figure/ground composition, and experienced knowledge of how to mix and create colors (for quiltmakers, through dyeing cotton or silk fabrics), a strong sense of proportions, and drawing ability. In addition, the quilt-maker must have a practiced expertise in cutting all the parts, one at a time, out of fabric and then pinning/working vertically on a huge wall. This requires strong
engineering abilities coupled with common sense to put sometimes hundreds, if not thousands, of parts together by sewing each to the next. Unlike painting, fabric colors, shapes, and lines are not brushed on or glued together, but sewn together. And to be able to cut parts, shapes, and lines by eye and then to manage color and value demands hours and hours of practice. The quilt-maker’s eye must be able to coordinate infinite calibrations with the muscle control of hand, wrist, and arm. The entire operation is physical and requires strength. It takes obsessiveness, intensity, practice, practice, practice, and a great eye.”

Each work was made specifically for this exhibition, including a new piece by Nancy Crow and a work by former Huntington resident Denise Roberts, who now lives in the Preston County community of Albright, West Virginia. All pieces measure between 80” x 80” and 90” x 90”.

This exhibition was curated by Nancy Crow and is presented by Color Improvisations 2, NA.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

A free opening reception is planned for this exhibit on July 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a presentation by artist Karen Bondarchuk.

On August 1, 2014 Canadian-born artist Karen Bondarchuk set out to mark the passing time that her mother – diagnosed with dementia in 2010 – no longer could. For 365 days, she produced an image of a crow each day on a hand-cut, hand-gessoed panel, remembering her mother as she once was and grieving her loss. “I chose to create a crow a day for 365 days as a way of marking days that she no longer recognizes,” the artist said.
Bondarchuk’s choice of motifs was one that has a recurring presence in her creative output. “Crows have figured largely in my work for several years and represent both the quotidian and the extraordinary (akin to the Buddhist notion of ‘ordinary magic’).” The title of the exhibition, Ergo Sum, is drawn from Rene Descartes’ famous proposition (Cogito, ergo sum) that is translated “I think, therefore I am,” a phrase that takes on new meaning in the context of the thought-robbing effects of dementia. These works will be featured in an exhibition, organized by the Woodson Art Museum of Wausau, Wisconsin, that will open July 20, 2019, in the Huntington Museum of Art’s Daine Gallery.

The process of creating the series was quite arduous, given the sheer quantity of the resulting work, but Bondarchuk found a great deal of quiet satisfaction and introspection in the project. “The labor that went into producing each of the 365 panels – cutting the wood, creating my own gesso, building up layers and sanding between coats in preparation for the actual process of creating an image – evoked the overwhelming labor and repetitious activities of motherhood. To me the series is simultaneously a marker of her lost time and a constant and acute reminder of my own days, my life, and an attempt to signal visually the preciousness and individuality of each day. As such, quirky cheer and serendipity inhabit many of the panels, however more sober the project seemed to me at its outset.” The resulting work explores communication and an artist’s relationship to the world; it resonates for its depth, beauty, and elegiac and potent whimsy.

Bondarchuk has exhibited widely in the United States, as well as in Canada, England, France, Italy and India, and has completed residencies at the Moulin a Nef in Auvillar, France, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center and Ragdale Foundation. Her work is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Woodson Art Museum and several other public and private collections. Bondarchuk
received her MFA in sculpture from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and her BFA in sculpture and video from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, Canada. She is an associate professor and foundation area coordinator in the Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

This exhibition is organized by the Woodson Art Museum of Wausau, Wisconsin.

Presented by Dementia Friendly Huntington, through support provided by Citizens Deposit Bank, Pilot Club of Huntington and River Park Hospital.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

An opening reception for this exhibit is planned on September 15, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. with a presentation by collector Thomas Trang.

During his student days at Ohio State University, George Bellows wrestled with his plans for the future. Should he continue to pursue his college studies and showcase his promising talents as a baseball player on the Buckeyes varsity team or leave his native Columbus, Ohio, to become a professional artist? Even with an offer to stay in Ohio and sign a contract with the Cincinnati Reds, Bellows chose to pursue his passion for art. He dropped out of school before the end of his junior year and headed for New York City to try to equip himself to succeed in the art world. He enrolled in the New York School of Art in 1904 where he studied with renowned artist and teacher Robert Henri. From Henri, he learned to paint quickly and spontaneously and to appreciate the subject matter that surrounded him in the city. Tenement houses, urban riverside gatherings, nightclubs and teeming city streets all became fair game as subject matter for his paintings. His portrayals of the seedy world of professional boxing, especially the prize fights held at Sharkey’s Athletic Club (located across the street from his studio on Broadway), attracted widespread attention and generated critical acclaim. Bellows quickly rose up the ranks in the New York art world and by 1909, at the age of 26, he was elected to the National Academy, an astounding feat for such a young artist.

While Bellows was very comfortable with a paintbrush in his hand, by 1916 he expanded his repertoire to include lithography. His command of the medium grew rapidly, and he began to produce a large quantity of prints, often on the subjects he favored in paintings, including urban life and portraits, particularly of his friends and family. By the time of his tragically early death at the age of 42, Bellows had produced more than 170 lithographs, and he was considered among the greatest American practitioners of the medium. His work as a lithographer is the focus of an exhibition that will be held from August 10 through November 3, 2019.

The works are a portion of an extensive collection that has been assembled by Thomas Trang, who is a longtime resident of Columbus, Ohio. A passionate and prodigious collector, Trang has specialized in works by Columbus artists, including Alice Schille, James Roy Hopkins, Elijah Pierce and Emerson Burkhardt, in addition to Bellows. The prints in this exhibition illustrate the wide range of subject matter that inspired Bellows and demonstrate his mastery of lithography. A special feature of the exhibition will be to showcase numerous photographs, letters and other items associated with the artist, including college yearbooks that were illustrated by Bellows, all contributing to a fresh and personal look at one of America’s most treasured artists.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

A fundraising event titled “It’s a Mod, Mod World” takes place on Friday, May 31, 2019, at HMA and offers a sneak peek at this exhibit and much more. (See Events page on this website for ticket information and event description.)

Opening reception takes place on Sunday, June 2, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. with a presentation by David Hausrath. This June 2 event is free to the public.

Charley Harper’s childhood on his family’s farm in Upshur County, West Virginia, left him with a strong love for the natural world as he observed the plant and animal life that inhabited the fields and forests that surrounded the property. Though never smitten with the urge to continue the family agricultural tradition, he would forever take with him this affinity for nature as he pursued a successful career as an artist.

After graduating from Buckhannon-Upshur High School and spending a brief time at West Virginia Wesleyan College, he journeyed to Cincinnati to pursue his longstanding dream of becoming an artist. He enrolled in the city’s Art Academy, where he found great inspiration in his studies and met his future wife in fellow student Edie McKee. His schooling was interrupted by his conscription into the Army during World War II, though he
remarkably continued to paint and sketch even during his combat duty. His artwork attracted notice from military personnel, who asked him to illustrate publications relating to wartime activities. Following the war, he returned to Cincinnati, where he finished his studies and began his long career as a professional illustrator and artist.

Harper’s signature style, which he playfully branded “minimal realism,” grew from his dissatisfaction with the mundane expectations of commercial illustration. “I began searching for something peculiarly me,” he said, “a style, a technique, a point of view – and gradually it emerged.” Landing a freelance assignment with Ford Times magazine, Harper utilized this newfound style and found that it was a hit with the public. The magazine offered
Harper’s prints for sale to its readers, and his work began to make its way into the national spotlight. He would enjoy a long career as a book illustrator, including an assignment to create the artwork for the landmark work The Giant Golden Book of Biology, a popular book for young readers, and was successful as a painter, printmaker and muralist.

The Huntington Museum of Art will offer a wide selection of Harper’s work, including many original paintings. These will be on view from June 1 through July 28, 2019, and are drawn from the collection of the Hausrath family. David Hausrath, retired Senior Vice-President and General Counsel for Ashland, Inc., lived in Ashland, Kentucky, for 18 years before the company moved to the Cincinnati area. His wife Debra worked at the Huntington Museum of Art for a brief period in the Education Department. David Hausrath’s interest in Harper’s work was kindled many years ago by its intriguing combination of art and nature, both of which are passions he enjoys. A few years after his retirement from Ashland, Inc., Hausrath, a longtime art collector, purchased Cincinnati Art Galleries, a successful commercial gallery in the Queen City.

This exhibit is presented by Macy’s.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Paris Signs Presents Animals in Art

July 6 - September 15, 2019

A free petting zoo will take place in conjunction with this exhibit on Saturday, July 27, 2019, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Daine Courtyard behind HMA.

Don’t miss a special display in the C. Fred Edwards Conservatory of unusual marine animals.

For more than 40,000 years, artists of all cultures and over all areas of the world have depicted animals in many ways and for many different purposes. Man is himself an animal and has often seen aspects of himself in the creatures around him. By painting and sculpting them, he has continually expressed his connection to animals and to the fundamental natural world through his art.

In the ancient cultures of the Americas, Africa, and the Near East, animals in painting, sculpture, textiles and ceramics were often used in a religious or spiritual sense. Animal-shaped vessels from Pre-Columbian Peru might have had ritual purposes, the container having been created in the form of the animal whose spiritual properties one wished to imbibe, or whose parts served as the main ingredient of a healing elixir. Artists in North America and Africa created amulets and statuettes as talismans in the forms of animals like the hibernating bear, the frog, or the strange aardvark, who seem to exist between the visible upper world and the darker underworld. In
Mesopotamia and the Levant, many small personal objects have been found that may have been meant to call forth or indicate the possession of the special energies of certain beasts, such as the indomitable power of the bull or the regal bearing of the lion and the falcon.

In more recent times, artists have used animal imagery as straightforward presentations of unfamiliar life-forms, models of essential beauty, and expressions of personal and collective psychologies. In 1835, ornithologist John Gould published his “Monograph on the Ramphastidae, or family of toucans”, a 34-plate folio of images that would popularize what has become one of the most widely recognized birds in the world. In Japan, artists such as Ito Jakuchu and Shoson made woodblock prints of colorful birds, geese and peacocks, sometimes for the sublime beauty of their forms and sometimes for the humor of their quirky behavior. The surrealist Max Ernst believed himself to have been hatched from an egg laid by his mother and created many artworks under the inspiration of his alter-ego Loplop, “a superior of birds.” His etching Congregation of Birds could be viewed as a tangle of souls or a depiction of his own birth. The collection of the Huntington Museum of Art features a great number of works in which animals appear as symbols, subjects of scientific study, or simply as attractive targets of aesthetic regard. This exhibition offers a variety of these sculptures, paintings, drawings and prints that show that artists and their patrons everywhere have always been fascinated with animals and with what their images can tell us about our world and ourselves.

This exhibit is presented by Paris Signs.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

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