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May/June 2004 Newsletter



25th Anniversary Celebration !


MONTH OF MAY - "MMAA MONTH"!
Mayor David Miller has issued a proclamation proclaiming the month of May as Midewest Museum of American Art Month . Recognizing that the museum is an anchor in the changing and ongoing development of Elkhart's downtown for the past 25 years, Mayor Miller encourages all citizens to support the museum. He has stated that it is a privilege to have this facility available to the people of Elkhart and surrounding communities for exhibitions, performances, educational programs and cultural enrichment, not only for their work, but for the cultural heritage that will be their legacy. A city-wide open house will be held at the museum on MAY 16th, 2004.

SPECIAL OPEN HOUSE for the 25th Birthday Celebration on Sunday, May 16th, 2004!
The important connections to be made between the works in the permanent collection of the Midwest Museum of American Art and those on display from the Butler Institute are underscared by this special event, particularly in light of the upcoming visit by the Butler's Director, Dr. Lou Zona and co-curator, Peggy Grant, Toledo. Dr. Zona has been involved with the expansion of the Butler since 1982. Dr. Zona will give a brief Gallery Talk at 2:00pm about some of the works on display and a short history of the Butler Institute. Cake and champagne will be served throughout the afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00pm .

~*~*MAJOR GRANTS and Contributions*~*~
the Midwest Museum of American Art has received three major grants. The Genesis Program of the City of Elkhart awarded the museum $20,000 to support the exhibition and educational programs offered throughout the year. The Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation awarded a grant of $10,000 for the Midwest Museum's FAMILY FREE DAY every Sunday of the year. The Elkhart County Community Foundation recently awarded the Midwest Museum a matching grant of $7,500 for the production of the first comprehensive catalogue of the collection. Our sincere thanks to the Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation, the City of Elkhart, GENESIS Program and the Elkhart County Community Foundation for their tradition of support.

~~*"Music of America" CONCERT*~~

Music of America concert tapestry, a new choral group from the Michiana region, will be performing their first public concert, "Music of America" , at the Midwest Museum of American Art at 2:30pm on Sunday, May 23rd, 2004 . This semiprofessional choral ensemble, under the direction of Patricia Gollatz and Chris Witman, accompanied by renowned pianist and organist Celia Weiss, is dedicated to providing close harmonic sound while providing excellent choral entertainment. In addition to co-founder Kristen Schwerha-Scott, members of Tapestry include, Jim Bennett, Alisa Bennett, Sandy Brown, Jolene Czosnowski, Tom Lefever, Amy Gallo, Trish Habegger and Ron Hodgson.
Tapestry will perform all American music, from folk songs, such as "Shenandoah" and "Scarlet Ribbons", to American favorites of the 1920's and beyond, such as "Moonglow", "Me and My Shadow" and "Tenderly". Broadway show tunes from "South Pacific" and "Mame", and several patriotic numbers will complete the 70 minute concert. Celia Weiss will also perform a medley of Gershwin selections. This concert is FREE but seating is limited to 125.


ROBERT MOTHERWELL & THE NEW YORK SCHOOL
This exhibition which opens on Friday, June 4th, and continues through Sunday, July 11th, is an examination of the graphic work of artist Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) who among the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950's, was the most prolific writer and defender of the group who formed The New York School . This group of artists included Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, James Brooks and several others. The Second Generation artists of the group included Motherwell's wife of 14 years, Helen Frankenthaler; Joan Mitchell, Elaine De Konning, Conrad Marca-Relli and Robert Goodnough. The powerful influence Abstract Expressionism had over artists in succeeding generations is evident by the shift of art world power to New York City after World War II. Motherwell was a one of three major spokesmen for the cause along with Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg wgo coined the term "Action painting" . The work itself created by this legion of painters expressed the heroic and emotionally internal response of the artist over the descriptive techniques of realism. The formal qualities of art-line, shape, color, texture, space, could in and of itself convey meaning. The brush stroke was considered a mere mark in the passage of time like a footprint in the sand.
The exhibition mounted by the Midwest Museum of American Art draws on its extensive 20th century holdings and includes over 40 works by first and second generation AbEx artists. In addition important works by Robert Motherwell are on loan from the Bank One Art Program Collection - Elkhart, and from the private collection of Dr. Steven Conant of Indianapolis. With over 20 artists featured the exhibition, "Robert Motherwell and The New York School" promises to bring a new awareness of this important artist and the movement which forever changed art history in America. *This exhibition is graciously sponsored by BANK ONE, ELKHART .

MAJOR GIFT OF CERAMIC COLLECION... The largest private collection of Overbeck art pottery is being given to the Midwest Museum by R. Douglas and Barbara Grant. For the past 20 years the Grants have been tireless collectors of the ceramics created by four sisters from Cambridge, Indiana, who began their pottery operations in 1904 and concluded with the death of Mary Overbeck (the youngest sister) in 1959. It is expected the collection will be a major drawing card for thousands of visitors from all over the state of Indiana who will want a comprehensive look at these rare and historical objects. A public gallery dedication will take place this summer.

*RECENT GIFTS of art by Collectors.
Dr. Stephen Conant, an Elkhart native and resident of Indianapolis has recently given 33 works by some of the most eminent American artists of the 20th century. Dr. Conant's commitment to the growth of the Midwest Museum of American Art permanent collectionis evident with this gift accounting for a total of over 170 works of art given by the collector.
Dr. Rick and Cindy Burns donated 10 hand-colored photographs by Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) in April. With the Burns donation, the Midwest Museum now has a total of 25 Nutting photographs and will be showing these in a future exhibition.

*Catalogue of the Permanent Collection.
During the anniversary period, the Midwest Museum of American Art has undertaken a major project in the production of its first comprehensive catalogue of the over 1700 works owned by the museum. This publication has been made possible by Robert and Peggy Weed, Stephen and Diana Himes, and a grant from the Elkhart County Community Foundation. The list of all the collector/contributors to the permanent collection numbers over 232 individuals from 29 states who have helped shape and form the holdings of the Midwest Museum. As an educational tool, the Catalogue of the Permanent Collection will be circulated to and used by other museums in the U.S., universities, and public schools throughout the state. Completion of the catalogue is expected by summer 2004.

*Treasures from the Butler Institute of American Art continues thru May 30th. The 25th Anniversary Celebration continues as the 40 masterworks from the Butler Institute of American Art remain on display through May 30th . Weekly Gallery Talks, Concerts and Special events top the list of activities to participate in during this time.

Children's Summer Art Classes!
The Midwest Museum will offer a new series of summer Art Camps for students ages 5 (*who have completed Kindergarten) through ages 17. Enrollment in all Art Camps will be limited to 20.
FEES for each Art Camp will be $50. (*will include all materials) ART CAMP I.......June 14 - 18 (1 week)
Ages 5 - 7 yrs......12:30pm - 2:00pm; Mon-Fri
Ages 8 - 12 yrs.....2:30pm - 4:30pm; Mon-Fri
Art Educator, Tara Mix, will lead students on an adventure in creating drawings, watercolors, mixed media works and collages while utilizing the museum's permanent collection of American Art for inspiration.
ART CAMP II.......June 28 - July 2 (1 week)
Ages 5 - 7 yrs....12:30pm - 2:30pm; Mon-Fri
Ages 8 - 12 yrs....2:30pm - 4:30pm; Mon-Fri
Art Educator, Tara Mix will lead students on an adventure in creating drawings, watercolors, mixed media works and collages, while utilizing the museum's permanent collection of American Art for inspiration.
ART CAMP III.......July 26 - July 30 (1 week)
Ages 5 - 7 yrs.....10;30am - 12:00pm; Mon-Fri
Ages 8 - 12 yrs.....1:00pm - 2:30pm; Mon-Fri
Art Educator, Tom Grove will lead students on an exploration of the FUNdamentals of art! Students will learn about lines, shapes and textures in creating their own exciting compositions.
ART CAMP IV......August 2 - August 6 (1 week) (*FOR TEENAGERS)
Ages 13 - 17 yrs.....2:30pm - 4:30pm; Mon-Fri
Artist and Art Educator, Patrice Bovo will lead teenage students through exciting ideas to expand their knowledge of art. This is a good opportunity for art students to add to their college portfolios.

NOON TIME TALKS:

MAY 6...CHARLES BURCHFIELD (1893-1967)
Curator, brian Byrn presents a series of four talks highlighting some of the works by American artists from the Butler Institute's collection on view through May 30th.
MAY 13...RAPHAEL SOYER (1899-1987)
Curator, Brian Byrn presents a series of four talks highlighting some of the works by American artists from the Butler Institute's collection on view through May 30th.
MAY 20...EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)
Curator, Brian Byrn presents a series of four talks highlighting some of the works by American artists from the Butler Institute's collection on view through May 30th.
MAY 27...ANDY WARHOL (1931-1987)
Curator, Brian Byrn presents a series of four talks highlighting some of the works by American artists from the Butler Institute's collection on view through May 30th.
JUNE 3...ROBERT MOTHERWELL and The New York School" (film;55min.)
This film explores the work of the Abstract Expressionist artist Robert Motherwell and the philosophical and aesthetic attitude of the group of artists known as The New York School. This film is the precursor and insoiration for the exhibition at MMAA. The film will be shown on two Sundays FREE for the public ar 2:00pm on June 6th and again on July 11th.
JUNE 10...ROBERT MOTHERWELL
Brian Byrn, curator, discusses the work of this Abstract Expressionist painter whose works on paper are the topic of the recent exhibit.
JUNE 17...WILLEM DE KOONING
brian Byrn, curator, opens a dialogue on this late American artist whose work inspired a generation of abstract painters. In addition to the talk, a short 12-minute film captures the artist in his studio.
JUNE 24...HELEN FRANKENTHALER
Brian Byrn, curator, presents a gallery talk about the painter who was considered a Second generation Abstract Expressionist. Still a living symbol of that ear, Frankenthaler has charted her own course becoming well-known as a Post-Painterly Abstractionist by virtue of her inventive staining techniques with paint.
JULY 01...HANS HOFMANN: Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist (film; 30min.)
This new film added to the Midwest Museum's Library & Archives examines the life of german-born artist, Hans Hofmann, and the revolutionary ideas he brought to America in the late 1930's. Eventually he is known as the greatest living abstract painter of his generation untill he is challenged by the American, Jackson Pollock. From his own school which he set up in Provincetown, Hofmann becomes a lively component of the Abstract Expressionist community.

OUR NEW ENTRY RUG!

A colorful new entry rug completed with the museum's logo has been designed by Jeanne Batten, Trudy Basquin and Pat Warner. The museum staff wishes to thank these patrons and also to thank Mary Helvey for underwriting the project.

TRIBUTES
The Midwest Museum of American Art gratefully acknowledges gifts in honor or in memory of speical friends. Notes of acknowledgement are sent by the museum to those honored or to the families of those memorialized. Recent memorials include:
In Memory Of
Phillis Cormican by Jeanne Batten, Jane Burns, Wendell & Marty Culp and Paul & Betty Thomas
Bruce Hinks by Paul & Betty Thomas
Kay Jonas by Jeanne Batten
Nellie Peters by Jane Burns and Rick & Cindy Burns
Bill Spencer by Anne & Dick Treckelo
Gennie Starzenski by Paul & Betty Thomas
Max Stutzman by Anne & Dick Treckelo
Grant N. Yoder by Anne & Dick Treckelo

Capital Improvement Fund
by David & Julie Bird
(dm)

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