The really big shew, as Ed Sullivan would have introduced it, is Manet: Portraying Life, opening Oct. 7 and continuing through Jan. 1 at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Edouard Manet (1832 to 1883) suggested poses for his formal subjects (suited and serious, locking eyes with the viewer), and his informal ones (at the piano, blowing a bubble, playing croquet, riding a bike, relaxing in the garden). A contemporary of the Impressionists, the stylish Manet recorded Parisian life. He understood the Old Masters but aimed to develop new approaches with each painting and earned the reputation as a father of modern art. Critics said he violated the conventions of color and technique, and indeed, he relished painting bold alternatives, especially to portrait photography, which presented stiff competition to portrait painters.
"Each time [one] begins a picture," he wrote in 1876, "[one] plunges headlong into it, and feels like a man who knows that his surest plan to learn to swim safely is, dangerous as if may seem, to throw himself into the water."
Lawrence Nichols, a curator at the Toledo museum, had been planning a Manet show when he learned that MaryAnne Stevens, a curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, was doing the same. They decided to collaborate and the resulting project will be seen in London after its Toledo debut. It's the first time Manet's portraits have been focused on exclusively. Several talks and movies will be shown in conjunction with the paintings. Tickets are $8 for ages 23 to 64, $5 for others, and free for museum members.
Museum staff have dubbed this fall the season of portraiture, and will present other shows relating to images of people in one way or another.
Also expected to be a strong draw is Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation, Oct. 7 through Jan. 20, featuring 90 images of the sets, scenes, and big stars from 1920 to 1960 (Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo), captured by 30 photographers hired by American film studios. The photographs, mostly 11-by-14-inch prints, provide a glimpse into a glamorous world created and nurtured by image-makers. Austrian-born Kobal was a film historian and collector of Hollywood photographs; he also wrote more than 30 books on related topics. Organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the exhibit has traveled to museums around the world. Admission is $8 for ages 23 to 64, $5 for others, and free for museum members.
Five new exhibitions include
● Prints and Authors from the Time of Manet, through Jan. 13, displays 120 photographs, prints, and illustrated books by the likes of Renoir, Daumier, Whistler, and Manet. In landscapes, nature, and political art, they show what was going on in the art world of the 1800s.
● Museum People: Faces of TMA, Sept. 28 through Jan. 10, will be a floor-to-ceiling display of nearly 700 mug shots of local folk taken in the spring by Jim Rohman and Giles Cooper.
● Leslie Adams: Drawn from Life, Oct. 19 through Jan. 13, features 20 new, autobiographical works by this talented Toledo portraitist. Adams is the first to receive the new Solo Exhibition Award of the Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition in 2011, which awards a show at the museum, rare for local artists outside of the Community Gallery. Adams has painted official portraits of former Ohio governors Ted Strickland and Robert Taft, and the late Bishop James R. Hoffman.
● The 94th Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition, Feb. 1 through April 14, is the area's largest contest, usually drawing about 300 hopefuls. Ten to 15 percent of submissions will be selected for the show, in which a dozen or so winners will share about $8,000 in prizes.
● Crossing Cultures: the Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art from the Hood Museum of Art, April 14 to July 18, is a project of museum director Brian Kennedy, who formerly headed the Hood at Dartmouth College as well as the National Gallery of Australia. It will highlight 100 pieces made in the last 60 years by artists living in Australian cities and remote areas.
The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo's biggest and most anticipated undertaking of 2013 will be Artomatic 419!, when hundreds of artists, musicians, and poets will take over a massive building or two (location is yet to be determined) for three Saturdays in April (the 13th, 20th, and 27th). Held nearly every other year since 2006 when 150 artists and 5,000 people attended, Artomatic featured 450 artists and drew 10,000 visitors in 2011 when it squeezed into a couple of buildings in the Warehouse District. Skewing toward the avant garde, it's patterned after a huge event held in Washington.
Other events organized by the commission are a Holiday Loop from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Nov. 30, when free buses will shuttle people between three near-downtown areas where artists will sell their wares.
Poetry meets cement in a new project that will launch when 2013's weather warms. As the city of Toledo replaces sections of sidewalks, poetry by local folks, about five to 10 lines long, will be stamped into the wet cement. The commission will put out a call for submissions in the coming months.
SoundTrek will be held again next summer. This July's music festival along Adams Street featured more than 30 acts at 11 venues, ranging from the Main library to pubs.
The commission will also solicit designs for out-of-the-box bicycle racks that will be placed in the Warehouse District.
And, six TARTA buses will be unveiled with new "wraps" themed to Restore Planet Earth: Technology from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Parkwood Gallery. In the last nine years, 40 to 50 buses have been "wrapped" with hip designs by Bowling Green State University students and poetry fragments by local teens.
The arts commission also restores and conserves public art, most of which is outdoors.
Blair Museum of Lithophanes
"The little secret in the garden" has a new director. Kelly Sheehan, a local glass artist and teacher, assumed the position July 1 at the Blair Museum of Lithophanes in the Toledo Botanical Garden. In a cottage at the garden's entrance, the museum displays these small, translucent porcelain plaques which when backlit, reveal detailed, often-clever images. Most date to the 19th century.
Captured in Porcelain, a special grouping of the 19th century lithophanes that were inspired by stories of comedy, romance, and tragedy, will carry over to 2013.
The Blair is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28, and during Heralding the Holidays, Dec. 7, 8, and 9. It will reopen April 27, continuing the 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday schedule. Private tours are conducted during the winter; contact Sheehan at email@example.com. or 419-245-1356.
Tales of Travel from the President's Attic chronicles the travels of Rutherford B. Hayes and his descendents, including dozens of steamer trunks and other artifacts left in the attic of the family home, now known as the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont. President Hayes traveled to the West Coast while in office and his offspring had the travel bug too at a time when travel was a luxury of the rich. Also shown will be travel photos, clothing, souvenirs, and journals dating from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. A video component will play 20th century films of the Hayes family's travels to France and Scotland. The show will continue through Jan. 27.
On its heels will be the War of 1812 on the Ohio Frontier, Feb. 13 through Oct. 7, 2013. Commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the center will present an exclusive exhibit detailing Northwest Ohio's role in turning that conflict into a victory. Artifacts and manuscripts from the center's own collections, area museums and historical societies, and a private collection will provide insight into battles fought on the Ohio frontier.
● Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse experimented with techniques and materials in ways that rippled through 20th century art. Prints, drawings, etchings, linoleum cuts, paintings, and bronze sculptures will be on view through Jan. 6.
● Faberge: The Rise and Fall, Oct. 14 through Jan. 21, will display more than 200 objects from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, home of the largest collection of Faberge in the United States. It will trace Karl Faberge's rise to fame, due to his business savvy, artistic innovations, and privileged relationship with the Russian aristocracy.
● Hidden Treasures: An Experiment, Oct. 14 through Jan. 21, will explore some of the mysteries that have been solved by museum experts with eight paintings from the DIA's collection.
An American painter who came to define the British Empire will be featured in Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire, opening Saturday and continuing through Jan. 13 at the University of Michigan Museum. West's large-scale 1776 painting, The Death of General Wolfe, depicts the demise of the British commander at the 1759 Battle of Quebec during the French and Indian War. The work became one of the most celebrated paintings of its time in England, seeming to crystallize the moment when Britain assumed the mantle of empire. West painted five more full-scale versions of the general's death, one of which is owned by the Clements Library at UM. In addition, 40 related works will show Britain's emergence as the dominant colonial power in Europe.
Other UMMA exhibits are:
● Jesper Just: This Nameless Spectacle, through Dec. 9, and Francis Alys's Guards, Dec. 15 through April 21; both in the New Media Gallery.
● African Art and the Shape of Time, through Feb. 3, asks visitors to reconsider the concept of time (the relationship between past, present, and future) and the meaning of African Art. Objects date from the 16th to 21st centuries, and were gathered from many collections.
● Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, a collective from Seoul, features word-and-sound videos, through Dec. 30. UMMA commissioned a piece, which is a two-channel video with multiple projections and monitors.
The Cleveland Museum of Art will complete eight years of expansion/renovations in 2013, a series of improvements totalling $350 million that will result in an additional 203,500 square feet, including a 39,000-square-foot glass-enclosed atrium space and new wings.
Among major shows will be:
● Mary Cassatt and the Feminine Ideal in 19th Century Paris, Oct. 13 through Jan. 21, featuring works by the American Cassatt, who lived in Paris, along with images of women from all strata by her French contemporaries such as Degas, Pissarro, Morisot, Renoir, Tissot, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
● Wari: Lords of the Ancient Andes, Oct. 28 to Jan. 6, explores a little-known Peruvian culture that flourished between 600 and 1000, through more than 100 masterful pieces: ceramics, precious ornaments inlaid with gold and silver, sculpture, and sumptuous garments.
● William H. Johnson: An American Modern, Nov. 3 to Jan. 27, will show 20 landscapes, still lifes, and portraits by this South Carolina-born African-American talent, who died in 1970.
● American Vesuvius: The Aftermath of Mount St. Helens by photographers Frank Gohlke and Emmet Gowin, will be Jan. 13 to May 12. Images were taken between 1981 and 1990.
● The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection, Feb. 24 to May 19. Mount Vesuvius blew in the year 79, destroying and preserving Pompeii and nearby cities. This exhibition explores the obsession, through art, with this disaster in the 300 years since it was discovered.
● Caporali: A Masterpiece of Renaissance Illumination, Feb. 17 to June 2, revolves around an illuminated missal made in 1469 for the Franciscan clergy in a hillside town near Perugia, Italy. Its beautiful paintings were done by the Caporali brothers. It will be displayed with liturgical objects such as vestments, a chalice, and a processional cross, many of them lent by museums and churches in Umbria,
● Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals Zodiac Heads, opens in the new atrium April 14 to Oct. 6, 2013. Contemporary Chinese artist Weiwei created zodiac heads inspired by the 18th-century zodiac fountain clock in the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, destroyed during the Second Opium War (1856-60). Weiwei is best-known for his recent installation of 100 million handmade porcelain sunflower seeds in the Tate Turbine Hall in London.
Contact Tahree Lane at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6075.