February 11, 2020 — This spring the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art will open three new featured exhibitions in its newly renovated galleries.
Opening March 25, Facing the Revolution: Portraits of Women in France and the United States focuses on the transformative period of political revolution in France and America. Exploring the intersection of those political and artistic revolutions, the exhibition foregrounds portraits of the prominent female personalities who helped shape this historical period (1775–1835). The opening of this exciting exhibition coincides with Women’s History Month and will serve as a catalyst for expanded research on women artists, which is supported by a generous endowment from the late philanthropist Jane Fortune, a passionate advocate for women in the arts and founder of the Florence, Italy-based nonprofit Advancing Women Artists. Fortune’s gift also supports the development of A Space of Their Own, an online database that will feature research on women artists. Facing the Revolution will include a digital publication, which will serve as a platform for launching A Space of Their Own.
Work from renowned goldsmith Robert Baines will be featured in the exhibition Living Treasure and Fabulous Follies, also opening on March 25. Recognized as a “Living Treasure” in his native Australia, Baines’s work explores the ways in which artistic styles and forms change over time. A specialist in the study of archaeometallurgy (ancient jewelry production), he incorporates ancient techniques into his art and narratives. Living Treasure and Fabulous Follies is supported in part by the generosity of Rita Grunwald.
Arthur Liou, Herman B Wells Endowed Professor of Digital Art at Indiana University, will present an ambitious new work titled House of the Singing Winds in the museum’s new Time-based Media Gallery. Opening April 1, this multichannel video was inspired by the historical Indiana home and studio of painter Theodore Clement (T. C.) Steele. Capturing the historic Steele home in stunning, high-definition video throughout the seasons, the work includes a voiceover inspired by the writings of Steele’s wife, Selman Neubacher Steele, who preserved the house and grounds as a memorial site after her husband’s passing.
“Facing the Revolution will be a rare opportunity to see portraits by French and American artists whose careers were shaped, in part, by the events of the French and American revolutions and to better understand the lives of women during this period of global upheaval,” said Galina Olmsted, Assistant Curator of European and American Art, Eskenazi Museum of Art.
Of Living Treasure and Fabulous Follies, Curator of Ancient Art Juliet Graver Istrabadi stated, “One can say that Robert Baines has been very successful in two separate careers—one as a working artist, the other as a scholar who studies ancient jewelry techniques. Each of these careers is interesting in its own right, but even more intriguing is the fascinating manner in which he combines them.”
On Arthur Liou’s latest project, Curator of Contemporary Art Elliot Reichert added, “Liou’s newly completed video will debut in the museum’s Time-Based Media gallery. The space has been recently outfitted with state-of-the-art projection technology that will deliver his mesmerizing artwork in stunning ultra-high definition. Considering the life and work of beloved Hoosier painter T. C. Steele and his wife, Selma, through a meditative exploration of their home, The House of the Singing Winds celebrates Indiana history with a forward-looking gaze.”
“I am delighted to welcome museum guests to our spring line up of exhibitions. Thanks to Jane Fortune’s generosity, we are able to present compelling content on women artists with Facing the Revolution. Our excellent collection of ancient jewelry offers a wonderful opportunity to focus on a contemporary artist like Robert Baines, whose work draws on ancient techniques in a clever way. Rita Grunwald’s support for Living Treasure and Fabulous Follies as well as other initiatives at the museum is truly inspiring. And, I am grateful for the opportunity to show work by talented IU faculty like Arthur Liou, whose House of the Singing Winds will be the second video work presented in our new Time-based Media Gallery,” said David A. Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director, Eskenazi Museum of Art.
Artist Talk: Robert Baines, March 28, 2020 4 p.m.
Date Night at the Museum: Celebrating the Facing the Revolution, Living Treasures, and House of the Singing Winds Exhibitions, March 28, 2020 5-7 p.m.
Curator Talk: Galina Olmsted, March 28, 2020 5:30 p.m.
A Space of Their Own