Curated by Professor Christopher Platts and the class Art 218: The Museum in History, Theory, and Practice in spring 2020, this currently on view exhibition explores the pathbreaking American artist and social activist Violet Oakley (1874–1961). Between 1922 and 1924, Oakley executed a monumental, Gothic-revival painting called “The Great Wonder: A Vision of the Apocalypse” for the living room of Vassar College’s newly built Alumnae House. The artist also designed and furnished the living room in a medieval style, creating a peaceful yet visually stimulating environment which the Vassar community and visitors enjoy to this day.

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Currently on display, these photographs help illustrate some of the Art Center’s work to diversify the representation of artists and subject matter in the collection, and to make the process of prioritizing new works for acquisition more transparent. By exhibiting these works together, the Art Center hopes to illuminate the process by which curators choose works of art to enter the museum’s collection.

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This installation highlighted the work done by the Loeb’s education office which compiled materials for more than 800 local students in response to the Covid-19 pandemic’s disruption of K-12 art education in conjunction with the development by Summer ‘20 intern Polly Ellman (Williams College ’22) of six art lessons to accompany the supplies.

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This recently closed exhibition featured two small versions of larger statues that called into question the authority and validity of monuments that celebrate imperialism and was meant to promote dialogue around past events as well as current political aspirations. What would it look like to create public monuments that reckon with our past but also celebrate the diversity of our present?

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This exhibition was the first transcultural exhibition in America solely devoted to the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who emerged in India two thousand years ago to become a venerated deity throughout Asia. Presenting over 30 outstanding examples of Indian, Nepalese, Chinese, and Japanese art from prominent institutions, this exhibition was held April 23 – June 28, 2015.

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Paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs by Mexican artists, as well as those born elsewhere but who were active in the country, comprise a very small portion of the collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. In conjunction with the exhibition, “Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States”, the best examples of these were on display together for the first time. / Pinturas, grabados, dibujos y fotografías de artistas mexicanos, así como los nacidos en otros lugares pero que estuvieron activos en el país, comprenden una porción muy pequeña de la colección del Centro de Arte Frances Lehman Loeb. En conjunto con la exposición “Milagros en la Frontera: Retablos de Mexicanos Migratorios en los Estados Unidos”, los mejores ejemplos de estos se exhibieron juntos por primera vez.

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Curated for the Film 218: Genre: The Western class in spring 2020, this exhibition features a selection of black-and-white photographs from the Loeb collection, alongside digital color images and a music video, that addresses central myths of the American experience associated with horseback riding, ranch labor, cowboys, and rodeo culture.

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Curated by Professor Christopher Platts and the class Art 218: The Museum in History, Theory, and Practice in spring 2020, this currently on view exhibition explores the pathbreaking American artist and social activist Violet Oakley (1874–1961), between 1922 and 1924, Oakley executed a monumental, Gothic-revival painting called “The Great Wonder: A Vision of the Apocalypse” for the living room of Vassar College’s newly built Alumnae House. The artist also designed and furnished the living room in a medieval style, creating a peaceful yet visually stimulating environment which the Vassar community and visitors enjoy to this day.

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Held in summer 2018, this exhibition explores the career of British photographer Grace Robertson who created spontaneous, timeless images that offer rare glimpses of the human spirit, often with great humor and character. Her well-composed photographs balance aesthetics and documentation and demonstrate both a classic, fine art approach to the medium and a genuine interest in the lives of real people.

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This inaugural exhibition, held in fall 2016, featured ten artworks that were recently acquired with funds given by Vassar’s Advisory Council for Photography.

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To celebrate the opening of Vassar’s Bridge for Laboratory Sciences in spring 2016, the Loeb presented a series of installations of works from the permanent collection that mark the longstanding and multi-faceted relationship of Art, Science and Technology. Themes explored included botany, anatomy, zoology, optics, and technology. The selection of works, diverse in date and subject matter, illuminate the rich common ground that exists among artistic expression, scientific inquiry, and modernizing discoveries as we relentlessly attempt to understand and interpret the world around us, an enduring source of human curiosity and awe.

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Assembled in spring 2017 for Art 218: The Museum in History, Theory, and Practice taught by Susan Donahue Kuretsky, this exhibition celebrates the range and quality of a college art collection, expanding ever since 1864 to provide support for class instruction and the pleasure of a wider public.

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This exhibition was an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Loeb, Kelly Bernatzky ’19, Emma Wiley ’20, and April M. Beisaw, Associate Professor of Anthropology. Held in spring, 2019, the silver bowls, cutlery, and coffee sets on view were found in the attic of a Vassar building constructed in 1896. Their provenance is largely unknown, a mystery which motivated their study: how did this collection come to be? To answer this question, and learn more about the life-story of each object’s use and discard, they were examined using the techniques of historical archaeology.

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