Works by some of America’s most beloved artists will be featured in the 2008-2009 season opener at The Milliken Art Gallery at Converse College. "Back to School: Student-Teacher Alliances from The Johnson Collection" is a 22-piece exhibition of works completed in Charleston, South Carolina and New York City. This exhibition showcases the influences shared among some of the most well-known American artists including Robert Henri, William H. Johnson and Birge Harrison.
The exhibition runs August 28-September 25 in the gallery. An opening reception featuring a gallery talk with McKiernan is scheduled for September 4 at 6 pm. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. Mediums represented in "Back to School" include oil and watercolor paintings, etchings and woodblock prints. In addition to Henri, Johnson and Harrison, the exhibit also features works by William Halsey, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Hale Woodruff and George Luks among others.
The exhibition was designed exclusively for Converse by Monica McKiernan, with pieces on loan from The Johnson Collection, a private collection of Southern art assembled by George and Susu Johnson of Spartanburg. McKiernan, an intern and guest curator for the collection, said that the threads connecting each relationship of teachers and their students are unique. She explains that "in some cases the relationship is formal, such as a classroom setting, and in others it is less formal, as with mentoring and guiding. Also, stylistic similarities can be seen (such as both teacher and student using loose brushwork), but other times, the teacher imparts a philosophy that the student applies to their own point of view."
McKiernan said she chose the backdrops of Charleston and New York "because of the coinciding artistic revivals taking place in both locations." Also, "the visual appeal of Lowcountry served as the inspiration for many of the Charleston works, while in New York philosophies about art seem to be the uniting thread.
For more information, contact the Milliken Art Gallery at (864) 596-9181 or send an E-mail to Kathryn Boucher, Director of the Milliken Art Gallery.