Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Review: 140 Unlimited at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

It was a privilege and an absolute pleasure to view 140 Unlimited: Recent Acquistions in Honor of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum's 140th Anniversary during its final days.  

View of the Caroline R. Hill Gallery, 2016
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Photograph Laura Shea

The exhibit, which was on view from September 2016 until May 2017, was conceived in celebration of the Museum's long and storied history.  The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (MHCAM) is one of only a handful of collegiate art museums with such longevity.  The hallmark of the MHCAM is the fact that its collection is uniquely comprehensive, spanning from antiquity to the present.  As a top teaching museum at one of the nation's finest institutions of higher learning, students can interact with art to gain deeper understanding of chemistry, biology, literature, film, physics, and art history.  The museum staff is collaborative, open, and education-focused, working to foster visual literacy and other important skills such as close observation, conceptual linking, creative response, formal analysis, and primary research.  (source)
While Mount Holyoke students are privileged to have the museum right on campus, the surrounding community is welcome to enjoy and learn from the rich collection housed within the museum.  While I was on campus for my college reunion, I was delighted to view the newest acquisitions.  The collection was impressive, inspiring a fresh, personal emotional response to each piece.  Sadly, I only had a few moments to take it all in, but I was thrilled that these pieces have a home in the permanent collection at my alma mater.
What follows are images of two objects from the 140 Unlimited exhibit.  To read a collection of insightful essays about different pieces in the exhibit, please check out the museum's newsletter 140th Anniversary Special Edition, and open the pdf.

Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara), 960-1368 (Song Dynasty or Yuan Dynasty)
Chinese
Wood with traces of gesso, paint, and gilding
Gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Photograph Laura Shea
MH 2012.40.2

Faith Ringgold (American, b. 1930)
Somebody Stole My Broken Heart, 2007
Ink on paper; screen print, edition 27/60
Partial gift of the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College and purchase with the Susan and Bernard Schilling (Susan Eisenhart, Class of 1932) Fund
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Photograph Laura Shea
MH 2016.2.9
Bonus:  You can search the MHCAM and the Five College collections here.  If you would like more art reviews, please let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me at artlikebread (at) gmail (dot) com.  As always, thanks for reading the blog!  Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.  If you liked this post, please share this post with a friend through social media & share the art & education love!

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