Corrections or additions?
This column by Pat Summers was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on
December 22, 1999. All rights reserved.
The Goddess & the Mud Pot
It would have been easy to assemble a calendar
with photographs of baby animals or beautiful gardens or classic this
or that — or even a learn-a-word-a-day calendar. But the U.S.
1 staff decided that our Year 2000 calendar would feature images of
inspiring art works created during the last 1,000 years. And by
in the mix works created in all parts of the world, and in all media,
we believed we could find at least one stunning representative of
each of 10 centuries in the permanent collections of museums in our
So we gave ourselves a crash course on the art history of the second
millennium and reviewed the holdings at art sites from Newark to
to Philadelphia, then took our figurative cup next door to borrow
some sugar — images, that is. In the process, we learned much
more about each of the possible image sources and encountered any
number of obliging museum representatives who were eager to help.
While looking back, we also pondered the future: How might art in
the upcoming third millennium be regarded by the time the fourth
is imminent? But first, there was the 11th century to deal with,
a calendar photo of 11th-century art. We knew that as we moved closer
to our own century, we’d have no difficulty finding images: 20th
art is all over. And before reaching the plenitude of 19th century
Impressionists, we would travel through the Renaissance, after all,
and fabled dynasties of the East.
Now although we acquired twice the number of images required to
it, or a total of two, we can state with authority that 11th-century
art is hard to come by. From the New Jersey State Museum came an image
of a ceramic vessel, circa 600-1000 A.D., unearthed at the Abbott
Farm site, in Trenton. While that vessel certainly qualified for our
January page illustration, the graceful figurative sculpture from
Tibet offered from the collection of the Newark Museum, dating from
the same time period, is much more than just a pretty face. We could
not resist making the exquisitely crafted gilded goddess, "Tara
with Throne and Prabhamandala," our "Miss January."
This work is just a fraction of the Newark Museum’s renowned Asian
art collection. (A review of the current Tibetan art exhibition
in the November 24 issue of U.S. 1.) The museum’s 90th anniversary
celebration continues through early January, and right about now,
an impulse train trip to Newark could offer a calming respite from
holiday overload. In sampling the museum’s Tibetan holdings, visitors
can also get a sense of its distinguished American art collection.
For February, and the 12th century, we traveled to West Africa in
choosing an image of "Seated Man," a terra cotta sculpture
in the Art Museum, Princeton University. By March, or the 13th
France held the monopoly as the country of origin for possible images.
We had the enviable task of choosing from among reliquaries, or
— church-shaped containers for saints’ relics; stained glass
and a medieval marble cloister with elements from a French abbey and
a monastery’s Romanesque fountain, all installed at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art. Although a stained and painted glass rondel depicting
a Biblical story was vividly beautiful, as was a rendering of St.
George in the same medium, we selected an image of a gilt copper and
enamel reliquary whose sides in relief memorialize the martyrdom of
Again from the Art Museum, Princeton University, came
the 14th century work seen on our April page: an ivory casket whose
relief work shows scenes from the romances. Both May and June feature
15th century images — from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the
first is a detail from a Chinese handscroll more than 30 feet long,
"Bamboo Under Spring Rain," a brush painting with an unusually
low perspective, by Hsia Ch’ang, a specialist at painting bamboo.
June brings a page from a 15th-century psalterium, a rare and
item that is the first extant dated printed book. An image of this
book, published in Mainz, Germany, by Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer,
was loaned from the Scheide Library, the privately funded collection
of Princeton’s William H. Scheide, housed in the university’s
of rare books and special collections. The department comprises five
divisions housed in two libraries on campus: manuscripts, rare books,
visual materials, public policy papers and university archives, and
the rare books and manuscripts cataloging team. Its main office is
on the first floor of Firestone Library; in addition to weekday hours,
exhibition galleries are open weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
Curiously, the 16th century was almost as difficult to fill as the
11th. Here, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offered a choice that
a suit of steel and brass armor in the German Renaissance style and
a portrait of "Cosimo di Medici as Orpheus" by Agnolo
But we opted for a Dosso Dossi oil painting, "The Holy Family,
with the Young Saint John the Baptist and Two Donors," a touching
scene of Virgin and Child made more touching by the cat that walks
sedately across our line of sight.
For our 17th century image, Peter Paul Rubens’ monumental "Cupid
Supplicating Jupiter" was the easy choice, frequently used by
the Princeton Art Museum as its signature work. Known as "The
Forbes Rubens," the painting is the promised gift of Malcolm S.
Forbes, Class of ’41; Malcolm S. Forbes Jr. ’70; and Christopher
Images of art that originated on opposite sides of the world vied
for our 18th century page — a silver teapot made in Philadelphia
or an Edo period porcelain tea jar from Japan. The tea jar with enamel
glazes is unconventional in approach: rather than covering the entire
surface of the jar with intricate detail, as was common in Chinese
porcelain, this artist chose a single subject and treated it with
Predictably, the 19th century opened up for us a treasure trove of
images from museums and historical institutions throughout the area.
From historic Morven, on Stockton Street in Princeton, came a
"Commodore Robert Field Stockton," by Samuel Bell Waugh. Built
as the home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence —
Stockton’s grandfather — Morven served for a while as the
mansion. Morven is now closed until the summer for the first of two
restoration phases that will convert it into a museum of regional
Drawing further on the works at the Princeton University art museum,
we considered Albert Bierstadt’s panoramic scene, "Mount Adams,
Washington," but chose instead Claude Monet’s "Waterlilies
and Japanese Bridge" for the great affection in which it is held
by so many regular visitors to the museum. It also beat out Van Gogh’s
much-loved "Sunflowers" from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Known for both its burgeoning Russian art and Japonisme collections,
New Brunswick’s Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum made three esteemed
Japanese wood block prints available, from which we chose Utagawa
Tonokuni III’s "Fifty-Three Stations of Tokaido: Hara," a
second 19th century image, for the November page. Aubrey Beardsley’s
graphically stunning pen-and-ink drawing, created for the cover of
"The Yellow Book," was made available by Princeton
Rare Books and Special Collections, but it became a beautiful
Last came December, the month designated for 20th
art. With the range of images available to represent this last century
of the millennium, having front and back covers as image sites to
supplement the 12 months was a godsend. For December, we chose a
of Marcel Duchamp’s mixed media masterpiece, "The Bride Stripped
Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)." This seminal work
is part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s extensive Duchamp
— a result of his relationship with Philalphia patron Katherine
Dreier. Also known, or notorious, for his 1913 Armory Show
painting, "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2," as well as
his enigmatic "ready-mades" such as "Fountain" (1917),
Duchamp eschewed convention and championed the unorthodox for much
of this century, and is widely credited for revolutionizing thinking
Finally, our front cover shows Pablo Picasso’s familiar painting,
"Three Musicians," courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of
Art. A work in oil, it yet suggests his cut and pasted collages,
through the three characters the importance of music in the Cubist
canon and in suggesting the theme of the artist (Picasso as Harlequin)
as performer, it also reflects this artist’s life-long tradition of
From Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, we show inside the back cover
a recent sculpture installation, "If It Were Time," by J.
Seward Johnson Jr. In this cast bronze and aluminum work, Johnson
presents an astonishing three-dimensional homage to Claude Monet’s
1867 oil painting, "Terrace at Sainte Andresse." Two images
from the James A. Michener Museum of Art, Doylestown, were also
for a 20th-century spot with works by Edward W. Redfield and Joseph
Pearson Jr. The museum is home to a leading collection of 19th and
20th century regional American art including Pennsylvania
as well as an interactive exhibition honoring maverick Bucks County
artists, authors, and composers.
Amazing — the breadth of visual art produced in this millennium
and available in museums and related sites just a short drive, or
walk, away. It encompasses art produced all over the globe,
showing waves of creativity and creation, and suggesting both the
independence and the interdependence of art and artists. But now,
"the past is prologue." We are poised at the edge of the third
millennium — and who knows what art will evolve from the art of
the last thousand years?
Will third-millennium art be a reaction to, or a continuation of?
Will we recognize the art of the past in that of the future? If much
of this millennium was the age of the "white male genius,"
could the next one turn out to be a time of the "multi-color
genius"? Will cyber, or digital, art come to the fore? If not,
what media will be dominant in the next millennium? Will the
become extinct? Who will the artists be? Who will art critics be in
the next millennium, and what expertise will they need? How about
art consumers — will "new art" create new appreciators?
Through high-tech production means, will "art" proliferate
so that any one work of art has unlimited potential for reproduction?
What will become of "original" art?
Much closer to the here and now, if there are still paper calendars
— or calendars of any sort, or even a need for calendars a
years from now — will people look back at the 21st century,
what kind of art it produced and whether images of that art could
possibly interest those facing the fourth millennium? Are we glad
or sorry that we’ll probably never know the answers to these
questions? For now, how exciting to think that some artists we know
or admire today may go on to become exponents of 21st century art,
and maybe, way down the road, figure in some Year 3000 calendar.
— Pat Summers
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Exhibit of watercolors and oils by Kathleen Maguire Morolda. Gallery
hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday to
9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
In the Merwick unit library: "Paintings of Fred and Jennie
to March 9. Part of proceeds benefit the medical center. Open 8 a.m.
to 7 p.m. daily.
Featuring color and black-and-white photographs by Harry Rubel who
has been making photographs for 45 years. Also, works by area artists
Patrice Sprovieri, Wayne Mathisen, Annelies van Dommelen, and Susan
Setteducato. Also exhibiting Hsu Dan, Tom Chesar, Larry Chestnut,
Calvin Hart, Clem Fiori, Leslie Neumeyer, Leyla Spencer, Janet Landau,
Jacob Landau, Ellyn Gerberding, and Marge Levine. Hours are Monday
through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday to 9 p.m.; and Saturday,
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Street, 609-921-9292. "Going Global: Contemporary fine art from
around the world spanning Princeton, New Jersey, to Reykjavik,
Princeton artists include Michael Berger, Jane Eccles, Richard Erdman,
and Robert Sakson; from farther afield, Tanya Kohn, Karolina
Salvatore Magazzini, and Mary Stork. To January 22.
Lear’s Greece," an exhibition of watercolors, sketchings, and
letters by the English artist and limmerick master, from the Gennadius
Library of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.
Also "The Trappings of Gentility: 19th-Century British Art at
Princeton." Both shows to January 2. Also, "American Works
on Paper," to January 16. "Contemporary Photographs, new
and photographs from the permanent collection; to January 9. The
is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5
p.m. Free tours of the collection are every Saturday at 2 p.m.
The permanent collection features a strong representation of Western
European paintings, old master prints, and original photographs.
of Chinese, Pre-Columbian Mayan, and African art are considered among
the museum’s most impressive. Not housed in the museum but part of
the collection is the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection of
outdoor sculpture, with works by such modern masters as Henry Moore,
Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and George Segal located throughout
609-258-4790. "Dreamscapes," an exhibition of paintings by
WWS alumna Alexandra Isaievych. Combining her passion for art with
an interest in public policy and economics, Isaievych has worked on
economic assistance programs in Ukraine, an experience that has
her conviction that "art which provides inspiration for reclaiming
the dignity of the human spirit is as essential as good economic
8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays; weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
609-799-6706. "Portraits in Other Objects" by Eric Montoya,
an artist who exhibits in Los Angeles and New York. The show features
oil portraits whose forms are comprised of other narrative elements.
To February 12. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to
6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"Fabrications," an exhibition of fabric art by Carol Sara
Schepps. Her subjects include "59 Caddy," which features the
back end of the popular car, and "Circles." Schepps’ work
has been shown in Philadelphia, San Diego, and Houston, as was
in the recent book, "Visions: Quilt Expressions." To January
The gallery celebrates its fourth year and a new exhibition season
featuring 12 gallery co-op members presenting shows that change
Working with owner Eric Gibbons are curators and artists Beverly
and Lana Bernard-Toniolio.
Other co-op members are Maura Carey, Sarah Bernotas, Richard Gerster,
Robert Sinkus, Mike Pacitti, Michael Bergman, Jane Lawrence, Charlotte
Jacks, Dorothy Amsden, Carmen Johnson, John Wilson, and Bob Gherardi.
Gallery hours are Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday,
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Drive, Jamesburg, 732-521-0070. "Favorite Things," an
of watercolors by Joanne Augustine and Barbara G. Watts, both of whom
paint subjects from nature. To January 4.
Road, 609-921-3272. All-Artists Show in the Upstairs Gallery,
by members of the 1860 House Professional Artists Group, to January
29. Also "Iron and Ink," an exhibit and sale of contemporary
art from Africa by Kwela Crafts, to December 31. Gallery hours are
Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In the foyer, Nature Photography by Kris Sudol. In the gallery,
Fine Arts of Hanneke de Neve," comprising fabric appliques,
textile painting, stitchery, and fiber art. Both shows to January
Branch Station, 908-725-2110. "Silver Anniversary Selections,"
members’ 25th annual juried exhibition, in the Main Gallery, to
30. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.;
Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.
609-737-7592. "Vanishing Landscape," an exhibit of oil pastel
and watercolor studies of the region’s fast-disappearing natural
by Dorothy Bissell. To January 8.
Burlington, 609-386-4773. "Wildfowl Decoy Exhibit" by master
Burlington carver Jess Heisler (1891-1943), whose best work ranks
among the finest of the Delaware River school of carving, and works
by his friend and pupil John Marinkos (1915-1999). To January 9.
to Thursday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.
908-735-8415. "Mud Like a Blessing: Elemental Clay Sculpture,"
featuring works by Peter Callas, Sara D’Alessandro, Shellie Jacobson,
Jim Jansma, and Lauren Silver. To January 9. Tuesday to Sunday, 11
a.m. to 5 p.m.
Guest curator for the show is Michele Mercadal whose concept and title
was inspired by a phrase from a poem by Mary Oliver. "The
in this exhibit conveys the honoring of clay as a material and the
organic process by which it becomes a sculptural form," says
"The forms carry a contemplative feeling and convey the mysteries
and secrets of combining earth and fire."
215-345-0210. "Edward Hicks Country," a companion to the
Museum of Art comprehensive exhibit on Edward Hicks, a show on the
professional and spiritual environment in which the lifelong Bucks
County artist worked. Three related displays explore the 19th-century
craft of ornamental painting, the Quaker meetinghouse environment,
and the iconography of the Society of Friends. To January 3. $5 adult;
$1.50 youth. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday evening to 9 p.m.
215-340-9800. "Let Children Be Children: Lewis Hine’s Crusade
Against Child Labor," an exhibition of historic photographs from
the early 20th century. Show runs to February 27. Website:
Museum hours Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday &
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 adults; $1.50 students; children free.
Also on view, an exhibition of figurative outdoor sculpture by
artist Barry Johnston, to March 5; and "Recent Gifts: 19th and
20th-Century Photographs from Alexander Novak and Family," to
"Intimate Vistas: The Poetic Landscapes of William Langson
a major retrospective of more than 50 works spanning a 50-year career,
from 1884 to 1939. Curated by Brian Peterson, it is one of the
ambitious scholarly undertakings to date, to January 9.
Also, "Celebration of American Art" features "An Edward
Hicks Sampler," featuring an 1837 version of "Peaceable
and "The Landing of Columbus." Also, "Picturing
Icons and Images of America’s Founding Father"; both to January
Trenton, 609-394-4121. "Ben Shahn: Graphic Works from the
of the New Jersey State Museum." Show features 17 prints, created
from 1936 to 1968, by the renowned American artist who lived in
New Jersey, before his death in 1969. Lobby gallery is always open.
To January 11.
"Partners," an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by
Craig and Charles Kumnick, partners and members of the College of
New Jersey art faculty. In the upstairs galleries, a juried show,
"The Best of Mercer County High Schools." Both shows to
2. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
2 to 4 p.m.
609-586-0616. Fall-Winter Exhibition. In the Museum and Domestic Arts
Building, "Beverly Pepper," one-artist show. On the mezzanine,
a thematic photography show, "Focus on Sculpture." Shows
to April 16. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m., and by appointment.
New additions to the 22-acre landscaped sculpture park include works
by Michele Oka Doner, David Hostetler, J. Seward Johnson Jr.,
Leiro, John Martini, and Joseph Menna. The park is on the former state
fairgrounds site, with indoor exhibitions in the glass-walled, 10,000
square foot museum, and renovated Domestic Arts Building.
609-292-6464. "Unseen Treasures: Imperial Russia and the New
an exhibit of historic treasures of the Russian empire. The dazzling
collection of 300 art objects and artifacts from Russian’s famed State
Historical Museum and State Archive is displayed in five historical
settings. Show remains on view through April 16, 2000. Admission $10
adults; $8.50 seniors and students; $6 children. Advance ticket
at 800-766-6048 or online at http://www.tickets.com. Exhibit
is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The dazzling collection of over 300 art objects and artifacts from
Russia’s famed State Historical Museum and the State Archive are being
seen for the first time outside the Russian Museum since its recently
completed 10-year renovation.
The exhibition takes the visitor on a unique journey beginning with
the formation of the Russian American Company in 1799 and spanning
a period of 200 years and 6,000 miles. From the Imperial Court of
St. Petersburg through the Russian winter in Siberia to the New World
of Alaska and Northern California and back to Moscow for the
of Alexander II, the exhibit tells an adventurous story of heroism,
romance, and spiritual enlightenment through the experiences of real
people who shaped Russian-American relations in the 18th and 19th
Also "New Jersey, A Sense of Place," the 30th anniversary
Garden State Watercolor Society show, juried by Leah Sloshberg,
of New Jersey State Museum, and Margaret O’Reilly, assistant curator
of fine arts, to January 2. "The Modernists," an exhibition
of gems from the permanent collection by Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove,
Marsden Harley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Helen Torr, and
others, to January 23. "The Regionalists and Precisionists,"
with works by Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis,
Francis Picabia, and George Ault, to January 30. On extended view:
"Dinosaur Turnpike: Treks through New Jersey’s Piedmont";
"Amber: The Legendary Resin"; "The Moon: Fact &
609-695-0061. "Art from 19th Century to the Present," plus
antiques and interior design. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Hungarian Spark in
an exhibit highlighting Hungarian contributions to the arts, sciences,
humanities, commerce, religious and civic life in America. To January
31. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday,
1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11
a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation.
Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "The Enduring Figure, 1890s to 1970s:
Sixteen Sculptures from the National Association of Women
Show continues to March 12 when the museum closes for renovation,
through mid-October. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.
to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Free.
609-921-9000. In the Conant Gallery Lounge, Elaine Lisle, paintings,
to December 29. In the Brodsky Gallery of the Chauncey Conference
Center, Joan Shrager, acrylic collages, to December 31. Exhibits are
open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
609-895-7307. Garden State Watercolor Society third annual associate
member juried exhibition. Jurors are Gary Snyder of Snyder Fine Art,
and Frances McIlvain, American Watercolor Society. To January 7.
is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
609-397-0275. "Heart and Soul," a doll exhibit by Brook
Beaty and paintings by Cory S. Dale. To January 15. Gallery hours
are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 9 p.m.; Friday 1 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The annual "Small Works Show," a mixed bag of affordable,
collectible art by 17 area artists. Show runs to Saturday, January
22, when the gallery celebrates the new millennium with a party and
2,000 seconds of discounts on small works. Gallery hours are Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
609-397-2226. Pastel landscapes by Julia Akers Gribbin, to January
Holiday show featuring landscapes and regional scenes by Hunterdon
County artists Alexander Farnham in oil and by Ron Lent in watercolor.
To January 9. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5
609-397-2300. Charles Fazzino, whimsical three-dimensional paper
on subjects that include New York, Philadelphia, sports, and the law.
To December 26. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to
Lambertville, 609-397-3939. "Holiday Gifts," a group
by 14 area artists including Katherine Stiles Cogan, Peter Czerinski,
Suzanne Douglas, Lisabeth Weber, Tom Williams, and others. To December
24. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday,
noon to 4 p.m.
Figurative and landscape paintings in oil by Helen Meyers and David
J. Dincher. To December 30.
609-397-4978. "Safety in Numbers," Malcolm Bray’s fifth annual
eclectic group show of innovative painting and sculpture that includes
works by Myles Cavanaugh, Annelies van Dommelen, Gareth Evans, Chad
Cortez Everett, Diane Levell, Virgil Sova, Alan Taback, Stacie
and Ron Wyffels. To December 31. Open every day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Corrections or additions?
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