The Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College is currently showing three concurrent exhibitions, Associated American Artists: Art by Subscription, Recent Acquisitions and Debuts of the Hillstrom Museum of Art, and String Theory and the Superconducting Super Collider Series: Paintings by Lucinda Mason. All three exhibitions open through November 10, 2013.
Associated American Artists: Art by Subscription features seventy-five prints (including lithographs, etchings, wood engravings and other media), the majority of them dating from the 1930s and 1940s, made by prominent American Artists such as Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Peggy Bacon (1895-1987), and Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) for Associated American Artists. AAA, founded by entrepreneur Reeves Lewenthal in 1934, sought to bring affordable art to middle-class America through relatively inexpensive prints that were marketed through department stores and the U. S. Postal Service, a successful venture that was all the more remarkable given its inception during the Great Depression. The exhibition was organized by and drawn from the collection of the Springfield Museum of Art in Ohio, and its national tour is being managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, Missouri. The Hillstrom Collection includes examples of several of the works exhibited in Associated American Artists: Art by Subscription and these are being shown adjacent to the Springfield examples, allowing direct comparison of different examples.
Recent Acquisitions and Debuts of the Hillstrom Museum of Art features artworks that, for the most part, are being shown in the Museum for the first time, including works that were recently acquired by donation or by purchase with funds resulting from donation. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, prints, and photography, with landscapes, seascapes, figures, and genre scenes amongst them. Donors of these works include Gustavus Adolphus College studio art faculty members Priscilla Briggs and Betsy R. Byers; Peter Poor, son of prominent American artist Henry Varnum Poor; and several alumni of the College, including Gene and Ann (Komatz, class of 1951) Basset, Dr. David and Kathryn (Rydland, class of 1971) Gilbertson, the Reverend Richard L. Hillstrom (class of 1938), Louise Borgman Hokenson (ex class of 1967), Thomas J. Lindell (class of 1963), Dawn (Ekstrom, class of 1967) and Edward Michael, and Irwin and Ruth (Sammelson, class of 1963) Rothchild.
The late Lucinda Mason (1974-2007), an artist and art critic who received her MFA from Concordia University, Montreal (she was the daughter of Douglas Molde, Gustavus class of 1968, and of Ticona Masson), began a series of paintings shortly before her sudden death in which she sought to explore the micro and macro elements of the world, asking, “What does the space look like inside the nucleus of an atom?” “Can one paint the essential make up of energy?” “Can one paint the immeasurable space?” Mason’s large-scale oil paintings in String Theory and the Superconducting Super Collider Series use abstract patterns including dots and lines of paint that suggest the cosmos and its motion and energy. String Theory and the Superconducting Super Collider Series: Paintings by Lucinda Mason will be on view during Gustavus Adolphus College’s Nobel Conference 49, The Universe at Its Limits.
Each of the three exhibits is accompanied by an illustrated checklist/brochure available to visitors free of charge.
All events are free and open to the public. Regular Museum hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. Please visit the Museum’s website at gustavus.edu/finearts/hillstrom for further information.