Jan. 30-Feb. 12, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 2
Back Issues
Darden to run ethics institute
First Lady of Virginia, Lisa Collis, a leader in public service
Facilities focus of BOV’s Student Affairs meeting
Headlines @ U.Va.
Undergrad wins Mitchell Scholarship
Online COMPASS makes room reservations easy
Humans began altering global climate thousands of years ago
Xiaoming ‘Peter’ Yu
Revisiting Racial Diversity
2004 Black History Month Calendar of Events
Stem-cell researcher finds unusual ally in GOP leader
Can the spam: E-mail filter weeds out those unwanted messages
Collage glues together numerous pespectives
What’s a Didjeridu?
Mini-med school accepting applications until Feb. 27
Students drive real estate market
Collage glues together numerous perspectives
Alexander Calder, The Only Only Bird
The Phillips Collection
© The Calder Foundation

By Jane Ford

Collage comes from the French word “to glue” and, in the broadest sense, means an assembly of diverse fragments or elements. In art, literature, music and other disciplines, collage has been related to modernism in a widespread way for more than 50 years.

Prompted by a unique partnership between the University of Virginia and the Phillips Collection in Washington, collage will be looked at from many perspectives in numerous academic courses, exhibitions, programs, films, performances and events around Grounds this spring.
A major focus of the initiative is an exhibition of collage works from the 1920s through 1960s at the U.Va. Art Museum. “American Collage” features works on special loan from the Phillips Collection, including those by Alexander Caulder, Arthur B. Davies, Albert Eugene Gallatin and Robert Motherwell. These will hang alongside collage works from the museum’s permanent collection by Joseph Cornell, Conrad Marca-Relli, Louise Nevelson, Adja Yunkers and Andy Warhol.

Jay Gates, director of the Phillips, said, “American Collage” is the first opportunity in which works from the Phillips Collection can be the “kernel around which a wide variety of research and academic discourse can take place.

“I am pleased that such a distinguished university and academics are interested in talking about the kinds of things we are interested in,” he said.

The U.Va. Art Museum’s leadership role in the initiative is a reflection of its role as an interdisciplinary center on Grounds, said Jill Hartz, the museum’s director. “Together, works from the two collections show a history of American modernism.”

Matthew Affron, curator of the exhibit and assistant professor of art history, shaped the exhibit with the goal of integrating it into a new course for undergraduate art history and American Studies students that he is co-teaching with Stephen Cushman, English professor and director of the American Studies program.

“‘Collage’ breaks down traditional boundaries and makes connections among people in the creative world,” said Affron. “The worlds of visual arts and literature intersect in compelling ways in the ’20s through the ’60s.”

The introduction of visual literacy and the language of collage will develop a deeper experience and appreciation of what the students are studying, Cushman said.

“One could say the whole [American Studies] major is a collage,” he said. “Instead of approaching the curriculum vertically, the program slices horizontally, touching on many disciplines, including African-American studies, religious studies, the arts, humanities, studies in women and gender, technology, the social sciences as well as environmental sciences.”

The exhibit will also have an impact on other courses and outreach programs related to education, film and video, and new media, as well as the spring offerings of the Virginia Film Society.

Additionally, students from American Studies professor Alan Howard’s fall class in Web design are working with the art museum to develop a “virtual exhibit to survive the museum exhibit,” said Howard. “It will be set up to be used as an educational resource for teachers and others.”
Plans are already on the horizon for the next loan from the Phillips. The collection’s leadership in research, education and digital initiatives, closely parallels work being done by the University’s undergraduate, graduate and faculty scholars; educational and outreach programs; and the digital work at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities – just some of the ways the partnership will be strengthened, said College Dean Edward Ayers.

“I hope this is just the beginning of a long term and broad relationship,” said Ayers.


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of the University of Virginia

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