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Speed Museum of Art Speed Art Museum
Louisville, KY
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Speed Art Museum
2035 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 634-2700
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www.speedmuseum.org

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Exhibitions:

The World Turned Upside Down: A Contemporary Response

The World Turned Upside Down

Andy Warhol: Revelation

Loose Nuts: Bert Hurley’s West End Story

Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse, 1825 – 1950

Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell

Ebony G. Patterson . . . while the dew is still on the roses

A Celebration of the Speed Collection


Events

The World Turned Upside Down: A Contemporary Response
TBD

Featuring artwork from the twentieth and twenty-first century, this re-installation features pieces from the Speed’s permanent collection that focus on the role of artists in marking societal and political change. From commemorating the advances of the 1960s civil rights moment, to memorializing wartime atrocities, to acknowledging the persistence of systemic racism in society, and exploring the ever-shifting politics of the domestic sphere, artists reflect our changing world back to us through the lens of creativity.

Through exploring how artists have interpreted transitions in their environment, community, and family like, this display highlights the invaluable role of artists in helping us absorb and understand how our world continues to evolve.

This re-installation of the collection is complemented by a related presentation of The World Turned Upside Down in Gallery 2, featuring artworks from the eighteenth and earl nineteenth century.

Exhibition supported provided by:
Alan and Shelly Ann Kamei
Exhibition season support provided by:
Dav Fam Art Fund
Cary Brother and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Debra and Ronald Murphy
Eleanor Bingham Miller

The World Turned Upside Down
TBD

Art history reminds us that we have experienced deep, necessary shifts in nation and global consciousness before, often resulting in new ways of thinking and living. This installation re-frames the collection of 18th and 19th century European and American artwork in the Speed’s permanent collection through the lens of social, cultural, economic, and political upheaval and change.

It was a century marked by the horrors of colonial expansion and the devastation wrought by smallpox epidemics and the transatlantic slave trade. Unwieldy political structures in England and France collapsed, and the resulting turmoil, strife, and civil unrest found further expression through the French and American Revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812. Economically, modern laissez-faire capitalism and the focus on the individual also found root in American during the early Federal era (1788 – 1800), coinciding with the writing of the United States Constitution.

Many of the positive values that permeate Western society today—democracy, modern scientific methods, belief in the importance of education, and the centrality of the family—were championed during this time period, now known as the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment proponents believed that knowledge could overcome ignorance and blind adherence to outmoded ideas, thus leading to programs. However, 250 years later, it is important to acknowledge the paradox of Enlightenment thinking and its influence on the modern world. That these radical ideas of freedom and individual rights also found their roots in nations that built wealth through colonial domination, extermination of native populations, and human bondage is a terrible paradox that has shaped our modern society. Contextualizing our shared history through artwork can help us see where we’ve been, and where we need to go.

Exhibition season support provided by:
Dav Fam Art Fund
Cary Brother and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Debra and Ronald Murphy
Eleanor Bingham Miller

Andy Warhol: Revelation
Through November 29, 2020
North Building, 3rd Floor

Opening / Closing dates pending due to COVID-19
North Building, 3rd Floor

Andy Warhol: Revelation is the first exhibition to comprehensively examine the Pop artist’s complex Catholic faith in relation to his artistic production.

Christian motifs frequently appear in both explicit and metaphorical forms throughout the body of Andy Warhol’s oeuvre. While his monumental crosses and depictions of Christ directly reference biblical stories, this exhibition will also explore his coded depictions of spirituality such as an unfinished film reel depicting the setting sun, originally commissioned by the de Menil family and funded by the Roman Catholic Church.

Born in Pittsburgh to a devout Byzantine Catholic family, Warhol grew up attending multiple weekly services at his local church with his mother, Julia Warhola. He would stare for hours at the icon paintings of Christ and the saints that hung in the elaborate iconostasis, or icon screen, at the front of the nave. In the Warhola family’s Carpatho-Rusyn neighborhood, life revolved around the church community, and the young artist was deeply impacted from this environment. Using The Warhol’s robust holdings of the artist’s early works, the exhibition will trace the influence of his religious roots in Pittsburgh to his Pop career in New York City.

Throughout his life as a celebrity artist, Warhol retained some of his Catholic practices when his peers were distancing themselves from their religious backgrounds. Yet, his relationship with Catholicism was far from simple. As a queer man, Warhol may have felt a sense of guilt and fear towards the Catholic Church, which kept him from fully immersing himself in the faith. Nevertheless, he used various media to explore this tension through his art.

From iconic portraits of celebrities to appropriated Renaissance masterpieces, Warhol flirted with styles and symbolism from Eastern and Western Catholic art history, carefully reframing them within the context of Pop. Through this process, the artist elevated kitsch and mundane images from mass media, and transformed them into sacred high art.

Revelation will feature over 150 objects from The Andy Warhol Museum’s permanent collection, including archival materials, drawings, paintings, prints, and film. Rare source material and newly discovered items will provide an intimate look on Warhol’s creative process. Through both obscure works such as the “sunset” film commission from 1967, and late masterpieces like the pink Last Supper (1986) the exhibition will present a fresh perspective on the artist.

Andy Warhol: Revelation is curated by José Carlos Diaz, chief curator at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and includes a full-color catalog with contributions from Diaz and Miranda Lash, curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum.

Loose Nuts: Bert Hurley’s West End Story
Through April 19, 2020
Loft Gallery

This exhibition brings to light the work of Bert Hurley (1898–1955), a virtually unknown African American artist from Kentucky. Born in Louisville, Hurley worked at the city’s L&N Railroad office building for nearly 40 years, first as an elevator operator and later as fire warden, overseer of night porters, and departmental correspondent for the company’s Employes’ Magazine. In addition to his work for L&N Railroad, the reticent Hurley was also known in the African American community as a talented artist and musician. He created holiday posters that decorated L&N’s elevators, graphics for World War II fund drives, and painted decorations for gatherings of the city’s African American social organizations. Hurley also painted portraits and made religious paintings and sculpture, most of which are lost today.

This exhibition will feature Loose Nuts: A Rapsody in Brown, a richly illustrated and handwritten 125-page novella by Hurley set in Louisville’s West End during the 1930s. This area—traditionally home to the city’s predominantly African American neighborhoods—was also the site of a thriving African American business district that included offices, restaurants, theatres, and nightclubs.

The satirical Loose Nuts is part mystery, part journalistic investigation, and part courtroom drama. The manuscript features a cast of real-life Louisvillians, including Hurley himself in the role of a hard-nosed reporter for the West End Tatler, a fictional newspaper. The novella features full-page pen-and-ink, crayon, watercolor, and ink wash drawings throughout.

Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse, 1825 – 1950
November 15, 2019 – March 1, 2020
North Building, 3rd Floor Special Exhibition

The first exhibition to examine Kentucky’s relationship to the horse through art, Tales from the Turf will feature the paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, prints, and manuscripts to tell the story of the horse in the Bluegrass State. The exhibition will reflect all the ways that images of the horse have represented the Commonwealth’s identity, history, mythology, and agricultural economy, from its earliest days through the mid-twentieth century.

Tales from the Turf begins when Kentucky was still the edge of the western frontier. Early horse breeders looked to the gentlemen farmers of Virginia for inspiration in business and collecting art. Sporting art traditions carried over from England helped launch the Thoroughbred trade, and by the late nineteenth century, an industry focused on the “betterment of the breed” would witness the rise of over 60 racecourses across the state.

An agricultural and aristocratic pastime became a multi-billion dollar industry in the twentieth century, and the desire for collecting images of the horse has only grown over the decades. Presenting works from Kentucky’s leading private collections, Tales from the Turf will change Kentucky’s understanding of its own history through the act of making, collecting, and sharing the art of the horse.

Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell
July 17, 2019 – January 12, 2020

October 2019 marks the 150th birthday of Louisville-born and nationally-renowned sculptor Enid Yandell. To celebrate this milestone, and the publication of a new biography of Yandell by Juliee Decker, the Speed is presenting a fresh look at Yandell’s career. Comprised of works drawn from the Speed’s permanent collection and private loans, Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell will contextualize the world in which Enid lived, as a young woman living and working in turn-of-the-century Louisville, Paris, and New York City. As a working artist, Yandell competed for major commissions and completed works for private clients. As a young woman with an activist’s heart, she involved herself with volunteer efforts during World War I, eventually serving as Director for the Bureau of Communications for the American Red Cross in New York, and actively supported the women’s suffrage movement.

Outside of the Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Speed owns the largest collection of works by Yandell. The exhibition will be the third show presented by the Speed – the first being in 1941, and the second in 1993. This exhibition will be the first to situate the world in which Yandell lived and worked as a female artist navigating a career in a field that favored male artists, and the challenges and opportunities associated with her work.

A Celebration of the Speed Collection
Opens March 12, 2016
Location: Museum-wide
Free with general admission

Extending the legacy of its founder Mrs. Hattie Bishop Speed, the museum’s grand reopening will turn a new light on the Speed’s wide-ranging collections. With freshly renovated galleries and new, expansive spaces devoted to contemporary art and the art of Kentucky, visitors have the opportunity to see familiar favorites in novel ways and new acquisitions in new spaces. Supplemented by important loans, the extensive collection highlights more than 6,000 years of human creativity.

The new North Building includes an unprecedented 9,000 square foot gallery dedicated to the display of the Speed’s contemporary art collection. The reopening installation will also include important regional and national loans.. The Speed’s contemporary art collection consists of a growing body of work by artists working in a broad range of media. Global in its outlook, the collection is focused upon the dominant issues and ideas that concern contemporary artists, as well as their bold spirit of experimentation and imaginative use of materials.

Also new to the museum, the Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park, available free to the public, expands the art experience outdoors and into the community. Contemporary art will be featured here, too, with sculptures by Henry Moore, Deborah Butterfield, and Mark Handforth, among others, as well as multi-media installations including work by the renowned sound artist Susan Philipsz. The park will provide an inviting space that welcomes the community to interact with and be inspired both by art and by the surrounding landscape.

In addition to new works in new spaces, renovations to the beloved museum refresh and enhance the museum experience. Among the most dramatic changes, the Kentucky Collection has a new 5,600-square-foot-space dedicated to the state’s artistic heritage. The Speed’s Kentucky Collection showcases painting, sculpture, and decorative arts created by and for Kentuckians, from 1800 through the 1940s. Additionally, galleries featuring African art, the art of ancient cultures, and Native American art have been completely re-envisioned.

The Speed’s exceptional permanent collection of European and American art will be completely reinstalled in a series of expanded and revitalized gallery spaces. The museum’s rich holdings of 17th century Dutch, Flemish and 18th century French works will be presented with a contextual, comprehensive approach, offering visitors an immersive experience into those worlds. Visitors will be able to find familiar favorites by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and Brancusi, and there will be more opportunities for exploration of the collection. We are making sure that you can always discover new treasures that surprise, delight, and spark conversation and ideas. After all, this is your museum!

To see more of the artworks featured in the permanent collection, visit Collection Highlights.

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