Announcement: Grant Wood's Lithographs: A Regionalist Vision Set in Stone, and Art Inspiring Art: George Bellows' Sunset, Shady Valley, new exhibitions on view at the Hillstrom Museum of Art


The Hillstrom Museum of Art presents two concurrent exhibitions, Grant Wood's Lithographs: A Regionalist Vision Set in Stone, and Art Inspiring Art: George Bellows' Sunset, Shady Valley, both on view September 14 through November 8, 2015.Further information on each exhibit can be found below.

There will be an opening reception on Monday, September 14, 2015, 7 to 9 p.m., and another reception during the annual Nobel Conference of Gustavus Adolphus College, Tuesday, October 6, 6 to 8 p.m.

During the opening reception on September 14, video artist Priscilla Briggs and poet Joyce Sutphen will offer an informal gallery talk regarding their newly created works highlighted in the exhibition George Bellows' Sunset, Shady Valley, starting at 7:30 p.m.

In addition, a public lecture will be presented, titled "Crossed Lines: Grant Wood's Prints for Associated American Artists, eby R. Tripp Evans, Professor of Art History and Mary L. Heuser Chair in the Arts at Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts, and author of Grant Wood: A Life (2010).The lecture is Sunday, 18 October, 2015, starting at 3:30 p.m., in Wallenberg Auditorium, Nobel Hall of Science, Gustavus Adolphus College.This lecture is supported with funds from the Lefler Series of Gustavus Adolphus College and from the College's Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program.

At the reception during the Nobel Conference, on Tuesday, October 6, a special dance performance related to the Conference theme of addiction and choreographed by Michele Rusinko of the College's Department of Theatre and Dance will be presented in the Museum, at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m.Titled This I Carry, it will be performed by alumna Amelia Ruth, a Minneapolis dance instructor who was a member of the Gustavus Dance Company during her student years.

As with all programs of the Hillstrom Museum of Art, these exhibitions, their receptions, the lecture, and the dance performances are free and open to the public.Additional information about the Hillstrom Museum of Art and its programs can be found at

Grant Wood's Lithographs: A Regionalist Vision Set in Stone

The Hillstrom Museum of Art's complete set of examples of all nineteen of the lithographs by Regionalist artist Grant Wood (1891"1942) will be exhibited together for the first time. These works include landscapes, images of Wood's fellow Iowans, and emblematic depictions of the region's flowers, fruits, vegetables, and crops.They were created in the last half decade of the artist's life and were the locus of much of his artistic efforts in that period, when he painted only a handful of pictures and spent a great deal of time lecturing.As a group, they constitute nearly one fourth of Wood's mature body of work.All but one of the Museum's lithographs were donated, solely or jointly, by Dr. David and Kathryn Gilbertson and Museum namesake Richard L. Hillstrom.

One of Wood's lithos, Honorary Degree (1939), is of particular significance to the Hillstrom Museum of Art since not only was it the first artwork purchased by the Museum, but also Wood used a graduate of the Museum's parent institution, Gustavus Adolphus College, as the model for one of its figures.The image was made after the artist received the first of several honorary degrees awarded him, and he lampoons the central figure, for which he served as his own model, contrasting his unsophisticated and exaggeratedly rotund form with the flanking tall and slender academic figures.The model for the man on the left was based on Carl Seashore, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Iowa during years that Wood taught there and an 1891 graduate of Gustavus.

In addition to Wood's lithographs, the exhibition also includes two additional self-portraits of the artist, including a small bronze relief that reproduces a plaster depiction he made probably in 1925, lent anonymously, and a caricature drawing dating to 1939 that doubles as an autograph of the artist, lent by Dr. John and Colles Larkin.As in the self-depiction in Honorary Degree, Wood emphasized in the drawing and bronze portraits his distinctive cleft chin and the large, round frames of his eyeglasses.

Other works in the exhibit include a fine portrait drawing of an unidentified young woman; a signed copy of a 1937 limited edition of author Sinclair Lewis' Main Street (for which Wood provided illustrations); a drawing of an ear of corn related to Wood's never-completed autobiography Return from Bohemia, lent by Childs Gallery, Boston, from the Collection of Thomas S. Holman; and two landscape paintings, one lent by Keichel Fine Art of Lincoln, Nebraska and the other from the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a public lecture, titled "Crossed Lines: Grant Wood's Prints for Associated American Artists, ewill be presented by R. Tripp Evans, Professor of Art History and Mary L. Heuser Chair in the Arts at Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts.Evans is author of the 2010 study Grant Wood: A Life, which re-examines what is known about Wood, including rumors circulating even in his lifetime that he was a closeted homosexual.Evans' book presents a more nuanced understanding of Wood and his art, and one of the works carefully analyzed in his study, the 1938 lithograph of a male nude titled Sultry Night, is included in the exhibit.

Art Inspiring Art: George Bellows' Sunset, Shady Valley

Sunset, Shady Valley, a 1922 landscape by famed American artist George Bellows (1882-1925), was described by Hillstrom Museum of Art namesake Richard L. Hillstrom as the "cr??me de la cr??me eof his collection when it was included in a 1993 exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art titled American Masters: Selections from the Richard Lewis Hillstrom Collection.

Bellows' painting depicts the Catskills Mountains around his summer home in Woodstock, New York.As Hillstrom noted, Bellows' imagery is akin to the written description of the Catskills given by Washington Irving (1783-1859) in the opening of his Rip Van Winkle (1819), where he describes the mountains with "?a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory. e/span>

Sunset, Shady Valley is featured in this focused exhibit that couples the painting with two new artworks.One of these, a video titled Crown of Glory by Priscilla Briggs of the Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Art and Art History, was inspired by the quality of the light in the painting.The second new work inspired by the painting is the sonnet What He Was After, a poetic response written by Joyce Sutphen, a member of the College's Department of English who is also the Poet Laureate of the State of Minnesota (a position to which she was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton in 2011).

The Museum thanks Sutphen and Briggs for their efforts in creating new artworks for this exhibition, and for providing explanatory texts regarding their artistic process.We also thank Gustavus Adolphus College studio art major Charlie Brace, who creat

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