A Collective Gasp

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar on September 28th, 2011

Perhaps you have read this in my blog before, but “I love my job!” Sure, the last three weeks I’ve been overwhelmed with activity: dozens of artists and specials guests for the Birds in Art opening weekend; Jim Coe’s plein air workshop at which I was only an observer, but learned so much; and Thomas Hill’s weeklong residency that transformed a gallery into a leafy environment, complete with a leaf I created. Wire Woodland, on view through November 13, certainly is not to be missed.
Where else could you have so many amazing experiences as part of your job?
Now that the excitement has subsided, I can shift my focus to collections. Immediately following the Birds in Art opening weekend, the Collections Committee met to make a few selections from the exhibition. It’s always exciting to contact the artists and hear their responses to the request to purchase their artwork.
This year presented a rare opportunity to ask an artist and witness the reaction face-to-face. Having concocted a fictitious blog-related reason to interview Jim Bortz we stood alongside his painting. With the video camera recording, I not so calmly asked Jim if the Museum could acquire Shimmer for the collection. As you can see from the attached file, I was nervous and Jim was stunned. It was so much fun.
Along with Shimmer by Jim Bortz, the Museum also acquired Andrew Haslen’s Curlew and Sunbathing Hare; Splash by Wes Hyde; Arc of Time by Steve Kestrel; Blue Grouse by Bart Walter; and Nipalensis #03 by Yasuo Watanabe. A grant from the John and Alice Forester Charitable Trust made these six acquisitions possible.
Additional acquisitions were possible because the second year of Project Postcard proved even more successful than the first. One hundred-thirteen artists donated 4” x 6” artworks that were sold to benefit the Museum’s acquisition fund. As in 2010, thanks to the artists’ generosity, we were able to acquire four artworks.
The works added to the collection in 2011 are: Julie Bender’s Ivy League; S. V. Medaris Turkey Promenade; Michael Todoroff’s Emerald Mantle; and Sherrie York’s Ripples.
Included here are images of a few of the recent acquisitions. All these artworks are exhibited in Birds in Art through November 13.
Visiting Birds in Art also gives you an opportunity to see A Collective Journey, an exhibition featuring fabulous selections from the Museum’s collection by John James Audubon, Martin Johnson Heade, Frank W. Benson, and Andrew Wyeth – to mention but a few.

I assure you, once in the galleries, whether viewing works from the Museum’s collection or Birds in Art, you will gasp with pleasure at the varied and beautiful works.

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