Exhibition schedule 2013
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Springfield All-School Exhibition

March 22 - April 27, 2014all school

Weisel, Kelly, & Courtyard Galleries

The annual All School Exhibition will feature hundreds of artworks created by students from various Springfield parochial, private and public schools. Participants range in age from kindergarten to high school seniors. The exhibition provides a chance to recognize both the artistic talents of the students and the efforts of their teachers.


Art Crusader: The Enduring Legacy of Deborah D. Weisel

february 15 - May 25, 2014

East hallway, by auditorium

Portrait of Deborah D. Weisel

The Springfield Art Museum constitutes the cultural nucleus of southwest Missouri. While many museums begin seemingly all at once with a full collection of art and a large endowment, Springfield Art Museum was a public, grass-roots effort from the very start and a work in progress for years. It was the brainchild of a single woman, Deborah D. Weisel, who dedicated herself to fostering a lasting appreciation of art and culture in Springfield until her death in 1950. Deborah Weisel’s legacy, though enduring, is virtually unknown.

This exhibit will bring light to Deborah's extraordinary career and passion for art education, starting with her upbringing in Doylestown, PA and with an emphasis on her three decades of dedicated work in Springfield, MO. While there are many facets to her life, the primary ones explored here will be her expansion of the Art Department at what is now Missouri State University, her strategic development of the Springfield Art Museum and efforts to ensure its longevity, and her vocal advocacy for city planning and green space. Some of Deborah's original watercolors will also be on display.

Pictured: Louis Freund, Portrait of Deborah D. Weisel, 1946, oil on canvas. Gift of SMMA (Art Appreciation I).


Hooves, Tails, and Claws: Audubon's Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

February 1, - June 22, 2014

Spratlen & Eldrege Galleries

Associated Events:

  • Opening Reception, hosted by FOSAM|Friday, January 31, 2014 (5:30-7:00 PM)
  • Gallery Talk|Saturday, February 1, 2014 (2 PM, Eldredge/Spratlen Galleries)
    Julie Dunn-Morton, Curator of Fine Arts at the St. Louis Mercantile Library will give a talk about Audubon and this amazing portfolio.

Audubon ocelotFollowing the success of his Birds of America, John James Audubon began to gather material for an equally ambitious project to document the animal life of North America. The result of the artist-naturalist’s years of research and field study was the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Created in collaboration with the Reverend John Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina, who wrote much of the scientific text, this outstanding work is still considered some of the finest animal prints published in America and is a superb example of color lithography. Audubon’s sons were also instrumental in the completion of this portfolio and John Woodhouse is credited for many of the later plates as his father’s health declined during the completion of the project. Audubon included many frontier animals never before depicted, and his landmark publication helped foster a public appreciation of American nature.

This exhibit presents a selection of prints from the portfolio, on loan from the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Of particular interest will be the pairing of the Museum’s own original oil on canvas of Richardson’s Meadow Mouse, completed by Audubon’s son, John Woodhouse Audubon, with the color lithograph of the same. Visitors will also be able to compare and contrast two trial proofs from the Birds of America portfolio to discover the changes that were made as the work was finalized for public distribution.

Julie Dunn-Morton, Curator of Fine Arts at the St. Louis Mercantile Library will give a gallery talk about Audubon and this amazing portfolio on February 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Pictured: John Woodhouse Audubon, Ocelot, or Leopard Cat, No. 18 LXXXVI. Courtesy of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.



William Newcomb and Deby Gilley

January 4 - April 27, 2014

Library Gallery

Gilley, Intermission

The Springfield Art Museum announces a new opportunity for local and regional artists. The Mary Louise Rosenbauer Library will host quarterly exhibitions of work by local and regional artists. The first exhibit will open on January 4, 2014 with works by William Newcomb and Deby Gilley.

William Newcomb is a self-termed “psychological realist.” Painting from life, Newcomb seeks to interpret the emotional truths of the model before him, over and above a realistic representation. Newcomb is a retired lawyer but has had a lifelong interest in art. He lives in Springfield, Missouri and has exhibited locally as a member of the Visual Artist Alliance of Springfield.

Deby Gilley is a printmaker working primarily with linoleum cut and wood block. She has exhibited extensively throughout Southwest Missouri. Gilley’s work centers on her Ozark heritage depicting the people, themes, and landscapes of the region where she has spent nearly her entire life. Gilley was an art teacher, working in area public schools. She retired in 2006, after which she formed Turkey Creek Studios near Aldrich, Missouri, and turned towards her own art practice full-time.

Pictured: Deby Gilley, Intermission, 2013, 4-color reduction linocut on paper. Courtesy of the artist.


American Abstraction: Watercolors from the Permanent Collection

September 7, 2013

Armstrong Gallery

Sam Francis, untitled

Watercolor is a uniquely challenging medium, known for its unpredictability. The accomplished watercolorist must learn to take advantage of unexpected results and to embrace spontaneity. This makes the medium ideally suited for painting abstractly, where chance and improvisation are nearly as important as color, line, and form.

Though contemporary watercolorists have overwhelmingly shifted toward a crisp, realist style, a notable contingency of painters still work abstractly in the medium. Artists such as Paul Jenkins and Lawrence Goldsmith began to relinquish the tight control mastered by the Photorealists, preferring to work in bold, colorfully expressive washes. Sam Francis applied the stylistic and psychological tenets of Abstract Expressionism – all-over painting, lack of perspective, and automatism – to watercolor, with splatters and drips intended to uncover the expressions of the unconscious mind.

This exhibition is the first in a series, focusing on various artists, styles and trends, pulled exclusively from the Springfield Art Museum’s outstanding collection of contemporary American aquamedia.

Pictured: Sam Francis, Untitled, 1973, acrylic on paper.

Creating an American Identity

July 27, 2013 (Ongoing Permanent Installation)

Musgrave Wing Galleries

The Springfield Art Museum permanent collection contains over 9,000 works in a highly variegated range of media. The Museum has been collecting since its incorporation in 1928 with its very first work, a landscape by Philadelphia artist, Mary Butler. With this painting, the Museum inaugurated its collection with a predominant focus on American art from the 18th century onward; however, over the years and due to the increasingly diverse patronage of the Museum, the collection has broadened to include a variety of work spanning multiple time periods and cultures.

Mary Butler, The King, Isterdalen, Norway, early 20th century, oil on board

When viewed together, the diversity of the artwork in these galleries all hearken back to a single theme – the forging of an American character. Our history was built upon a foundation of plentiful land and the merging of multiple cultures. These key works represent a cross section of the collection, with a particular emphasis on the ways that they reflect our country’s history as it developed its own unique identity.

The exhibit will feature a reinstallation of the Springfield Art Museum’s permanent collection and will include major works by George Caleb Bingham, Asher B. Durand, Jackson Pollock, Grandma Moses, Robert Motherwell, Wayne Thiebaud, and Alison Saar.

Pictured: Mary Butler, The King, Isterdalen, Norway, early 20th century, oil on board.

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