New Exhibitions

Ted Drake: Artist-Illustrator

Ted Drake: Artist Illustrator

Long known as the designer for the official mascot for the University of Notre Dame, Ted Drake (1907-2000) was an accomplished illustrator and fine artist with a career spanning over five decades. This spotlight exhibition at the Midwest Museum of American Art is a complement to the Elkhart County Historical Museum’s exhibition, Ted Drake Art/Commerce/History at the Elkhart Public Library. Included on display at the Midwest Museum are never-before-seen works brought from the museum’s vaults beginning with an unusual, but an enticingly seductive portrait of a sweetheart from the early 1940s. The remaining works featured in this exhibition, all of which are marked with Drake’s trademark signature typify his developed style and include subjects of sailboats, trains and our local Amish community. As a whole, this spotlight exhibition demonstrates Drake’s duality between fine art and illustration as a product of calculated skill and an immeasurable commitment to artistic output. This exhibition is on view now through July 31, 2018.

The American West: Vision & Revision

Since the theme of the American West has been a truly unique chapter in the Story of American Art for more than one hundred and fifty years, a new exhibit will be presented for the New Year on the second floor of the museum. Featured will be never-before-seen works representing the time-honored subject of Native Americans, mountain men, and pioneers of westward expansion. Curated from the permanent collection this exhibit will remain on view as an adjunct to those works shown in the vault gallery through September 2018.

The Flower Show

This exhibit opens concurrently with the work of Lad Hanka and presents an opportunity to explore the topic of flowers as seen in the work of eminent artists represented in the MMAA Permanent Collection. The exhibit includes works by nationally recognized artists such as Janet Fish and the regionally renowned work of artists like Jacqueline Gnott. Take a walk through the garden before you experience the Birds & the Bees. Special floral arrangements have been provided through a collaboration with Matzke Florists to enhance the experience. Thanks to Jenifer Rupnow and Stan & Linda Rupnow for working with the MMAA as good neighbors in the Arts & Entertainment District.

The Birds & the Bees: Works by Ladislav Hanka

A new exhibition featuring the work of Ladislav Hanka, Kalamazoo, Michigan, opens April 11 and continues through July 15.

The artist lives with his wife, sculptor, Jana Hanka, in a world of nature, that involves their passion for apiculture or beekeeping. While Jana’s work is involved with the subject of horses, together they have become master apiarists. Lad Hanka collaborates with active hives as the bees create unique beeswax or honeycomb formations over the top of his hand-wrought etchings of birds (he is a trained ornithologist), trees, fish, & images of other insects. As a scientist, Lad Hanka, was very involved with field study of nature, but after obtaining his MFA from Western Michigan University, he decided on the path of artist as his main career. Today his work can be seen in over 25 galleries across Michigan and the Midwest. He has been the topic of a PBS special recently in Pennsylvania. His work has been featured in exhibits in Russia and his ancestral home of Czechoslovakia.

American Modernism in the 20th Century

After the first quarter of the 20th Century, American Modernists had taken their cues from the European avant garde applying their individual sensibilities to the formal language of art. The American movement occurred out of a larger shift in social behavior that rejected philosophies of conventional social norms. Some of the American artists featured in this spotlight exhibition like John Marin (1870-1953), Hilla Rebay (1890-1967) and Stuart Davis (1894-1964) embraced the new style both in conception and self-identification. Modernism embraced ideas reflected in mass industrialization, the Jazz Age, and reacted to the aggressive propaganda of two World Wars. While Modernism is typically an abstract conception it is independent of any one definition, but broadly expresses an attitude towards experimentation and expression. This exhibition is on view now through November 11, 2018.