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For the first time since Spring 2020, the University of Richmond Museums are presenting three new exhibitions, all open to the public. The museums reopened to the community in March 2022.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Richmond campus and larger communities back to our premises with a series of exhibitions and programs showcasing student scholarship and creativity, as well as artistic innovators of our time,” said Elizabeth Schlatter, interim executive director. “We will also welcome numerous faculty and students to our exhibits this semester as part of their coursework in our ongoing efforts to advance the university’s educational mission.”

The three new exhibitions opening to the public next week include:

  • Duane Michals: The Portraitist
  • That’s why I am: Portraits from the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center
  • Annual student exhibition

The University of Richmond museums are free and open to the public with no registration required. The opening times are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visit museums.richmond.edu for more information on directions, exhibits, and programs.

Exhibition details include:

Duane Michals: The Portraitist is on view August 24-November 18 at the Harnett Museum of Art at the Modlin Center for the Arts.

The exhibition presents the first comprehensive survey of original photographic portraits by one of the medium’s most influential artists. Michals is best known as a pioneer who broke away from established traditions of documentary photography in the 1960s. Michals is widely recognized for his ability to navigate between asserting his style and being able to express himself, and for the sequences he assembles to convey personal visual narratives, often with handwritten messages and poetry on the photographic print surface.

The exhibition includes more than 125 portraits, many of which were recently discovered in a study in his brownstone building in New York City. Frequently commissioned to create portraits of actors, writers, musicians and others, the wide selection for the exhibition includes images of artist Andy Warhol with his mother Julia Warhola, musicians Benny Goodman and Branford Marsalis, the original cast of “Saturday Night Live” , as well as actresses Meryl Streep and Tilda Swinton.

Therefore I Am: Portraits from the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center is on view August 24-July 7, 2023 at the Modlin Center for the Arts Atrium and Booker Hall.

Presenting a selection of portraits spanning six centuries, the exhibition explores the various roles that portraiture has played in representing the sitter’s identity. Historically, portraits were used by society’s elite to communicate messages of power, wealth, and beauty. With recent advances in technology such as digital cameras and smartphones, portraiture has become ubiquitous in today’s society. The exhibition encourages the viewer to think about how we consume and interact with portraits in our everyday lives, whether it’s scrolling through group photos on social media or snapping a selfie.

Standout artworks include Andy Warhol’s Reigning Queens (Queen Beatrix), a portrait of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, part of a 1980s silkscreen series of four reigning queens. Reigning Queens, with its bold blocks of color and larger-than-life composition, illustrates the appeal of pop art-style celebrity portraiture.

The annual student exhibition will be on view at the Harnett Museum of Art from August 24th to September 22nd. Selected by the Faculty of Fine Arts, the exhibition features work by visual media and art students throughout the university’s 2021-22 academic year. The exhibition features around 30 artworks ranging from mixed media and video to sculpture and prints.

Exhibits on display include:

Gee’s Bend Prints: From Quilts to Prints is on view at the Modlin Center Booth Lobby through July 7, 2023.

The prints in this exhibit are inspired by the quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama. African American women from this remote community have made hundreds of quilts for more than a century. The quilts have been recognized as “some of the most wonderful works of modern art America has produced,” according to New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman.

Some of the younger generations of quilters have made etchings from small-scale maquette quilts. Working with the master printers at Paulson Fontaine Press in Berkeley, California, the artists used innovative techniques to transfer the quilt design to an etching that emphasizes the strong patterns, textures and composition of traditional Gee’s Bend quilts. Artists featured in the exhibition include Louisiana Bendolph, Loretta Pettway, Mary Lee Bendolph, and Essie Bendolph Pettway.

Wunderkammer rethought: museum research seminar can be seen in the Department of Art & Art History until May 5, 2023.

Cabinets of curiosities or “wonder chambers” were the primary way of displaying collections among European royalty and aristocrats from the mid-16th to mid-18th centuries, showcasing natural specimens, cultural artifacts, and works of art. These cabinets fell out of fashion with the advent of scholarly classification and museum development in the 18th and 19th centuries. Responding to the resurgence of the showcase format in the modern museum world, this exhibition examines the purpose and power of museums – their evolving methods of collection and curation over time, the often controversial acquisition of objects, and their ability to inspire and inspire audiences influence .

The cabinet shows selected works of art and natural specimens from the collections of the Lora Robins Gallery.

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