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Spring Programs on the Horizon

Posted on January 4, 2021 at 4:00 PM by Lilah Anderson

Education programs always begin months before they happen. Stemming from various points such as a conversation, a connection, an exhibition or a work of art, programs take months of planning to make them a reality. So a rhythm is formed where each spring the seeds for fall programs are sown and winter brings thoughts of summer events. As with so many things in this extraordinary year, that rhythm has been disrupted and a new level of adaptability and fluidity has been required. Even now as I prepare to post the calendar of the spring semester’s events, there is an uncertainty in what the spring will look and feel like and the possibility of change looms. Yet there is something that I do feel certain about: that art education will continue to uplift, to inspire and to offer a window to another time, place or person. With great hope and confidence in the power of education, I offer to you a look at what’s to come this spring for University Museums’ programming.

Many programs this spring are strengthened by collaboration and cross-disciplinary approaches. One such example that I am looking forward to is a presentation and poetry reading with Mary Swander, Former Poet Laureate of Iowa and emerita Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State. Swander contributed to the publication for the exhibition Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa and gave her valuable insight to curator Adrienne Gennett. Swander was also an original co-editor of the exhibition publication for Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of the Loess Hills. Her program will bring together topics of agriculture, poetry and art in a unique presentation that will be presented on Webex with a limited size in person viewing of the virtual program in the Brunnier Art Museum.

One great benefit to the expansion of our digital programs is the ability to make connections far beyond our state. In conjunction with the Farm House Museum exhibition Flicker and Flame: Whale Oil and Kerosene Lamps, Michael Dyer, Curator of Maritime History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, will present a lecture over Webex. Speaking from New Bedford, once known as the “City that Lit the World”, his talk The Products and Markets of American Commercial Whaling, 1750-1920 will transport viewers to a different place and time.

As formats change to accommodate social distancing and create a safe museum environment, opportunities for more intimate learning environments have grown. Rather than a typical exhibition reception, we will present a limited capacity timed entry program for Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector that will offer attendees the chance opportunity to engage directly with four experts in the field and experience the beautiful porcelain in the exhibition up close. Museum of Danish America Executive Director Tova Brandt and Associate Curator of Exhibitions Diya Nagaraj as well as collector Dr. Todd Reiser and University Museums’ Associate Curator Adrienne Gennett will all be available to answer questions and share their insight at this reimagined opening.

These are just a few examples of some of the exciting programs we have in store for you as our planning comes a step closer to reality. I look forward to sharing the full spring schedule in the coming weeks. Most of all I look forward to sharing with you the many journeys that art education brings as we look ahead to the new year.

HEADER: Daybreak Near Village Creek, 2019 by Fred Easker. Oil on canvas. On loan from the artist.

INSET: From the Flicker and Flame exhibition at the Farm House Museum; Kerosene Lamp, 1870, Ripley & Co.

MIDDLE: From the Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector exhibition; Sauceboat from the Heron Service, 1888-1890. Bing & Grøndahl. Painter: Fanny Garde or Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone. Gilder: D. Schmidt. On loan from Dr. Todd Reiser.

BELOW: Lilah Anderson, Educator of Visual Literacy and Learning stands in front of Forward by William King.

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