Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Muscarelle Museum of Art Opens Two Compelling Exhibitions

The Muscarelle Museum (File Photo)

WILLIAMSBURG — This fall, the Muscarelle Museum of Art is offering two new and compelling exhibitions on Native American art and on “a day that changed the nation forever.”

“Shared Ideologies” is a new exhibition in the Sheridan & Spigel Galleries that examines the unique cultural impact of Native American artists combined with the broader American culture.

The exhibition, “Forever Marked by the Day,” located in the Graves, Cheek, and Burns Galleries, commemorates September 11 through the architectural timeline of the World Trade Center.

Both exhibits remain on view through Jan. 9, 2022.

A number of works from the museum’s Native American collection is on display for the first time in the “Shared Ideologies” exhibit, including the recent acquisitions of Kay WalkingStick’s diptych painting Dipping Sun and Emmi Whitehorse’s abstract painting Petrichor II

The exhibit also features two expansive works by rising Indigenous photographer Cara Romero, along with a pair of expressive works from Native American artist Fritz Sholder who is credited with disecting many of the myths associated with Native American art.

Romero will give a lecture on Nov. 16 and her husband, Diego Romero, a Cochiti Pueblo potter and printmaker, will deliver a lecture on Nov. 17. Both talks are free with registration.

“Under the direction of Dr. Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, our Curator of Native American Art, we have put together an outstanding collection of the most important contemporary and near-contemporary Native American artists, and in this exhibition we’re debuting a number of very important works we’ve acquired for our permanent collection,” David Brashear, the museum’s Executive Director, said. “The artists we are showcasing are the shining stars, the bright lights in that space.”

The exhibit will also feature another section focusing on pop art.

“You’ll see works by Andy Warhol and Leonard Baskins, non-Native artists who were influenced by the American Indian Movement and began to memorialize Native Americans in a pop art form,” Brashear said.

“Forever Marked By the Day,” the museum’s other latest exhibition, examines the making and remaking of the World Trade Center over the span of three galleries.

“Many of our visitors have been emotionally moved, I think in a good way, when they go through this exhibition,” Brashear said. “The original twin towers really did become iconic emblems of America and their destruction was dramatic and impactful around the world.”

The center gallery includes two enlarged covers from The New Yorker, six before the attacks and six after, which Brashear said charts the history of the World Trade Towers.

To commemorate the day with sensitivity, the exhibit does not include any photos of burning buildings or bodies.

Brashear said that the exhibit gives older visitors a chance to reflect on where they were during the day of the attacks, while offering education and, in some cases, an introduction to younger visitors.

“We set out to create a space for reflection and contemplation and remembering,” Brashear said. “I think we have done that. I think people feel it’s a space that treads very lightly and is delicate but accomplishes our objective.”

Danielle Moretti-Langholtz will present a free lecture on Nov. 4 at 6 p.m., titled “Red Power, Indigenous Voices, and New Directions in Native American Art.” 

Patrons are encouraged to book their visit to the museum online.

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