August 18, 2010

Vogel Collection among fall exhibits at museum

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- What do the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the Harvard Art Museum and the St. Louis Museum of Art have in common? All three are recipients of donations from the Vogel Collection.

Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, a New York City couple -- he employed by the U. S. Postal Service and she as a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library -- collected more than 4,000 works of art over a 45-year period. The couple lived on Dorothy’s salary and bought art with Herbert’s salary, proving, among other things, that even people of modest means could support the arts.

Recently, the couple gave 2,500 pieces of art to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. Together, the couple and museum curators agreed to donate 50 pieces of art to one museum in each of our 50 states. University Museum is the Illinois museum -- the only Illinois museum -- to be part of this remarkable gift.

“The collection focuses on minimalist and conceptualist art,” Dona Bachman, director of the University Museum, said. “The Vogels looked at our museum, and saw that we show contemporary art in our museum. They decided the Chicago area is well provided already with art museums, and that we really needed something here. Their art collection is a phenomenal gift to the entire nation.”

The Vogel Collection is one of the exhibits that opens the 2010-11 exhibit season at University Museum. The exhibit gets an extra boost as the focus of the Carbondale Community Arts 12th Biennial Exhibition at University Museum.

Here is a look at other exhibits and special events coming to University Museum in the fall 2010 semester.

Cameron Smith and Jan Thomas: Fire, Light and Things You Haven’t Seen, exhibit July 23-Sept. 5, exhibit reception 4-7 p.m. Aug. 27.

Smith and Thomas operate Do U Glass Hot Shop at the Douglass School Art Place in Murphysboro. This exhibit highlights some of their recent work, including a series of glass hands in various “poses” and a wall of glass inspired by undersea life.

African Americans in Southern Illinois, exhibit Aug. 24-Sept. 12, exhibit reception 4-7 p.m. Aug. 27

This exhibit, on loan from the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, features artistic posters outlining the history of black Americans in Southern Illinois. The history includes an explanation of Little Egypt as a popular nickname for the Southern Illinois region. A grant from the Illinois Humanities Council helped make this exhibit possible.

The Vogel Collection/Carbondale Community Arts’ Biennial, exhibit Aug. 24-Dec. 11, exhibit reception 4-7 p.m., Sept. 10

Mel Watkins, an acclaimed artist and a curator for the Forum for Contemporary Art in St. Louis, curates this exhibit. The exhibit reception includes a screening of the PBS special “Independent Lens” featuring the Vogels and their remarkable art collection.

Ghosts: Ed Shay Sculpture and Watercolors, exhibit Aug. 24-Oct. 31, exhibit reception 4-7, Sept. 17.

The exhibit opens with sculpture, on display from Aug 24-Oct. 31 with watercolors entering the exhibit Sept. 14. Shay came to SIUC in 1978 and remains here as a “visiting professor” teaching painting, drawing and printmaking. Shay is a three-time recipient of National Endowment of the Arts Artists Fellowships. In recent years, Shay has stayed out of the exhibition limelight, working instead on commissioned art. This retrospective of “Ghosts” is a reflection on his past as an artist. The exhibit reception includes informal gallery talks, at 5 p.m. about sculpture and at 6 p.m. on his watercolors.

Arthur Danto’s Woodblock Prints: Capturing Art and Philosophy, exhibit Aug. 24-Oct. 11, exhibit reception 4-7 p.m., Sept. 24.

This exhibit combines art created by an art historian and philosopher of art, and philosophy of art presented by graduate students in philosophy. Students in the SIUC Department of Philosophy curate this exhibit.

Southern Illinois Metalsmiths Society (SIMS) 2nd Annual Form, Fabricate, Forge exhibit Sept. 14-Oct. 17, exhibit reception 4-7, Sept. 24.

This registered student organization brings high-quality metal artists to the SIUC campus, and generously shares them, partly through this exhibit. SIUC students and students at other universities and forges round out this exhibit.

Glass at 40: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the SIUC Glass Program by Bill Boysen, exhibit Oct. 12-Dec. 11, exhibit reception 4-8 p.m. Oct. 30

Artist Bill Boysen, now professor emeritus, launched the glass program at SIUC’s School of Art in 1970. This exhibit, curated by Nate Steinbrink, curator of exhibits at University Museum, features Boysen’s own work and the works of some of his students, many of whom have gone on to careers in the art glass world.

Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America, Oct. 19-30

A traveling exhibit from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum visits University Museum.

Combined Faculty Art Exhibit, Nov. 14-Dec. 12, exhibit reception 4-7 p.m. Nov. 14

This traditional annual exhibit features art from faculty across campus, including those in the School of Art and Design, the School of Architecture and the Department of Cinema and Photography.

MFA Preview Exhibit, Nov. 14-Dec. 12, exhibit reception 4-7 Nov. 14

For more information about the University Museum, visit