TRUNK, JR. ART EXHIBIT PRESS RELEASE
August 10, 2009
For Immediate Release
EMMANUEL COLLEGE TO SHOWCASE WORK OF AMERICAN MODERNIST HERMAN TRUNK, JR.
Exhibit will highlight artist's expression of faith
BOSTON - Emmanuel College will host a six-week long art exhibition titled Herman Trunk: Catholic Modernist, showcasing the work of the early 20th-century modern artist and examining the relationship between his artistic production and his Catholic faith, on view from September 8th to October 22nd. The exhibition will be held in the Lillian Immig Gallery in Emmanuel's Cardinal Cushing Library and hours will be Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Emmanuel will hold an opening reception from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on September 17th. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
Herman Trunk was a member of an important group of New York modernists experimenting in abstraction between the wars. Like many artists from this group, Trunk was recognized for his work during the 1920s and 30s, but his legacy was lost in more permanent constructions of the history of American art. Rather than demonstrate Trunk's connection to American modernism, which has previously been explored and is clearly evident in even a cursory examination of his work, this exhibition will consider Trunk's unique vision as an American modernist through the lens of his Catholic faith.
To complement the Herman Trunk: Catholic Modernist exhibition, there will be a panel discussion on Early American Modernism and Religion on October 3rd in the Janet M. Daley Library Lecture Hall at Emmanuel College. Distinguished scholars in the field of Early American Modernism will participate.
Panelists will include:
Timothy Andrus, Ph.D. Candidate, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Anarchy, Abstraction, and Catholic Modernism"
Alejandro Anreus, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Art History and Latin American Studies, William Patterson University
" Federico Cantú: A Modernist and a Catholic"
Herbert H. Hartel Jr., Ph.D. Art Historian and Adjunct Associate Professor of Art History, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
"Closing the Divide Between Christianity and Modernism: Christian Themes in the Paintings of George O'Keefe and Joseph Stella"
Valerie Hellstein, Ph.D. Candidate, Stony Brook University; Predoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian American Art Museum
"Laying the Groundwork: Mystical Modernism in 1930s America"
Diana Linden, Ph.D. Brooklyn Museum
" Why is this Mural Unlike Every Other Mural? Passover, Zakhor and Ben Shahn's Murals for the Jersey Homesteads"
Jo Ortel, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Art History, Beloit College
" ‘Forging' an ‘Authentic' Indian Art in the 1930s: Studio-Style Depictions of Native Amercican Spirtiual Traditions"
Kristina Wilson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Art History, Clark University
" Jane Heap and the Gurdjieff Group"
Trunk's work first caught the attention of Emmanuel Associate Professor of Art Cynthia Fowler two years ago during a research fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution. When Fowler contacted Trunk's nephew, Joseph Smith, a Massachusetts resident, about a rug his uncle had designed, she was amazed at the extensive collection of artwork and archival material that Smith had in his possession. She recognized an opportunity to showcase some of Trunk's never-before-seen paintings, all the while focusing upon his use of religious imagery to express his Catholic faith.
"I thought it would be an interesting exhibit at Emmanuel, to look at his art in terms of his Catholic faith and how his faith informed his artistry," she said. "In talking to colleagues it soon became an interdisciplinary exploration a comprehensive discussion of the relationship between religion and modernism."
Fowler , Smith and Dena Gilby, associate professor of art at Endicott College, have contributed to the exhibitions catalogue. Emmanuel art history students have also provided entries on specific works within the catalogue, which is being published and distributed on www.amazon.com.
A companion exhibition, titled Modernist Specters in the Still-Life Paintings of Herman Trunk, Jr., will be on display at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, From October 15th - December 18th.
EMMANUEL COLLEGE, founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1919, is a coed, residential, Catholic liberal arts and sciences college located in the heart of the city of Boston. Its beautiful 17-acre campus is neighbored by a world-class medical center, two major art museums and Fenway Park. Its unique location allows students and faculty opportunities to explore real world experiences through internships, research and strategic partnerships within the Longwood Medical and Academic Area and the city of Boston.