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View frequently changing exhibitions drawn from the Harn’s collections of more than 10,000 works of art, and loans from both private lenders, artists, and other art museums. Works on display in eleven galleries include paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture, photography, video, beadwork, textiles and more. The Harn’s collection galleries focus on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, and photography.
This exhibition features thirty-three photographs by acclaimed Chicago-based photographer, Terry Evans. It is a love letter to America’s Heartland that documents the ecological transformations of the mid-west from Texas to Canada. Evans’s micro-to-macro perspective examines the land through close-up and zoomed-out perspectives, taken on the ground and from the air (the latter not by drone). Her art comes out of a knowledge of the history of landscape photography, art history, the history of her region and America’s industrial development. Her vision is informed and distinctly humanist, at once grassroots and universal.
Breaking the Frame marks the Harn’s 30th anniversary through an installation that celebrates the growth of its collection of work by important women artists, aligning itself with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. That victory didn’t secure voting rights for all, so the battle continues until all women are heard and counted. The exhibition reflects the museum’s robust effort since 2012 to enhance its representation of women artists’ works and includes a number of recent acquisitions.
The exhibition Everyday to the Extraordinary: Highlights from the Korean Collection includes objects from everyday life alongside exemplars of artistic production. Ceramics in the exhibition span nearly 2,500 years of history, from the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BCE–668 CE) to the present, while paintings date from the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910) and into the 20th century.
Maggie Taylor has garnered widespread attention for her breakthrough use of technology in her art. Taylor's contemporary photographs make aesthetically innovative use of 19th-century photography (daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes), as well as scanned images of insects, dolls, period etchings, and the flora and fauna of the Victorian era to create 62 new photographs inspired by Lewis Carroll's novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
This exhibition is a reflection on time and its many meanings. This broad concept has been applied to the Japanese art collections at the Harn Museum as an investigative tool to look at how time has been measured in the visual record, how art objects can portray several moments in time, and how artists experience time during the production of their work. The celebration of the natural world, through life cycles and the acknowledgment of mortality and the change of the seasons, is also a recurring theme in Japanese art and celebrated within this exhibition.
This exhibition is a celebration of global interconnectedness. The Harn’s curators worked together to find shared themes and create conversation from a variety of mediums and perspectives covering Asia, Africa, Europe, and North, Central, and South America. More than 50 artworks from around the world, generate new interpretations and dialogues. Resonances across cultures, temporal and spatial boundaries, and artistic genres illuminate these artists’ global commonalities and accomplishments.
Contemporary Japanese ceramic artists make objects that challenge traditional definitions of clay, in both technique and aesthetic expression. The works on display demonstrate a wide variety of transformations, innovations and reinterpretations of traditional wares. While some artists defy notions of inside versus outside, others conceptualize new definitions of form through materials, processes, surface treatments and firing methods.
Masks from the mid-20th century to the early 21st century show the continuity of masking but also feature new directions in masquerades. Although much of the exhibition focuses on the spiritual and religious foundations of masking, it also explores masking aesthetics looking at dazzling costumes, music and dance.
The Cofrin Asian Art Wing contains four main galleries with more than 680 works showcasing the Harn's collections of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and South and Southeast Asian Art.
This exhibition presents highlights from the museum’s holdings of American, European and Latin American art spanning the mid-19th century through the first half of the 20th century.