Tag Archives: #MottWarshArtCollection

Mott-Warsh Art Gallery Works Exhibited in Thompson Library

Six new pieces have arrived at Thompson Library — on loan from the Mott-Warsh Art Collection — and now available for viewing.

The new display of lithographs may be seen on the 3rd floor of Thompson Libray along the back wall.  Please stop by soon to see and appreciate these works while they remain with us.

The art collection, owned by The Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh Collection, contains samples of some of the very best late 20th century works by African American artists.

The mission of the Mott-Warsh Collection is to present contemporary fine art to public audiences in non-traditional venues as well as educational and cultural institutions.

University of Michigan-Flint (with its strong historical ties to the Mott family of Flint, Michigan) and the Thompson Library in particular fit perfectly with the mission and vision statements established by Maryanne Mott and her late husband, Herman Warsh.

The collection was established in 2001 by Maryanne Mott and he late husband, Herman Warsh.  The collection features the work of artists of the African diaspora and those who reflect on it.  It comprises over 600 works by more than 185 artists working in varied media and stylistic approaches.

Represented within the collection are works from mid 20th century masters such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett to many new and innovative artists of the early 21st century, and includes a broad array of work from the abstract to the representative.

Common to all pieces within the collection is the focus on unique cultural and social experiences of Africans and Americans of African descent living and working in western (American) society.

Maryanne and Herman begun collecting their art with the intent to assemble and preserve rare works of art endemic to the African community and make them available to the wider audience through its lending program with the intent to educate viewers in art appreciation, art making processes, art history, 20th century American history and the history of the African diaspora.

More works from the Mott-Warsh collection are on view at their Galley in downtown Flint on 815 S Saginaw Street (corner of S. Saginaw and E. Court Street).

Gallery hours are 11:00 am through 6:00 pm on Thursday and Friday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday, and 11:00 am – 9:00 pm on the second Friday of each month.   You may call ahead for information at (810) 835-4900, or check their website at m-wc.org.

The Gallery and it’s extended collection are supported by the Mott-Warsh research library, which has assembled monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs and journals with subject concentrations in African American art as well as information on fine arts collection management.

Selected works from the Mott-Warsh Collection are currently on display at several locations around Flint, including the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Mott Community College, Applewood, Kettering University Innovation Center and other locations.

Nationally, pieces are on loan at such renowned institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio State University), Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Rudenstine Gallery (W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University), the Seattle Art Museum, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston) and many other museums and art galleries around the nation.

Thompson Library is proud to be numbered among such fine institutions in being selected as a location to display pieces from the Mott-Warsh Collection.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Michael Doyle, our Assistant Director, for being instrumental in arranging for Thompson Library to participate as a display site for works from this esteemed, world-renowned collection.

The new lithographs currently on display in the Library are by the artist Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012), and as a series are entitled For My People.

The lithographs were conceived and published as illustrations for a limited edition large folio featuring Margaret Walker’s poem of the same name.   Ms. Walker, a celebrated poet, novelist, essayist, and educator, was Catlett’s roommate when they attended the University of Iowa in 1939/40.

For My People is from a series of poems written by Walker in which she expressed her ambivalence bout the south, where she had spent her childhood.  Many scholars feel her work bridged the gap between the Harlem Renaissance of the 20s and 30s and the black arts movement of the 60s.

Elizabeth Catlett is known for her abstract sculpture in bronze and marble as well as prints and paintings, particularly depicting the female figure.   Ms. Catlett is unique for distilling African American, Native American, and Mexican at in her work.

Born in Washington D.C. and later becoming a Mexican citizen, Catlett received a bachelor of arts degree from Howard University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa, where she studied with the regionalist painter, Grand Wood.  She also studied at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Art Students League in New York City.

Wood’s teaching dictum was, “paint what you know best.”   This set Catlett on the patch to dealing with her own background in her artwork.

In 1940, her painting, “Mother and Child,” depicting African-American figues, won her substantial recognition.

Later in 1946, she traveled to Mexico and became interested in the Mexican working class.  She settled pemanently in Mexico in 1947, and eventually met and married artist Francisco Mora.

From 1958 to 1973 she was head of the deparment and professor of sculpture at the National School of Fine Arts in Mexico.   During this time, she did extensive work in printmaking, which she found an affordable medium for reaching the masses, and produced images of African-American and Mexican working class women.

Ms. Catlett’s art can be found in major museums in the United States and abroad.  She has received countless honors and awards for her work within her lifetime.

Following is the poem, For My People, by Margaret Walker (inspiration for this series of lithographs), which was published in 1942.

For my people everywhere singing their slave songs repeatedly:  their dirges and their ditties and their blues and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an unknown god, bending their knees humbling to an unseen power;

For my people lending their strength to the years, to the gone years and the now years and the maybe years, washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching dragging along never gaining never reaping never knowing and never understanding;

For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama backyards playing baptizing and preaching and doctor and jail and soldier and school and mama and cooking and playhouse and concert and store and hair and Miss Choomby and company;

For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn to know the reasons why the answers to and the people who and the places where the days when, in memory of the bitter hous when we discovered we were black and poor and small and different and nobody cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood;

For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to be man and woman, to laugh and dance and sing and play and drink their wine and religion and success, to marry their playmates and bear children and then die of consumption and anemia and lynching;

For my people thronging 47h Street in Chicago and Len\ox Avenue in New York and Rampart Street in New Orleans, lost disinherited dispossessed and happy people filling the cabarets and taverns and other people’s pockets needing bead and shoes and milk and land and money and something-something all our own;

For my people walking blindly spreading joy, losing time being lazy, sleeping when hungry, shouting when burdened, drinking when hopeless, tied and shackled and tangled among ourselves by the unseen creatures who tower over us omnisciently and laugh;

For my people blundering and groping and floundering in the dark of churches and schools and clubs and societies, associations and councils and committees and conventions, distressed and disturbed and deceived and devoured by money-hungry glory-craving leeches, preyed on by the facile force of state and fad and novelty, by false prophet and holy believer;

For my people standing trying to fashion a better way from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding, trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people, all the faces, all the dams and eves and their countless generations;

Let a new earth rise.  Let another world be born.  Let a bloody peace be written in the sky.  Let a second generation full of courage issue forth; let a people loving freedom come to growth.  Let a beauty full of healing and strength of final clenching by the pulsing in our spirits and our blood.  Let the martial songs be written, let the dirges disappear.  Let a race of men now rise and take control.

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Mott-Warsh Art Display; New Pieces on View in Library

Six new pieces have arrived at Thompson Library — on loan from the Mott-Warsh Art Collection.

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Click on any image to enlarge.

The art collection, owned by The Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh Collection, contains samples of some of the very best late 20th century works by African American artists.

The mission of the Mott-Warsh Collection is to present contemporary fine art to public audiences in non-traditional venues as well as educational and cultural institutions.   University of Michigan-Flint (with its strong historical ties to the Mott family of Flint, Michigan) and the Thompson Library in particular fit perfectly with the mission and vision statements established by Maryanne Mott and her late husband, Herman Warsh.

The entire Mott-Warsh Collection currently consists of works by over 125 artists, featuring 20th century masters such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett to new and innovative artists of the early 21st century, and includes a broad array of work from the abstract to the representative.  Common to all pieces within the collection is the focus on unique cultural and social experiences of Africans and Americans of African descent living and working in western (American) society.

Maryanne and Herman begun collecting their art with the intent to assemble and preserve rare works of art endemic to the African community and make them available to the wider audience through its lending program with the intent to educate viewers in art appreciation, art making processes, art history, 20th century American history and the history of the African diaspora.

The Collection contains over four hundred works and is supported by the Mott-Warsh research library which has assembled monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs and journals with subject concentrations in African American art as well as information on fine arts collection management.

Selected works from the Mott-Warsh Collection are currently on display at several locations around Flint, including the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Mott Community College, Applewood, Kettering University Innovation Center and other locations.

Nationally, pieces are on loan at such renowned institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio State University), Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Rudenstine Gallery (W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University), the Seattle Art Museum, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston) and many other museums and art galleries around the nation.

Thompson Library is proud to be numbered among such fine institutions in being selected as a location to display pieces from the Mott-Warsh Collection.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Michael Doyle — Mickey — who numbers among our reference librarians and serves as our Head of Access Services — for being instrumental in arranging our library’s participation as a display site for works from this esteemed collection.

Our first pieces were installed earlier in March of last year.   Those have been cycled out and the new pieces are now on display.  To view, enter the Thompson Library (3rd floor) and walk directly to the far wall.

This winter, the acclaimed Mott-Warsh Art Collection has brought to the Thompson Library a collection of the works of John Wilson (b. 1922).

Information on the artist  provided by the Mott-Warsh Collection:

The artist, a son of a follower of black nationalist Marcus Garvey, was introduced at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) to the work of Daumier, George Groszk, Ben Shahn, and Picasso — artists who addressed social issues.   But it was the politically charged paintings of the Mexican muralists that especially impressed him.

In Paris, at the Museum of Man, he discovered the art of African and other non-Western cultures, and later he studied and worked in Mexico.  “Along with looking and listening, I began to read.  Orozco paintings told it like it was!  So did the stories of Richard Wright!”

The Richard Wright Suite is a set of six color acquatint prints inspired by African American novelist Richard Wright’s, Down by the Riverside.  The  narrative was first published in 1938 as part of a collection of four short stories in Wright’s book, Uncle Tom’s Children.  Artist John Wilson responds to Wright’s tragic story about Mann, a black man who dies trying to save his family during a storm.

In 2001, Wilson provided four color aquatints for the Limited Editions Club’s reprinting of Wright’s, Down by the Riverside.  The aquatints were printed by James Stroud of the Center Street Studio, Milton Village, Massachusetts “Norrie Fund.”

These prints on loan from the Mott-Warsh Collection are from a portfolio issued separately, in which Wilson included two additional prints, Death of Lulu and The Death of Mann, arguably the bleakest and most powerful images in the series.


 

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Mott-Warsh Art Collection Offers New Pieces on View in Thompson Library

Four new pieces have arrived at Thompson Library — on loan from the Mott-Warsh Art Collection.

The art collection, owned by The Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh Collection, contains samples of some of the very best late 20th century works by African American artists.

The mission of the Mott-Warsh Collection is to present contemporary fine art to public audiences in non-traditional venues as well as educational and cultural institutions.   University of Michigan-Flint (with its strong historical ties to the Mott family of Flint, Michigan) and the Thompson Library in particular fit perfectly with the mission and vision statements established by Maryanne Mott and her late husband, Herman Warsh.

The entire Mott-Warsh Collection currently consists of works by over 125 artists, featuring 20th century masters such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett to new and innovative artists of the early 21st century, and includes a broad array of work from the abstract to the representative.  Common to all pieces within the collection is the focus on unique cultural and social experiences of Africans and Americans of African descent living and working in western (American) society.

Maryanne and Herman begun collecting their art with the intent to assemble and preserve rare works of art endemic to the African community and make them available to the wider audience through its lending program with the intent to educate viewers in art appreciation, art making processes, art history, 20th century American history and the history of the African diaspora.

The Collection contains over four hundred works and is supported by the Mott-Warsh research library which has assembled monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs and journals with subject concentrations in African American art as well as information on fine arts collection management.

Selected works from the Mott-Warsh Collection are currently on display at several locations around Flint, including the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Mott Community College, Applewood, Kettering University Innovation Center and other locations.

Nationally, pieces are on loan at such renowned institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio State University), Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Rudenstine Gallery (W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University), the Seattle Art Museum, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston) and many other museums and art galleries around the nation.

Thompson Library is proud to be numbered among such fine institutions in being selected as a location to display pieces from the Mott-Warsh Collection.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Michael Doyle — Mickey — who numbers among our reference librarians and serves as our Head of Access Services — for being instrumental in arranging our library’s participation as a display site for works from this esteemed collection.

Our first pieces were installed earlier in March of this year.   Those have been cycled out and the new pieces are now on display.  To view, enter the Thompson Library (3rd floor) and walk directly to the far wall.

 

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Picture5The first piece in the new series is by the Canadian-born artist Julie Moos (b. 1965) titled Domestic:  Earnestine and Gaynelle, a photograph from 2001.   Description of her work on display follows:

Ms. Moos uses photography to explore the complex relationships between human beings.  Using a 4 x 5 camera to make her large-scale color photographs, she usually shoots her subjects in pairs, straightforward and in a direct manner that charges the photo with tension.  Photographed in front of a neutral backdrop, the individuals show no interaction, making their connection to one another ambiguous.  The viewer is left to examine the sitters’ body language, facial expressions and styles of clothing and hair for clues.

In the series, Domestic, Moos examines the relationships that develop between domestic servants and their employers.  In all but one of the photographs in the series, Moos pairs a Caucasian with a person of African descent.  Sitting side by side in comparable attire, the class of each individual is not obvious, which forces us to guess whom the housekeeper and homeowner might be.  The conclusions drawn may say something of our assumptions about class as it relates to race.  In the case of Domestic:  Earnestine and Gaynelle, we are prompted to confront assumptions of a different sort, in considering the relationships between employer and employee of the same race.  The series also calls into question our assumptions about the type of bond shared by these individuals who spend a significant amount of time together in a domestic space.

 

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photo (4)The second piece in the new display is by Emma Amos (b. 1938), a lithograph titled Bootstraps (1997).  Description of this work follows:

An artist accomplished in several media, Emma Amos confronts and explores difficult issues concerning politics, gender, race and cultural history in her work.  In Bootstraps, Amos combines silhouetted portraits with text to provoke deeper consideration of a politically charged term.  The term alludes to the phrase, “pull oneself up by ones bootstrap,” which is a metaphor meaning to better oneself by one’s own unaided efforts.  It has been used by some politicians and officials who oppose affirmative action.  Here, Amos links the phrase to two such African Americans, political activist Ward Connerly and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Amos earned her undergraduate degrees from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and the Central School of Art in London, England.  She continued her education and pursued her master of fine arts degree at New York University, New York.  During the 1960s, she was invited to join Spiral, a group of prominent artists including Romare Bearden and Charles Alston, whose goal was to address African American issues through art.  Amos was the only female member.  A distinguished artist, Amos has received many awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation.

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photo (3)Third in the new display items is a serigraph entitled Michelle O (2008) by the artist Mickalene Thomas (b. 1971).  Description of this piece follows:

This serigraph print of First Lady Michelle Obama might be considered a very subdued artwork for artist Mickalene Thomas, who is best known for her elaborate acrylic paintings accented with rhinestones, enamel, and other unconventional materials.  Typically, her subjects are African American women, presented in seductive poses and attire.  Thomas likes to explore notions of black female identity and challenge ideas about beauty, femininity, and power.

The portrait of Ms. Obama was the first individual portrait of the First Lady to be created.  Like Thomas’ other work, the print is far from conservative, using stark, bold, coloration and a reductive style as opposed to a traditional, detailed rendering of the sitter.  It as part of the exhibit, Americans Now at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC (August 2010 – June 2011).

Thomas received her B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and her M.F.A. from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.  She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions and her work is in notable permanent collections.  Currently she is an artist in residence at the Versailles Foundations Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France.

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Last of the four pieces currently on display is by artist Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976).  Titled Priceless (2004), it is a lightject photographic print.     Description of this final piece is as follows:

Priceless is part of the larger series, titled B(r)anded, that explores and subsequently appropriates the language of advertising.  The artist states,

By employing the ubiquitous language of advertising in my work< I am able to talk explicitly about race, class and history in a medium that almost everyone can decode.  What makes a corporate logo so alluring?  I am in awe of the fact that ad campaigns can embed a simple meaningless logo with enough meaning and legitimacy to fuel multi-billion dollar global industries.

Much of the work focuses on the use of African American male body in advertisements.  I am interested in the connection between this body type and the cotton and slave trade industries that brought this country so much wealth …  My goal with the work is to employ the familiar …  to draw connections and provide conversations about issues and histories that are often forgotten or avoided in our commerce-infused daily lives.

In Priceless, Thomas appropriates a popular marketing slogan used by MasterCard to draw attention to the cycle of violence prevalent in the African American community.  The photograph was taken by the artist at the funeral of his cousin, Songha Willis Thomas, who was the victim of a tragic and senseless murder in 2000.  Through this work, Thomas grapples with his own frustration and that shared by others who have suffered loss.

Hank Willis Thomas studied art and photography in New York University earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in late 1992.  He continued his education at California College of the Arts, earning his Master in Fine Arts in photography and a Master of Arts in Art Criticism.  He currently works and lives in New York City.

 

Please stop by soon to view this limited collection, and others that will be on display in our library in the future.


 

Thompson Library Now Display Site for World Renowned Private Art Collection

Thompson Library is proud to host works from the privately owned Mott-Warsh Art Collection.  The art collection, owned by The Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh Collection, contains samples of some of the very best late 20th century works by African American artists.

While the collection consists of works in several mediums (including 3-diemensional works, sculpture, photographs, videos and mixed-media), Thompson Library will display examples of paintings from this esteemed collection.

The mission of the Mott-Warsh Collection is to present contemporary fine art to public audiences in non-traditional venues as well as educational and cultural institutions.   University of Michigan-Flint (with its strong historical ties to the Mott family of Flint, Michigan) and the Thompson Library in particular fit perfectly with the mission and vision statements established by Maryanne Mott and her late husband, Herman Warsh.

The Collection currently consists of works by over 125 artists, featuring 20th century masters such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett to new and innovative artists of the early 21st century, and includes a broad array of work from the abstract to the representative.  Common to all pieces within the collection is the focus on unique cultural and social experiences of Africans and Americans of African descent living and working in western (American) society.

Maryanne and Herman begun collecting their art with the intent to assemble and preserve rare works of art endemic to the African community and make them available to the wider audience through its lending program with the intent to educate viewers in art appreciation, art making processes, art history, 20th century American history and the history of the African diaspora.

The Collection contains over four hundred works and is supported by the Mott-Warsh research library which has assembled monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs and journals with subject concentrations in African American art as well as information on fine arts collection management.

Selected works from the Mott-Warsh Collection are currently on display at several locations around Flint, including the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Mott Community College, Applewood, Kettering University Innovation Center and other locations.

Nationally, pieces are on loan at such renowned institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio State University), Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Rudenstine Gallery (W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University), the Seattle Art Museum, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston) and many other museums and art galleries around the nation.

Thompson Library is proud to be numbered among such fine institutions in being selected as a location to display pieces from the Mott-Warsh Collection.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Michael Doyle — Mickey — who numbers among our reference librarians and serves as our Head of Access Services — for being instrumental in arranging our library’s participation as a display site for works from this esteemed collection.

Our first pieces were installed during the evening of Tuesday, March 17th and can be now viewed in Thompson Library, hung directly across the room on the far wall from the main entrance (3rd floor).

There are five pieces in total in our current display, all works by the late artist Jacob Lawrence.   This group of paintings, collectively entitled The Toussaint L’Ouverture Series, depicts the Haitian Revolution from the turn of the 19th century.  The impact of the Revolution on the then existent Napoleonic Empire forced France to sell the Louisiana territory to the young United States, changing the world forevermore.

Due to his circumstance, the artist was forced to use inexpensive paint materials available to him during the late 30s and early 40s.  Over time, his paintings in gouache (an opaque, water-based paint, sometimes referred to as “poster paint”) deteriorated.  Lawrence attempted preservation of some of these older works by silkscreening selected prints from his earlier series of works.  The five pieces currently on display are the result of his efforts, and remain vibrant images.

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Pieces (titles and descriptions) are as follows:

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General Toussaint L’Ouverture, 1986

General Toussaint L’Ouverture, Statesman and military genius, esteemed by the Spaniards, feared by the English, dreaded by the French, hated by the planters, and reverenced by the Blacks.

 

The Opener, 1997

General Toussaint L’Ouverture attacked the English at Artibonite and there captured two towns.

 

The March, 1995

General L’Ouverture collected forces at Marmelade, and on October the 9th, 1794, left with 500 men to capture San Miguel.

 

Marc, 1994

On March 24, he captured Mirebalois.

 

Contemplation, 1993

Returning to private life as the commander and chief of the army, he saw to it that the country was well taken care of, and Haiti returned to prosperity. During this important period, slavery was abolished, and attention focused upon agricultural pursuits.

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Please stop by soon to view this limited collection, and others that will be on display in our library in the future.