Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Foreign art invades Toledo this fall

Beauty from the most renowned garden in Paris as well as from Japan will infuse the Toledo Museum of Art this fall, winter, and spring.

Beginning Oct. 4, Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, will display 343 Japanese woodblock prints from the early 20th century. Lovely color images of landscapes, seascapes, beautiful women, actors, cities, and temples were made by artists who modernized and revived traditional woodblock work from the 1600s to 1800s. The show will include videos on printmaking and swordsmithing, as well as actual armor and kimono and kabuki costumes.

Fresh Impressions revisits a 1930 exhibit the museum launched with these same prints. A local man purchased the entire lot and gave them to the museum. With the advantage of hindsight, the show explains how the 1930 exhibit, which traveled from Toledo to nine other museums, helped popularize this charming genre in both the United States and Japan. Continuing through Jan. 1, the free show is in the Canaday Gallery.

Ushering us into springtime will be the Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden, Feb. 13 through May 11. It will explore the art, design, and evolution of the legendary Tuileries Garden in more than 100 paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures dating to the 17th through 20th centuries. This long stretch of garden/park in central Paris is splendid with monumental sculptures and has inspired artists from Edouard Manet and Camille Pissarro to Childe Hassam and Auguste Rodin.

Museum staff worked with employees at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon to build the show in partnership with the Musee du Louvre in Paris. It will be in the Canaday Gallery and there will be an admission fee of $8.50 for adult nonmembers/$5.50 for seniors 65 and older and students.

Continuing though Nov. 10 will be Perry’s Victory: The Battle of Lake Erie, which includes the large, 1814 painting by Thomas Birch, Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie, along with other paintings, artifacts, letters, and music.

The museum makes good use of its Peristyle Theater with three free Masters Series talks. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will perform as part of this series Wednesday. Tickets are $25 to $75.

Robert Edsel, author of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, will speak at 6 p.m. Oct. 10. Edsel is an expert on the WWII Allied soldiers who saved Europe’s great works of art from Nazi theft and destruction. His book has been adapted into a forthcoming film directed by and starring George Clooney.

Paul Timman, a tattoo artist to the likes of Angelina Jolie and Ben Affleck, will discuss the influence of Japanese prints on his work and the relationships between art, life, and tattooing at 6 p.m. Dec. 5. A Toledo native, Timman also has designed porcelain dinnerware based on a Japanese tattoo style.

Eric Haskell, an expert on French garden history and landscape aesthetics, will discuss André Le Nôtre, the most important designer of the Tuileries Garden, at 6 p.m. March 13.

The Arts Commission

Its name has been trimmed (formerly the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo), but the beat goes on with this small organization, located across Monroe Street from the Toledo Museum of Art.

There will be new public art and several fun events.

But first, our suggestion for an autumn mini-trip that combines aesthetics with development: the Poetry Sidewalks project at the charming plaza near the new National Museum of the Great Lakes (1701 Front St., slated to open in the spring) in the new Marina District in old East Toledo, was dedicated a few weeks ago. Five poems themed to the Great Lakes were selected from 70 submissions and impressed into cement. The aim: to engage pedestrians in an outdoor reading experience. A second phase of sidewalk poems will be launched this year at a yet-to-be-determined location, said Marc Folk, executive director of the commission.

Two significant public art pieces we’ll see in the next 12 months are not your uncle’s Oldsmobile. One will be a high-budget mural costing up to $100,000 painted on the approximately 2,500-square-foot exterior of a two-story, city-owned building visible from both directions on I-280 between Manhattan Boulevard and I-75. The commission will soon solicit mural designs from artists and hopes to award the contract by May, Folk said.

Another significant piece, also costing $100,000, will be on Collingwood Boulevard between Winthrop Street and Central Avenue in conjunction with the street resurfacing project. Stainless steel and aluminum pieces will be installed on three bricked medians. The artist is Mark Lere of Glendale, Calif. and installation will be next fall or spring, 2015, depending on construction.

The commission is collaborating with the city on its redevelopment of Promenade Park, to include additional art in the park, and on the redesign of downtown’s southern gateway at the Anthony Wayne Trail, Erie, and Lafayette streets.

And, we can expect more artsy bicycle racks to be installed near the Main Library, Lucas County Courthouse, and Huntington Center.

Events planned by the commission are the Holiday Loop from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 16, when two buses will trundle between art shops and galleries in the Warehouse District, Uptown, and the Old West End. It’s been moved up two weeks to promote and to not conflict with other holiday events. Art Walks, Sound Trek (the downtown band-a-palooza), and Young Artists at Work will continue.

The Arts Commission has a budget of $761,000 and a staff of eight including two part timers. In October it will undertake the major organizational task of updating the city’s plan for promoting art and culture, last done in 2003 during former Mayor Jack Ford’s tenure, said Folk, adding that it can be integrated into Toledo’s 20/20 Plan, a vision of what the city could look like in the year 2020. In a series of meetings, the survey will zero in on people living in six near-downtown neighborhoods (East Toledo, the Old South End, the Old West End, UpTown, United North, and the Warehouse District) as well as the arts community at large.

“We’ll have dialog with artists and art organizations to hear what they need to move forward and be successful,” Folk said. Discussions will focus on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and where to go from here.

Blair Museum of Lithophanes

The cozy Blair Museum of Lithophanes is worth a trip to Toledo Botanical Garden, near the Elmer Drive entrance. Hundreds of lithophanes, most dating to the 1800s, are displayed; they’re small, translucent porcelain plaques which, when backlit, reveal detailed images.

The Blair, in a renovated cottage, is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through October and during Heralding the Holidays, 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7, and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. It will reopen with a new show in May, continuing the 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday schedule. Private tours are conducted during the winter. Call 419-243-1356.


The bicentennial of the War of 1812 has been widely acknowledged this summer, and you can still catch the War of 1812 on the Ohio Frontier at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, through Oct. 7. The Hayes Museum organized this exhibit detailing the role northwest Ohio played in turning the tide of the war from potential defeat to victory. A timeline provides information about the battles fought in Ohio and shows how the geography and populace influenced the outcome.

A new exhibit, Rutherford B. Hayes: Buckeye President, opens Oct. 17. Hayes believed an educated citizenry was the foundation of a strong nation, so in his first term as governor he urged the Ohio legislature to establish a land-grant college funded by the sale of public lands given to the state. His persistence resulted in the creation of the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, renamed Ohio State University in 1878. To fund it, he led the effort to pass the Hysell Act, which allocated money from a special tax. After serving as U.S. president, he became a university trustee, active in its daily operations. The oldest building on the OSU campus is Hayes Hall, named in his honor. The exhibit continues through April 13.


It’s business as usual at the Detroit Institute of Arts, despite that city’s bankruptcy and suggestions that some of its art should be sold to pay municipal debt.

Opening Oct. 6 is Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, an extensive, immersion experience in which 150 years of animation will be shown in large-scale projections as well as intimate viewing spaces. Screened will be the familiar and the eccentric. Visitors will have the opportunity to see a vast array of animation techniques in more than 100 animated film segments from across generations and cultures.

Included will be the greats of animation, from Georges Méliès and Chuck Jones to William Kentridge and Tim Burton, as well as studios such as Walt Disney, Aardman, Studio Ghibli, and Pixar. In addition, the museum’s Detroit Film Theatre series will show many related movies and will host speakers. It was organized by the multiarts Barbican Centre, London. The Animation Show requires a ticket in addition to admission and continues through Jan. 5.

More than 70 works by European photographers will be shown Oct. 25 through April 27 in Foto Europa, 1840 to the Present. Rare examples of early photographic techniques, classic black-and-white photography, and large-scale contemporary color images will be included, many of which have never been on view. A special section will be devoted to recent photos of Detroit by European photographers.

Samurai: Beyond the Sword, March 9 to June 1, is a comprehensive portrayal of Japan’s military elite, the Samurai, who dominated and eventually ruled between the 12th and 19th centuries. Paintings of epic battle scenes, menacing suits of armor, and meticulously crafted blades explain the Samurai’s warrior roots. Additional objects will explain the principles of awareness and mindfulness that Samurai pursued during their lives: nature, Buddhist and Chinese legendary figures, screen and scroll paintings, Noh theater costumes, and elegant tea-ceremony items.

Ann Arbor

A founding member of the Abstract Expressionists, Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) was a key part of the art scene in New York for much of the 20th century. His sculpture, a medium he worked in for only about 18 months, is the focus of a show opening Saturday and continuing through Jan. 5 in the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The exhibition, including his maquettes, paintings, and monotypes from 1964-1974, was organized by the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York.

Additional exhibits are NHDM/Nahyun Hwang + David Eugin Moon through Nov. 10; Brett Weston Landscapes through Dec. 1; Performing Still Images: David Claerbout and Matthew Buckingham through Jan. 5; Islamic Art from U-M’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Nov. 30 to April 13; Flip Your Field: Photography from the Collection Dec. 7 to March 16, and Michigan Architect Part 1: David Osler, Dec. 21 to April 13.


It will be with a monumental sigh of relief, no doubt, when the Cleveland Museum of Art wraps up eight years of expansion and renovation at year’s end, $350 million worth of improvements that will result in an additional 203,500 square feet, including three new wings and a dramatic 39,000-square-foot glass atrium. Fully renovated are the 1916 building and its 1971 addition. The museum was closed for a few years in the early stage of construction, and various portions have been shut down and reinstalled since then.

On Sept. 29 the museum will open a display of 150 objects dating from the fifth to third centuries BCE in Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome. It will portray military and athletic victories, religious and civic rituals, opulent lifestyles, and intellectual achievements that shaped the western Greek world. Co-organized with the J. Paul Getty Museum, it will continue through Jan. 5.

2014 will be a blockbuster year with five major shows opening:

Remaking Tradition: Modern Art of Japan, Feb. 16 to May 11, will feature 50 modern masterpieces from the Tokyo National Museum. They’ll show how traditional Japanese painting was affected by the craft tradition as well as Western styles of oil painting and sculpture.

Van Gogh Repetitions, March 2 to May 26, is the first exhibition to focus specifically on pairs or groups of Van Gogh’s work that feature nearly identical compositions. It’s a collaboration with the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., where the show will debut next month. Staff at both museums are working together to determine the various means Van Gogh employed to produce his repetitions.

Yoga: The Art of Transformation, June 22 to Sept. 7, celebrates centuries of yoga’s rich visual history, including its philosophical underpinnings, its goals of transforming body and mind, the roles yoga practitioners have played, and how yoga has changed over centuries and in different cultures.

Surrealist Photography: Raymond Collection, Oct. 5, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015, will comprise 125 images and illustrated books in which international photographers sought the irrational and the chance encounter, the magical and the mundane, filtered through the unconscious.

Exporting Florence: Donatello to Michelangelo, Oct. 19, 2014 to Jan. 18, 2015, is being curated by the Cleveland museum’s director, David Franklin. It will feature 15th and 16th-century works by Florentine artists including Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Verrocchio, and others who were often rivals as well as innovative painters, sculptors, and architects. Many of their works were sent abroad, as gifts or as commissions, giving special cachet to what it meant to be “Made in Florence.”

Contact Tahree Lane at: or 419-724-6075.

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