A trio of new exhibitions connecting art, history, and contemporary culture and politics opens on September 8.
Williams James Glackens, (American, 1870–1938), Our American Snobs: The relation of Yellow Journalism to Its Own Creation, the Four Hundred (detail), 1903, Ink and graphite, 10 1/4 x 8 1/2 in., Purchased with the Friends of the Cornell Fund, 1987.57.1
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum (CFAM) is excited to announce three new exhibitions that connect art, history, and our particular cultural and political moment. The trio of exhibitions will be on view September 8 through December 12, 2018.
Dangerous Women: Selections from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art invites you to rediscover Renaissance and Baroque paintings through a feminist perspective in the age of the #MeToo movement. Jamilah Sabur: Ibine Ela Acu/Water Sun Moon, the young artist’s first solo exhibition at a museum, focuses on Central Florida history and traditions. Fake News? Some Artistic Responses tackles artists’ filtering and interpretation of news consumerism.
“The fall exhibitions illustrate eminently well the mission of our museum: to present the art of the past and present as a window into society, its mores and politics, and to highlight the ongoing relevance and power of artistic voices,” says Ena Heller, Bruce A. Beal Director of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. “Whether presenting brilliant Renaissance paintings or modern and contemporary American artists, we always strive to look at history through today’s eyes and connect contemporary issues with the historical traditions.”
Francesco Cairo, (Italian, Milanese,1607–1665), Judith with the Head of Holofernes, ca. 1633 - 37, Oil on canvas, 119.1 x 94.3 cm., Courtesy of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art SN 798
Dangerous Women, which was organized by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in partnership with CFAM and Florida International University’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, features selections from the Ringling’s extraordinary collection. Paintings by 16th- and 17th-century artists, such as Pietro da Cortona, Pordenone, Giovanni Andrea Sirani, Fede Galizia, and Francesco Cairo, are accompanied by Old Master prints, including Jan Saenredam’s Famous Women of the New Testament series. A modern coda, Robert Henri's sumptuous, sensuous Salome serves as a reminder of the tenacity of the appeal of dangerous biblical women.
The books of the Bible are full of fascinating female characters—good and bad wives, courageous heroines, and deceptive and sometimes even deadly femmes fatales. These women—from Judith and Esther to Salome and Mary Magdalene—shaped both biblical and art history. Women of the Bible were often depicted by Renaissance and Baroque artists simply as an excuse for presenting sensuous female nudes. Other times, however, they were portrayed for the drama or moral messages conveyed by their stories. The exhibition promotes new ways of seeing biblical and historical female characters—whose convictions, power, and determination made them “dangerous” in traditional male-dominated societies—and provides a historical foil to contemporary issues.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, which includes essays by nationally acclaimed feminist art historian Mary D. Garrard and Rollins Professor of Art History Kim Dennis.
Jamilah Sabur, Untitled (rhombus: cradling Mars west of the Sargasso Sea), 2017, Video still, Courtesy of the artist
Jamilah Sabur: Ibine Ela Acu/Water Sun Moon is the Miami artist’s first solo exhibition at a museum. Sabur’s art is shaped by family history and postcolonial theory. She often considers place (both real and imaginary), the gaps in between, and the cicatrices that remain. She repeatedly mines historic texts and family histories in imagining both utopic spaces and specific places, such as her grandmother’s home in Jamaica.
For her installation at CFAM, Sabur decided to focus on the lands of Central Florida. She has been traveling to the Lake Wales region, Lake Apopka, and St. Augustine, thinking about residue and how the historical past of these lands interacts with the present. In St. Augustine, for instance, the artist memorialized the bloody historical past. Local habitats and species like the Florida scrub jay, a bird that is native to Central Florida, are also present in the work, within the context of a contemporary awareness of climate change.
The exhibition was organized by former CFAM curator Amy Galpin, who is now chief curator at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami.
Fred Tomaselli, Jan 26, 2013, 2013, Gouache printed on printed watercolor paper, 10 3/4 x 12 in., © Fred Tomaselli. Image courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai, 2013.34.060
Fake News? Some Artistic Responses explores the way artists respond to and react against the barrage of news. Over the past two years, fake news has occupied a strong presence in the American lexicon. From information taken out of context and twisted truths to unreliable sources and outright propaganda, inflammatory reports compromise reputable journalism and trust in democracy. Though the phrase “fake news” has been coined only recently and is amplified by easy access to a never-ending newsfeed, similar attacks on the media have existed in the United States for more than a century.
The exhibition, which contemplates the way we consume, perceive, and transmit information in society, features works by American artists Fred Tomaselli, Matthew Brannon, William James Glackens, Robert Rauchenberg, and Jerome Meadows from CFAM’s permanent collection. These artists recognize the power of the media in shaping public opinion and encourage viewers to ask questions. Through their work, they offer research, report on current events, and act as fact checkers of their generations.
The exhibition was organized by Elizabeth Coulter, Dale Montgomery Fellow at CFAM.
In the addition to these three new exhibtions, CFAM will continue to feature Forging Modern American Identities: Recent Acquisitions and Ruptures and Remnants: Selections from the Permanent Collection, both of which opened earlier this year. The works in Ruptures and Remnants periodically change, and this fall the exhibition features never-shown pieces, such as John Salt’s Desert Wreck, and rarely exhibited works like Romare Bearden’s The Fall of Troy.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
1000 Holt Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789-4499
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, major holidays, and during installation periods
• Free staff-led tours are available on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and the third Thursday of the month at 12:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted
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CFAM admission is free courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group