Recent Exhibitions

Opened in 2018:

Opened in 2017:

Opened in 2016:

For information on exhibitions that opened before January 2016, please contact the
public relations office.

About the Exhibitions

Passover Matzos

Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz

August 17–December 2, 2018
Esther Nisenthal Krinitz was 12 in 1939 when the Nazis came to her Polish village. She remembers every detail through a series of exquisitely embroidered fabric collages. Her art is an eyewitness account of tragedy and healing. Listen in to the Rochester Jewish Film Festival interview on Connections with WXXI’s Evan Dawson.
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Shown: Passover Matzos, (detail) Embroidery and fabric collage, 1998.

Bruce Nauman: No, No, New Museum

August 3–October 14, 2018
Bruce Nauman’s No, No, New Museum is an iconic work of video art from the 1980s by one of the medium’s most influential practitioners. Its exhibition at MAG is made possible by a partnership with Art Bridges—arts patron Alice Walton’s effort to share outstanding works of American art with museums across the country.
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shown: Bruce Nauman (American, b. 1941)
No, No, New Museum, 1987
Videotape (color, sound), 62 minutes
© Art Bridges

No No New Museum

The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota

July 15–September 9, 2018

Josephine Tota was a first-generation Italian immigrant who spent much of her adult life working as a seamstress in Rochester. In her early seventies, she discovered painting as a means to transform a difficult past into harrowing, self-referential images. Channeling the world around and within her through the legacy of religious art and the language of Surrealism, she produced a decade’s worth of visionary images in the privacy of her home before succumbing to dementia. Fourteen tempera paintings from Memorial Art Gallery’s permanent collection form the core of the exhibition, augmented by approximately 70 from private lenders.

A full-color catalog documents Tota’s contribution to the realm of authentic outsider art and is available for sale in THE STORE @ MAG.

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shown: Josephine Tota, Untitled (Self-portrait), 1987

Nancy Jurs

shown: Nancy Jurs, Artist Statement (My Life Has Gotten So Busy, It Now Takes Up All of My Time), 2008

My Life Has Gotten So Busy That It Now Takes Up All of My Time

July 15–September 9, 2018
My Life Has Gotten So Busy that It Now Takes Up All of My Time is an exhibition of sculptural installations and photographs by Rochester-based artist Nancy Jurs that focuses on self-portraiture, autobiography, and personal narrative. Jurs is well known as a potter who trained at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Craftsmen. Less known are her sculptures and installations that employ found, unaltered objects, which evoke personages or anthropomorphic visions, and her manipulated photographs. These works of art represent a surprising and compelling conceptual thread throughout Jurs’ career.

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Photo by Larry Merrill
shown: Larry Merrill, Untitled

Wards of Time: Photographs of Antiquities by Larry Merrill

April 20–August 5, 2018
Wards of Time: Photographs of Antiquities by Larry Merrill includes a selection of images from an ongoing series by Rochester photographer Larry Merrill. In this work, Merrill directs our gaze, magnifying and abstracting the texture and tonal variations of ancient sculptures that signify the accrual of time. As part of the series, Merrill visited the Memorial Art Gallery’s collection and photographed 3rd century BCE miniature sculpted Egyptian heads, which will be on view adjacent to their photographs. Merrill’s photographs offer a reflection on time and decay, on the museum artifact, on history, and on our own mortality. Learn more

Media Arts Watch

Bill Viola: Martyrs–Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
October 11, 2017–July 22, 2018
Bill Viola Martyrs 2014
Martyrs is overtly rooted in art historical and religious iconography. Viola said: “The Greek word for martyr originally meant ‘witness.’ In today’s world, the mass media turns us all into witnesses to the suffering of others. The martyrs’ past lives of action can help illuminate our modern lives of inaction. They also exemplify the human capacity to bear pain, hardship, and even death in order to remain faithful to their values, beliefs, and principles. This piece represents ideas of action, fortitude, perseverance, endurance, and sacrifice.” learn more

Bill Viola
Earth Martyr, 2014; Wind Martyr, 2014; Fire Martyr, 2014; Water Martyr, 2014
Color high-definition video on a flat-panel display mounted vertically on wall
42 3/8 x 24 1/2 x 2 5/8 in. (107.6 x 62.1 x 6.8 cm)
7:10 minutes
Photos: Kira Perov


NOSFERATU (The Undead)

April 22–June 17, 2018
NOSFERATU (The Undead) is the first of three exhibitions to be presented as part of “Reflections on Place,” a series of media art commissions inspired by the City of Rochester and curated by world-renowned authority on the moving image John G. Hanhardt. Experience Javier Téllez’ new installation, which explores the history of cinema and the medium of film itself to address the subject of mental illness. Learn more

Rosalyn Engelman

Rosalyn Engelman: Beauty is Everywhere

December 21, 2017 – April 8, 2018
Rosalyn Engelman (American, born 1938) is a painter, sculptor, and installation artist. She works with a variety of materials and produces art with a striking range of expressive content. In all of her work, Engelman is searching for beauty, hope, and transcendence. This exhibition features five works from Engelman’s 2003–04 “Echo Sonata” series, which she created following numerous trips to Japan with her husband between 1975 and 1999. Engelman is a University of Rochester alumna, and currently lives and works in New York, NY. Learn more

Wendell Castle Remastered

October 8–December 31, 2017
extended by popular demand to January 7, 2018
This exhibition is the first to showcase the digitally crafted works of Wendell Castle, acclaimed figure of the American art furniture movement. It will feature approximately 40 works of art, including several historically important examples that inspired his latest achievements.
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Both films featured in this exhibition are open-captioned. 

shown: Wendell Castle Remastered, Long Night (detail), 2011, photo by Adrien Millot
Courtesy of Friedman Benda Gallery and Wendell Castle.

Wendell Castle Remastered at the Memorial Art Gallery is an adaptation of the exhibition originally presented at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, in 2015.

Kiyochika & Japan, Transformed: Prints from the Arthur R. Miller Collection

August 24–December 10, 2017
The exhibition Kiyochika and Japan, Transformed showcases over 30 color woodblock prints by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), who witnessed firsthand the transformation of Japan when it opened to the West after centuries of isolation. These prints, drawn from the extraordinary collections of University of Rochester alumnus Arthur R. Miller, emphasize the complexities of modern and traditional life in late-19th century Japan. Kiyochika’s work is characterized by his innovative use of light and shadow as well as his juxtapositions of subject matter, both old and new, in his rapidly changing world.
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Kobayashi Kiyochika

shown: Kobayashi Kiyochika, Three Geisha: Kayo of Kyoto, Hitotsuru of Osaka, and Kokichi of Tokyo c. 1878. Collection of Arthur R. Miller.

Charles Atlas: Here she is… v1

June 30 – September 17, 2017
This single-channel video installation features Lady Bunny, an iconic drag performer. She speaks on politics and current events, dances and lip-syncs. She is a vivid presence, especially considering the wall-size scale of the video.
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shown: Here she is…v1 (detail) 2015. © Charles Atlas; Courtesy of the artist

Rainforest IV

September 7–Sunday, September 10, 2017
Opening Performance 6 pm on Thursday, September 7

Rainforest IV is an immersive audio installation created by the Eastman Audio Research Studio (EARS) at the Eastman School of Music, under the direction of Oliver Schneller, with assistance from Allen Topolski, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Rochester. Rainforest is a sonic environment made of handmade, uniquely designed sculptural objects suspended in space and fitted with electric transducers, turning them into resonant sound objects.

At this special opening event, Missy Pfohl Smith, Director of the University of Rochester’s Dance and Movement Program, Anne Harris Wilcox, and Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp will improvise a performance to which the musicians will sonically respond.

Originally conceived by sound artist and pianist David Tudor in 1973, Rainforest IV is a sonic environment made of handmade, uniquely designed sculptural objects suspended in space and fitted with electric transducers, turning them into resonant sound objects.

shown: Installation of Rainforest IV (1973), L’Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, 1976. Photograph by Ralph Jones (American, b. 1951) © 1976 Ralph Jones. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

Materials generously donated by Metalico Rochester.

The Power of the Female Gaze

Harriet 1975
May 19–August 13, 2017
In honor of New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial in 2017, this exhibition explores the power of the female gaze in creating potent and complex images of mothers, thinkers, vixens, heroes, creators, warriors, and agitators.
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shown: Elizabeth Catlett, Harriet, 1975

Reflections on Place & Culture: Downey, Gower, Kluge

Hard Times and Cultures
April 7–June 18, 2017
The Media Arts Watch gallery will be transformed into a screening room with works projected onto the walls by Terence Gower, Juan Downey, and Alexander Kluge. learn more
shown: Juan Downey, Hard Times and Culture (still)

Meleko Mokgosi: Pax Kaffraria

Full Belly II 2014
RoCo: February 3–March 19, 2017
MAG: February 19–May 7, 2017
See six Pax Kaffraria “chapters” at MAG; one chapter at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo). Mural-sized narratives of southern African culture.
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shown: Fully Belly II, 2014 (detail)

Robert Rauschenberg: Making History

Surface Series #53
January 30 – April 30, 2017
Rauschenberg responded to the rise of mass-media culture during the 1950s and 1960s, by actually making mass media his artistic medium.

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shown: Surface Series #53 (from Currents), 1970. ©Estate of Robert Rauschenberg / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Light Spill: An Installation by Gibson + Recoder

Gibson and Recoder
January 13-March 26, 2017
As Gibson’s and Recoder’s work suggests, film is not only about images, storytelling and entertainment, but also possesses mechanical, and sculptural dimensions.
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M. C. Escher: Reality and Illusion

Photo of M. C. Escher
November 13, 2016–January 29, 2017
in the Grand Gallery

Includes early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, detailed Italian landscapes, the “tessellations” for which he became famous, and several examples of his signature
architectural fantasies in which stairways seem to go nowhere or to mysteriously circle back upon themselves.
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Bodies In Space

Bruce Nauman
October 7-December 31, 2016
Bodies in Space was the inaugural art exhibition of MAG’s Media Arts Initiative.
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Courtly Pleasures: Indian Miniatures from the Permanent Collection

Priests Worshipping the Image of Shri Nathaji

September 9-December 31, 2016
in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Indian, Priests Worshipping the Image of Shri Nathaji, ca. 1820. Opaque watercolor, ink, gold, silver paint.

Afghan War Rugs:
The Modern Art of Central Asia

August 21–October 16, 2016
in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Western Afghanistan, War Rug. Knotted wool.
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Unknown African American Soldier with Cannon

War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Renewal by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz

August 21–October 16, 2016
in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, detail of Unidentified African American soldier with cannon backdrop. Chlorophyll print, resin. Courtesy of the artists.
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Keith Haring: Apocalypse

June 10–August 28, 2016 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured:Keith Haring, Apocalypse , 1988. Serigraph. Gift of Sharon and Neil Norry, and Lewis Norry and Jill Katz Norry.
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Robert Polidori: Chronophagia

May 22–July 24, 2016 in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Robert Polidori, 2732 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, LA (2005). Collection of the artist.
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April 29–May 29, 2016 in the Lockhart Gallery

Pictured: Reginald Marsh, Ice Cream Cones (1938). Gift of a Friend of the Gallery.
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Inspiring Beauty:
50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

January 31–April 24, 2016
in the Grand Gallery & Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Tilmann Grawe (France), cocktail dress, 2003-04. Photo courtesy Johnson Publishing Company, LLC.

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Marcel Dzama: Une Danse des Bouffons (A Jester’s Dance)

December 10, 2015–January 24, 2016
in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Video still courtesy David Zwirner, NY/London.

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Carl Peters drawing of hands

Art for the People: Carl W. Peters and the Rochester WPA Murals

October 18, 2015–January 3, 2016 in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Carl W. Peters, Study of Hands (ca. 1940).

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RH012, 1/8/08, 1:52 PM, 8C, 6000x8000 (0+0), 100%, straight 6 sto, 1/12 s, R42.3, G29.7, B74.2

Rick Hock: Codices

November 11–January 3 in the Hurlbut Gallery

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Pictured: Detail of Duchamp Codex (1980s). Polaroid transfer print. Private collection, courtesy Visual Studies Workshop.

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Jacob Lawrence: The Legend of John Brown Portfolio

August 28–November 29, 2015 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Jacob Lawrence, After John Brown’s capture, he was put to trial for his life in Charles Town,Virginia (now West Virginia).

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65th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

July 26–September 13, 2015 in the Grand Gallery
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Pictured: Spring Flowers, Jellybeans by Kate Timm
of Sterling, Cayuga Co.


In Search of Shadows

May 8–August 16, 2015 in the Lockhart Gallery
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Pictured: Luciano Guarnieri, Lesser Town Square (1969). Estates of Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman.


The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection

April 26–June 28, 2015 in the Grand Gallery
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Pictured: Luis Gispert, Living Room (from Urban Myths, PT 1) (2003). C-print.

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Stone Gate ceramic by Wayne Higby

Infinite Place:
The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby

January 25–March 29, 2015 in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Stone Gate (2007). Collection of the artist.
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Robert Kirschbaum's The 42 Letters

Robert Kirschbaum’s
The 42-Letter Name

December 12, 2014–April 26, 2015 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Robert Kirschbaum, letterpress and relief print from The 42-Letter Name (2009). Gift of the artist.

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NCCIL-Golden Books show, 2007-09-07.

Golden Legacy:
65 Years of Golden Books

October 19, 2014–January 4, 2015
in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Gertrude Elliot, Two Little Gardeners (1951). © Random House, Inc.

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Infinity Boxes by Matt Elson

October 19, 2014–January 4, 2015
in the Grand Gallery and exhibition galleries

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Pictured: Matt Elson, Infinity Box No. 2: You and Me Together (2012). Courtesy of the artist.

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print from Yoshitoshi's Thirty-Six Ghosts

New Ghosts for A New Age:
Yoshitoshi’s New Forms of 36 Ghosts

Japanese Prints from the Arthur R. Miller Collection

August 29–November 30, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Kiyohime Changing into a Serpent at Hidaka River (1890).

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6th Rochester Biennial

July 13–September 21, 2014
in the Grand Gallery

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Action, from The Glove by Max Klinger

Visions in Black and White:
The Graphic Work of Max Klinger

May 16–August 17, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery
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Pictured: Action (Handlung), from A Glove (Ein Handschuh). Knapp Fund.

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Matisse as Printmaker:
Works from the Pierre and
Tana Matisse Foundation

April 6–June 8, 2014 in the Grand Gallery

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Alexander Matisse: New Ceramics

April 6–June 8, 2014 in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured:  Charger (2013). Collection of Dr. and Mrs. William Eby.

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Collaborations: Works by Students at Francis Parker Elementary School #23 in Classes at MAG

April 24–May 10, 2014 in the Lucy Burne Gallery

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Llalla Pallooza

Eduardo Paolozzi’s
General Dynamic F.U.N.

January 31–May 4, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Eduardo Paolozzi, Llalla Pallooza… Image fades but memory lingers on.
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Redefining the Multiple:
13 Contemporary Japanese Printmakers

January 19– March 16, 2014 in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Shunsuke Kano, B&B_06 (2008). Courtesy Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture.
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takagi japanese form

New Beginnings

Japanese Prints of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s

January 19– March 16, 2014 in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Shiro Takagi, Japanese Form (Tomoe) (1964).
Marion Stratton Gould Fund.
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Connoisseurs Around the Corner:
Gifts of Art from MAG’s Founding Family

September 6, 2013–January 19, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Charles Demuth, Zinnias (1915). Gift of Gertrude Herdle Moore and Isabel C. Herdle in memory of their father, George L. Herdle.
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work by emily miah stewart in memory theatre 2013 exhibition

Memory Theatre 2013

October 9–December 29, 2013 in the Grand Gallery
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Pictured: Emily Miah Stewart, Memory Map of Joe’s Pond (2004). Private collection.
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Creative Workshop Living Memory Alumni Show: Part II

September 24–October 24, 2013 in the Lucy Burne Gallery (Creative Workshop)

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Pictured: Works by Creative Workshop alumnus Daniel Lempert and former head of ceramics Alex Hazlett.
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Rochester-Finger Lakes 2013 masthead

64th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

July 14–September 8, 2013 in the Grand Gallery
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woodcut by Kiki Smith from portfolio Mortal

Mortal: A Portfolio of Woodcuts by Kiki Smith

May 24–August 18, 2013 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: Kiki Smith, woodcut from the portfolio Mortal (2007). Gift of the Gallery Council.

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Eugen Bracht, Morning Star

It Came From the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAGs Collection

March 17-June 9, 2013  in the Grand Gallery

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Pictured: Eugen Bracht Morning Star, ca. 1900

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Three Master by John Marin

Becoming Modern: Armory Show Artists at MAG

January 25–May 12, 2013 in the Lockhart Gallery

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Pictured: John Marin, Three Master (1923). Gift of a Friend of the Gallery. ©2012 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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painting by Creative Workshop alumnus Richmond Futch Jr.

Creative Workshop Living Memory Alumni Show: Part I

April 15–May 9, 2013 in the Lucy Burne Gallery (Creative Workshop)

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Pictured: In Transition is by Richmond Futch Jr., who got his start as a Creative Workshop student.
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works by winslow homer and loraine cooley from art reflected

Art Reflected: The Inspiration of 100 Years

February 10–April 21, 2013 throughout the galleries
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Pictured: Winslow Homer, The Artist’s Studio in an Afternoon Fog (1894) and the new work it inspired, a bracelet by Loraine Cooley, Webster, NY.

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