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An Era of Opportunity: Three Decades of Acquisitions opens at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center April 26, 2019

An Era of Opportunity: Three Decades of Acquisitions will be on view April 26 – September 8, 2019, at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College.

The exhibition is a tribute to James Mundy (Vassar, class of 1974) upon his retirement after 28 years as the Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, and will open with a lecture on Friday, April 26, in Taylor Hall 102 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the Atrium of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at 6:30 p.m.

Mundy assumed the role of director in 1991 in time to complete the planning of the Art Center’s present building designed by Cesar Pelli, which opened its doors to visitors in 1993.

Organized by the curators of the Art Center, the special exhibition spotlights more than ninety drawings, prints, photographs, hanging and hand scrolls, sculptures, and paintings acquired over three decades, and encompasses art from across the geographic scope of the collection. A majority of works on view are light-sensitive and can only be shown for short periods of time, affording audiences a splendid chance to examine works from the museum’s vaults that are rarely seen except upon request or through classes. Indeed, drawings comprise almost half of the exhibition.

The art museum at Vassar College was established in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery with a large founding gift of 3,800 works of art from Matthew Vassar including Hudson River School paintings and British landscape drawings. From Mundy’s arrival in 1991 until his retirement in 2019, the holdings of the museum swelled from around 12,500 to over 21,000 works of art

While strategy has been central to Mundy’s thinking about museum acquisitions during these past decades, the exhibition emphasizes the dynamic role that opportunity has played in shaping the dramatic growth of the permanent collection of the museum under his stewardship. Throughout the show, labels spotlight his recollections, revealing anecdotal details behind the acquiring of many of the Art Center’s most significant objects.

Arranged roughly chronologically, An Era of Opportunity begins with the twelfth century and an early, exceedingly rare print, called One Hundred Images of the Amida Buddha, installed among later Asian scrolls and sculpture.  Moving through early Northern European art and fine European drawings and prints from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries - including a cache of Old Master Italian drawings, Mundy’s scholarly specialty – and into twentieth-century and twenty-first-century art, the exhibition reflects the director’s leadership in identifying and acquiring some of the greatest works of the museum’s permanent collection.

The exhibition is supported by the Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Exhibition Fund.

Public Events

Friday, April 26, 2019
LECTURE, Looking for Art in All the Right Places: Three Decades at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
5:30 p.m., Taylor 102
Susan Taylor, class of 1977, Montine McDaniel Freeman Chair of the New Orleans Museum of Art and President of the Advisory Board, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

RECEPTION
6:30 p.m., Atrium, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Thursday, May 16, 2019
GALLERY TALK
4:00 p.m., Art Center Galleries
James Mundy, the Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Thursday, June 20, 2019
GALLERY TALK
4:00 p.m., Art Center Galleries
Mary-Kay Lombino, the Emily Hargroves ’57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Director for Strategic Planning, speaks on the photography in the exhibition.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
GALLERY TALK
3:00 p.m., Art Center Galleries
Elizabeth Nogrady, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs, addresses the “hidden” stories of selected Old Master paintings in the exhibition and permanent collection.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
GALLERY TALK
3:00 p.m., Art Center Galleries
Patricia Phagan, the Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings, discusses selected drawings and prints in the exhibition.

About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with an art museum as a part of its original plans, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections. The Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 21,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and ceramic wares.  Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th-century painters. 

Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free and all galleries are wheelchair accessible.  The Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10:00am–5:00pm; Thursday, 10:00am–9:00pm; and Sunday, 1:00–5:00pm.  Located at the entrance to the historic Vassar College campus, the Art Center can be reached within minutes from other Mid-Hudson cultural attractions, such as Dia:Beacon, the Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt national historic sites and homes, and the Vanderbilt mansion.  For additional information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage http://www.vassar.edu.

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at http://www.vassar.edu/visitors/.

Vassar College is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, March 7, 2019