Fall 2016 Beauty
Exhibitions and Tours
Ekenazi Museum of Art
Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology
Indiana University Center for Art + Design Gallery
Mathers Museum of World Cultures
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
Wells Library Commons
The Eskenazi Museum's galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is always free. More information regarding directions and parking, can be found at the museum's website.
Old Hollywood Glam
The Eskenazi Museum of Art’s program will look at beauty through the eyes of the media, particularly Hollywood of the so-called Golden Age (1920s–40s). By using the lens of professional portrait photographs, we will examine how the stars, publicists, and movie moguls constructed an artificial image of beauty and promoted it as the glamorous, sexy standard to American women. This installation features “head shots” of some leading ladies of the period, including Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Anna May Wong, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Crawford, by the photographers Edward Steichen, George Hurrell, and Angus McBean.
Related talk: “Anna May Wong: She, Too, Was Hollywood"
Gallery Tours: Beauty
The Eskenazi Museum of Art will create a curriculum-structured gallery program that explores the theme “Beauty” through the lens of the visual arts utilizing the museum’s collection of over 45,000 paintings, sculptures, and works-on-paper from around the world. Student docents from the Hutton Honors College receive special training and lead the 50-minute programs.
The Themester tour this year will not only focus on the physical ideals of beauty and how they change over time (for example, from ancient Greece to Hollywood), but moral and ethical components of beauty (like in West African cultures), of the complexities of race and identity in regard to cultural constructions of beauty, the concept of the transient nature of beauty in Japan, beauty associated with rarity of materials, and more.
Islamic Arts Tour at Eskanazi Museum of Art
Discover the wonderful collection of Islamic art and artefacts at Indiana University's Eskenazi Museum of Art. On the tour you will see manuscripts, paintings and illustrations, miniature books, early printed works, and various other artefacts. The expert tour guide will discuss typical themes in Islamic art, and highlight difference in conceptions of beauty in different periods (9th to 20th Century) and cultural milieus (Persia, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, India). The aesthetics and importance of calligraphy ("beautiful writing") and miniature paintings and illustrations in religious texts will also be discussed. Space is limited, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Wednesday, October 19, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at Eskenazi Museum of Art
A related tour will be held at Lilly Library.
Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and weekends, 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. It is closed on major holidays and university breaks. Admission is free. More information can be found at the website.
Shawnee Pottery Exhibit (title TBD)
August 2 through December 31.
In collaboration with the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology is proud to open their new exhibit featuring the work of Shawnee potters to recreate and revive their artistic ceramic traditions. Ceramic vessels contain much beauty in their own right – this exhibit will tell the story of the aesthetics behind vessel appearance, highlighting the beauty in the making of vessels, and the beauty of rediscovering and reviving aesthetic expression reflected by past traditions. The exhibit is intended to plumb the depths of what is considered beauty by exploring the connections between the aesthetically pleasing, the senses, the politics of removal and tradition, and the creation of beautiful works of art in multiple media (ceramics and paintings). The exhibit opening will feature talks by artist Ruthe Blalock Jones (Shawnee, Delaware, Peoria) who will discuss Shawnee conceptions of beauty and how they influence her art, and Ben Barnes (Second Chief of the Shawnee) who will speak about beauty in the Shawnee pottery project.
Related talk: "The Beauty of Tradition: Shawnee Pottery"
Grunwald Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4:00 pm. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. More information can be found at the website.
August 26 through October 7
The exhibition and symposium “Framing Beauty” will provide an opportunity to address the political and cultural nuances of the idea of beauty and structure discussion about this indefinable and sometimes enigmatic attribute. Guest curator Deborah Willis will bring a knowledgeable approach to this project by selecting artists whose work questions ideas of beauty in terms of race, gender and cultural assumptions and perceptions. The video, performances, photographs, and installations in this exhibit will require viewers to consider their own ideas about beauty and how images might shape our personal and cultural definitions.
Related symposium: Framing Beauty
Making Nature: An Art Installation Exploring the Beauty of Protein Structure
October 15 through November 16.
Inspired by the beautiful images found in the electron density maps visualizing protein structures, and influenced by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s early-twentieth-century work on form-finding, this project presents a large scale physical art installation. The goal of the project is two-fold: to explore the making of nature through the beauty of protein folding in the realm of materials, construction, artistic form-finding and form-making, and to educate the general public about the beautiful intersection of art and science.
Information on IUCA+D can be found at the gallery website.
Eye of the Beholder
October 14 through November 18
Opening reception: Friday, October 14, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
Ideals of beauty focusing on body shapes and proportions are variable and often unattainable. Typically, these ideals of beauty are dictated by the fashion gatekeepers of the culture (the aristocracy, the wealthy, the celebrity, the media powerful, and leaders of commerce) rather than the actual designer. Each generation is taught by example to embrace the preconceived notions of beauty related to fashion; however, they are also taught to seek and treasure novelty, and thus fashion changes emerge. Contradicting concepts of beauty in women’s fashion from 1810-2010 are demonstrated on full mannequins accompanied by related fashion illustrations, photographs, and videos.
Islamic Arts Tours at Lilly Library
Discover the wonderful collection of Islamic art and artefacts at Indiana University's Lilly Library. On the tour you will see manuscripts, including rare Qur’ans, paintings and illustrations, miniature books, early printed works, and various other artefacts. The expert tour guide will discuss typical themes in Islamic art, and highlight difference in conceptions of beauty in different periods (9th to 20th Century) and cultural milieus (Persia, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, India). The aesthetics and importance of calligraphy ("beautiful writing") and miniature paintings and illustrations in religious texts will also be discussed. Reservations required.
Wednesday, September 28, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at Lilly Library
Wednesday, November 9, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at Lilly Library
A related tour will be held at Eskenazi Museum of Art.
The MMWC exhibition hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For information on visiting the Mathers Museum, see the museum website.
In support of Themester 2016: Beauty, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is presenting three exhibitions exploring ideas of beauty and their social contributions in different world cultures. Siyazama: Traditional Arts, Education, and AIDS in South Africa considers the use of traditional arts and associated concepts of beauty in contemporary South Africa, where these arts are being used to address critical needs in the face of a devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic. In Costume: Beauty, Meaning, and Identity in Dress, practices of wearing costumes—dress set apart from everyday clothing—opens a window on beauty and other values made material by individuals in a range of world cultures. Hózhó: Navajo Beauty, Navajo Weavings will introduce the famed wool rugs and blankets woven by the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States. Situating these textiles within regional history and Navajo culture, the exhibition will focus on the theme of beauty in Navajo cosmology as expressed in the artistry of these treasured weavings. All three exhibitions will be supported by a range of scholarly and interactive programs aimed at College students and will be open to the campus and the community.
Costume: Beauty, Meaning, and Identity in Dress
August 23 through January 29, 2017
This photo exhibit will examine the transformative power of costumes in the communication of beauty, personal meaning, and social identity, often culminating in a spectacle for public consumption. The exhibit will be curated by Pravina Shukla, Associate Professor of Folklore and author of Costume: Performing Identities through Dress.
Related talk: "Costume: Beauty, Meaning, and Identity in Dress"
Hózhó: Navajo Beauty, Navajo Weavings
August 16 through March 5, 2017.
This exhibit will introduce the famed wool rugs and blankets woven by the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States. Situating these textiles within regional history and Navajo culture, the exhibition will focus on the theme of beauty in Navajo cosmology as expressed in the artistry of these treasured weavings. Works presented will be drawn from several Mathers Museum of World Cultures collections, including those of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom. The exhibit will be curated by Professor of Folklore and Mathers Museum of World Cultures Director Jason Baird Jackson.
Siyazama: Traditional Arts, Education, and AIDS in South Africa
August 16 through December 18
Drawing on collaborative research led by Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha McDowell of the Michigan State University Museum and arts education professor Marit Dewhurst (CUNY),this exhibit explores the beauty of traditional forms and their use as a tool for negotiatingcontemporary cultural, social, and economic change in an area where HIV/AIDS is a very real and urgent issue. Featuring beadwork, doll making, basketry, and wirework, the exhibit looks at “how South African artists are using their work to educate others as well as to cope with the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in their own lives and communities.”
Bodies of Sound: Locating the Beautiful in African American Music
October 24 through December 9
This exhibit, curated by the Archives of African American Music and Culture, will explore the ways that musicians perform and represent concepts of African American beauty to make broader commentary on history, culture, politics, and social relationships. From the physical perspective, the exhibit will address controversies surrounding the predominant ideals of beauty that showcase and privilege skin color, hair textures, and body shapes that typically exclude the majority of performers of African descent. From the aesthetic perspective, the ways composers and artists have asserted their individual and collective agency in writing, recording, and performing songs that provide a culturally meaningful counter narrative to these views are highlighted. Examples abound across time, space, and musical genre ranging from jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop to gospel.
An accompanying Bodies of Sound playlist is available on Spotify and Youtube.
Related Panel: “Bodies of Sound: Locating the Beautiful in African American Music” (October 24)
The Illustrated Woman: 200 Years of Fashion Images
August 22 through December 16
The Illustrated Woman: 200 Years of Fashion Images examines the relationship between representations of fashionable clothing and the body inside. Fashion plates, fashion sketches, and fashion illustrations spanning 200 years will demonstrate how these two-dimensional images, created to stimulate fashion awareness and consumption, express shifting standards of beauty and the collective cultural, social, and aesthetic ideals of their time. These serialized, circulated images created a shared visual culture that not only communicated changes in silhouette, fabric, color, and detail, but also encompassed variations in posture, gesture, and facial expression.