CFAM Announces Fall 2019 Exhibitions

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum announces its fall exhibition season, which will be on display from September 21 through December 29.

Beauford Delaney, Can Fire in the Park, 1946, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, museum purchase. Beauford Delaney, Can Fire in the Park, 1946, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, museum purchase.

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum’s fall exhibition season celebrates history while making connections with important themes relevant to contemporary viewers.

Two of the museum’s galleries will feature African American Art in the 20th Century, a large-scale exhibition organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum that brings together an important selection of works in a variety of media. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is home to one of the most significant collections of artworks by African-Americans in the world. This nationally traveling exhibition features a selection of approximately 50 paintings and sculptures by 32 artists, including Sam Gilliam, Richard Hunt, Romare Bearden, Felrath Hines, Norman Lewis, and many others. Many of these works will be seen in Florida for the first time.

Palmer Hayden, The Janitor Who Paints, ca. 1930, oil on canvas. Smithsonian American Art Museum, giG of the Harmon Foundation. Palmer Hayden, The Janitor Who Paints, ca. 1930, oil on canvas. Smithsonian American Art Museum, giG of the Harmon Foundation.

African American Art in the 20th Century is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

The artists featured came to prominence during the period bracketed by the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement. The means of these artists vary from modern abstraction to stained color to the postmodern assemblage of found objects. Words of Howard University philosophy professor Alain Locke, novelist James Baldwin, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and their contemporaries provided insight and inspiration.

“We are very thankful to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for creating the opportunity to engage with this carefully curated selection from their incredible collection,” notes Bruce A. Beal Director Ena Heller.

Richard Baker, Major American Poets, 2013 Gouache on paper. The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, GiG of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond. 2013.34.20
Image courtesy of the artist and Clark Gallery, Lincoln, Massachusetts. Richard Baker, Major American Poets, 2013 Gouache on paper. The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, GiG of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond. 2013.34.20 Image courtesy of the artist and Clark Gallery, Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Ut Pictura Poesis: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of Art The year 2019 marks the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth, an event of special relevance to the Rollins campus. The Rollins College Archives features one of the country’s most extensive collections of original materials by and about Whitman, including a first edition of Leaves of Grass, as well as personal papers and correspondence.

This exhibition examines the impact of Whitman’s work on American life and culture, past and present, by drawing connections between his ideas, motifs, symbolism, persona, and contemporary artistic responses. The combination of archival materials and works of art encourages viewers to reflect on the symbiotic relationship between literature, cultural criticism, and visual art.

While previous exhibitions have addressed Whitman’s influence on the artists of his time, Ut Pictura Poesis: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of Art explores the impact of the poet’s work on a select group of contemporary artists. Bridging past and present, the objects on display speak to Whitman’s humanist approach and social sensibilities as well as to the artists’ engagement with his thought and legacy.

Samuel Hollyer, Walt Whitman, age 37, Frontispiece to
Leaves of Grass, Steel engraving from a lost daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison, Olin Library Archives, Rare Whitman Collection. Samuel Hollyer, Walt Whitman, age 37, Frontispiece to Leaves of Grass, Steel engraving from a lost daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison, Olin Library Archives, Rare Whitman Collection.

“This exhibition examines how the work of one of America’s most influential thinkers reverberates in contemporary society and how contemporary artists establish a dialogue with him through artistic expression,” says Gisela Carbonell, curator of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. “We are thrilled to share with our community an impressive selection of archival materials that provides historical context while also highlighting the beauty and nuance of original manuscripts and ephemera.”

Works by Richard Baker, Leonard Baskin, David Hockney, and Sara VanDerBeek are displayed alongside Whitman’s manuscripts, photographs, and illustrated first editions of his seminal texts. This exhibition is curated by CFAM in collaboration with the Rollins College Archives and Special Collections at Olin Library and the English Department, and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue available in the museum store.

Nicolas Lancret (French, 1690-1743), Country Dance, ca. 1750, oil on canvas, gift of Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Miller Jr., 1997.1 Nicolas Lancret (French, 1690-1743), Country Dance, ca. 1750, oil on canvas, gift of Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Miller Jr., 1997.1

At Leisure: Images of Repose from the Permanent Collection is an exhibition of work from the museum’s permanent collection featuring images of leisure and repose. This exhibition presents a selection of works that depict interior scenes and leisurely activities in private settings at home and in nature.

Featuring two important recent acquisitions to the museum’s permanent collection—An Elegant Company Playing a Game of Trictrac in an Interior and An Elegant Company Playing Music in an Interior, both by 17th-century Dutch painter Dirck Hals—the exhibition explores ideas of leisurely activity, moments of respite, and enjoyment. This exhibition is a complement to The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations and features works by Paul Cézanne, Roger Fry, Dirck Hals, Nicolas Lancret, Elie Nadelman, and John Sloan.

Dirck Hals, (Dutch, 1591-1656), An Elegant Company Playing Music in an Interior, ca. 1640, oil on panel, 21 x 27 1/4 in., Donated in memory of Robert G. Scully, 2019.1 Dirck Hals, (Dutch, 1591-1656), An Elegant Company Playing Music in an Interior, ca. 1640, oil on panel, 21 x 27 1/4 in., Donated in memory of Robert G. Scully, 2019.1

The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations features works from the museum’s permanent collection and continues to celebrate its growth and diversity by presenting important pieces that illustrate diverse manifestations of the notion of place and encourage artistic dialogues across centuries and geographic locations. Ideas of place can range from a physical location or imagined setting to a state of mind or a constructed memory of a past experience. Whether they are literal, fictional, or symbolic, visual representations of place invite reflections on identity, belonging, travel, memory, faith, and daily life. How do our surroundings affect the way we see ourselves? Are we defined by the land we inhabit? How do politics or religion shape our ideas of certain parts of the world?

“Every season we rotate a selection of works in the permanent collection gallery,” says Carbonell, “providing our recurring visitors with new ways to experience our holdings and first-time audiences with opportunities to discover narratives that resonate with their individual and collective experiences.”

Several loans from the Art Bridges Foundation, whose mission is to share outstanding works of American art with other institutions, supplement the installation.

Related Programming

Tuesday, September 24 | 6 p.m.
Lecture: Immersed in Modernism: The Art and Collection of George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen in their House & Studio
Kinney Frelinghuysen, Director of the Susy Frelinghuysen and George L.K. Morris House & Studio

Friday, September 27 | 11 a.m.
Tour: Latin American and Latinx Artists in the Permanent Collection
Gisela Carbonell, Curator, Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Tuesday, October 8 | 7 p.m.
Live Music: CFAM and Ugly Orange

Tuesday, October 22 | 6 p.m.
Lecture: African American Art in the 20th Century
Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Chief Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Friday, October 25 | 11 a.m.
Tour: From the Renaissance to Today: Transhistorical Notes on the Collection
Ena Heller, Director, Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Tuesday, November 5 | 6 p.m.
Film Screening and Lecture: Whitman Alabama
Jennifer Crandall, Filmmaker and Journalist
Ben Hudson, Assistant Professor of English at Rollins 

Saturday, November 16 | 1-5 p.m.
CFAMily Day
Drop by for fun activities perfect for the whole family, including a scavenger hunt in the galleries and hands-on art making connected to the exhibitions on view. All materials are provided.

Friday, November 22 | 11 a.m.
Tour: Ut Pictura Poesis: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of Art
Deborah Prosser, Director, Olin Library at Rollins 

Arte Y Cafe Con La Curadora (Art and Coffee with the Curator)
Tuesday, October 1 | 6 p.m.

Ut Pictura Poesis: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of Art

Tuesday, November 19 | 6 p.m.
African American Art in the 20th Century

Tuesday, December 3 | 6 p.m.
At Leisure: Images of Repose from the Permanent Collection