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Private Lives: Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris, 1889–1900
07/01/2021 _ 09/19/2021

Private Lives: Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris,1889–1900 explores the beautiful, enigmatic, and paradoxical work of Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, and Félix Vallotton, four members of the Nabi brotherhood. The Nabis were a group of young artists who were inspired by Paul Gauguin and the growing current of Symbolism in literature and theater. They sought to create an art of suggestion and emotion. Private Lives takes a close look at their paintings, prints, and drawings of home, family, and children, or what Bonnard referred to as the small pleasures and “modest acts of life.” Throughout their formative years in the 1890s, these four artists were deeply entwined in each other’s lives; Bonnard, Vuillard, and Denis shared a studio, and Swiss-born Vallotton became a close associate of all three and remained a lifelong confidant of Vuillard. Although their styles varied, each returned repeatedly to the motifs of homelife, romantic love, and family. Yet the domestic world was not always what it seemed; suppressed secrets, hidden affairs, and familial tension bubble beneath the surface, challenging the viewer to construct the unspoken narrative of these small but powerful images of interiors, gardens, and the city of Paris.

Loans from the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Musée d’Orsay, as well as from many additional public and private collections, will feature in this exhibition alongside the rich holdings of Nabi material in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum.

The exhibition is curated by Mary Weaver Chapin of the Portland Art Museum and Heather Lemonedes Brown of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Private Lives is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Cleveland Museum of Art and Yale University Press. The catalogue features essays by the co-curators and vignettes by leading historians and art historians that offer insight into the private worlds of the Nabis: Francesca Berry of the University of Birmingham interrogates the Nabis and gender roles; Kathleen Kete of Trinity College, CT, reveals the importance of pets to private life in nineteenth-century France; Saskia Ooms of the Musée Montmartre describes the role of the camera in the personal world of these artists; and Francesca Brittan of Case Western Reserve University illuminates the centrality of music in constructing the bourgeois family home.

Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum

Nabis Parlor, Drop in for brief, casual docent-led talks throughout the exhibition. Every Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Parker Hannifin Corporation Donor Gallery.

Major support is provided by Gertrude Kalnow Chisholm and Homer D. W. Chisholm and the Florence Gould Foundation. Additional support is provided by Anne H. Weil. Generous support is provided by an anonymous supporter and Sandra and Richey Smith.

The exhibition catalogue for Private Lives: Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris, 1889–1900 was produced with the support of the FRench American Museum Exchange (FRAME).

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.

Medieval Treasures from Münster Cathedral
Sat, 05/22/2021 to Sun, 08/14/2022
Gallery 115

Gold and silver reliquaries, jeweled crosses, liturgical garments, and illuminated manuscripts are among the rare treasures kept in the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Münster, in northwestern Germany. Because the cathedral was the heart of both the diocese and the secular territory of the bishop, many art objects were commissioned for, or gifted to, the cathedral. For the medieval Christian, collections of relics and reliquaries held spiritual power and political clout. Many of Münster’s reliquaries, created between the 1000s and 1500s, were permanently displayed on the altar, while others were brought out only during liturgical celebrations. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Medieval Treasures exhibition includes eight of these reliquaries.

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

This exhibition was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Interpretation of Materiality: Gold
04/30/2021 to Sun, 10/24/2021
Korea Foundation Gallery | Gallery 236

Due to its remarkable malleability and durability, gold has been widely used in artifacts for the wealthy and for royalty since the fifth millennium BC. In Korean art, this precious mineral was the main material for luxury goods during the Three Kingdoms period (57 BC−668). In The Book of Pleasant Journeys into Faraway Lands, the author Muhammad al-Idrisi (1099−1166) writes: “Gold is too common in the Silla kingdom. Even the dog’s leash and the monkey’s collar are made of gold.”

This exhibition illuminates how Korean artists from ancient times to the present day creatively used and interpreted gold and its distinctive materiality. One highlight is the 13th-century Buddhist text Avatamsaka Sutra No. 78. Mixed with ink and glue, refined gold powder was applied on the smooth surface of the dark blue, indigo-dyed mulberry paper. In the practice of copying a Buddhist sutra, gold served as the perfect medium to visualize the splendid world of Buddhas and their awakening teachings.

The establishment of this gallery was made possible by the support of the Korea Foundation and the National Museum of Korea, Republic of Korea.

The casework in the Korea Foundation Gallery has been generously funded by the National Museum of Korea, Republic of Korea.

Rinpa (琳派)
04/23/2021 - 10/03/2021
Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Japanese Art Galleries | Gallery 235 A & B

Rinpa is a style of Japanese art focused on abstracted natural motifs and allusions to classical literature. Coined in the early 1900s, Rinpa means “Rin School,” after painter Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), whose work was critical to the later transmission of the tradition. Three techniques associated with Rinpa are tarashikomi, horinuri, and mokkotsu. In tarashikomi (dripping-in), the artist drips ink or color on wet surfaces, creating pooling effects. Horinuri (painting-by-carving) leaves initial ink outlines uncovered after shapes are filled with ink or color, so the surface looks carved. Mokkotsu (boneless) entails creating shapes without contours or lines defining edges and boundaries.

This rotation tells the story of later Rinpa style, introducing works by important artists active in the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s, including Kōrin and his brother Ogata Kenzan (1663–1743); Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), the Edo-based (present-day Tokyo) dynamo who revolutionized Rinpa painting; and Kamisaka Sekka (1866–1942), the Kyoto-based master of graphic design who delighted with his prints and drawings. (Gallery 235A)

Also, on view for the first time since 2014 are treasures of early Japanese Buddhist sculpture in bronze and wood, as well as an indigo-dyed sacred Buddhist sutra scroll written in gold and silver. A gorgeously woven silk Buddhist monk’s garment called a kesa is also on display. (Gallery 235B)

Animal Fables of Mughal India
Through 08/29/2021
Indian Painting Gallery 242B

Moralizing fables involving animal characters traversed the Indo-Iranian world for centuries. At times, they were written down and collected into volumes; when made for a wealthy patron, the manuscripts were illustrated. On view are paintings from five animal fables included in the museum’s nearly complete Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot) manuscript plus one scene from an Anwar-i Suhaili (Lights of Canopus). The stories include the tale of how a leopard and fox endeavored to devour the children of a sharp-witted woman, the justification for why the creatures of the ocean could not deliver a message from their king, and the adventures of a prince who fed a snake a piece of his own flesh to save the life of a frog.

The paintings were produced in the Mughal manuscript atelier of the young emperor Akbar (reigned 1556–1605), who employed Indian artists working under the direction of Persian masters from Iran. Made from a wide palette of costly mineral pigments and gold, the bright colors and evocative scenes were designed to appeal to the royal patron and serve as a source of courtly entertainment.

Variations: The Reuse of Models in Paintings by Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi
04/11/2021 - 08/22/2021
Julia and Larry Pollock Focus Gallery | Gallery 010

Recent conservation of the CMA’s Italian Baroque painting Danaë by Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639) has revealed a more vibrant and refined painting than has hitherto been possible to perceive. It is an extraordinary work now conveying the artist’s trademark virtuosity in painting drapery and flesh tones. Danaë is the second version of a picture painted in Genoa around 1621–22 by Orazio, who often copied his own works; these subsequent versions can rival the original in quality.

While issues of attribution are still very much alive in several works by Orazio and his daughter Artemisia, it is clear that both artists returned to and reworked certain themes and compositions throughout their careers. In content and form, Orazio’s Danaë is a key example of this phenomenon. In the exhibition, Danaë will be at the center of an intimate group of paintings by father and daughter that will beautifully distill the artists’ capacity to modify and manipulate forms across subjects.

Generous support is provided by an anonymous gift in honor of Professor Edward J. Olszewski.

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.

Generous support for public programs related to this exhibition is provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Fashioning Identity: Mola Textiles of Panamá
Through 10/03/2021
Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Textile Gallery | Gallery 234

The mola is a key component of traditional dress among the indigenous Guna (formerly Kuna) women of Panamá. Guna women have been sewing mola blouses since the turn of the 20th century, and they have become powerful symbols of their culture and identity. During the Guna Revolution of 1925, Guna people rallied around their right to make and wear molas as a statement of their independence. They ultimately gained sovereignty over their territory, an archipelago of hundreds of small islands along Panamá’s Atlantic coast, known collectively as Guna Yala.

Molas are masterfully hand-sewn cotton panels that are made in pairs and sewn into blouses. They feature a wide array of vibrantly colored compositions, with designs ranging from geometric abstraction to imaginative scenes inspired by popular Western culture. Strong expressions of duality, repetition, and equilibrium are evident in mola imagery, both in single panels and those comprising the front and back of a blouse. Driven by precise aesthetic values and a spirited practice of artistic critique, Guna women are passionate about making ever more innovative mola designs that continue to push the boundaries of their cultural tradition.

This exhibition presents both individual mola panels and complete mola blouses from the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. The molas on display span distinct periods of Guna history, from the era of the 1925 revolution to the 1980s.

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.

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