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Published: Saturday, 9/18/2010

Art: New director, ancient 'Secrets' at Toledo museum

BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The mummies are returning. But then, they always do.

The Egypt Experience: Secrets of the Tomb, will include the two mummies, wrapped in tattered bandages, that arrived at Toledo's train station in 1906 after Edward and Florence Libbey's sight-seeing and shopping excursion to the land of the pyramids. In audio, text, and online, a dozen "Egyptian" personalities of various social strata will explain their lives and how they prepared for death. Created with an emphasis on K-12 education, it will be displayed into May, 2012.

The space, on the lower level behind the cafe in what was the Collectors' Corner store, has undergone $85,000 in renovations, and will become a new exhibit area.

It's the first time since the museum's Stabiano show in 2006 that exhibit admission will be charged: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for children.

The next big exhibit will be The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, March 19 to June 12. Botero, born in Columbia in 1932, depicts the comedy of life in paintings, sculptures, and drawings, often portraying large, rounded people. The museum is leasing this traveling show of 100 pieces and admission will be charged.

This fall, construction will begin on the new Wolfe Gallery of contemporary art in what was once the Art in Glass Gallery. And in the coming weeks, the main lobby will be altered to handle anticipated traffic for the Egypt Experience.

Also, museum staff and the community will get to know Brian P. Kennedy, who became the ninth director Sept. 1.

Other upcoming exhibits are:

• Travelers Through Ancient Lands, through Feb. 6. Nineteenth-century images of Egypt, North Africa, and the Middle East are displayed in watercolors and photographs. Works are by Charles H. Smith, Francis Frith, Felix Bonfils, Antonio Beato, and others.

• Life in Miniature: Ceramic Netsuke from the Silverman Collection, Oct. 1 to Feb. 27. Netsuke (pronounced NET-skeh) are tiny sculptures that served as button-like toggles worn at the waist by Japanese men around 1615 to 1868. Purses were fastened to them. A few hundred rare ceramic netsuke were recently donated to the museum.

• Inspired Giving: The Apollo Society's 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Oct. 15 to Feb. 13. On display will be 46 items purchased with money donated by members of the museum's Apollo Society.

• Venice: Light and Landscape, Nov. 4 to March 11. The romantic city of canals and bridges is the subject of this show organized by art history students at the University of Toledo.

• Aminah Robinson: Voices that Taught Me How to Sing, Nov. 18 to Feb. 27. A 10-volume collection recently acquired from the Columbus artist looks at life as she expresses it through her colorful 2-D and 3-D forms. In 2007, the museum featured Robinson's work in a show called Symphonic Poem.

• Baroque Prints of the 17th Century and Beyond, Feb. 25 to May 22. Emotions, movement, and architectural detail are themes in these prints crafted between 1600 and 1750.

Public Art

The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo is keeping it lively with the popular every-other-year Artomatic 419! scheduled for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on April 2, 9, and 16. This not-to-be-missed event is a fiesta of creativity, both raw and refined, by a couple hundred visual, installation, and performing artists in an anything-goes environment.

It will be at 407 Washington St., a 12,000-square-foot building. Registration deadline for artists is Oct. 22. Volunteers are needed (artomatic419@acgt.org and 419-254-2787).

A significant public sculpture that will move with river breezes will be installed this fall on the southeast side of the Veterans Glass City Skyway just north of downtown. Reaching 40 feet high, Tribute Memorial will be stainless steel curving up and in from four concrete piers to become one tower. Mounted on it will be kinetic arms with paddles that will rotate. The formal dedication of this $110,880 piece by Evan Lewis of Chicago will be in November, says Dan Hernandez of the arts commission.

Set in the new Tribute Park and paid for by private funds, the piece will be viewable to drivers on the bridge and will be illuminated at night. As its name suggests, the erector-set-like piece is an homage to the men who lost their lives and those who were injured while constructing the Maumee River's newest crossing.

Michigan

To the north, the Detroit Institute of Arts presents In Your Dreams: 500 Years of Imaginary Prints through Jan. 2. About 120 DIA-owned prints reflect the artistic imagination in Albrecht D rer's The Apocalypse, Goya's Los Proverbios, and lithographs from Odilon Redon's Temptation of St. Anthony. Works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Mir present modern twists on unworldly subjects.

An ever-popular topic, Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries (Nov. 21 through April 10), will explain some of the surprising discoveries made by DIA staff. Through 58 objects, the exhibit will show how curators continually reassess artworks through research, science, and technology. Forgeries will be hung next to authentic works, as will pieces by Monet and van Gogh that curators are examining for authenticity.

Also at the DIA, An Intuitive Eye: Andr Kert sz Photographs 1914-1969 (Nov. 24 to April 10), will display nearly 100 images by the Hungarian-born artist. His early compositions were innovative, his camera angles unorthodox. Included will be pictures of Parisians at rest, play, and work, and others taken in Hungary and New York.

Admission to the DIA is $8; $6 for ages 62 and older; $4 for ages 6-17.

At the University of Michigan Museum of Art, lithographs and etchings by James McNeill Whistler continue through Nov. 28. The museum owns nearly 200 pieces by Whistler.

Jacob Kolding, a Berliner, is featured in a solo show through Oct. 13. His collages, drawings, posters, and mixed-media sculptures are centered around the experience of life in the "built" environment, and how spaces are planned and used.

Out of the Ordinary: Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art and Fusfeld Folk Art Collections, will be on exhibit through spring. This contemporary wood art ranges from abstract sculpture to traditional vessel forms. The folk art includes 19th-century folk portraits, paintings by "outsider" American artists, and contemporary sculpture.

The free UMMA is eminently worth a visit: It underwent a $41.9 million renovation completed in 2009, adding a building and 53,000 square feet. Director Joseph Rosa began July 1.

Cleveland

Like Ann Arbor and Toledo, the Cleveland Museum of Art heads into the second decade of the 21st century with a new director. David Franklin takes the reins tomorrow.

A native of Quebec, Franklin was deputy director and chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada and is an Italian Renaissance scholar. He'll oversee the multiphase renovation and expansion project, expected to be completed in 2013.

In June, the museum opened 17 galleries in its 1916 building and reinstalled 900 works including ancient art and some African and European Middle Ages art, prints, and drawings. Still to come are west and north wings and a central connecting atrium.

The CMA will open Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe Oct. 17 through Jan. 17. With more than 100 paintings, sculptures, precious metalworks, and illuminated manuscripts drawn from U.S. and European collections, this exhibit will provide a glimpse into the Middle Ages when art mediated between heaven and earth and churches were filled with gorgeous objects.

Included will be relics, the physical remains of holy people as well as the objects they wore or used, that were important in early Christianity.

A companion show, The Glory of the Painted Page: Manuscript Illuminations, will run Nov. 6 through Feb. 27. During the Middle Ages, hand-penned books were often elaborately decorated with gold and beautiful pigments. This exhibit, from the museum's collection, features liturgical, academic, and Biblical pages.

A contemporary installation by a Korean artist will run Nov. 14 through March 6. Kim Beom: Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools challenges the concept of free will. It includes everyday objects set in a classroom where they appear to be instructed that their sole purpose is to serve humans.

The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southern Africa (April 3 to Feb. 19) will lay out 75 items from the 19th and 20th centuries that were typically used in the privacy of southern African homes, such as snuff containers, pipes, headrests, staffs, sticks, beer vessels, and beadwork.

Fremont/Toledo

At Spiegel Grove in Fremont, Hidden Treasures of the Hayes Museum is at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center through February. Among the dozens of items are a suit of armor said to have been worn by Ferdinand Magellan during his travels, and early design proposals for the Washington Monument.

The Blair Museum of Lithophanes at Toledo Botanical Garden continues The Ironic Porcelain Fan through Oct. 31 when the collection, in its own building near the entrance to the garden, closes for the season. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The Blair will reopen April 30 with an afternoon reception for a five-month-long exhibit called Hands Illuminating Porcelain: The Lithophanes of Hannah Blackwell, a contemporary artist.

Lithophanes have their origins in 19th century Europe. They are three-dimensional translucent porcelain plaques which, when backlit, reveal detailed magical images. Featured artist Blackwell learned the craft in Hungary.

The roster of exhibits at the Gallery at Toledo-Lucas County Main Library includes:

Through Oct. 30: Last Stand at Home.

Nov. 8 to 27: Crystal Award entries/Business of Communications.

Dec. 1 to Jan. 29: Blade's 175th Anniversary exhibit.

Feb. to March: Toledo Museum of Art staff exhibit.

Colleges:

Bowling Green State University

Through Sept. 26: Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit.

Oct. 2 to Nov. 17: 100 @100: 100 Works of Art by Alumni Artists to Celebrate BGSU's Centennial.

Oct. 26 to Dec. 5: 3-D, LED installation by Erwin Redl.

Dec. 3: Arts Xtravaganza.

Dec. 3 to 14: 60th Annual Faculty/Staff Exhibition.

Feb. 6 to 27: Undergraduate Art & Design Exhibition.

March 20 to April 3: BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition.

April 9 to May 3: MFA Thesis Exhibitions.

Owens Community College

Sept. 28 to Oct. 23: Arturo Rodriguez: Marielito.

Nov. 2 to Dec. 10: Faculty exhibit.

Jan. 11 to Feb. 10: Amanda Burnham: Urban Signs.

Feb. 18 to March 26: Vaughn Bell: Village Green.

April 8 to April 30: Juried student exhibit.

May 13 to June 2: Anime.

June 13 to July 7: Prizm.

July 21 to Aug. 4: Young artists.

University of Toledo:

Through Oct. 3: Light and Landscape.

Oct. 7: Open House.

Oct. 23 to Nov. 21: FOCUS high school exhibit.

Dec. 3 & 4: A Winter's Sale.

Contact Tahree Lane at:

tlane@theblade.com



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