Tag Archive for Davison Art Center

Big Draw Unleashes the Artists Within

On April 25, the Friends of the Davison Art Center presented The Big Draw: Middletown, a community celebration of drawing and workshops for all skill levels, from beginning drawers to accomplished artists, at locations across Wesleyan. Facilitated by Wesleyan art professors and students, and sponsored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts and nine local businesses, the fourth annual free event attracted more than 300 participants from almost 40 towns. (Photos by Mariah Reisner ’04 MA ’07 and Tessa Houstoun ’17)

The Big Draw

Face painting was one of many activities offered at The Big Draw.

New Digital Design Studio to Bridge Divide between Arts, Technology

Contractors are working to restore and transform the Davison Art Center's carriage house section into a Digital Design Studio. The space formerly housed the Art Library

Contractors are working to restore and transform the Davison Art Center’s carriage house section into a Digital Design Studio. The space formerly housed the Art Library.

Imagine a place where Wesleyan students with a panoply of interests – art, photography, architecture, graphic design, and theatrical design, to name but a few – can work together in a dedicated digital space. Where faculty and students can bridge the divide between traditional arts and humanities courses and the tremendous shifts taking place in the technological world.

The new lab will feature new computers, scanners and 3-D printers.

The new lab will feature new computers, scanners and 3-D printers. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15)

That place is no longer imaginary. A $150,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust will support a Digital Design Studio in the repurposed carriage house section of the Davison Art Center. Beginning with about eight classes taught by three or four faculty members, the digital design program, slated to open in January 2015, will ultimately include intensive summer programming, reaching dozens more students by its second year.

“More than a simple grouping of high-end computers and software for arts classes, this will become a crossroads for faculty and students,” said Dean of Arts and Humanities Andrew Curran. “Together they will work across a variety of disciplines that are part of the massive digitization of design and humanities.”

The carriage house housed the Art Library until 2013, when the library’s holdings were consolidated at Olin. The grant will be used to repurpose and renovate the space and to purchase technology including scanners, 3-D printers and special software.

Wesleyan’s proposal for the Digital Design Studio envisions that eventually students will be able to solicit and accept projects from outside the university, gaining valuable career experience through non-academic digital design work.

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Davison Art Center’s 19th Century Goya Print Exhibited in Boston

Open Access Image from the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan Universi

Francisco Goya’s portrait of the French printer Cyprien Gaulon will be on exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The print is owned by Wesleyan’s Davison Art Center.

One of Davison Art Center’s most important works – an early 19th century Francisco Goya lithograph – will be shown in a major art exhibit in Boston this fall.

The print, a portrait of the printer Cyprien-Charles-Marie Nicolas Gaulon, was made at the end of Goya’s life, between 1825 and 1826, and is one of only two known “first state” copies of the work (the other is in France’s Bibliotheque Nationale).  Gaulon taught Goya lithography during the artist’s senescent exile in Bordeaux.

“It’s a portrait of a friend, the man who taught him this technique, towards the end of his life,”  said Clare Rogan, curator of the DAC. “It’s a view onto Goya’s life at the time.”

The print was lent last month to the Museum of Fine Arts, where it will be exhibited in “Goya: Order and Disorder” Oct. 12-Jan. 19. The largest Goya exhibit in North America in 25 years, the show will include everything from the portraits of aristocrats that established his reputation to the prints and drawings that carried the Spanish artist’s fame beyond his country.

Federal Grant Supports DAC Digital Initiative

Davison Art Center.

Many works at the Davison Art Center will be digitally photographed starting with a collection of Dutch and German prints.

A significant federal grant will support efforts to make works in Wesleyan’s Davison Art Center more accessible to students, faculty and the wider world.

The $111,173 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, announced this week, will fund digital photography of some of the DAC’s permanent collection, beginning in 2015 with Dutch and German “old master” prints.

The funds, awarded in the Museums for America program, will allow the DAC to execute high quality, rapid photography of key parts of its holdings; these images can then be used for collection management or in classes.

WW I Posters Shine at Davison Art Center Exhibit

dac_pr_2014-08_action_bakerdac_pr_2014-08_action_christyIt was called “the war to end all wars.” Causing the downfall of three major empires, and eclipsing all previous wars in its destruction, World War I changed the course of global history. And decades before television and sophisticated print advertising, it changed the way conflict was marketed to the American people.

A new exhibit, Call to Action: American Posters in World War I, at the Davison Art Center, displays dramatic posters that recruited soldiers, celebrated shipbuilding, called women for war work and even urged homemakers to prepare alternative foods in support of the war effort.

“The best illustrators of the day were recruited to donate their time to make these posters,” said Clare Rogan, curator of the DAC. “Artists recognized this was how they could serve. And this was the high point in American illustration, you have fabulous artists working as illustrators, and monthly periodicals are all illustrated before photography takes over in these areas.”

Two Whistler Drawings from DAC to Be Featured in PBS Documentary

Open Access Image from the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University

Whistler’s sketch showing how his Venice works should be exhibited in 1880

Two drawings by James McNeill Whistler, part of the Davison Art Center’s collection of more than 100 Whistler works, will be shown in a new documentary on the life of the painter.

The sketches, one in pencil and one in pen and ink, will be seen in “James McNeill Whistler & The Case for Beauty,” premiering September 12 on PBS.

They represent just a small part of Wesleyan’s extensive holdings of works on paper by Whistler, one of the most important American artists of the 19th century.

“Whistler was crucial in making the connection between the Impressionists and British art, and … American art,” said Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center and adjunct assistant professor of art history. “While he worked mostly in Europe, he was incredibly important in creating that link.”

Neither sketch is large – unlike finished prints or paintings, both were for Whistler’s personal use and not intended to be seen by a larger audience. They are, however, interesting glimpses of an artist at work. The pencil sketch, measuring at just 4.4 by 6.9 inches, represents his ideas about displaying his famous landscape prints of Venice at an 1880 exhibit by the Fine Arts Society in London.

Friends of the DAC Hosts “The Big Draw” for Local Community

On April 6, the Friends of the Davison Art Center sponsored "The Big Draw: Middletown," a community celebration of drawing with workshops designed for all skill levels, from beginning drawers to accomplished artists. The Big Draw will included eight drawing workshops held throughout Wesleyan campus, facilitated by Wesleyan art faculty, art students and the Middletown High School Art Club.

On April 6, the Friends of the Davison Art Center sponsored “The Big Draw: Middletown,” a community celebration of drawing with workshops designed for all skill levels, from beginning drawers to accomplished artists. The Big Draw included eight drawing workshops held throughout the Wesleyan campus, facilitated by Wesleyan art faculty, art students and the Middletown High School Art Club.

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” at the Davison Art Center through March 6

"Planes, Trains and Automobiles," opened Jan. 30 at the Davison Art Center. The photo-rich exhibit captures the essence and excitement of speed and machinery via images of some of the more romantic modes of transportation from the past 150 years.

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” opened Jan. 30 at the Davison Art Center. The photo-rich exhibit captures the essence and excitement of speed and machinery via images of some of the more romantic modes of transportation from the past 150 years. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Four gelatin silver prints by Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991) are in the exhibit, including "Gasoline Station, East Tremont Avenue and Dock Street, 1936. A young expatriate in Paris in the 1920s, Abbott was a studio assistant to Man Ray before establishing herself as a portrait photographer. In 1929 she returned to the United States and, inspired by Eugene Atget’s photographs of Paris, she started on her “immense subject,” documenting New York City. Funding the project remained difficult until 1935, when she was hired by the Works Progress Administration.

Four gelatin silver prints by Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991) are in the exhibit, including “Gasoline Station, East Tremont Avenue and Dock Street, 1936.” A young expatriate in Paris in the 1920s, Abbott was a studio assistant to Man Ray before establishing herself as a portrait photographer. In 1929 she returned to the United States and, inspired by Eugene Atget’s photographs of Paris, she started on her “immense subject,” documenting New York City. Funding the project remained difficult until 1935, when she was hired by the Works Progress Administration.

Friends of the Davison Art Center Hosts Online, Onsite Auctions

The Friends of the Davison Art Center is hosting an online auction Oct. 15-Nov. 9. An onsite auction will be held on Nov. 2.

The Friends of the Davison Art Center is hosting an online auction Oct. 15-Nov. 9. An onsite auction will be held on Nov. 2.

The Friends of the Davison Art Center is hosting its first-ever online auction featuring many pieces of fine art including works by internationally-exhibiting photographers, Wesleyan faculty, alumni and friends. The online auction, supported  by Bidding for Good, runs for three weeks, from Oct. 15 through Nov. 9 and will be accessed at http://fdac.wesleyan.edu.

As part of Wesleyan’s Homecoming/Family Weekend the Friends will also host a silent auction and free champagne reception at the Alsop House from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.

“We welcome the public to come get an up-close look at the pieces in the online auction and bid on additional items such as theater tickets, signed books, private tours, one-on-one classes and handicrafts,” said Mariah Reisner ’04, MA ’07, president of the Friends of the Davison Art Center.  “The auction is filled with beautiful, interesting and unique items and your purchase will help Wesleyan acquire new and important works for our collection.”

The online auction will feature fine artists including works by photographers Marion Belanger, Jen Davis, Dru Donovan, Joel Wellington Fischer, Curran Hatleberg, and John Lehr as well as Wesleyan faculty Julia Randall, Sasha Rudensky, David Schorr, Keiji Shinohara, Wesleyan alumni including Eli Durst, Lindsay Keys, Daria Lombroso, Juliana Romano, friends Matthew Grubb, Will McCarthy, Peter Waite and more.

The silent auction will include a preview of the works in the online auction as well as additional works by artists including Lee Berman, Connie Brown, Roslyn Carrier-Brault, Michael Danchak, Jackie Etling, Stan Klaneski and Kathy de Mayo. It also will include items such as a family photography session, a one-on-one Alexander Technique lesson, a private yoga class, an original composition, signed books, private tours, Center for the Arts theater tickets, tickets to Long Wharf Theater, gift certificates, handcrafts and more.

Founded in 1962, the Friends of the Davison Art Center includes more than 300 members and is dedicated to supporting the Davison Art Center collection. The Davison Art Center holds approximately 18,000 prints and 6,000 photographs in one of the foremost collections of prints and photographs at an American college or university.

Ligon ’82 Donates Etchings to DAC in Honor of Professor of Art Schorr

In August, artist Glenn Ligon '82, who received an honorary degree from Wesleyan in 2012, donated a series of nine etchings titled "Narratives," 1993, to the Davison Art Center. The prints respond to and rework the conventions of 19th century narratives by slaves and freed men and women. Ligon donated the prints in honor of David Schorr, professor of art. The etchings are now part of the DAC's permanent collection and are available for viewing by appointment.

In August, artist Glenn Ligon ’82, who received an honorary degree from Wesleyan in 2012, donated a series of nine etchings titled “Narratives” from 1993 to the Davison Art Center. The prints respond to and rework the conventions of 19th century narratives by slaves and freed men and women. Ligon donated the prints in honor of David Schorr, professor of art. The etchings are now part of the DAC’s permanent collection and are available for viewing by appointment.

David Schorr and Glenn Ligon.

David Schorr and Glenn Ligon at the 2012 Commencement ceremony.

“(Re)viewing Bodies” Photograph Exhibit on Display in Davison Art Center

The Davison Art Center's exhibit, "(Re)viewing Bodies: Selected American Photographs, 1930-2000," opened on Feb. 7 in the DAC gallery. The show is curated by students who took the course ARHA 360, Museum Studies, taught in fall 2012 by Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center. Hyunjin Chelsey Cho ’13, pictured, is one of the student curators who helped opening attendees navigate the gallery.

The Davison Art Center’s exhibit, “(Re)viewing Bodies: Selected American Photographs, 1930-2000,” opened on Feb. 7 in the DAC gallery. The show is curated by students who took the course ARHA 360, Museum Studies, taught in fall 2012 by Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center. Hyunjin Chelsey Cho ’13, pictured, is one of the student curators who helped opening attendees navigate the gallery.

Alexa Burzinski ’15 spoke about organizing the "(Re)viewing Bodies" exhibit. Topics of the show include the abstracted or fragmented body, the body and labor, the body and performance, the body in social situations, and the body in pain. Photographers include Diane Arbus, Larry Burrows, Kevin Bubriski, Harry Callahan, Judy Dater, Gordon Parks, and Jerry Uelsmann.

Alexa Burzinski ’15 spoke about organizing the “(Re)viewing Bodies” exhibit. Topics of the show include the abstracted or fragmented body, the body and labor, the body and performance, the body in social situations and the body in pain. Photographers include Diane Arbus, Larry Burrows, Kevin Bubriski, Harry Callahan, Judy Dater, Gordon Parks and Jerry Uelsmann.

The exhibition examines the ways 20th-century American photographers have represented the body, whether as subject or compositional element. Pictured, Virgil Taylor ’15 discussed his knowledge from his Museum Studies course. Other student curators included  Alexa Chiapetta ’13, Oliver Citrin ’14, Aria Danaparamita ’13, Philip Dinolfo ’14, Rachel Pei Hirsch ’15, Sewon Kang ’14, Sydney Lowe ’13, Matias Seijas ’13, Ariana Todd ’13 and Tessa Young ’13. (Photos by Hannah Norman '16)

The exhibition examines the ways 20th-century American photographers have represented the body, whether as subject or compositional element. Pictured, Virgil Taylor ’15 discussed his knowledge from his Museum Studies course. Other student curators included Alexa Chiapetta ’13, Oliver Citrin ’14, Aria Danaparamita ’13, Philip Dinolfo ’14, Rachel Pei Hirsch ’15, Sewon Kang ’14, Sydney Lowe ’13, Matias Seijas ’13, Ariana Todd ’13 and Tessa Young ’13. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

The Davison Art Center gallery, located at 301 High Street, is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The gallery is open to the public free of charge.