The Johnson Museum is filled with great art experiences and interesting programs in 2013. We’re very excited about the array of wonderful artworks on view here beginning in January. Visitors can see high-quality European Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic drawings by masters such as Fra Bartolommeo, Antoine Watteau, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in the exhibition Drawn to Excellence, which was organized by the Smith College Museum of Art, and an outstanding selection of drawings by artist Storm Tharp, Cornell Class of 1992. Contemporary southeast Asian textiles, meanwhile, complement the Johnson’s permanent collection of historic textiles and provide the opportunity for the Museum to organize an accompanying course in collaboration with the Department of the History of Art.
My colleagues and I were delighted to have taught or cotaught a record 177 Cornell class sessions during the fall semester. Each of these classes visited the Museum to use original works of art to enrich their syllabi, encourage critical thinking and discussion, and improve writing and research skills. Highlights among these visits were classes that responded to Museum exhibitions and the collection by creating final projects. “The Museum and the Object,” cotaught by Professor Cheryl Finley and Museum curators and educators, featured a final installation, “Peripheral Visions in Focus,” that engaged the theme of critical diversity in American culture. Professor Mary Woods’s architecture graduate practicum “Mirror of the City: Imagery from Rome to Detroit, 1450–2012,” held in the Museum each week, culminated in a research project and installation called “Projecting Cities” that was brilliantly organized by the students themselves—it’s on view in the Kress Study Gallery through February 3. We’ve developed a new section of our website to highlight student projects developed during the academic year.
On May 23, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art turns 40! In addition to our exhibition of Museum posters, there will be more anniversary exhibitions and events to come. We hope you’ll take the opportunity to celebrate with us throughout the year. Wander through our galleries and consider how the Museum and its collections have grown and developed—and continue to provide pleasure and education for new generations.
Thank you for your continuing support, and I hope to see you at the Museum soon.
The Richard J. Schwartz Director