Museum of Art

 

During this time of social isolation and at-home-learning, the Museum of Art has various resources with ways to create and connect digitally. Below you can view the Museum’s annual report and view #museumfromhome which features work from our collection and interpertations written by the MoA's fellowship students, staff and gallery attendants.

This fall, we look forward to presenting a solo exhibition for artist Enrico Riley, on view August 31October 30,  and IMPACT, the 2019 recipients of the Piscataqua Region Artist Advancement Grant given by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Award winner Victoria Elbroch and finalists Shaina Gates and Mary O’Malley artworks will be on display. IMPACT will be on view August 31November 20

Please stay in touch on our social media channels, where we’ll continue to share updates as well as ways to engage with art and culture from home:  Instagram, FacebookTwitter or sign up for our weekly email campaigns.

#museumfromhome

  • Unknown (Kangra School) , Kedar Ragini::A Sage Facing a Musician Outside a Hut, about 1800, work on paper, Gift of Marion E. James, Collection of the Museum of Art, UNH, 2015.4.2 de a Hut about 1800

    Indian miniatures have inspired my own work in much the same way that medieval Italian painting has. That is to say, the wonderful color, the inventive flat shapes and singular use of perspective, the symmetry and asymmetry, and the stories these miniatures tell. The Kangra School is known for its verdant landscapes. This piece has multiple and delicate shades of green and the greens combined with the other pale colors work in concert with each other punctuated by bold pops of color. (The pale pink façade against the green porch is incredible!)  Beyond taking in the beauty of the painting, I wanted to unravel its potential meaning from a purely visual stance, in other words, how its form tells a story.  I began with the division between indoor and outdoor. Both a Sage and a Musician represent valued positions in culture. Perhaps the Sage is indoors because his wisdom comes from contemplation, experience, and study.  His environment reflects the internal nature of a philosopher, he lives in his mind.  By contrast music is part of nature; it is a less rarified endeavor, free to be improvisational and create physical joy. The division through the center of the composition reflects that the two are equally important. The addition of the contrast between the orange robe to the robe of earthy green keeps one’s eye moving back and forth between the interior and exterior. The Musician is younger and located in a more subjugated position, which could signal a deference to age and social position rather than an inequality of importance.  For me this painting is about the heart and the mind meeting one day in harmony.  ~ Jennifer Moses, Professor of Art & Art History & Department Chair, Ex-Officio Board of Advisors, MoA

  • Samuel Lincoln Cady '65, (1943- ), Ice Fishing Shanty, Moose Pond, 1997-98, oil on shaped canvas, 51 x 57 1/2 in., Gift of Sam L. Cady, Collection of the Museum of Art, UNH, 2008.5a,b
    Samuel L. Cady '65
    Ice Fishing Shanty, Moose Pond

    At first I was drawn to this piece because it immediately reminded me of my years Down East, evoking that uncomfortable curiosity you feel when you drive by houses like this. Then its title corrected me: it is a fishing shanty. While the initial sense I felt remained, knowing it is a fishing shanty made things make sense to me: from the reflection in the window to the reflector near the door. It captures the quirky efficiency of building an important and very seasonal structure with minimal need for more than what is at hand. No waste: the padlock has been re-positioned several times on the same door. The window is painted, yet no time was wasted neatening. The fabric below the door is raggedy and begs me either rip it off or tack it up. The bright red reflector stands alone to guide you to the shanty for night ice fishing, or to warn you to stay back when it is driven home at the end of the season. It is an elegantly simple solution to both problems.The name and address on the door are my favorite bits. I cannot tell if both were painted over--perhaps by a new owner--or re-etched by hand or weather. Cady created something intriguing out of something so simple. I want to know more about the owner, the fishing and Moose Pond.  ~Wendy Lull, Board of Advisor, Museum of Art

  • Mark Baum Untitled
    Mark Baum
    Untitled

    The Museum of Art has three untitled drawings (acrylic on paper) from Mark Baum’s late non-objective period. All of the Museum’s pieces are Baum’s “element” or “unit” repeated in various colors on dark backgrounds. Baum used “the unit” exclusively on all artwork from 1958 on. The particular, and final, iteration of “the unit” found on the Museum’s pieces was first painted by Baum in 1967 and used exclusively until his final paintings in 1996. Almost 30 years working with one shape arranged in different colors, patterns and on different backgrounds. The element has been described by observers as an oil lamp, a winged shoe, a head in profile, used in repetition like notes in music.
    I was first attracted to this drawing because it looks like a “Lite Brite” work of art from my 1970’s childhood. Points of colored light punched through a dark background that create an image. But this is not kitsch. These works are prescient of the digital age; a symbol used in patterned repetition like the 0’s and 1’s of binary or graphic pixels. A symbolic, spiritual language using one to create all and inversely the all, the universe, in the one.Kathy McKenna, Administrative Assistant, Museum of Art

  • Garden of Life, Mark Baum
    Mark Baum
    Garden of Life

    Mark Baum’s Garden of Life tickles my occultist tendencies. The central composition: an organically growing Tree of Life ascending to a starry sky while flanked by two trees, each the other’s opposite, would look natural on a tarot card or a masonic apron. Baum, however, is working out a personal language of symbols; he is getting close to some spiritual understanding and creating a personal expression of it.    

    Garden of Life was painted during Baum’s transitional period (where his work was moving from representational to non-objective) and it contains many of the signatures of work during this period: the feeling of ascending, open portals, the two-dimensionality and the repetition of similar images.  

    What moves me most about this piece is the radiance and the joyful movement. The organic shapes break out into tiny arms reaching up, moving from dark to light toward the open gate and the vast blue sky beyond.  
    Kathy McKenna, Administrative Assistant, Museum of Art

  • Dog by Andy Warhol
    Andy Warhol
    Dog

    There is something about miniature dachshunds that make me want to cry.  I love them so much.  Their wrinkly little legs are hardly long enough to keep equally stocky bodies from dragging on the floor. ­­Equally as cute is their calm demeanor and propensity to fit anywhere you place them.  They encompass everything that is good in the world, and it is in this piece by Andy Warhol entitled Dog­ that reminds me of everything that I love about miniature dachshunds. Here, we see a small four by three Polaroid from 1976 in which Warhol places the small brown dog, almost posed in profile against a light yellow/pink cloth, in contrast with human hands that hold the back end of the dog down. In the corner of the Polaroid is a small corner of red fabric that peaks into the frame, accentuating the dog’s glossy coat.

    Last fall, this was one of the many pieces I had the pleasure of installing for the Museum’s exhibition Andy Warhol: #NOFILTER. Since then it has been one of my very favorite pieces in our permanent collection.
    Joey Furlone, Museum Fellow 2019-20, Studio Art & Art Education ‘21

     

  • Arapoff - Chemistry Building Harvard College
    Alexis Paul Arapoff
    Chemistry Building - Harvard College

    The vibrant colors Alexis Paul Arapoff chose to use in Chemistry Building – Harvard College led me to pause and admire this piece. The scattered school buildings around which students converse, cycle, and walk makes me reminisce of my days at UNH. The wide sidewalks are inviting, although quiet. Perhaps classes are currently being held or students are off campus on a seasonal break. The blue sky, yellow leaves, and bare tree branches, that Arapoff has painted so vividly, bring me back to crisp autumn days walking to classes. The brick buildings too are reminiscent of the architectural history of New England colleges and universities.

    I enjoy the fond memories of the beauty of the UNH campus this painting evokes.  
    Anna Stockman, Museum of Art Gallery Attendant 2017-2020, Community & Environmental Planning '20

  • Sloppy Bar Room Kiss Eisenman
    Nicole Eisenman
    Sloppy Bar Room Kiss

    As a figurative painter myself, I am captivated by Eisenman’s expressionistic portraits. The Museum’s lithograph, Sloppy Bar Room Kiss, captures many qualities that make me so fond of figurative work. I love the gestures of the figures. The way their slumping, curved bodies contrast the stiffness of the chair emphasizes their collapsed embrace. Their heads not only have visual symmetry, but melt together becoming more connected to each other than they are to their own bodies. And that hanging arm! The proportions are completely wrong, but I believe it and I can feel the gesture in my own body. There is a quietness to this private moment that is taking place in a public space. There are so many lovely things about the way Eisenman chose to portray these figures that make it one of my favorite pieces in the museum’s collection. 
    Allison Hoey, Museum Fellow 2018-2020, BFA and Art History '20

  • Kenji Nakahashi Parade
    Kenji Nakahashi
    Parade (Mets)

    Looking through Kenji Nakahashi’s photographs, this one particularly caught my eye. The people in this photo are unrecognizable, but I immediately recognized the city as none other than New York. The peoples’ silhouettes are contrasted against tall skyscrapers and a bright clear blue sky. Looking at this photograph gives me the feeling of celebration and triumph, the polar opposite of how the nation currently feels. As a graduating senior, I am unable to celebrate in the way I always imagined these past four years. As a New Yorker, my heart hurts for the city once so lively that is now in disarray. The individuals in Nakahashi’s work, likely strangers, are all celebrating a common victory – the Met’s 1986 World Series win. (Something they haven’t seen since.) I imagine once this is behind us and people can take to the streets again, that New York will look similar to how Nakahashi captured it in 1986 – full of strangers celebrating a common victory.
    Michaela McBride, Museum of Art Gallery Attendant 2017-2020, Master of Science Occupational Therapy ‘21

  • Home Savings of America Kenji Nakahashi
    Home Savings In America
    Kenji Nakahashi

    The term tombstone in a museum refers to an object’s basic identifying characteristics using the classic order: artist’s name, object title, date, media, dimensions. Sometimes registrars find that objects in a permanent collection are missing even these essential facts. This photograph by Kenji Nakahashi is a great example. The Museum of Art has twenty-five photographs by Nakahashi taken in New York City ranging in dates from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s; however, this image does not have a date. Taking clues from the photograph we begin investigating the details. Nakahashi’s title, Home Savings in America, appears to reference the sign above the door “[something] of America.” A few seconds of internet research tells us that Home Savings of America operated a bank branch across from Grand Central Station in the old Bowery Savings Bank Building. From a 1996 New York Landmarks Preservation Commission report we find a matching photo of the building exterior (page 13) and confirmation that the branch was in operation from 1991 to 1995. This aligns with the artist’s range of dates and location and allows us to confidently pinpoint the date sometime between 1991-1995.
    Laura Calhoun, Exhibitions and Collections Manager, Museum of Art

  • Molar Chair Wendell Castle
    Molar Chair
    Wendell Castle

    Molar chair, I consider to be one of the great jewels in the Museum’s collection. The design of the piece evokes memories of two very special people in my life - my grandparents - and reconnects me with some my best childhood memories.
    After WWII, my grandfather, a WWII Navy veteran, dabbled in handcrafted tables, mosaics and woodcarving. During the same period of time, artists of the 
    American Studio Crafts movement were similarly rejecting mass-production and embracing historic craft methods. These artists experimented with non-traditional materials and new techniques, producing bold, abstract, and sculptural art, as well as continuing to make utilitarian objects. Wendell Castle, one of the movement’s founders, challenged traditional boundaries in furniture making. A skilled craftsmen, Castle created unique pieces by merging sculpture and design.  Sara Claflin, Education & Communications Manager, Museum of Art

  • Jo Sandman Light Memory Photograph
    Jo Sandman
    Light Memory

    Jo Sandman’s x-ray image of a human in profile eliminates clothing, hair, and soft tissue to reveal the complex structure of the body: vertebrae and bones, joints, teeth, and esophagas. With the layers of a public persona and personality, so carefully constructed and worn, now removed we are left to examine a person—any person, us.

    Sandman’s earlier photographic work, Transmissions, consisted of composite images in which she layered two photographs to create imagined portraits. In some instances, she used photographs of inanimate objects overlapping them with abstracted human faces either “found” in nature or manipulated from x-ray film. The layered portraits intended to convey the intricate individualism of a person—personality, creativity and intellect, and finally their spirit.

    In this print from the Light Memory series, Sandman gets down to the essence of what it means to be human. Stripped of outward attributes we are all the same: raw, fragile, impermanent.
    Kristina Durocher, Art Museum Director

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Permanent COLLECTION

painting by Josef Alber

The Collections

The Museum of Art of the University of New Hampshire maintains a permanent art collection intended for use in exhibitions, teaching, and research. Since it is in part a teaching collection, attention must be given to coordinating our acquisitions with academic needs. The major goal of the museum is to acquire works of art of the highest quality in accordance with the museum's Collection Guidelines. The Museum holds its collection in the public trust which obligates acting in accordance with the National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums and The Code of Ethics for Museums from the American Alliance of Museums.

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