The Binghamton University Art Museum will open its winter exhibitions on Thursday, January 26, 2017. The Main Gallery exhibition, Works on Paper Between the Wars, will show nearly one hundred prints and drawings from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s that were donated to the museum over the last year by Binghamton residents Gil and Deborah Williams. The opening reception, on Thursday, January 26, 5:00-7:00 pm, will feature at 6:00 a performance of original musical compositions, written by students of Professor Daniel Thomas Davis, inspired by works on view. Next month, on Thursday, February 16 at noon, the collector will speak publicly with the director of the museum, Diane Butler, about the process of collecting art and tell anecdotes about some of the works on view and the artists who made them.
The exhibition on view highlights a generous gift of over 400 works on paper, all donated in 2016 by Gil and Deborah Williams. The subject of the prints and drawings on view express the nostalgic desires of people at the time, but they also reflect deeper concerns of many Americans during this period. A cozy country homestead or a glorious windswept plain is countered with an image of a weatherworn farm couple whose melancholic gaze spelled the Great Depression. In the Susan M. Reifer ’65 and Stanley J. Reifer ’64 Mezzanine Gallery, additional prints and drawings of the same period, also donated by the Williams couple, are paired with vintage clothing in an exhibition, Fashionable Impressions: Art and Clothing in Dialogue, curated by Andrea Lenci-Cerchiara and Barbara Wolfe, costume designers and faculty from the theatre department at Binghamton University and assisted by Marnie Halpern ’17 and Jordana Braverman ’17.
Four other exhibitions will open on January 26 as well. In the Nancy J. Powell Lower Galleries an exhibition of additional work on loan from Gil and Deborah Williams features two printmakers, known especially for their book illustrations, in Kindred Spirits: The Graphic Work of Rockwell Kent & Lynd Ward, curated by undergraduate students Matthew Pitcher ’18 and Therese Ferrara ’18. Also on view is Envisioning the Past, drawing on works in the museum’s permanent collection and curated by the Undergraduate Art History Association; and Issues in Accessioning Pre-Hispanic Objects, curated by Fernando Flores, a graduate student in Anthropology. The latter exhibition displays only a few pieces, but each object illustrates a particular problem that museums confront when managing gifts with unclear provenance, or record of ownership. Finally, A Glimpse of Daily Life in Iraqi Kurdistan, organized by Aynur de Rouen (PhD 2014), Curator of the Kurdish Collection, Binghamton University Libraries, features photographs on loan from the Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library and Museum Collection.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit binghamton.edu/art-museum.