Secret Gardens—Open-Air Museums and Contemporary Sculpture: A Three-Part Course with Dr. Jennie Hirsh

Secret Gardens—Open-Air Museums and Contemporary Sculpture: A Three-Part Course with Dr. Jennie Hirsh


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This three-part course visits three premier outdoor sculpture gardens on the United States’ east coast. Together we will explore the history as well as individual works of Storm King (Mountainville, New York), Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton Township, New Jersey), and Glenstone (Potomac, Maryland).

This course explores three outstanding contemporary art collections, focusing on their sculptural holdings and institutional histories. Each week, we will look at not only how each of these three collections was established but also at specific works by artists including Alice Aycock, Andy Goldsworthy, Michael Heizer, Jeff Koons, Maya Lin, Louise Nevelson, Charles Ray, George Segal, Richard Serra, Kiki Smith, and more.

Led by an expert on modern and contemporary art and architecture, Dr. Jennie Hirsh, this course presents a solid foundation about the evolution of each collection as well as close readings of specific works by some of the most impactful artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appetite for future visits to these three unique collections in the United States.

 

Lecture 1: Storm King

Our first session will explore Storm King Art Center from its conception by Ralph E. Ogden as a museum for painting in 1958 to its current 500-acre campus hosting an unparalleled collection of sculptures. Highlights will include Alice Aycock's Low Building with Dirt Roof, Mark Dion's Storm King Environmental Field Station, Andy Goldsworthy's Five Men, Seventeen Days, Fifteen Boulders, One Wall, Menashe Kadishman's Suspended, Maya Lin's Storm King Wavefield, Ursula von Rydingsvard's Luba, and Alyson Shotz' Mirror Fence as well as works by David Smith and Mark di Suvero.

Lecture 2: Grounds for Sculpture

Our second session will explore Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II and opened to the public in 2000. Highlights of this more than 400-work collection to be explored include Magdalena Abakanowicz Hand Like Tree: Cecyna, Marisol Escobar's General Bronze, Joyce J. Scott's Everywoman's Harriet, and George Segal's Depression Breadline, as well as a selection of Seward Johnson's playful tableaux vivants.

Lecture 3: Glenstone Museum

Our third and final session will visit the outdoor collection of sculptures at Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. Founded by Mitchell Rales and Emily Rei Rales, Glenstone is the largest private collection of contemporary open to the public in the U.S. Specific works to be discussed in-depth include Felix Gonzalez-Torres' Untitled, Robert Gober's Two Partially Buried Sinks, Michael Heizer's Compression Line, Jeff Koons' Hobby Horse, Charles Ray's Horse and Rider, Richard Serra's Contour 290, and Tony Smith's Smug in addition to an elaborate outdoor soundscape by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.

Jennie Hirsh (Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College) is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

 

How does it work?

This is a three-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

Is there a reading list in advance?

Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. You will receive this soon after course registration.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?

The course is $105 for three lectures.

Is a recording available?

Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording after the event.

This course is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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