Aug–Oct 2022

A Message From The Director

SLOMA Executive Director, Leann StandishMany years ago, when I was working at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, I had something of an “ah ha” moment. The new curator of prints and drawings was speaking to a group of seasoned collectors about his curatorial philosophy. This esteemed colleague, a renowned and published scholar of Rembrandt’s work in particular said, and I quote, “I really like art that is pretty.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. Weren’t we museum people supposed to lecture on about scholarship, abstraction vs expressionism, and provenance (a record of ownership of a work of art)? Were we truly allowed to appreciate a work of art just based on its aesthetic qualities?

Even as a museum professional I have at times struggled with works that I did not connect with immediately. I felt that it was a personal flaw if I didn’t love a particular work.

But at that moment, during what I am sure was a blustery cold day in Minnesota, my mind was changed forever; my career was changed. It became my goal to shine a bright light on how museums can get it wrong and leave people out when that is the furthest thing from our mission.

At SLOMA, we offer free docent tours every Saturday at 11 AM, offering the public a casual opportunity to learn more about the artist’s intent. For Second Saturdays on the Museum’s lawn we offer free kits to anyone who would like one — those kits use many of the same materials used by the artist so you can get a sense of just how the works come together. For our current show there are even special prompts to help you to understand the depth behind the works.

We are so lucky right now to be featuring the very “pretty” See and Missed in the Gray Wing. If you do nothing more than sit in the show enveloped by all its beauty that is OK. And if you want to dig deeper, we are here for that too.

Make sure to save the date for our next member preview, Friday, August 26th when we premiere Alyssa Monks: Be Perfectly Still, A Retrospective.

As always, I welcome your feedback and you can reach me directly at lstandish@sloma.org.

Warmly,

Leann Standish
SLOMA Executive Director

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