Future Exhibitions

Fractured Narratives:  a strategy to engage
(September 17, 2014–January 4, 2015)

Fractured Narratives: a strategy to engage is the first exhibition inspired by the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College. The exhibition features work by established and emerging artists who address contemporary global issues such as privacy, modern warfare, the environment, and freedom of expression. Fractured Narratives aims to provoke critical dialogue and reflection by engaging visitors with the challenging ambiguities of complex narratives. The selected works offer diverse and nuanced considerations of the changing political, cultural, psychological, and social context of the past 10 years.

Co-curated by Cornell Fine Arts Museum Curator Amy Galpin and independent curator Abigail Ross Goodman, the exhibition features film, photography, painting, sculpture, and sound by 14 artists from around the world: Dawoud Bey, Omer Fast, Eric Gottesman, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Amar Kanwar, William Kentridge, An-My Lê, Maya Lin, Goshka Macuga, “Moris” Israel Moreno, Rivane Neuenschwander, Trevor Paglen, and Martha Rosler.  

Exhibition highlights include Muxima (2005), a video work by Alfredo Jaar,  featuring  fragmented vignettes of landmines, the AIDS crisis, and remnants of colonialism in Angola; Jenny Holzer’s large-scale color-blocked painting Water-board 14 U.S. government document (2010), which depicts a redacted, confidential U.S. government document; Omer Fast’s film 5000 Feet Is the Best (2011), which grapples with drone warfare; An-My Lê’s photographic depictions of war and military culture that play with fact and fiction; and photographs and a film by Eric Gottesman that are inspired by his exploration of the dissident Ethiopian novel Oromaye. 


Trevor Paglen
Untitled (Reaper Drone), 2012
C-print, 48 x 60 in.
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College
Gift of Barbara (R1968) and Theodore (R1968) Alfond.2013.34.082


Kara Walker
(January 17–March 29, 2015)

This exhibition presents Kara Walker's print portfolio, Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) which includes fifteen large-scale prints created in 2005. The prints contain enlarged reproductions from Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War, an illustrated compilation of news reports about the Civil War that was first published in 1866.  Walker overlays silhouette figures on the illustrations to create a distinctive body of work that encouraged historical reexamination. Now iconic representations, Walker’s silhouettes upset the historical lineage presented in the illustrations and in our classrooms. This presentation of the prints at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is the culmination of a course taught at Rollins College entitled, Exhibition Difference: Diversity and Visual Culture in the 21st Century. To complement the presentation of the prints by Walker, a few illustrations created about the Civil War by Winslow Homer for Harper’s Weekly from the permanent collection of the Cornell will also be on view.

Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California, in 1969. She received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. The artist is best known for exploring the complicated intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. Her work has been widely exhibited at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 


Kara Walker
Exodus of Confederates from Atlanta from Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), 2005
Offset lithography and silkscreen, 39 x 53 in.
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Gift of Barbara (R1968) and Theodore (R1968) Alfond
Cornell Fine Arts Museum 2013.38.03
© 2014 Kara Walker


Fashionable Portraits in Europe
(Summer 2015)

Like fashion, portraiture is subject to shifting tastes and trends. Portrait formats and the way sitters are represented change as men’s and women’s clothes go in and out of style, although a certain cache has remained cogent, including an emphasis on the sitter’s identity. An individual’s concept of his/her identity is defined and dictated by social norms and expectations that are equally subject to a kind of fad of the time. 

Through a selection of European portraits from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, both from the collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and outside loans, this exhibition illuminates shifting trends in the portraiture genre, as well as offering a look at certain transformations in men’s and women’s fashions. The show includes a Portrait of Charles IX of France after François Clouet, La Comtesse de Beaufort by Louis Michel van Loo, and Portrait of Harriet Gordon by Thomas Lawrence, to name a few. Portrait paintings will be also accompanied by some comparable period garments and wigs. 

Portrait of a lady  Gainsborough

Attributed to Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld (Dutch, 1567–1641)
Portrait of a Lady, 17th century
Oil on panel, 34 x 25 in.
Gift of the Myers Family, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Myers, Jr. '42 and June Reinhold Myers '41

Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1726–1788)
Portrait of Gaëtan Apolline Balthazar Vestris, c. 1781–82    
Oil on canvas, 12 1/2 x 10 3/8 in.
Bequest from the estate of Edmund L. Murray


Jess Dugan:  Every breath we drew
(Fall 2015)

For nearly a decade, artist Jess T. Dugan has been making photographic portraits that explore issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community from a highly individual and humanistic point of view.  Every breath we drew, Dugan’s most recent project, explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of herself and others.  Working within the framework of queer experience and from her actively constructed sense of masculinity, Dugan’s portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection with others.  She photographs people in their homes, often in their bedrooms, using medium and large format cameras to create a deep, sustained engagement, resulting in intimate and detailed portraits. 

Dugan combines formal portraits, images of couples, self-portraits, and photographs of her own romantic relationship to investigate broader themes of identity and connection while also speaking to private, individual experience.  The photographs of men and masculine individuals act as a kind of mirror; they depict the type of gentle masculinity Dugan is attracted to, yet also the kind she wants to embody.  Similarly, the photographs of relationships speak to a drive to be seen, understood, and desired through the eyes of another person; a reflection of the self as the ultimate intimate connection.  Through beautifully intimate and honest portraits, Every breath we drew engages larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought. This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated book with an essay by the curator and an interview with the artist conducted by internationally-renowned photographer Dawoud Bey.


Jess Dugan
Erica and Krista, 2012
C-print, 40 x 24 in.
Courtesy of the Artist



In the Light of Naples:  The Art of Francesco de Mura
(Fall 2016)

In the Light of Naples: The Art of Francesco de Mura will be the first-ever exhibition of the art of Francesco de Mura (1696–1782)—arguably the greatest painter of the Golden Age of Naples. The Cornell Museum owns a major painting by De Mura, The Visitation with Mary and Elizabeth, of 1750, which is the impetus for this show.

Francesco de Mura, the indisputable leader in his day of the Neapolitan School and the favorite of the reigning Bourbon King Charles VII, was the chief painter of decorative cycles to emerge from the studio of Francesco Solimena (1657–1747), the celebrated Baroque artist. De Mura’s refined and elegant compositions, with their exquisite, light, and airy colors, heralded the rococo in Naples, and his later classicistic style led to Neo-Classicism. De Mura’s ceiling frescoes rivaled those of his celebrated Venetian contemporary, Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770). Yet, today, he lacks his proper place in the history of art. This show seeks to answer why this is so: If he was so celebrated and admired in his lifetime, why is De Mura so little known today? 

The exhibition—which in 2017, will travel to the Chazen Museum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the Loeb Art Center at Vassar College; and the Snite Museum at the University of Notre Dame—will feature more than 40 works by De Mura from such collections as Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Art Institute, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and other public and private collections. In addition, there will be loans from Naples, Paris, and London.

Included will be the Cornell Museum’s recently acquired Solimena painting, as well as the Cornell’s newly identified oil by a follower of Solimena. Dr. Arthur Blumenthal, Director Emeritus of the Cornell, is the Guest Curator of the show, which will have a scholarly catalogue with essays by such art historians as Nicola Spinosa, former Superintendent of the National Museums in Naples and foremost expert on de Mura. Through De Mura’s original creations in the exhibition, the Cornell will finally be giving this richly deserving Neapolitan artist—the last Baroque artist—his due.


Francesco de Mura (Italian, 1696–1782)
The Visitation, c. 1750
Oil on canvas
37 x 46 1/2 in.
Gift of George H. Sullivan in memory of his parents