Joab Mulvane, a railroad tycoon donated money to build the Mulvane Art Museum in 1922 and in 1924 when the Museum opened its doors, it owned 57 works of art.
Today the collection is more than 3,000 strong, and forty of those works of art were chosen to represent the collection in the “Masters of the Mulvane” exhibit. An opening reception was held at the Museum on Friday, Nov. 7 in celebration of 90 years of collecting artwork. The show will be up until March 14, 2015
“These 40 works represent some of the best of our collection,” said museum curator Julia Myers. “We have artwork going back from the 16th century forward.”
“We have a self-portrait by Rembrandt and we have a piece by Miriam Schapiro, a leader in the feminist art movement, said Myers. “It is a really significant work from her.
Myers pointed out that the collection comes from many places locally and around the world. “We have so many different nationalities represented here from Switzerland to the Flathead nation.”
The Mulvane has paintings from such notable “masters” as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. There is a painting by Francisco de Goya and several other notable artists’ works in The Mulvane’s permanent collection on display for the anniversary.
“It is really important for us to have this exhibit because we have a collection that many people don’t know about, said Connie Gibbons, director of the museum. We have a responsibility to show, share and talk about it.”
On the first floor of the museum is an exhibit going up that complements the “Masters of Mulvane” collection. Luke Anderson, a senior computer information sciences major created a project that is connected with the 40 pieces of artwork upstairs that allows human interaction through computer innovation that permits viewing the artwork in new ways.
The Exhibit is called “A Matter of Scale.” There are two computerized stations for individuals to participate in that allow manipulation of shapes and of the artwork. “This project is the brainchild of Connie Gibbons and a math professor,” said Anderson, “to create something that involves students across campus–to create works with them that explore math and science.”
“Our perception changes when you look at things in a different way,” said Gibbons. “With [the computerized stations] you can create different forms, shapes and juxtapositions of our artwork upstairs. It’s really seductive once you get in here and start playing around with it.”
Student artwork is still being installed in the exhibit and some, on a larger scale, will be erected outside the museum that will be interactive also.
The student art is all about how we see art and how our perceptions are altered with movement and a shift in scale. “We’re excited about what they’re doing, said Gibbons. “It’s been a lot of fun to bring in someone like Luke who has an artistic aesthetic even though he is in computer design. So we want people to come and play.”
There will be an opening reception for the student display on December 12.
Come to the Mulvane to contemplate, play and celebrate 90 years of collecting great art.