The Study Cabinets
Located in the Collection Galleries, The Study Cabinet is an exhibition tool intended for all visitors to the SUArt Galleries to explore the deep holdings of the University’s Permanent Collection. Based on a 19th century design, these cases can hold up to 80 objects and provide visitors with an in-depth look at particular themes, subjects, and media.
Currently on view in the Study Cabinets:
Winslow Homer: Women and American Society During the Civil War Era
August 16 through November 18, 2018
Winslow Homer (1836-1910), is widely regarded as a master of describing nineteenth-century American life. Snap the Whip, Breezing Up, Eight Bells, and Adirondack watercolors like The Blue Boat are icons of American painting. These masterpieces, however, were made decades into his professional career, one that actually started in 1857 in commercial printing. Homer began by making illustrations for the pictorial press, that is, weekly illustrated news magazines offering articles and literature. He had a keen eye, and an innate and uncanny ability to compose interesting scenes. Moreover, he was able to transcribe his drawings accurately onto the multiple, joined woodblocks that were then separated and carved by professional engravers. Once carved, the blocks were reassembled and sent to press. His early work, centered in Boston, described daily city life, often with a humorous twist.
By the start of the Civil War Homer had moved to New York and was working as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. After the hostilities commenced, the newspaper sent him to the front as a special correspondent, tasked with making battlefield drawings, even though the artist staunchly opposed the war. Additionally, he made a variety of scenes depicting life on the home front. The latter often envisaged the supporting role women played in the war effort and depicted them as strong, independent individuals capable of taking care of themselves.
Distinguished Professor of Art and Music Histories Wayne Franits and students from his Senior Seminar will study wood engravings by Homer that depict women during the era of the American Civil War. Their research will be conducted in preparation for an exhibition of this theme in the artist’s work to be held late in the spring semester (2019) at The Syracuse University Art Galleries.
Above and Below: Skyscrapers to Subways in New York City, 1913 – 1949
August 16 through November 18, 2018
This exhibition of prints and photographs examines the development of the skyscraper, and its impact on the evolution of Manhattan. The tall buildings were virtual self-contained cities offering a range of services and resources to those who worked in them. Concurrent with the building boom was the ongoing expansion of the city subway. The growth of the transit system created greater flexibility in the relationship between where people lived and worked. No longer did people have to find living accommodations in close proximity to where they worked.
This exhibition looks at the evolution of New York City through the eyes of printmakers who, like the social critics of the day, had mixed views if the city’s development. Artists like Charles Sheeler saw compositional opportunities in the soaring architecture. Martin Lewis and S.I. Margolies celebrated the dynamism and excitement in the changing landscape. Other artists were concerned skyscrapers dehumanized the workplace and that the subways would destroy the tightly knit fabric of the city’s neighborhoods. Above and Below examines more than an architectural period, it explores how the changing landscape of the city affected the residents and their lifestyles.