Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2012 (November 16, 2012)

Looking Ahead


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November 16, 2012
A stunning exhibition of portraiture opens at Beloit College on Nov. 18, marking further forward motion in an era of renewal for the Wright Museum of Art.

Looking AheadThe George S. Parker II Exhibition Fund—received through the estate of the former college trustee—is making this exhibit possible in addition to bringing future traveling exhibitions to Beloit on a biennial calendar starting in 2012.

During the interim year, the Parker Fund will support a selected Beloit faculty member in developing a themed course that draws on art from the Wright Museum’s permanent collection. Associate Professor of English Fran Abbate’90 will be the inaugural George S. Parker II faculty curator. In her course, After Words, After Worlds: Contemporary Poetry Re/Visions the Classics, students will compose poetry and read recent renderings of Dante’s Inferno, The Iliad, and Antigone, among other works.

A major part of the themed course centers on an exhibit jointly curated from the collection by the faculty member and students, in collaboration with museum staff.

Together, the traveling and faculty/student curated exhibitions will become annual highlights on the Wright Museum’s calendar of events, while expanding students’ opportunities to engage critically with original works of art.

The first Parker traveling exhibit features Looking Ahead: Portraits from the Mott-Warsh Collection, which focuses on representational and conceptual portraiture of black subjects. Though black portraiture has been explored more traditionally in photography and literature, portraiture in museum exhibitions is more unusual. The artists featured in Looking Ahead directly and indirectly examine the social, political, and cultural nuances of the black head and face in fine art and popular visual culture through paintings, sketches, sculpture, photography, and prints. The Mott-Warsh Collection was initiated in 2001 in Flint, Mich., by Maryanne Mott and her husband, the late Herman Warsh, to focus on works by artists of the African diaspora.

Containing about 30 pieces, Looking Ahead comes to Beloit as part of a national tour taking place over two years. In the Wright Museum, the Mott-Warsh portraits will be exhibited in the recently renovated and climate-controlled Wanda Hollensteiner’54 Gallery through Jan. 27.

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