The Springfield Art Museum is preparing for their 93rd year of serving the community and have announced their exhibitions for the year, and a cancellation of one show due to COVID-19 related issues.
The new exhibitions for 2021 will be:
Jacques Callot: Varie Figure (July 17, 2021 – November 7, 2021) – This special exhibition features work in the series Varie Figure, or Various Figures (1621-1628) by the pre-eminent French printmaker Jacques Callot. Callot is considered one of the most accomplished printmakers in the Western tradition. He was a keen observer of life and was one of the first artists to introduce the average person, or non-nobility, into his work. The series contains 16 works pulled from the Museum’s permanent collection. Most works feature double images of the same figure. It has been suggested that this series served as a drawing book or model for learning rapid, freehand drawing.
The Inferno of Dante: Etchings by Michael Mazur (September 18, 2021 – February 20, 2022) – This special exhibition presents Michael Mazur’s full portfolio of 41 etchings illustrating The Inferno, written by Dante Alighieri in the 14th century. The poem recounts a journey that defines the human condition. Told in the first person, it follows Dante and his guide, the Roman poet Virgil, as they travel through Hell, Purgatory, and eventually Paradise. Each etching is paired with the relevant excerpted portions of Dante’s poem in Italian with English translations by American poet Robert Pinsky, who served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997-2000.
The returning exhibitions include one held over an additional year because of COVID-19 related delays:
Four by Four (4×4) 2020: Midwest Invitational Exhibition (February 27, 2021 – June 27, 2021) – The biennial 4×4 exhibition recognizes and encourages contemporary artists working in all media who reside in the four-state region of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. This year’s artists include Crystal Z. Campbell (Oklahoma), Rebecca Drolen (Arkansas), Rebecca Hackemann (Kansas), and Glyneisha Johnson (Missouri) presenting perspectives on the female body, history, race, family, and politics. These interactions will span media including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and video. A special juror of awards is tasked with designating a $3,000 cash prize to one artist for their body of work. This year’s juror of awards is Maryamsadat Amirvaghefi, Assistant Director of Exhibitions at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
*4×4 2020 is being held in 2021 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020.
Watercolor USA 2021 (June 5, 2021 – August 29, 2021) – This annual summer favorite returns with over $20,000 in cash prizes, artist materials, and possible Museum purchase awards available. This will be the 60th showing of the very best in contemporary American watermedia, judged by Nick Nelson, Director of the Springfield Art Museum.
Also in 2021:
New works from American artists from the 18th Century onward will continue to rotate quarterly into Creating an American Identity, our semi-permanent exhibition of our permanent collection that focuses on the ways in which artists respond to and reveal our cultural identity as Americans. This exhibition includes a selection of 75+ works from as wide an array of artistic voices as possible with our current collection including even more works by women, people of color, Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+ communities.
Selections from the Museum’s Asian Art collection will be re-installed in our Hartman Gallery in July of 2021. Patrons can also enjoy installation pieces like Anne Lindberg’s titled sky and Dale Chihuly’s Autumn Persian and Feather Chandelier, year-round. The Museum’s grounds also include monumental outdoor sculptures including works by John Henry, Richard Hunt, and Ernest Trova.
Eye to I: Self-Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery (through January 17, 2021) – This traveling exhibition draws from the National Portrait Gallery’s vast collection of self-portraits, exploring how American artists have chosen to portray themselves over the past two centuries. The exhibit includes a variety of styles and media ranging from tiny caricatures to wall-sized photographs, from colorful pastels and watercolors to dramatic paintings and time-based media. The exhibition features 58 works that span the art historical timeline from 1901 to today. This exhibition is curated by the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator Emerita, Brandon Brame Fortune.
Afloat: Artists and Rivers (through April 18, 2021) – This exhibition features 40 works pulled from the Museum’s permanent collection including paintings, prints, and drawings, exploring a wide range of river-based work. This exhibition reflects upon the importance of Missouri’s waterways as both a natural amenity and as a source of artistic inspiration. Local and regional artists include Thomas Hart Benton, Anne Austin Pearce, George Caleb Bingham, John Steuart Curry, Oliver Corbett, George Kieffer, Howard Garrison, Everett Coffelt, Ida Haldeman, and Louis Freund. Afloat: Artists and Rivers is generously underwritten by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s. Additional financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
the interference structure provides (through April 18, 2021) – This exhibit presents work by a group of loosely related artists from the 1960s and 1970s including Michael Kidner, Garo Antreasian, and Gordon House, who were interested in the ways in which systemic structures could be applied to the process of art-making. Highly analytical in nature, each of these artists was reacting against a traditional focus on the art object in efforts to make their art more responsive to the world around them. This exhibition of 25 paintings, prints, sculpture, vacuum-molded plastic, and mixed media is pulled from the Museum’s permanent collection and includes work that has rarely been on view, including Kidner’s The Elastic Membrane portfolio, Richard Smith’s Logo Suite, and Jesús Rafael Soto’s screenprints on plexiglass and kinetic sculptures.
The cancelled show for the year is the annual All School Exhibition. The impact of COVID-19 on seated art classes in 2020 has lead to the show’s cancellation because of the city’s Road to Recovery program.
Admission is free to the museum, although they accept donations for operational costs.