Past Exhibit

MODERN TWIST:
CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE BAMBOO ART

May 30–August 30, 2015

An exciting international exhibition, Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art featured the work of professional bamboo artists living in Japan, whose evocative, sensual, and sculptural pieces explore innovations in bamboo art since the mid-twentieth century. The artworks were chosen by Dr. Andreas Marks, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, from the collections of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California. It was traveled by International Arts and Artists, Washington, D.C.

To more closely tie Modern Twist to our collections and mission, at the Grace Hudson Museum we added 12 Pomo baskets to accompany the 38 Japanese art pieces on display. Taken from our own holdings, and those of other lenders, the Pomo baskets provide interesting similarities and contrasts to their Japanese counterparts. Both basketry traditions are world famous, and mastering them requires decades of meticulous practice in harvesting and preparing native plant materials, and in constructing finished pieces. Modern Twist featured examples of both Japanese and Pomo pieces by master weavers that together span over one hundred years of textile arts.

Bamboo is a quintessential part of Japanese life, and its emergence as a sculptural art form has religious and cultural roots. The Japanese have used this extraordinarily strong and flexible grass for centuries–for everything from functional objects to ceremonial baskets, and for the vases, tea scoops, ladles and whisks that serve an important place in the Japanese traditions of flower arranging (ikebana) and tea gatherings (chanoyu and senchadō). It is a challenging medium, with less than 100 professional bamboo artists in Japan today.

Modern Twist brings 17 of these artists to North American audiences, including two men deemed “Living National Treasures” by the Japanese government in recognition of the excellence of their work. These National Treasures–Katsushiro Sōhō and Fujinuma Noboru–are joined by visionary artists Matsumoto Hafū, Honma Hideaki, Ueno Masao, Uematsu Chikuyū, Nagakura Ken’ichi, Tanabe Chikuunsai III, Tanabe Yōta, Tanabe Shōchiku III, Tanioka Shigeo, Tanioka Aiko, Honda Shōryū, Mimura Chikuhō, Nakatomi Hajime, Sugiura Noriyoshi, and Yonezawa Jirō.

It was a rare opportunity at the Grace Hudson Museum to experience groundbreaking levels of conceptual, technical, and artistic ingenuity both in bamboo art, and in the striking examples of our own local Pomo basketry.

The exhibition was generously supported by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Nomura Foundation, Japan Foundation,
Los Angeles, and the Snider Family Fund.

IGNITE!:
THE ART OF SUSTAINABILITY

March 21 through May 17, 2015

A dynamic exploration of California’s ecological issues by leading contemporary artists from six regions throughout the state, this exhibit examined natural and human forces that have shaped California’s current landscape. Artists included: Kim Abeles, Charles Bello, Robert Dawson, Sant Khalsa, Judith Lowry, Linda MacDonald, Ann Savageau, Kim Stringfellow, Penelope Gottlieb, Newton Harrison & Helen Mayer Harrison, Gyongy Laky, Luke Matjas, and Daniel McCormick. Ignite! was a traveling exhibition from Exhibit Envoy, in conjunction with the California Association of Museums’ Green Museums Initiative and funded by The James Irvine Foundation. Support for its Ukiah venue was provided by the Sun House Guild.

  Penelope Gottlieb, Cirsium vulgare,   Courtesy of the Artist

Penelope Gottlieb, Cirsium vulgare,
Courtesy of the Artist

  IGNITE! The Art of Sustainability,   in the Main Gallery

IGNITE! The Art of Sustainability,
in the Main Gallery

JULES TAVERNIER:
ARTIST & ADVENTURER

The Illustrations
January 10–March 8, 2015

Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer–The Illustrations, featured selected work from a larger show organized by the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California in 2014, and presented both there and at the Monterey Museum of Art. At the Grace Hudson Museum the show focused on the wood engravings that Tavernier created with artist Paul Frenzeny on a coast-to-coast sketching assignment for Harper’s Weekly in 1873-1874.

An illustrator, landscapist, genre painter, and visionary, nineteenth-century artist Jules Tavernier (1844–1889) was born in France but became one of the American West’s foremost talents. Though his career was brief, his intense creative energy spawned unique works in a variety of media, including engraving, oil, watercolor, and pastel. In painting, he employed techniques ranging from densely layered glazes built up in the manner of the old masters to the swift, fresh brushwork popularized by France’s Barbizon painters and, at times, the Impressionists.

In his own day, Tavernier’s works broadened perceptions about what was considered paintable. The transcontinental illustrations he made with Paul Frenzeny brought images and details of the West into American parlors everywhere and resulted in iconic paintings of American Indian life. In Monterey, California, he discovered and advanced new subject matter, leading followers away from grand, sweeping vistas toward the more intimate and emotional portrayal of nature that he had learned in France. In San Francisco, his studio became a bohemian artistic center, and he helped to found and lead the city’s arts organizations. Heading even farther to the west, in Hawaii he broke new ground by painting dramatic scenes of fiery volcanoes, before passing away in Honolulu at the age of 45.

Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer–The Illustrations is accompanied by a full-color catalogue and features essays by Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., the Crocker’s chief curator and associate director, Claudine Chalmers, Ph.D., and Alfred Harrison, Jr. of the North Point Gallery in San Francisco.

DAYS OF GRACE:
CALIFORNIA ARTIST GRACE HUDSON IN HAWAII

September 6 through December 28, 2014

This landmark exhibit brought together–for the first time ever–
many of the existing paintings and sketches that the Museum’s namesake artist made in 1901 during a restorative stay in Hawaii. It featured Hudson’s seldom-seen portraits of Native Hawaiian and Asian women and children, plus charming landscapes and seascapes. These were supplemented by Hawaiian artifacts Grace collected, her letters to and from family members during her sojourn, and photos she took of her surroundings.

Included were rare works from other painters in Hawaii that Grace met while there, including Helen Whitney Kelley; Theodore Wores; Charles Furneaux; D. Howard Hitchcock; illustrator Charles Bradford Hudson (no relation to Grace or her husband, John); and Harold Meade Mott-Smith. An extensive catalog was developed in tandem with the exhibit and is available in the Museum Gift Shop. This exhibit was co-curated by Karen Holmes, Grace Hudson Museum Registrar & Carpenter Family Historian, and Sherrie Smith-Ferri, Grace Hudson Museum Director.

GROWTH RINGS:
A RETROSPECTIVE OF COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS FINE WOODWORKING PROGRAM GRADUATES

June 7 through August 17, 2014

The College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program in Fort Bragg, California, started in 1981 when a group of Mendocino woodworkers persuaded well-known author and studio furniture maker, James Krenov, to teach his methods to students in a nine-month-long course. The resulting Fine Woodworking Program has been recognized by the woodworking community around the world for the excellence of its students’ work, their craftsmanship, sensitivity, and quality of personal expression.

The Grace Hudson Museum presented “Growth Rings,” an invitational and juried exhibition to feature pieces from College of the Redwoods Program graduates currently living and working within the Redwood Empire region.

Image: Michael BurnsBig Butter, 2014, Graduate Piece
Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Teak and Boxwood. Shellac and Wax Finish

ARTISTS LOOK BACK:
MENDOCINO COUNTY ART ASSOCIATION TURNS 60

March 29 through May 25, 2014

More than eighty works by seventy-seven artists were displayed in this juried retrospective exhibit which also looked back on the rich contribution made by the Mendocino County Art Association to the visual arts in Mendocino County. Special historical displays and recorded interviews highlighted the artist demonstrations, lectures, and art exhibitions provided to the community throughout the Association’s history.

NATURE’S BELOVED SON:
REDISCOVERING JOHN MUIR’S BOTANICAL LEGACY

January 25 through March 16, 2014  

In the spirit in which John Muir embraced the botanical world,Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy traced the famed early environmentalist’s travels through North America and presented digitally restored images of the actual plants that he held in his hands, carried in his pockets, and preserved as specimens. This traveling exhibition was produced by Exhibit Envoy and was based on the Heyday Books publication of the same name.

Image: Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

  California Polypod fern (Polypodium californicum)   [Digitally restored scans of John Muir’s original plant specimens]

California Polypod fern (Polypodium californicum)
[Digitally restored scans of John Muir’s original plant specimens]