Exhibition Events


Saturday, January 9, 2010, 7:30 – 10 pm, Kresge Art Museum
Hosted by Friends of Kresge Art Museum
View event recap and media


Monday, February 8, 2010, 7 pm, Kresge Art Museum
American Modernism
Lecturer: Susan J. Bandes
Reception to follow.


Presenter: Anita Skeen, poet and professor, MSU Residential College in the Arts & Humanities
Presented in collaboration with RCAH and the Center for Poetry. Call 517-884-0659 to register. Free and open to all.

Read a Poet, Write a Poem

Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 7 – 9 pm
session 1
Discussion of Pulitzer prize–winner and Saginaw, Michigan resident Theodore Roethke’s (1908–1963) work. Annie Ransford, director of the Theodore Roethke House in that city, will speak about the modernist poet’s works, life and legacy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 7 – 9 pm
session 2
View In a Dark Time, a short film about Roethke, followed by a poetry writing workshop led by Professor Skeen.


Monday, January 25, 2010, noon

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, noon

Thursday, March 11, 2010, 5:15 pm


Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 5:30 – 7 pm
Lansing Board of Water & Light John Dye Water Conditioning Plant
The Dye Plant’s architecture and interior details refl ect the art deco style prevalent when it was built as a WPA project in 1939. Join Friends for this special opportunity to view art by Clivia Calder and Frank Cassara, followed by a light reception. Call 517-353-9836 for fee and registration information.


Thursday, January 28, 2010, 7 – 9 pm, Room W499, MSU Main Library
Trouble in Paradise (1932, 83 min., directed by Ernst Lubitsch)
Part of MSU Library Film Series
Presenter: Justus Nieland, associate professor, MSU Department of English
One of the smartest and most sophisticated Hollywood comedies of the 1930s! A pair of Parisian thieves, disguised as nobility, decide to rob a lovely perfume company executive. They soon work in her employ, which turns complicated as love rears its head. Filled with marvelous throwaway gags and sophisticated innuendo.

This exhibition of over 100 paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture and drawings from the Kresge Art Museum collection focuses on the years around the two World Wars. It was a time when artists in America were searching for a distinctly modern style that was novel, inventive and forward-looking. Modernists applauded new technology and machines, and experienced the newest innovations. They sought artistic approaches that were in tune with the changing world and looked to Europe, specifically Paris and Germany, to experiment with Surrealism, Cubism, and abstraction. After the Great Depression and as World War II loomed on the horizon, many European artists fled to New York. Abstraction took hold, tentatively at first, but was full blown by the end of the 1940s and by 1950 New York became the dominant art capital of the world.

The impetus for this exhibition is the recent acquisition of Hananiah Harari’s painting, Birth of Venus, 1936, that was included in many of the Abstract American Artists exhibitions in the 1930s. Among the other artists in our show are Arthur Dove, Ralston Crawford, William Stanley Hayter, William Baziotes, Paul Kelpe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Josef Albers, and numerous photographers. Interspersed with the Americans are works by Picasso, Matisse, Dali, Kandinsky, German Expressionists, and others to provide examples of the European influences. The period between the 1920s and 1940s is often overlooked in American art history because of the myriad of ways artists responded to modernity. This exhibition gives a sense of some of the explorations that were underway.

An illustrated 28-page illustrated catalogue written by Dr. Susan J. Bandes accompanies the exhibition, which is sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union.