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Nov./Dec. 2003 Newsletter


JOSEPH SHEPPARD: An American Portrait
Members and Guests are invited to a Holiday Open House for "JOSHEPH SHEPPARD- An American Portrait"! Meet the artist on Sunday afternoon, December 8th, 2003 (from 1:00 to 4:00pm) (Informal Gallery Talk at 2:00pm)
The Midwest Museum of American Art is delighted to present the exhibition, "JOSEPH SHEPPARD: An American Portrait" for the Holiday Season and into the New Year, beginning on December 5th, 2003 and continuing through February 22nd, 2004. The exhibition will feature 40 works in painting, sculpture and drawing by this internationally recognized American artist who divide his time between his home in Baltimore and his second home in Settignano near Florence, Italy.

Sheppard was born in 1930 and by 1948 had enrolled in the (new) Maryland Institute College of Art, part of the University of Maryland University College system. He became one of a small group of students instructed by the French painter, Jacques Maroger who came to America earlier, around 1940. Maroger had established himself in Europe as an accomplished painter and as techinical director of the laboratory of the Louvre Museum in Paris. There he was an art restorer, teacher, and passionate realist painter. His research led to the rediscovery of lost painting techniques and the reinvention of an oil painting medium of the 15th century artist Jan van Eyck. Upon this notoriety and after receiving the Legion of Honor Medal in 1938, Maroger came to Maryland to escape the rising Nazi regime.

Sheppard would bask in the knowledge of his teacher by training extensively in areas of anatomy, drawing, sculpture, portraiture, and still life painting combined with instruction on how to grind pigments, hand press linseed oil, and make the (now) famous "Maroger medium". For Joseph Sheppard it was the beginning of a long and illustrious career as both painter/sculptor and teacher himself. He would become part of a group of artists and teach subsequent generations who would become known as "The Baltimore Realists".

Joseph Sheppard taught painting, anatomy and figure drawing at the Maryland Institute of the Arts from 1960 to 1975. He has written seven books on anatomy, drawing and painting techniques which havbe been translated into most major languages. His works are found in the collections of the Butler Institute of American Art, the Carnegie Institute, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Vatican collections. His portrait commissions have included filmmaker John Waters; Blaze Starr, burlesque queen of the 1950's; U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski; former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer; and in the mid 1990's the official portrait of President George Bush which now hangs in the Presidential Library and Museum. The artist's murals can be found throughout the city of Baltimore as well as his public sculpture including the "Holocaust Memorial".

For more than 50 years, Joseph Sheppard has paid homage to the past with paintings, drawings, sculpture, and public artworks that honor the present. His work has been regarded by major critics as a timeless tribute undertaken with a contemporary sensibility. It is with great honor that this exhibition organized byt he Midwest Museum of American Art is brought to the citizens of northern Indiana. The Midwest Museum wishes to thank the CORSON FAMILY FOUNDATION for graciously sponsoring this exhibition. In addition, MMAA wishes to thank Ms. Peggy Grant of Toledo, Ohio, for her assistance and introduction to the artist and for the support of the GENESIS Program of the City of Elkhart.

Chicago Bus Trip Agenda for Wednesday, November 12th, 2003:
*Leave MMAA at 9:00am. *Arrive at the Art Institute of Chicago at 10:30am to view "Manet and the Sea". *Depart for Terra Museum of American Art at 2:00pm to see their permanent collection & "Leaving for the Country: George Bellows at Woodstock". *Return to Elkhart by 6:00pm.

A Musical Work of Art for the Main Gallery...
When members attend special concert of hear music in the background during an opening reception, it will most often be coming from someone playing the 1912 Steinway Louis XV grand piano which Jeanne Batten and Family have graciously donated to the Midwest Museum. The previous grand piano had been on extended loan to the museum and was recently returned to it's owner, Alice Fackert, after nine years. Jeanne Batten has had her Steinway fully restored inside and out. With it's origional factory numbers on record at Steinway & Sons in New York, restorer Dennis Chupp was able to rebuild, reconditionm and refinish every inch of the 6 feet, 10 inch Circassian walnut instrument. It is truly a marvel to behold and elegant to the eye and ear. Many thanks for the effort by Jeanne Batten and the restorer.

The largest cash awards exhibit in the midwest! The 25th Elkhart Juried Regional continues through November 30th, 2003!
The 25th Elkhart Juried Regional opened with great fanfare on October 17th. A crowd of 450 enjoyed the exhibition of 158 works by 118 artists from a twenty-one county region. Awards totaling $21,000 were presented - the largest year for awards in museum history! Several of the highlights of the evening's awards reception are illustrated in our current printed newsletter (located at the desk of the Midwest Museum of American Art). This exhibition was the second largest show ever mounted in the history of the museum.

The Director's Statement:
As the year-end approaches and we celebrate the holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, the staff of the MMAA wishes to reflect on those people and events, challenges and accomplishments that have shaped this year of 2003.
Foremost in those reflections are our members whose continual support, visits, letters and checks keep our doors open. A special thought also is given to our volunteers who generate enthusiasm in the thousands of visitors who come through the museum's doors. And, to the corporations and individuals whose generosities have made our collection and exhibitions, out library and archives, our educational and outreach programs possible, you have our deepest gratitude. During the year 2004, the Midwest Museum will reach an exciting milestone in our history, our 25th anniversary. Since 1979, we've watched the museum grow exponentially while hosting scores of outstanding exhibitions and programs.
Not a day goes by that we are not reminded that your participation assures that the Midwest Museum of American Art will go forth and flourish. We are truly thankful to each and every one of you whose partnerships and support contribute to the success of this amazing American Art museum in Elkhart. We look forward to seeing you in 2004, in a celebration of our past, present, and future. (~Jane Burns, Director)

The Midwest Museum of American Art gratefully acknowledges gifts in honor or in memory of special friends. Notes of acknowledgement are sent by the Museum to those honored or to the families of those momorialized. Recent memorials include:
Justine Budd by Jane Burns
RObert W. Schnuck by Dr. & Mrs. Warren Breniman, & John & Patricia VanDyke, Jr.
Elizabeth Ann Comer by Dr. & Mrs. William Atwood
Helen Sirko by Jane Burns
Charles Dinehart by Philip & June Holloway, & Richard & Barbara Wich
Ronald Stutzman by Jane Burns
Mary Feddersen by Dr. & Mrs. William Atwood
Larry Tepe by Paul & Betty Thomas
Governor Frank O'Bannon by Jane Burns, Brian & Lisa Byrn, and Paul & Betty Thomas
John & Janet von der Heide Library Fund by John & Janet von der Heide


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