The new WAM exhibition presents the “superstars” of modern art

title=sArt Museum. It is part of the museum’s new “Paper Dreams” exhibit.” title=”Edward Hopper’s “Adam’s House” is part of the Roland P. Murdock Collection at the Wichita Art Museum. It is part of the museum’s new “Paper Dreams” exhibit.” loading=”lazy”/>

Edward Hopper’s “Adam’s House” is part of the Roland P. Murdock Collection at the Wichita Art Museum. It is part of the museum’s new “Paper Dreams” exhibit.

Courtesy of Wichita Museum of Art

The Wichita Art Museum is bringing rarely seen works by well-known modern artists, such as Edward Hopper and Alfred Dove, out of its collection for its next featured exhibition.

Made on paper, these works are rarely seen because they are more fragile than other works and will not last long if displayed for long periods of time.

Light is their kryptonite. And once the colors fade, they disappear, said WAM curator Tera Hedrick.

“Works on paper are the most fragile medium compared to an oil painting or bronze sculpture,” Hedrick said. “Works on paper are really supposed to spend, at most, only a third of their life being seen and the other two thirds of the time they are supposed to be hidden. They are supposed to rest cool and in the dark. This is what makes this exhibition special.

Works by WAM – whom Hedrick calls the “superstars” of early modern artists in WAM’s collection – will be exhibited alongside works on paper by another leading 20th century artist, Alfred Maurer, in “Paper Dreams: Alfred Maurer and American Masterpieces”. ”

The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 15 – when admission is free – with art activities, live jazz, a dance performance and tours. There will also be a mini used book sale.

“Portrait of a Girl Against a Gray Background” is one of 27 works on paper by Alfred Maurer featured in the Wichita Art Museum’s new exhibition, “Paper Dreams: Alfred Maurer and American Masterpieces.” Courtesy of Weisman Museum of Art

Maurer’s work comes from the Weisman Museum in Minneapolis. Both the WAM and the Weisman have distinguished collections of American art, and another connection: WAM Director Emeritus Patricia McDonnell was curator of the Weisman Museum.

Maurer was an American painter who dated artists in Paris in the late 19th century — “like all the cool kids did, going to galleries and art school in Paris and being exposed to European modernism,” Hedrick said.

This influence can be seen in how Maurer’s art began to change from his early years when his work was much more realistic and precise. Although his art was not critically or commercially accepted at the time, he is now among the superstars Hedrick referred to.

“Paper Dreams” will include 27 of Maurer’s works on paper.

Alfred Maurer’s “Still Life” will be on display at the Wichita Art Museum from October 15. Courtesy of Weisman Museum of Art

The entire exhibition can be seen as a foray into the history of art from the early 20th century to around the early 1940s, when American artists were experimenting with and reflecting the changes taking place in the society around them. .

WAM’s stellar collection of modern works stems from its co-founder Elizabeth Navas seeking art to launch WAM back when these contemporary artists were on the scene.

Navas was a friend and professional colleague of Louise Murdock who had donated her money to establish an art museum in Wichita. For nearly 20 years, until WAM opened in 1935, Navas laid the foundations for the museum’s collection, which today numbers more than 10,000 pieces.

With the reputation that Navas had helped establish with the collection, other benefactors also began donating works from this era.

John Marin’s watercolor to be featured in the exhibition was donated by artist Georgia O’Keeffe; Arthur Dove’s son donated pages from his father’s sketchbook.

The majority of the WAM works featured in the exhibition are watercolours, with 29 pieces on display. Other works are prints, photogravures and a few ink drawings and pastels, Hedrick said.

The exhibition will end on January 23.

Art historian Stacey Epstein, a specialist in 20th-century American art and the leading authority on Maurer’s art, will give a free talk as part of WAM’s Wooden Lecture Series on November 30. Epstein co-curated the Maurer portion of the exhibit and wrote a book about Maurer, “Alfred H. Maurer: At the Vanguard of Modernism.”

WAM Exhibition: ‘Paper Dreams: Alfred Maurer and American Masterpieces’

What: an exhibition of rarely seen works on paper from the collections of the Wichita Art Museum and the Weisman Museum in Minneapolis

Where: Wichita Museum of Art, 1400 W. Museum Blvd.

When: Oct. 15-Jan. 23. Opening reception activities on October 15 – when admission is free – include artistic creation, performances and tours. WAM hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.

Admission: free for all visitors on Saturday; $10 adults; $5 for 60 and over; $3 University students, youth ages 5-17; free for children under 5 and WAM members.

More information: or 316-268-4921

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