Contact: Tanya Bakija
KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Approximately 82 works by artists from around the world, including Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, will be featured in the Western Michigan University Art Collection‘s 100th anniversary exhibit until November 19 at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.
This commemorative exhibit, “We’ve Just Begun: Celebrating a Century of Art Collecting at Western Michigan University,” is free and open to the public. It brings together a range of media from various geographical areas, periods and styles, according to Indra K. LacisPh.D., curator and director of exhibitions.
Created to enrich learning and working environments across campus, the exhibition highlights major artistic movements while tracing the University’s collecting patterns and the development of the museum’s niche position and the university gallery within the ecosystem of the art world.
The exhibition includes examples of American Impressionism, European Neoclassicism and Romanticism, Japanese and Chinese ceramics, art of Asian and African descent, 20th century modernism, as well as pop art and contemporary art. a range of paintings and prints after the Second World War.
Notable artwork on display includes original artwork from “The Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 1” (1972), edited by Stan Lee; “Martin Luther King” (1986) by Reggie Gammon, a painting inspired by a speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. given to WMU in 1963; “Booster” (1967) by Robert Rauschenberg; and “Portraits of Artists” (1967) by Andy Warholfeaturing the faces of 12 influential artists of the time.
Origins of the WMU Art Collection
In 1922, the president of Western Dwight B. Waldo announcement Albert May Todd would donate valuable books and prized paintings to decorate the North Hall Library and Reading Room. This donation marked the beginning of WMU’s art collection and set in motion the idea of ”art for all”. Known locally and beyond as “The Peppermint King of Kalamazoo”, Todd frequently opened his personal galleries at the AM Todd Building as the “Todd Block”), at the corner of Rose and Kalamazoo streets. , to the entire Kalamazoo community.
Famous then and cherished today, Todd’s art collection forms the link with the UMM art collection. After the initial donation, the collection grew exponentially through generous donations and select purchases.
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