Category Archives: art exhibition

The Yoko Experience

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In 1971, Syracuse Folklorist Dan Ward met someone (okay, it was a hitchhiker), which led to his first trip to Syracuse, New York to see James Taylor in concert at the War Memorial. Instead of acquiring tickets to that sold-out concert, he ventured across the street and was pulled through the door of the museum. Somehow he randomly became part of an elite group allowed to tour the Yoko Ono exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art, along with the artist and her husband John Lennon.

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The whole thing was documented on film and in the media. Dan Ward was a teenager living a serendipitous existence. There was a waterbed on the floor that evening, positioned to offer a unique view of the spiral staircase. He thought it was unusual but gave it a try – his first time on a waterbed and with a bed-bug (a Beatle). There were other interactive ingredients as well, some have been replicated for the retrospective/new exhibition, Yoko Ono: Remembering the Future, which opened last night. Every piece cultivated to reside harmoniously within the walls of I.M. Pei’s modern architecture. This show was meant to create a dialogue between viewer and artist with the viewer creating the closure.

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Yes, a stunningly beautiful Ono (according to Ward’s recollection – photographs never did her justice) and Lennon, and Ringo Starr were all there that night, as well as several of their close friends from Manhattan. It was a media circus focused on celebrity in a time when art was misunderstood and maligned.

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I wish I could have been there back then, too, wish I could have been that fly on the wall – to bear witness to perceptions of the past while remembering the future….

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Imagine a museum filled with objects – hammers, nails, string, ladders, piles of dirt, blue paint. Imagine a world where the viewer participates and the result is a collaboration between artist and you. Artist as conceptualist. You as executioner. You as artist too.

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Rachel Zoe dress, BCBGeneration sandals, Coach bag, Tashkovski bracelets

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It is what I do as a teacher. Okay, students – here’s the lesson, here are the supplies…. It is always so gratifying and almost strange in a way. Like – do this, and they say okay.

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This is the genius of Yoko Ono. It is a presence, a facilitator who loves her audience, who gives them an experience, a happening, a memory. Something to do. Museums are always a DO-NOT-TOUCH place, but here you can add string to the wall, hammer in a nail onto a piece of wood, paint part of a mural, be a part of something bigger than yourself that has no other meaning than what it is. Collective mark making. A chance to interact in a museum in a child-like manner and by that, I mean being totally present. Not thinking about anything else but the art – and not even thinking too hard about the how or the what, or the why.

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Because you are a part of the experience and your existence is relevant, necessary and needed. You matter. You are loved. You are welcome. You belong.

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Imagine that. ❤

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***from www.everson.org

On View August 31 – October 27, 2019

All my work is a form of wishing.
-Yoko Ono

For six decades, Yoko Ono has maintained an unwavering belief in art’s ability to transform, uplift, and inspire. Her work, typically ephemeral or participatory, occupies the porous boundaries between artistic disciplines, from music and film to sculpture, poetry, and performance art. Ono’s approach to art making is generous, and since emerging in New York’s downtown art scene in the 1950s, she has privileged collaboration over solitary authorship, inclusivity over isolation, and transience over permanence. These underlying precepts, which simultaneously undermine the capitalist structure of the art market and criticize the institutional model of the museum, also unified a postwar artistic movement known as Fluxus, of which Ono was an important contributor. For Ono, as well as later generations of artists and those currently engaged in social practice, art belongs to everyone, can be created by anyone, and has the potential to change the world.

Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933. A survivor of the trauma inflicted on Japan during World War II, she moved to the United States in 1953 during a period of surging nationalism, consumerism, and anti-Japanese sentiment. During this time, Ono became a central figure within New York’s downtown scene and became close collaborators with artist George Maciunas, the founder of Fluxus. Many avant-garde intellectuals, artists, composers, and writers gathered regularly at Ono’s Chambers Street loft for experimental performances by groundbreaking artists like La Monte Young, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Terry Jennings, Jackson Mac Low, Richard Maxfield, Henry Flynt, Joseph Byrd, Simone Forti, and Robert Morris. Here, Ono realized some of her earliest conceptual works that would greatly influence the trajectory of art, film, and music.

Ineffable, intangible, impermanent, Ono’s art, as a body of work, defies categorization. The term Wakon yosai (“Japanese spirit, Western technology”), the national slogan of modernization in Japan during the Meji era, might best describe Ono’s approach to life and art. Her works, conceptually linked to the form of musical scores, draw on sources as diverse as the history of classical and modern Japanese art and Zen Buddhism to early black-and-white cinema and classical music. Ono’s signature text-based scores date back to the early 1950s. In 1964, she published the scores in Grapefruit, her definitive text. The scores, as Ono explained in 2016, “are a bit like music scores which exist so anyone can play the composition. What I’ve imagined are art scores. Each visitor can take them up so that their own ‘music’ can be heard in my creations.”

Throughout the 1960s, Ono had significant solo exhibitions in the United States, Japan, and in England—including the AG Gallery in New York City and the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. She performed at the 83rd Fluxus Concert: Fluxorchestra at Carnegie Hall, In 1966, Ono performed Cut Piece in Kyoto and Tokyo, exhibited her work at the Judson Church, and participated in the first Destruction In Art Symposium organized by Gustav Metzger in London. Ono met John Lennon when he visited her exhibition Yoko at Indica, at the Indica Gallery in London.

Following her marriage to Lennon in 1968, Ono was catapulted onto the world’s stage of fame and wide public visibility, a position she has brilliantly coopted to further her long-standing interest in the power of the imagination, human rights, and world peace.

Forty-eight years after the Everson hosted This is Not Here, Ono’s first museum retrospective, YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE presents her enduring artistic work devoted to healing human connections and exposing social and political injustices. Spanning more than six decades from germinal early instruction pieces to recent, large-scale architectural installations, YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE traces Ono’s experimental approach to language, art, and participation as a means of contributing to a more accepting and peaceful world.


YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE is curated by DJ Hellerman, the Everson’s Curator of Art & Programs and Jon Hendricks, Ono’s long-time friend and curator in partnership with Yoko Ono, Studio One, and Susie Lim.

The operation of the Everson Museum of Art is made possible with funding from the
Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, the County of Onondaga administered
by CNY Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Richard Mather Fund, the Everson Board of Trustees and Everson Museum of Art Members’ Council.

YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE is made possible, in part, through support from Bonnie and Gary Grossman, and Sollecito Landscaping Nursery.

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Worlds Real & Imagined

 

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We all trudged through an unbelievable (unreal/unimaginable, etc., lol) thunderstorm to flood the Edgewood Gallery (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, New York 13224) tonight for the opening reception of a new exhibition called Worlds Real and Imagined.

Cheryl Chappell has gathered three etching artists – James Skvarch, John Fitzsimmons and Grant Silverstein and paired them with “architectural and organic” jewelry designer Sylvia Hayes-McKean, and “sculptural and functional” ceramist David MacDonald to create this incredible show, which will be up through September 27, 2019.

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Grant Silverstein‘s smaller pieces are perfect for the beginner art collector.  They are diminutive, yet intricately detailed and framed so beautifully.  Some are as low as $75! ❤

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I did not know that John Fitzsimmons was into etchings.  He is known for his award winning oil paintings – mainly portraits and landscapes.  So cool!  His response – “I’ve been busy!”  (working in his studio at the Delavan Center, 501 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13204). ❤

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James Skvarch is sporting a sling because of a left shoulder injury.  Good to know he is on the mend and that he is right handed!  He is such an incredibly proficient artist.  The depth and detail in his landscapes is really out of this world! Love! ❤

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Sylvia Hayes-McKean is at it again, after a brief hiatus, a sculptor turned silversmith with modernly feminine earrings and necklaces that she creates at her studio in the Delavan Center.  Her grandson was a wonderful supporter/salesperson/helper tonight! So adorable. ❤

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David MacDonald – he is the best!  I can’t say enough about how much I love his ceramics.  He told me that when he was in college, he was a painter and someone suggested he switch majors to art education, which instigated the left hand turn into taking necessary ceramics classes!  And the rest is history, lol.  Such an amazing person!  His positivity is infused in every single one of his pieces, whether decorative or functional. ❤

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#ootd – Milly top. BCBGMaxAzria shorts, Nine West booties, Coach crossbody
EDGEWOOD GALLERY
216 Tecumseh Rd. • Syracuse, NY 13224 • (315) 445-8111
Tuesday – Friday: 9:30 am – 6 pm     Saturday: 10 am – 2 pm     Sunday & Monday: closed

Cool August Moonies

 

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Tonight was the opening reception for the summer art exhibition at The Syracuse Tech Garden gallery (235 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202).  It is titled Cool August Moon. I saw my high school friend and fellow art teacher Audrey Levinson there!

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Artist Steve Nyland (another Jamesville-DeWitt alum) is the curator and a participant in the show.  He told me that he signed a new contract to continue with these exhibitions for at least another year.  They take place in the lobby of this building, which is across the street from the Syracuse Marriott (Hotel Syracuse).

Other local artists contributing to this show –

Laura Audrey
Terry Lynn Cameron
Richell Castellon
Fletcher Crangle
Kathy Donovan
Ryan Foster
Larry Hoyt
Lisa Ketcham
James P. McCampbell
Sally Stormon
Rabekah Tanner
Mitzie Testani
Ray Trudell
Kayla Cady Vaughn
Ryan Wood

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Massachusetts transplant Lisa Ketcham creates these kitschy assemblages and frames.  They are sort of a cross between steampunk and macabre via the use of gears, timey-wimey-ies and skeletons.

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Terry-Lynn Cameron brought her originals to share.  I met her on Sunday at City Market where she was selling prints of these lovely acrylic paintings.

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Richell Castellon Ferreira is the real deal – a painter and woodworker by trade.  He comes to us from Cuba.  His paintings of the Syracuse landscape would make perfect additions to any local collector’s art stash!  He paints from photographs and from memory.  These originals are only $175.

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Ray Trudell focuses on the invisible in his black and white photographs taken of the surrounding area.  He “slows time” by defining a glimpse of a moment using sharp contrast in his compositions.

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The exhibit will be on display until September 20, 2019.  For more information contact Steve Nyland at gallery.ttg@gmail.com.  To purchase artwork, contact the artists directly.  They have left business cards and also have contact information on their respective art tags.

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Circles of Life

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I didn’t know Marlene Roeder could draw when I met her twenty-five years ago while we were both working at Franklin Magnet School, an arts magnet elementary in the Syracuse City school district in Syracuse, New York.

She was the grant writer and big into theatrical productions.  I was a daily substitute teacher.  She has since retired from that job, as well as from her position as an education curator at the Everson Museum of Art – and taken up the art of mandala making.

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Her artwork is available for sale at Eye Studio (712 W. Manlius Street, East Syracuse, New York).  Last night was the opening reception for Circle of Life, a month-long exhibition of these intricate ink and colored pencil originals and prints.

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Marlene shared her passion for creating the drawings.  She begins with a large compass then decides how many points she will create.  Pencil then pen and ink followed by color.  Some of the pieces have been published in a coloring book.  She does “coloring parties” too, in which she offers color theory tips and the therapeutic escape that coloring provides.

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There are several series within this concept.  Groupings of pieces inspired by family, landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes, time and social injustice.  They are all infused with a spiritual belief system and a desire to share visual thinking strategies as a means to understand and further enjoy art, and the art-making process.

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Marlene is an advocate for “the persecuted and oppressed”.  She gives 20% of her art sales to the A21 Campaign, an international organization that fights to end human trafficking.

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For more information, contact the artist at mroeder01@gmail.com. ❤

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Gallery and Gift Shop Hours

Monday – Tuesday   11am – 7pm.       Thursday                12pm – 7pm

​Wednesday             3pm – 7 pm         Friday – Saturday    12pm – 5pm

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Cruz-ing

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The retrospective currently on exhibition in two of the upstairs galleries at the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) was fifty years in the making.  Puerto Rican born Juan Cruz has spent the past forty years dwelling here in Syracuse, New York, making murals, teaching and working on a collegiate degree in Fine Art from Syracuse University.  And painting – he has been creating the mother-lode of paintings.

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This show exemplifies what I have always wanted the Everson to be – a museum that believes in local artists, supporting their careers and offering ample space to breathe love and life into a body of work that illustrates the strength, character and beauty of an artist’s life-long vision.

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There are paintings that show Cruz’s proficiency with realism – watercolor landscapes and oil on paper portraits.  These pieces are the yellow bricks of the journey.  They offer the first dance on a path that takes a left hand cruise into abstraction.

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Those abstracts even go 3-D via a few sculptures as well, but the artist’s main strength is in the confident energy of the gnarled face forms peering out of these canvases, evidently pleading to be understood.

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This energy alludes to social injustices felt both personally and as a member of a Caribbean culture with economic drama.  There is abundant repetition of shape and color interspersed with black outlines, as well as bright white.  This co-mingling rhythm creates a cartoon-like flavor undermining the angst, which gets more pronounced in the newer pieces, suggesting a shift to a more positive perspective for this working artist.

I would imagine pure full-on non-representational abstraction is the goal, obliterating the need to be understood by the masses, because when the goal is freedom of expression, the limitation of pleasing others gives way to one’s own knowing.  Knowing the rightness of choices made with deliberate intent.

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It’s all about the journey, and this one is an enormously satisfying one.  I am delighted that I was able to witness this body of work as it is displayed.   And for Juan Cruz, the best is yet to come.  Because the dance is by no means over – it has just begun. ❤

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Juan Cruz:  A Retrospective concludes on August 4, 2019.  (Up next – Yoko Ono!)

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****From the Everson website

Syracuse-based artist Juan Alberto Cruz (b. 1941, Puerto Rico) combines rich symbolism with a bold and colorful abstract style to create work infused with his Caribbean heritage. Moving from Puerto Rico to Manhattan’s Lower East Side and subsequent travels to Spain, Mexico, Cuba, and Central America have had a major impact on Cruz’s work, which reflects a mixture of his cultural heritage and life experiences. From his earliest portrait paintings to recent abstract collages, Cruz uses the emotional realities of his past to articulate his feelings about economic inequality and systematic injustice.

As a child, Cruz taught himself to draw by copying the comic strips from discarded newspapers onto brown paper grocery bags, and later he drew portraits of everyday people that he sold for pocket change on the street. It was not until his thirties, when he enrolled in an art program led by then-Everson Director Jim Harithas that Cruz learned art could be more than replicating the world around him. Harithas taught Cruz how to paint and introduced him to a world of modern artists, which led Cruz’s drawings and paintings to evolve into a complex amalgamation of figurative and abstract forms. For the past five decades, Cruz’s boundless creativity and production has led him to compile a massive body of work. 

Since moving to Syracuse in 1975, Cruz has made a significant impact on the local community. He has painted numerous murals throughout the city, including on the Onondaga Commons building, in Skiddy Park, and several in the Near West Side. He also completed a new mural with the Everson Teen Arts Council currently on view on the Museum’s Lower Level. Cruz served as artist-in-residence for the Near West Side Initiative for five years and ran the Patch-Up Studio, a community center that provided children and adults with a safe space to make and learn about art. By choosing to live and work in Syracuse, Cruz has brought together a multigenerational community inspired by his public art initiatives and workshops.

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EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH NOON–8:00PM
SATURDAY 10-5

Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

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Garden of Eddie

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Eddie Dominguez transports us to his version of the Garden of Eden in his show at the Everson Museum of Art‘s Robineau Memorial Gallery.

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His vision is one that reflects a heritage in which landscape and religion play vital roles.  He is from New Mexico, although his art education took him to Ohio and New York, which is why we are able to fall under his spell here in Syracuse, New York.  This show was curated by the Columbus Museum of Art and will be on exhibit until Sunday, July 28, 2019.

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Dominguez combines ceramics and found objects to create his irreverent world.  It is a playful, fantastical and thoroughly original body of work. ❤

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*** from the Everson Museum of Art website

The youngest of eight children, Eddie Dominguez grew up in Tucumcari, New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Amarillo on historic Route 66. He came to national prominence in the mid–1980s for highly stylized dinnerware sets that also stack into sculptural forms. In his work, Dominguez frequently references his home state’s vegetation, landforms, weather, and Hispano–Catholic culture. The dual nature of Dominguez’s objects, which inhabit the gray area between utility and art for art’s sake, reflects his personal experience as a New Mexican who studied ceramics in the Anglo–dominated East: whether we see “art” or “craft,” local Hispano or melting pot American depends completely on the immediate context.

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The Everson Museum of Art is located at 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York, 13202.  Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH NOON–8:00PM
SATURDAY 10-5

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The Thaw Legacy

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Eugene and Clare Thaw began collecting Native American art in 1987 when they lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They donated the collection to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York where it currently resides in the downstairs gallery across from the Herb Ritts exhibition.

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The life of Eugene V. Thaw is eloquently reviewed in an obituary written by Holland Carter for the New York Times, which I have included in this post.  It documents a man’s life-long passion for the arts.  His dedication to collecting, amassing more like, and also preserving and selling art is a gift to the world.

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In this case, American Indian clothing, jewelry, pottery, and both decorative and functional objects depict the powerfully dignified beauty of a culture/civilization.  Although the collection began in the Southwest, the Thaws expanded it to include every region of the US.  The pieces are exquisitely displayed via region.

I am especially drawn to the costume, the leather hides, the intricate beadwork and the colors.  Just fabulous!

Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Thaw, for your life’s work and vision – preserving American history through the beauty of its art. ❤

The Fenimore Art Museum is open today 10am – 5pm.

5798 STATE HIGHWAY 80 (P.O.BOX 800)
COOPERSTOWN, NY 13326
607-547-1400
INFO@FENIMOREART.ORG

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****From the New York Times website

Eugene V. Thaw, Influential Art Collector and Dealer, Is Dead at 90

By Holland Cotter

January 5, 2018

He was born on Oct. 27, 1927, in Washington Heights in Manhattan. His father was a heating contractor, his mother a schoolteacher. They named him for the socialist leader Eugene Victor Debs, who had died the previous year.

As a young teenager, Mr. Thaw took drawing classes at the Art Students League on West 57th Street in Manhattan. But he did not pursue the hands-on practice of art.

“I can’t create the objects I crave to look at,” he later said, “so I collect them.”

After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx at 15, he entered St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and began making day trips to art museums in nearby Washington.

Returning to New York in 1947, he took graduate classes in art history at Columbia University with Millard Meiss and Meyer Schapiro. He also followed the city’s contemporary-art scene, getting an early immersion in Pollock’s work at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

His closest institutional tie was to what is now the Morgan Libraryand Museum, which in the 1950s was one of the few New York museums to have a curator of drawings. In 1975, after the museum had expanded its acquisition parameters to include 19th-century work, the Thaws decided that the Morgan would be the recipient, in incremental allotments, of their ever-growing holdings. The Morgan exhibition “Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings From the Thaw Collection,” which opened in September and closes on Sunday, marked the completion of the gift, encompassing more than 400 sheets.

 

Among them were works by modern and contemporary artists in whom Mr. Thaw took particular interest. In the 1950s, on summer vacations in East Hampton, N.Y., Clare Thaw had struck up a friendship with the painter Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock’s widow. With Ms. Krasner’s cooperation, Mr. Thaw began preparing the multivolume Pollock catalogue raisonné, an annotated listing of all the artist’s known works, in the 1970s, hiring the art historian Francis V. O’Connor as co-author.

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***From the Fenimore website

EUGENE AND CLARE THAW: A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE

April 2 – December 31, 2019

Discover the most outstanding items from the Thaw Collection American Indian Art. Objects of transcendent beauty that span the continent—from the Arctic to the Southwest, and from the Eastern Woodlands to the Pacific West–encompassing close to 2,000 years of artistic tradition and innovation in North America.  

 

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