McMaster Museum of Art opens 125 & 45. An Interrogative Spirit

. January 22, 2012 . 0 Comments

The McMaster Museum of Art presents “125 & 45: An Interrogative Spirit an exhibition on view January 20 – August 25, 2012.


George Agnew Reid (Canadian 1860-1947), Call to Dinner, 1886 – 1887, oil on canvas, 121.6 x 179.8 cm. Gift of Moulton College. Photo: John Tamblyn

This exhibition highlights some of the key donors and benefactors who have contributed to the development of the art collection interweaving landmark moments in the histories of the University and Museum.

The MMA has a teaching and research collection that is unique in Canada—the most coherent collection of German Expressionist works, as well as works by European precursors, concurrent vanguard movements, and contemporary legacies.

The Museum’s birth at McMaster University sprang from the convergence of like-minded efforts. The foundation of the German Expressionist collection in the early 1960s by Professors Karl Denner (German Department) and George Wallace (Art History and Fine Art Department) coincided with the establishment of the Wentworth House Art Committee to purchase contemporary Canadian and European works. This led Wallace, along with Dr. Togo Salmon, Chair of the History Department, to push for a purpose-built gallery on campus. It opened in 1967.

The most dramatic and significant moment for the Museum was the Herman Levy collection donation of European historical and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in 1984 (a second donation of works came in 1990). Levy’s association with the University dates from the late 1940s and his bequest, in 1990, provided funds for significant international historical, modern and contemporary works. Recently, the Donald Murray Shepherd Trust (a former McMaster Classics professor) provided funds for the purchase of modern period European works by David Bomberg, Christian Rohlfs and Natalia Goncharova, which will be included in the exhibition.

2012 is also represented by a promised gift, a unique and rare A.Y. Jackson figurative painting done in 1913. The work was offered by McMaster graduates (1951) J. Russell and Winifred Hewetson, It has been in their family collection for almost 80 years and this is its first public exhibition.

In addition to the works by Reid and Muybridge, this exhibition includes works by Carl Beam, David Burliuk, Gustave Caillebotte, Otto Dix, Elisabeth Frink, Naum Gabo, Hortense Gordon, Alexej Jawlensky, Arnaud Maggs, Camille Pissaro, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Pauta Saila (and other Inuit works from the 1980 donation by McMaster alumni William Berry), Egon Schiele, Chaim Soutine, Andy Warhol, and Joyce Wieland. – www.mcmaster.ca/museum

Category: Museum News

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