Beyond Artworks: Artists & Their Stories

March 6 – June 6, 2021
Artworks from the collection share the spotlight with stories about why and how they were created by artists and acquired by the Woodson Art Museum. Discover the tale and trace the trail that led to the acquisition of a rare oil painting by John James Audubon and a hand-colored aquatint created for Audubon’s The Birds of America.
Anecdotes about noteworthy owners and personal relationships are woven throughout other stories. A watercolor painting by Frank Weston Benson, Chickadees, which had been owned by poet Robert Frost, became the perfect way to honor a member of the Museum’s founding family, fondly remembered for wearing a chickadee-embroidered sweater.
Experience artwork by three generations of Wyeth painters, N.C., Andrew, and Jamie, comparing and contrasting their distinct styles and gaining insights into their inspiration and work.

This exhibition celebrates and returns collection artwork to the spotlight in spring 2021; responding to Covid-19 in spring 2020, the Woodson Art Museum re-configured its largest gallery for special/traveling exhibitions rather than featuring selections from the collection. This change allowed for installations to be physically distanced, thereby creating an even more welcoming and safer environment for visitors. In spring 2021, the focus shifts to emphasize and highlight Museum collection artwork. Although Museum programs are curtailed as a coronavirus precaution, varied art experiences await; see this PDF for Spring 2021 highlights. For a fun activity, try “Start with Our Art” pages, adding detail, color, and your own designs to finish these collection artworks by John James Audubon and Andrew Wyeth; click here, print, and proceed.

For virtual views, see photos of the Beyond Artworks exhibition installation and overview video, part 1.

Exhibition Highlights

Jamie Wyeth, Martin Castle, 1989, mixed media on paper
Jamie Wyeth, My Chicken Transports, 1982, mixed media on paper on board
John James Audubon, Pacific Loons, ca. 1834, oil on canvas
John James Audubon, Black-throated Diver (Arctic Loon), 1836, hand-colored aquatint on J. Whatman paper
Walter T. Matia, Hunger Is the Best Sauce & Paisanos (6/36), 2014, bronze
Walter T. Matia, High Plains Drifters (AP/37), 2006, bronze
Chris Bacon, Liquidity, 2010, acrylic on rag board
Chris Bacon, Sandhill Crane, 1996, watercolor and Prismacolor on rag board
Frank Weston Benson, Black Ducks, 1926, oil on canvas
Frank Weston Benson, Chickadees, 1938, watercolor on paper
Karen Bondarchuk, My name is Hubert and I am not an owl, 2011, charcoal and ink on Hahnemühle paper
Karen Bondarchuk, Utopia, 2016, charcoal of Rives BFK paper

Thanks to the members, donors, grantors, and sponsors who support the exhibition and programs.

UMR is the presenting sponsor.



Exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Marketing supported in part by City of Wausau Room Tax funds.


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