Up to the Challenge

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar on August 19th, 2020

Roger Tory Peterson, Gyrfalcon, 1979, watercolor and acrylic on illustration board

Typically during the summer months, I’m happily organizing exhibitions to install in all the Museum’s permanent collection galleries. Covid-19 prompted rethinking installations to increase safety and social distancing.

Heather Dieter Bartmann, Mountain Blues, 1988, pencil and colored pencil on paper

This fall, the west gallery where visitors usually peruse selections from the permanent collection will instead provide expanded space for Birds in Art so visitors can safely enjoy the 128 artworks comprising the exhibition.

My next exciting challenge is preparing for March 6, 2021 when all the Woodson Art Museum’s galleries will feature works from the collection.

I’m still working on the perfect title. I have so many ideas but want it just right, so I’m teasing rather than sharing, for now. Each of the galleries will have a theme; for example, a few dozen works from the drawing collection has the working title Well Drawn. Perfectly Printed will highlight the historic print collection with works by John James Audubon, John and Elizabeth Gould, Mark Catesby, and etchings by Frank Benson, Peter Scott, Richard Bishop and J.N. “Ding” Darling. It’s a pleasure to curate artwork by theme for each gallery and share a larger group of works from the collection.

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, created over 180 years will be represented in the six galleries. I can see it all in my mind, so I’m also eager to see the artworks in place and shared with visitors. I love the challenge of choosing the work and presenting each in a way that celebrates its beauty and recognizes the artist who created it.

Here are a few examples to pique your interest.

Guy Coheleach, Brightwater’s Creek, 1983, oil on canvas                       


Kent Ullberg, Curlews (AP/50), 1989, bronze






John James Audubon, American Wigeon, 1826-38, hand-colored aquatint on paper

Keith Shackleton, Alone, 1985, oil on hardboard

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