August 09, 2010

Museum exhibit to feature works by Arthur Danto

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale welcomes a collaborative exhibit that mingles art, art history, philosophy, and education.

“Arthur C. Danto’s Woodblock Prints: Capturing Art and Philosophy” comes to the museum Aug. 24-Oct. 1.

The exhibit features 27 woodblock prints and six woodblocks Danto created in the 1960s. In addition to the art, the display will feature wall scrolls with essays by SIUC graduate students in philosophy pertaining to the woodblocks.

Danto is the subject of a forthcoming volume in the Library of Living Philosophers (LLP), a series created at SIUC and published through Open Court Publishing. The LLP, edited by Randall Auxier, is a series of volumes highlighting notable philosophers and engaging them in a retrospective examination of their individual life’s work. Each volume includes an intellectual biography, written by the subject of the volume, that sets forth the main ideas and tenets of that philosopher. Other scholars present critiques of the philosopher’s ideas in a series of essays, to which the philosopher responds. Each volume in the series, then, combines commentary with philosophy.

Danto was a student of art and history at Wayne State University in Michigan, and later both a student and a professor at Columbia University, where he currently is Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy. Danto’s contribution to philosophy is significant, both through his writing (“Mysticism and Morality,” “The Transfiguration of the Commonplace,” “The Basic Concepts of Philosophy,” and “Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present,” to name a few of his books) and his service to the discipline in the positions he has held with the American Philosophical Association and the American Society for Aesthetics.

However, he may be best know for his association with “The Nation,” where he has been art critic since 1984. “The Nation” is a weekly publication focused on politics and culture.

Several events are planned during the exhibition, beginning with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 27. The reception coincides with the reception for the “Fire, Light and Things You Haven’t Seen: New Work by Jan Thomas and Cameron Smith” art glass exhibit.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Check back at The Saluki Times for more information on future events associated with this exhibit.