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Past Exhibitions of 2011


Impressionist Landscapes: Monet to Sargent

February 4 to May 22, 2011

This exquisite exhibition of over 70 luminous paintings includes many of the finest examples of mid-nineteenth through early twentieth century French and American landscapes from the Brooklyn Museum and Kentucky collections. French Impressionists painted highly elaborate "impressions", the seemingly spontaneous, rapidly executed landscapes and cityscapes that prompted the name of their movement. This exhibition offers an in depth look at landscape painting as practiced by such leading French artists as Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet and their acclaimed American peers including Frederick Childe Hassam and John Singer Sargent.

Impressionist Landscapes: Monet to Sargent has been organized by the Brooklyn Museum.

Impressionist Landscapes

Charles Courtney Curran, American, 1861-1942. On the Heights, 1909 Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George D. Pratt. 24.110


The Gardens of Giverny: A View of Monet's World

February 4 through May 22, 2012

In 1883 Claude Monet discovered Giverny, and after making it his home, began to create the now famous gardens and the magnificent pond of water lilies which would become the subjects of some of his most revered paintings. In 1977, after extensive restorations had been completed on the pond and gardens, photographer Stephen Shore captured on film the place that so inspired Monet. Shore, like Monet, took advantage of the varying light and color that the magnificent garden had to offer with the added intention of giving viewers a physical sense of the place. Today the gardens, and Shore's photographs, stand as a testament to the importance of Giverny in Monet's life and work.

The Gardens of Giverny

Stephen Shore (American, born 1947), photograph from the series The Gardens at Giverny: A View of Monet's World, 20th century, type C print. Gift of Mr. Harry A. Talamini. Collection of the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.


Light into Line: Impressionist Prints

February 9 to June 5, 2011

Before visiting Impressionist Landscapes: Monet to Sargent, begin your journey through Impressionism with Light into Line: Impressionist Prints. This exhibition will introduce museum-goers to the fascinating and often innovative prints of the Impressionists, their predecessors, and members of their artistic circle. Featured are etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs by artists such as Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Childe Hassam, Edouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and James McNeill Whistler. Witness as these Impressionists explore many of the same themes that dominated their paintings and transform light into line.

Light into Line: Impressionist Prints

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901). Divan Japonais, 1893. Color lithograph on buff wove paper. Gift of Mrs. Robert B. Mayer 1983.9. Lent by The Art Museum at University of Kentucky.


Unveiling the New Speed: A Model of the Future

April 9, 2011 to March 11, 2012

Unveiling the New Speed: A Model of the Future allows visitors to explore the Museum's Master Plan as it embarks on the largest capital project ever undertaken by an arts and culture institution in Kentucky. Leaving no part of the facility untouched, the Master Plan encompasses work on over 200,000 square feet of structures and green space. The exhibition includes a detailed model, architectural studies and renderings, a virtual tour, input from community leaders, and more.

Unveiling the New Speed: A Model of the Future

Rendering courtesy of wHY Architecture.


Caravaggio's The Fortune Teller: A Masterpiece from the Capitoline Museums, Rome

May 18 to June 5, 2011

Coming from the world-renowned Capitoline Museums in Rome, The Fortune Teller (1595) is one of the most highly regarded paintings by this legendary artist whose work is rarely ever seen outside of Italy. In May and early June, it will be one of the few works by Caravaggio on view anywhere in the United States. The exhibition of this masterpiece was organized by the Speed Art Museum in association with the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture (FIAC). Additional assistance was provided by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York and National Gallery of Canada. The Speed Art Museum is deeply grateful to the Capitoline Museum and Picture Gallery for making one of its most important treasures available to American art lovers.

The Fortune Teller, which depicts a Gypsy girl reading the palm of a young man as she surreptitiously slips a gold ring from his finger, will serve as the centerpiece for a small focus exhibition that demonstrates the influence of the Italian master on other artists working in Italy, Flanders, and the Netherlands during the early 17th century. Caravaggio's insistence on heightened realism and the sculptural qualities of his figures, often brightly lit against a dark background, are evident in works from the Speed's collection such as Gerard Douffet's Ecce Homo, Nicolas Tournier's Dice Players, and Hendrick van Somer's Saint Jerome. The diffusion of Caravaggio's style throughout Europe will be immediately apparent in the two other works included in the Louisville exhibition, both from the Speed's collection: Rembrandt's Portrait of a Forty-Year-Old Woman, possibly Marretje Corneliszdr. Van Grotewal and Johannes Cornelisz, Verspronck's Portrait of a Man.

Caravaggio’s The Fortune Teller

Caravaggio (Italian, 1573-1610), The Fortune Teller (detail), 1594. Lent by The Capitoline Museums – The Picture Gallery, Rome. Photo Credit: Scala / Art Resource, NY, Pinacoteca Capitolina, Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy


Being & Making: Artists Investigating Identity

June 2, 2011 to December 11, 2011

This group exhibition is drawn from the collection of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum. Through a variety of media including painting, works on paper, and sculpture, the artists in this exhibition investigate identity and related issues of culture, gender, ethnicity, place and even their position as an artist. The range of artistic choices and conceptual strategies highlights how the notion of identity is not fixed; definitions of identity are vast, cumulative and dynamic.

Being & Making: Artists Investigating Identity

Chris Radtke, American, born 1946. Crouch, 2008, flawed cherry and shattered tempered glass. Speed Art Museum purchase.


The Case of the Italian Altarpiece

June 9 to July 10, 2011

Several months ago an investigator from the United States Department of Homeland Security contacted the Speed Art Museum concerning a small, Italian altarpiece in its collection. Based on information provided by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage in Rome, it appeared this artwork had been stolen from the Villa La Giraffa in Goito, Italy on October 2, 1971; collaborative research with the Speed Museum later proved this to be the case and the Museum has agreed to return the work to its rightful owners in Italy.

Before giving the Italian altarpiece to the United States government, the Museum presents an exhibition of the work, The Case of the Italian Altarpiece, beginning June 9. This exhibition will place the painting in an overall context of the international art world and provide provenance and scholarly research.

The painting is an Italian triptych (3 panel altar painting) depicting the Madonna and Child flanked by St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine of Alexandria. Saint Anthony Abbot and a bishop saint appear on the left wing, and the crucifixion with Virgin and St. John the Evangelist appear on the right panel. Paintings of this kind were designed to be used as private altarpieces in the home and could be easily transported due to their small size and folding construction.

The Case of the Italian Altarpiece

Julian Opie: Selections from the Chellgren Collection

June 15 to October 23, 2011

Julian Opie was part of the New British Sculpture group in the 1980s, exhibiting with artists such as Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon. In the mid 1990s, his work became more graphically oriented, often reducing landscapes, portraits, and objects into flat planes of color, shape, and line in two dimensional sculpture as well as in prints, paintings, and computer and LED animations. He is well known for the album cover he created depicting the members of the Britpop band "Blur" for their 2000 album entitled "Blur: Best of." His style has been influenced by pop art, billboards, classical sculpture and portraiture, and woodblock printing. In minimizing detail and simplifying form, he draws the essence out of the subject while alluding to commercialization and advertising. This leaves room for the viewer to insert their own experiences into his images, allowing for wider interpretation and appreciation. This exhibition includes series from 2000 and 2002 which include landscapes, cityscapes, interior spaces, as well as portraits of race car drivers.

Julian Opie: Selections from the Chellgren Collection

Julian Opie (British, born 1958). Siren radio traffic, 2000. Lambda print laminated to acrylic. Speed Museum. Gift of Paul W. Chellgren.


Quilts from Kentucky and Beyond: The Bingham-Miller Family Collection

June 19, 2011 to September 18, 2011

This exhibition will use over thirty outstanding quilts to explore the visual arc of American quilting from the 1830s through the 1940s. Kentucky-made quilts, the core of the Bingham-Miller Family Collection, will receive special attention. Kentucky highlights range from a vibrant, star-patterned quilt in red and blue made in 1832 by Hannah Huxley of Covington to a 1940s example inspired by Native American blankets from the Southwest. Quilts from Kentucky and Beyond: The Bingham-Miller Family Collection presents outstanding quilts from surrounding states, including a circa 1859 album quilt from Illinois in which various quilters contributed boldly patterned squares of flowers and foliage. The distinctive quilting traditions of Pennsylvania and Ohio's Amish and Mennonite communities will add another aesthetic and cultural dimension to this extraordinary exhibition.

Quilts from Kentucky and Beyond: The Bingham-Miller Family Collection

Album Quilt, about 1859, cottons, Possibly Illinois. The Bingham-Miller Family Collection L2010.42.7


Souvenirs of Europe: An Early Kentucky Artist Collects

July 6, 2011- October 3, 2012

The etchings and engravings featured in this exhibition are from the collection of portrait painter Oliver Frazer (1808-1864). Born in Fayette County, Frazer was the most highly trained and widely traveled of Kentucky's early artists. In 1834 Frazer embarked on a four-year sojourn to Europe. He trained with Antoine-Jean Gros and Thomas Couture in Paris, before visiting Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. By 1835 he arrived in England, where Sully had advised him was the best place to study portraiture. In Europe Frazer visited museums and copied the works of Anthony van Dyck and Titian. Etchings and engravings after paintings, such as those exhibited here, also figured into his edification. Such prints were affordable, widely available, and gave Frazer ready access to European masterpieces even after his return to Kentucky.

Souvenirs of Europe: An Early Kentucky Artist Collects

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778). View of the Arch of Constantine, 1771, From the series Views of Rome. Etching on cream wove paper. Purchase, Museum Purchase Fund 1950.20.213


Willie Doherty: Traces

October 14, 2011 to December 31, 2011

Among the most important artists to emerge from Northern Ireland, Willie Doherty creates photographs and videos that explore layered narratives embodied in the landscape. In his work, singular in its distillation of politics, the psychology of fear and oppression, and formal beauty, places, people and situations depicted are both specific and profoundly universal. The Speed Art Museum's exhibition will include two single-channel video installations -- Ghost Story (first shown in 2007 at the 52nd Venice Biennale) and Buried (commissioned for Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh in 2009) - and eleven large-scale photographs of the borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the artist made in the 1990s.

Willie Doherty: Traces

Willie Doherty (Irish, born 1959). Still from Ghost Story, 2007.Collection of Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund.


Minimalism: Now/Then/Again

October 15, 2011 to March 31, 2012

This group exhibition, which includes works on paper, painting, and sculpture from the Speed's permanent collection, explores the Minimalist aesthetic of austerity, repetitive and serial geometric forms, and industrial or non-traditional materials. Donald Judd (American, 1928-1994), whose sleek cubic and rectilinear works in the late 1960s redefined the direction of postwar sculpture, disliked the word Minimalist, calling himself "an empiricist" when pressed. In his influential 1965 essay, Specific Objects, he announced that the "new three-dimensional work is not a painting or sculpture, but a space to move into...real space the viewer inhabits." Works in this installation, which includes Frank Stella's iconic painting from his Irregular Polygon Series (mid-1960s), Richard Tuttle's eccentric and poetic drawings (mid-1970s), and Haim Steinbach's mixed-media assemblage (1986), explore the relationship of the viewer - "the body" (in art historical terms) -- to the work of art and the space they both "inhabit." Examining the manifestations of the Minimalist aesthetic since the 1960s will offer a renewed appreciation of its importance and relevance to the story of the transformative power of contemporary art.

Minimalism: Now/Then/Again

Frank Stella (American, born 1936). Chocorua II, 1966, fluorescent alkyd and epoxy paints on canvas. Collection of the Speed Art Museum.


Howard Hodgkin: Prints and Process

October 23, 2011 to April 1, 2012

One of Britain's most important and prolific painters and printmakers, Howard Hodgkin (b. 1932) has consistently pushed the painterly potential of printmaking. Like his paintings, his prints often refer to memories and private experiences, but deliberately avoid anything illustrational. In this group of prints from the Paul Chellgren Collection, the artist uses a process (began in the 1980s) in which he coats an etching plate with a resistant substance to produce painterly brushstrokes; a gritty paste is added to the plate, bringing rich valleys of texture. While Hodgkin's work feels spontaneous, they are the result of an extensive process of thoughtful and considered reflection and layering. In this selection of prints, compressed gestures, complex textures, a voluptuous palette, and a dynamic interchange of light and dark, his inspirational subjects -- Venice in the morning to a spring day in the woods - beautifully resonate. The artist has served as a trustee of both the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery, London and in 1992, was knighted for his services to the arts.

Howard Hodgkin: Prints and Process

Howard Hodgkin (British, born 1932). Venice, Morning, 1995. Hand-painted etching and aquatint on paper. Gift of Sheila M. and Paul W. Chellgren 2002.22.20 a-p


Sacred Air Breath of Life: Selections from the Native-American Collection

November 2, 2011 to February 12, 2012

Sacred Air, Breath of Life: Selections from the Native-American Collection, presents highlights from the museum's distinctive holdings of Native-American artifacts and related historic photographs, paintings, and drawings. The core of the Speed's collection was gathered by Frederic Weygold in the first decades of the twentieth century and represents the tribes that inhabited the central region of the Great Plains. A longtime Louisville resident, Weygold was an artist, ethnographer, lecturer, and linguist. The exhibition features a ceremonial pipe once owned by the renowned Sac and Fox leader Black Hawk; a beaded and painted Lakota Sioux war shirt, which honored the owner's status and achievements as a warrior; and an eagle-feather headdress. Also on view will be fine examples of Pueblo pottery by Maria Martinez, as well as vintage photographs documenting Native-American life and culture.

Sacred Air Breath of Life: Selections from the Native-American Collection

Lakota Sioux, Northern Plains. Shirt, about 1873. Tanned deer hide, pigments, glass beads, wool cloth. Museum purchase 1937.68.136


John Pfahl: Altered Landscapes

November 2, 2011 to April 1, 2012

In this group of beautiful photographs from the artist John Pfahl's first major series, Altered Landscapes (1974-80) both details and abstraction are present. The wit of the series arises from the way the artist painstakingly adds and arranges simple objects to make them appear two-dimensional. Things are not as they first appear. The precision of Pfahl's photographs seem to point to the process of altering negatives in the darkroom. But actually, they start as drawings on the ground glass inside the camera. (Ground glass is glass whose surface has been ground to produce a flat but rough or matte finish; in photography a sheet of ground glass is used for manual focusing.) The lines and planes of the drawings are then transferred to the landscape or image beyond the lens and juxtaposed against placed objects such as strings, ribbons, or tape, completing the scene.


Quick Start Story Gallery

December 21, 2011 to October 3, 2012

The Speed has created a new experimental gallery area located on the museum's main level Sculpture Court. Quick Start Story Gallery is an exciting new gallery initiative designed to let our visitors have fun exploring stories in the museum's collection.

Quick Start is to serve as a fun "starter" gallery for a casual family visit. Our idea is to make a family visit to the museum into a fun ride, letting our families discover the stories behind the art, talk with each other about what you see and make up your own stories to unlock a work of art. Quick Start features works by James Tissot, Jacob Lawrence, Henry Moore, Ed Hamilton and others.

The gallery will feature easy and fun discussion and activity suggestions - for you and your family, engaging family audio spots you can listen to on your cell phone, and hands-on and minds-on activities for families to bring the artwork to life.

Quick Start Story Gallery

Albert-Amatole-Martin-Earnest Lambron Des Piltières (French, 1838-1878). Portrait of a Magistrate with his Family, 1862. Oil on canvas. Purchased with funds from the Alice Speed Stoll Accessions 2011.12


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