Category Archives: past

Votes For Women Exhibition

Votes For Women: A Portrait Of Persistence Virtual Exhibition


The Mennello Museum of American Art, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, is delighted to share the Smithsonian’s virtual and poster traveling exhibition entitled Votes For Women: A Portrait Of Persistence

The story of women’s suffrage is a story of voting rights, of inclusion in and exclusion from the franchise, and of our civic development as a nation. Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and explores the complexity of the women’s suffrage movement and the relevance of this history to Americans’ lives today.

Join us as we scroll and stroll through this special exhibition exploring the centennial of women’s suffrage with images and portraits reproduced from the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian Museum.

Scroll through the virtual exhibition below, available through the end of November.
or
Stroll through the free, in-person exhibition by visiting the Mennello Museum’s front porch, on display now through election day, from 11 am – 4 pm (weather permitting). 

Afterward, continue your exploration of history and meet voting-rights heroes with our neighbors at the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Their production of Eric Coble’s “Vote?,” is streaming directly to you, now through November 8. Learn more by visiting OrlandoRep.com.


Introduction

Women’s Voting Rights Originated in the Women’s Movement

Constitutional Arguments and Women’s Voting Rights

The Concept of Citizenship Seems Straightforward, but…

The New Woman

Equality is the Sacred Law of Humanity

Suffragists Were Political Geniuses

American Suffragists Had Courage

Suffrage Map

The 19th Amendment Was an Incomplete Victory


Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

Construct: Our Orlando & American Youth: Cause

(October 2, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

Construct: Our Orlando presents artists Don Rimx (b. San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1981) and the collective Lemon Press [Anna Cruz (b. Manila, Philippines, 1992) and Adam Lavigne (b. Hillsboro, Missouri, 1988)]. In their individual practices, Don Rimx examines the shaping of Afro-Caribbean American identity through the lens of anatomy, place, and portraiture, while Lemon Press explore visual mapping of both time and language through storytelling and communication. These artists consider oppositions and challenge what has traditionally been considered high and low in art – classic and historic elements of drawing, mural making, print, and illustration converge in vibrant contemporary portraits and invented narratives that immediately draw the viewer into the canvas searching for a new way of perceiving the world through the artists’ creations.

The exhibition American Youth: Cause provides a space for the developing voices of our talented Orlando teen residents to engage in conversation about their own art and ideas. Exhibited artists were selected by museum Curator of Art and Education, Katherine Page, after an open call to all students throughout Orange County to explore the multiple definitions and meanings of “cause” in their artwork. From motivation and origination to principle, subject matter, and action – the cause belongs in the hands of the artist. Eight finalists were chosen for this juried exhibition based on the excellence of their work and personal narratives of their creative processes.

Maria Arias Correa (12th Grade, Cypress Creek High School)

Taylor Davidson (11th Grade, Boone High School)

Miller Georgoudiou (10th Grade, Edgewater High School)

Kiley Mack (10th Grade, Boone High School)

Lindsay Merrill (12th Grade, Bishop Moore Catholic)

Leliet Moran (11th Grade, Cypress Creek High School)

Amaya Nash (11th Grade, Boone High School)

Mackenzie Werking (10th Grade, Boone High School


Read about Don Rimx and Lemon Press’ work in the e-publication. (English Language)

Read about Don Rimx and Lemon Press’ work in the e-publication. (Spanish Language )

Read about Don Rimx and Lemon Press’ work in the e-publication. (Tagalog Language )

American Artists in the Southwest & American Paintings from the Melanson Holt Collection

(January 22 – April 11, 2021)

American Artists in the Southwest and American Paintings and Drawings from the Melanson Holt Collection showcase masterful painters and printmakers, who lived and created primarily in Taos and Santa Fe throughout the 20th century, working in lithography, etching, aquatint, wood block, and screen print. In honor of Mennello Museum of American Art Founding Director Frank Holt, the Melanson Holt Collection gift made from 2017-2019, furthers the story of American art for new and returning visitors with views of the land and people of the Southwest. The collection highlights 32 artists, including Indigenous artists Harrison Begay and Pop Chalee, along with Gene Kloss, John Sloan, Kenneth Adams, Dole Reed, Clark Willard, Homer Boss, B. Brussell-Smith, E. Martin Hennings, and many more. These artists sought to reveal and document the awe-inspiring desert light, remote lands, and extraordinary way of life in the changing American Southwest through their inventive forms of printmaking and painting alike.


American Artists in the Southwest from the Melanson Holt Collection featuring prints by:

  • Kenneth Adams
  • Henry Balink
  • Gustave Bauman
  • Harrison Begay
  • O.E. Berninghaus
  • Oscar Florianus Bleumner
  • Homer Boss
  • B. Brussell-Smith
  • Pop Chalee
  • Willard Clark
  • Howard Cook
  • John Stuart Curry
  • Adolf Dehn
  • E. Martin Hennings
  • Rockwell Kent
  • Gene Kloss
  • Leon Loughridge
  • Peter Moran
  • Russell Natt
  • Herbert Pullinger
  • Dole Reed
  • Coy Avon Seward
  • Will Shuster
  • John Sloan

Modern American Paintings from the Melanson Holt Collection, Abstraction and Realism on view in the Marilyn Gallery featuring:

  • Emil Bisttram
  • Charles Burchfield
  • Arthur B. Davies
  • Henry Martin Gasser
  • Richard Haley Lever
  • Reginald Marsh
  • Jan Matulka
  • Alfred Maurer
  • Max Weber

The Grand Portraits of Mr. Eddy Mumma

(April 23 – August 1, 2021)

The Mennello Museum of American Art is proud to announce the exhibition opening of The Grand Portraits of Mr. Eddy Mumma. The exhibit is only the third solo museum exhibition of the artist’s work to date and is on view from April 23 – August 1, 2021. 

“The museum is excited to bring together 25 compelling paintings by one of Florida’s self-taught and truly outsider artists,” shared Mennello Museum Executive Director Shannon Fitzgerald. “The portraits reflect the people and personalities with whom he desired to surround himself. He was prolific in production and with a compulsion to immerse himself in his self-isolation suggests that his creative quest was deeply personal, cathartic, and absolutely necessary.”

The Grand Portraits of Mr. Eddy Mumma explores the self-taught artist’s lavish portraits from the Mennello Museum of American Art’s collection and other prominent Florida collections – including Josh Feldstein, The Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, and Dr. Lou Hill.

Mumma abandoned any notion of traditional art schooling after a teacher’s insult during his first lesson at the age of 60 in Gainesville, Florida. A homebound Mumma would take this slight in stride. Instead of giving up, he poured over art books, texts, and popular magazines given to him by friends and family. These beloved images intermingled with his imagination to develop the round-faced, wide-awake, geometric figures he is renowned for today. A proliferation of portraits originally hung from every inch of the artist’s modest home, immersing the artist in a gallery of his self-inspired works. These mysterious, smiling, and sometimes frenzied characters were his constant companions, always within sight, rarely shown, and never sold.

Feldstein’s eye for the cleverness and ingenuity of Mumma’s painting practice was instrumental in preserving the artist’s many works. At the time of Mumma’s passing in 1986, he had completed nearly 1,000 paintings – excitedly using the brightest paints on any surface within reach, painting both sides of doors, lamps, plywood, masonite, canvas, and glass. It was the foresight and graciousness of Feldstein to assist the artist’s daughter, Carroll Gunsaulies, in preserving and sharing her father’s work with the world that entered him into the celebrated canon of American Folk Art. Mumma is also featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collections, the American Folk Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Fenimore Museum, the Kohler Foundation, and the American Visionary Art Museum among others. Serendipitously, an insult by a Gainesville art instructor and 18 years creating art in Gainesville ultimately led to Gainesville, Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art highlighting Mumma’s collection.

“I am delighted to share The Grand Portraits of Mr. Eddy Mumma with our audiences this summer,” said Mennello Museum Curator of Art and Education Katherine Page. “While studying Mumma’s portraiture and paintings, one begins to understand his deep appreciation for historical painting and ethnographic photography. Renowned images inspired his work, from Van Gogh to Frans Hals and the pages of National Geographic. This admiration translated into recreating masterpieces in his own distinctive style, which was dedicated to the expression of form, color, and texture therein. “She continues, “The figures in Mumma’s later portraits carry unique and intimate yet recognizable emotions: some appear cheerful, focused, proud, sad, nervous, and even alienated. The effect is striking and pulls the viewer closer into the piece— face-to-face with the artist’s intuitive practice.”

“I am delighted to share The Grand Portraits of Mr. Eddy Mumma with our audiences this summer,” said Mennello Museum Curator of Art and Education Katherine Page. “While studying Mumma’s portraiture and paintings, one begins to understand his deep appreciation for historical painting and ethnographic photography. Renowned images inspired his work, from Van Gogh to Frans Hals and the pages of National Geographic. This admiration translated into recreating masterpieces in his own distinctive style, which was dedicated to the expression of form, color, and texture therein. “She continues, “The figures in Mumma’s later portraits carry unique and intimate yet recognizable emotions: some appear cheerful, focused, proud, sad, nervous, and even alienated. The effect is striking and pulls the viewer closer into the piece— face-to-face with the artist’s intuitive practice.”

The Mennello Museum of American Art and its exhibitions are generously supported by the City of Orlando and Friends of the Mennello Museum of American Art. Orange County Government provides additional funding through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program and United Arts of Central Florida. Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and Visit Orlando. The exhibition is funded in part by the generous donors to the Frank Holt Fund, Strengthen Orlando, City of Orlando.

Mira Lehr: High Water Mark

On view January 24 – September 13, 2020

Mira Lehr’s entire career as an artist has focused on the natural world and our relationship with our surroundings. Her residence in Miami, with a studio nestled right on the water, has obviously steered her work towards the waterways and open ocean that form such an integral part of life in Florida.

A “high water mark” indicates a literal measurement for the highest point the water level reaches in a given area at a particular time. However, alternate meanings of the term suggest maximum value in various other sectors of life. It seems fitting, then, that this phrase should be applied to the work of an artist whose career spans five decades, building toward a well-earned peak. Lehr’s recent work has been lauded by critics for the meaningful and contemplative commentary she offers on a timely and contentious subject, the state of our natural world. However, her sense of wonder and optimism about humanity’s ability to rise to the occasion with solutions guides both her life and work.

As an eco-feminist artist from Miami whose career spans five decades, her nature-based imagery encompasses painting, design, sculpture and video installations. Lehr’s processes include non-traditional media such as resin, gunpowder, fire, Japanese paper, dyes and welded steel.

Lehr has affected a new generation of young artists by serving as a mentor and collaborator, teaching master classes with the National Young Arts Foundation.  She has also been an artist in residence at the Bascom Summer Programs.

Join us for the opening reception on January 24.

John Baker: Mind Wealth

November 20, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Artist’s Reception – December 11, 2019 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm

The Mennello Museum of American Art proudly presents, John Baker: Mind Wealth — the captivating photography of artist John Baker, whose work unveils a moment in time where light interacts gracefully among crowds or an individual within charming human-built spaces. Baker brilliantly captures the interplay of human interaction surrounded by highly contrasted shadow and bright light cast onto the smooth metals and the textured brick of city streets encountered during his travels.

The title of the exhibition is drawn from a photograph taken by the artist, which asks the viewer to confront philosophical ideas associated with idealism and youth or materiality and maturity in an art filled space that encourages the same attention to thought.  Inspired by the ephemeral and profound moods evoked in Edward Steichen’s early photography, the soft-focused documentation of urban life by Alfred Stieglitz, the architectural abstraction of Paul Strand, and the high contrast drama commanded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Baker’s photographs continue a long tradition of considering place and people through contemporary black and white photography.

“On the occasion of our major exhibition with pioneering photographer Edward Steichen, I am delighted to have the opportunity to share the photography of an outstanding local artist, John Baker, who has long admired the avant-garde work by photographers at the turn of the last century, and employs this creative exploration in his own work. Through his photography, Baker presents a wonderful consideration of the splendor of contemporary society with a modernist lens of location. Baker elegantly frames the world he sees, reminding us all to find the wonder in the lives we walk through every day.”

Katherine Navarro, Curator of Art and Education

John Baker is a recognized black and white film photographer and multimedia artist living and working in Orlando. He teaches photography at the Crealdé School of Art, holds a gallery studio at FAVO, is an annual Indie-Folkfest artist at the Mennello Museum and, among other accolades, has won Best of Show at the Orlando Museum of Art’s First Thursdays.

John Baker: Mind Wealth is curated by Katherine Navarro, Curator of Art and Education, Mennello Museum of American Art.

Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers

September 20, 2019 – January 12, 2020

EDWARD STEICHEN: IN EXALTATION OF FLOWERS presents paintings and photography from the collections of Art Bridges, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, George Eastman Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on view from September 20th – January 12th, 2020 at the Mennello Museum of American Art in partnership with Orlando Museum of Art. 

Co-organized by the Mennello Museum of American Art (MMAA) with Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) and in partnership with Art Bridges, a pioneering new foundation dedicated to dramatically expanding access to American art across the country, this exhibit includes 20 photographs and a rare large-scale mural by groundbreaking, turn-of-the-last century artist Edward Steichen. Through fashion and flowers, Steichen presents portraits of the cultural luminaries of the day: actors, writers, dancers, and singers of the early 1920s in intimate black and white photography and seven stunningly grand, large-scale gold-leaf mural paintings filled with portraits of his friends (the creative icons) and their floral counterparts. The murals, In Exaltation of Flowers, had not been seen in over 100 years, until Art Bridges purchased them from MoMA who was gifted the murals from the Meyer family who commissioned them from Steichen in 1910.  Art Bridges supported their conservation at Dallas Art Museum where they were unveiled again in 2018.  

This innovative collaboration between MMAA and OMA is only made possible by Art Bridge’s visionary mission to make collections of American Art more accessible through the forging of collaborations and partnerships with collection-rich museums and our smaller museums in Orlando. The exhibition, Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flower brings the multi-disciplinary art of Edward Steichen to our communities in Central Florida for the first time, through a tightly-focused consideration of his masterpiece painting, In Exaltation of Flowers (1910-13; Art Bridges Foundation) and related photographs from 1906-1923 handpicked for their close association with the murals. The seven-panel mural will be shown at OMA and twenty photographs from the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, George Eastman Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be presented at the MMAA.  The two presentations, together explore the important relationship between the artist’s painting and his early photography, and give an in-depth look at the world in which Steichen made his art.

The murals tell the story of philanthropists Agnes Ernst Meyer, Eugene Meyer, Jr. Charles Lang Freer (Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art), the mezzo soprano and dancer Mercedes de Cordoba, the artists Katharine Rhoades and Marion Beckett, and the dancer Isadora Duncan, along with their floral counterparts, inspired in part by the Symbolist writer Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1907 book The Intelligence of Flowers. The photographs feature the same friends along with multiple images of Steichen’s wife, his most beloved muse, Dana Steichen.

 Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers shares multiple facets of Steichen’s early work as a photographer and painter while also sharing a symbolic narrative about his circle of friends in both intimate and grand iterations. The exhibition seeks to celebrate Steichen’s genius in both mediums.

Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowersis co-curated by Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Mennello Museum and Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon, Associate Curator, Orlando Museum of Art.

This exhibition and education programs are made possible with the generous funding support of Art Bridges.

Immersion into Compounded Time and the Paintings of Firelei Báez

June 7 – September 1, 2019

The Mennello Museum of American Art is pleased to present IMMERSION INTO COMPOUNDED TIME AND THE PAINTINGS OF FIRELEI BÁEZ. The exhibition will be on view at the Mennello Museum from June 7 through September 1, 2019, with an Opening Reception on June 7.

This exhibition will explore Firelei Báez’s investigations on the visibility and the construction of complex cultural identities within the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora and how these notions are perceived in today’s global world. Her large-scale and intricate portraits of influential individuals and mythical goddesses of Afro-Caribbean history create a contemporary narrative of a woman’s life, embracing the past, and staking her place in a universal future.

Báez is best known through her extraordinary paintings of lush landscaped-figures, intricately patterned tignons, and otherworldly bodies with striking eyes. Here, she considers the reality of ones current social and the historic construction of cultural self in America. These complex, intersectional bodies and symbols alongside large-scale portraits are painted in vibrant, swirling colors, which intermingle time and character. For Báez, “identity is malleable, negotiated,” and given strength by the female body and mythology of her being.

This exhibition is curated by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education.


Purchase TICKETS for the opening reception of IMMERSION INTO COMPOUNDED TIME AND THE PAINTINGS OF FIRELEI BÁEZ 

Member Preview & Opening Reception
Friday, June 7, 2019
Members only: 5:30 – 6:30 pm | Guests: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Free for members | $10 for Guests

Artist Talk & Book Signing (FREE EVENT)
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Guests: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Swirling Memories and Compounded Time: Curatorial Talk (FREE)
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Guests: 6:00 – 7:00 pm

The Unbridled Paintings of Lawrence H. Lebduska

January 25 – May 12, 2019

This exhibition presents the rare opportunity to exhibit the notable paintings of Lawrence Lebduska, one of the most popular modern folk art painters of 1930s America. Lebduskaʼs dreamlands and invented gardens teem extraordinarily with life and optimism in a nostalgic, uncorrupted style that captured the admiration of the American public.

Lebduska was an outsider artist who navigated the intensifying New York art scene without the academic trainings and institutional tenure of his contemporaries. Competing with the rise of the avant-garde modernist movements that seized the art historical world in New York and abroad, Lebduskaʼs intrinsically painted Edens of bucolic farms, city parks, and remote jungles, which propelled the artist and his work to celebrity among galleries, collectors and museums. Lebduska earned his first solo show in 1936 at the Contemporary Gallery in New York City nearly selling out his works, a show known to have ignited the folk art collections of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Eleanor Roosevelt. Lebduska was also included in the famed 1938 exhibition Masters of Popular Painting shown at the Museum of Modern Art.

This exhibition is curated by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education. The Mennello Museum is pleased to present paintings from the Fenimore Museum; Cooperstown, NY, as well as those from our permanent collection and local collectors.  Lebduskaʼs work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the University of Arizona, The Fenimore Art Museum, and the Mennello Museum of American Art, among others.

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art

October 19, 2018 – January 13, 2019

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art presents a selection of works from Dr. Robert B. Feldman’s extensive collection of contemporary art. The artists gathered in the exhibition have all drawn upon art history, American history, and popular culture to create powerful works that, independently and collectively, present a broad range of concepts about identity, beauty, belonging, and religion, as well as work with deep gravitas around poignant issues of race, sexuality, violence, displacement, vulnerability, erasure, and visibility.

The title is evocative and an emblematic reference to art history and the critical social agency of our current times. Through various media, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and collage, the Black and Hispanic body (physical and metaphoric) is implied or materializes with subtlety in some instances, beautifully unfolds in others, and in a few, is direct, dramatic, and heartbreaking. The symbolic framework of the Shifting Gaze and Reconstruction helps generate a larger dialogue between the works on view and the specificities of a diverse African & Hispanic Diaspora in our current physical, social, and political landscape, as revealed through each artist’s personal experience and distinctive aesthetics.

The Shifting Gaze, who is looking at who engages perception, seeing and objectification while Reconstruction represents a rebuild, new articulation, and possibly new constructs via a new voice – from the past and projected into a resonant now. The power of this collection, conceptually, formally, across contexts, sensibilities, and interests is the result of the extraordinary vision and passionate quest of the Winter Park collector Dr. Feldman who shares with us an unparalleled visual intellect fueled by his knowledge, curiosity, humanity, and keen eye.

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Artfeatures works from the following artists:

Nina Chanel Abney
Farley Aguilar
Radcliffe Bailey
Yoan Capote
Nathaniel Donnett
Mark Thomas Gibson
Luis Gispert
Clotilde Jiménez
Jennie C. Jones
Samuel Levi Jones
Nate Lewis
Kyle Meyer
Lavar Munroe
Toyin Ojih Odutola
Ebony G. Patterson
Lamar Peterson
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz
Paul Henry Ramirez
Jamel Shabazz
Vaughn Spann
Shawn Theodore
Mickalene Thomas
Hank Willis Thomas
Carlos Vega
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Nate Young

Exhibition is curated by Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Mennello Museum of American Art.


Opening Reception

Join us for the opening reception!

Opening Reception
Friday, October 19, 2018

Members-only Preview
5:30–6:30 p.m.

Public Reception
6:30–8:30 pm

$10 for Non-Members  |  Free for Mennello Museum Members


Shifting Gaze Panel Discussion
October 20   |   11:30 am – 1 pm
At Orlando Museum of Art
FREE
 
Mennello Museum Executive Director Shannon Fitzgerald will moderate a panel discussion with artists and gallerists from the exhibition “Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art from the Collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman”: Radcliffe Bailey, Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Mark Thomas Gibson, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Vaughn Spann and Carlos Vega.
 
NOTE: This panel discussion will be held in Orlando Museum of Art’s Auditorium.

Art Credit:
Ebony G. Patterson, Untitled I-beyond the bladez series, 2014, Mixed media on paper, 30 x 36 inches. Collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman, Winter Park, FL. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.