The Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has opened four new exhibitions for the fall semester. Each draws on the museum’s collection of nearly 13,000 objects to provide a thematic presentation that fosters inquiry, discovery and opportunities for students, faculty and staff, alumni and visitors to engage with. art and with each other.
Until December 31, Sheldon presents the exhibitions: “Point of Departure: Abstraction 1958 – Present”, “The Nature of Waste: Material Pathways, Discarded Worlds”, “Framing a Legacy: Gifts from Ann and James Rawley” and “Sheldon Treasures. “
“Point of Departure: Abstraction 1958 – Present” examines the evolution of abstraction from the late 1950s – after the first wave of artists associated with Abstract Expressionism – to the present day.
The title of the exhibition is taken from a 1958 jazz recording by Andrew Hill that both illustrates and defies its time. Hill’s music has its roots in a post-Monk, hard-bop style, pushing it to the edge of free jazz and, as the title suggests, into new territory. Abstraction in the visual arts, like Hill’s music, continues to evolve.
Abstraction is one of the strengths of the Sheldon collection. The founding funds of early Modernism in America inspired key postwar acquisitions of works associated with Abstract Expressionism. With perseverance, this concentration has continued until now. Recent additions to the collection offer an inclusive presentation of diverse voices and perspectives that lead to deeper and more focused discussions of abstraction. To this end, Point de Départ includes six recent acquisitions and four loans from local collections.
“The Nature of Waste: Material Pathways, Discarded Worlds” presents a holistic investigation of waste streams, examining works of art that draw inspiration from our scraps, leftovers, trash, rubbish, scarcity and ruins. With subjects ranging from 19th-century ragpickers to today’s eco-critical practices, the works highlight the complex relationship of waste to colonialism and industrial production.
This exhibition was curated by Katie Anania, Assistant Professor of Art History at the School of Art, Art History & Design. Support for the exhibit is provided by the Hixson-Lied Endowment, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Sheldon Art Association, and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“Framing a Legacy: Gifts from Ann and James Rawley” is a celebration of the artwork donated to the museum by longtime supporters Ann and James Rawley. This not only underscores their affinity for the collection of paintings, sculptures and works on paper, but also Ann’s meticulous practice of framing.
James Rawley (1916-2005) was Carl Adolph Happold Professor Emeritus of History here at the university. He has taught courses and published books in his areas of specialization: the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and the Atlantic slave trade. His significant contributions to the study of American history are recognized by the James A. Rawley Prize (OAH), awarded in his memory by the Organization of American Historians for the best book on race relations, and the James A Prize. Rawley (AHA), awarded by the American Historical Association for the best Atlantic history book.
“Sheldon Treasures”, an ongoing exhibition that changes every semester, highlights some of the museum’s most important and well-known objects. The works presented in the fall 2021 edition of “Sheldon Treasures” demonstrate the breadth of approaches taken by artists to represent the human figure. Throughout art history, the representation of the human form has provided expressive possibilities for stylistic innovation, social commentary, and storytelling.
For more information on the museum’s exhibits and programs, visit sheldonartmuseum.org.
More details on: https://sheldonartmuseum.org/