Thursday, February 26, 2004
OU’s spectacular art collection on display
By Dawn Pauli, contributing writer
For the first time, Meadow Brook Art Gallery is showcasing some of OU’s finest works of art in “Forty Years of Collecting: 75 Master Works from the Oakland University Collection.” The exhibition runs March 5 through April 11.
Despite being a relatively young university, Oakland is home to an extensive art collection, including more than 1,500 objects worth about $10 million. The collected works include internationally known artists and one of the finest collections of African art in Michigan.
"There is an extraordinary range of works in this collection from small gems to major works by important masters," said Dick Goody, Meadow Brook Art Gallery director. "This is a very exciting opportunity to see some surprising and remarkable objects, many of which have not been exhibited for over a decade.”
On display will paintings by Alex Katz, Fernando Botero, Al Held, Malcolm Morley, Horst Antes, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Firle, Terry Winters, Richard Artschwager and Ed Fraga. Important prints from the Carl F. Barnes Jr. and Anna M. Barnes Collection, including Albrecht Dürer, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Katsushika Hokusai, William Hogarth, Eugène Delacroix and William Blake, also will be displayed. Other works in the exhibit include drawings, paintings, prints and sculpture by George Segal, Joseph Cornel, Edvard Munch, Gordon Newton, Michael Luchs, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and many more.
“It's time for this exhibit, particularly because people need to know that we're not simply a gallery, we're a repository of this amazing collection,” Goody said. “I am also hoping new donors will step forward so we can increase the range and scope of the collection.”
The late Kiichi Usui, director of the Meadow Brook Art Gallery from 1966 to 1996, was instrumental in assembling OU’s art collection. Through his association with artists and collectors he amassed contemporary and Asian art, which complemented the already extensive G. Mennen Williams Collection of African Art.
“OU possesses this legacy of these fine works of art that have been given to us for our students and our community by people who really believe in the long-term future of our institution,” Goody said. “The future is everything. We've been entrusted to keep these objects for our children and our children's children.”
The gallery will host a gala at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 13, in celebration of the exhibition and its 40th anniversary. A strolling dinner will be served with wine and live music by Oakland University's Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.
"This gala is a marvelous way for people to come together and share these works in support of the visual arts in our community," Goody said.
Tickets for the gala are $75 per person and $150 for patrons. The RSVP deadline is March 1. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (248) 370-2650.
Meadow Brook Art Gallery is located in Wilson Hall directly across from the main entrance of Meadow Brook Theatre. It is open every day, except Mondays, from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery also is open during Meadow Brook Theatre performances. For more information, visit the Meadow Brook Art Gallery Web site.