“Recent Acquisitions,” an exhibition of recently donated artworks and artifacts, opens Friday, May 11, in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
The public is invited to the opening reception scheduled for 4-8 p.m. May 11. The exhibit will remain on display through June 24. Admission is free.
“Viewers to the exhibition will see recent acquisitions of the museum, including colorful abstract paintings, sculpture, abstract and minimalist photographs and Pre-Columbian artifacts,” says Peter Nguyen, director of Crisp Museum and curator of this exhibition.
Ten of the works on display will expand the museum’s Equity Collection. These new gifts owe their beginnings to George and Placed Schriever, who were inspired to support the museum after a visit to Southeast’s campus and the museum. Their generous gift started the museum’s Equity Collection, a compilation of artists from the New York Artists Equity Association. Over the years, the Schrievers have continued to support and donate to this collection.
Regina Stewart, a friend of the Schrievers who was director of the Tamara Kerr Art Bank at the time of their original gift, has worked with Crisp Museum to grow their collection of contemporary fine art. Her relationship with the museum over the years has greatly contributed to the museum and its collections’ successes. Pieces by Jack and Regina Stewart are included in the “Recent Acquisitions” exhibition.
Three painting and three sculptures are the work of Charles Keller. His artwork was donated by his children, Daniel Keller, Marthe Keller and Kathryn Keller Rule.
Also on display are two ceramic pieces by Maria Martinez, which will expand the museum’s existing collection of southwest pottery. This donation comes from Jerry and Martha Erlbacher.
Pieces donated by the family of Paul Corbin will augment the museum’s vast prehistoric collections. Corbin’s collection will continue to be used to educate Southeast students and the local community.
Additionally, two pieces, one pottery and another made of slate, donated by the Casey Family will also be unique additions to the prehistoric collections.
The final pieces displayed in “Recent Acquisitions” include photographs from The Museum Project collection. These works are by Robert von Sternberg, Sheila Pinkel and Suda House.
Artists with works on display include:
Charles Keller, Robert von Sternberg, Todd Walker, Sheila Pinkel, Jack Stewart, Regina Stewar
The career of Charles Keller is one of painter, printmaker, and cartoonist balanced with the role of political activist. Scenes of labor and portraits of the disenfranchised are prominent in his work. A native of Long Island, New York, Keller had a privileged upbringing. He graduated from Cornell University in 1936. He also studied printmaking at the Art Students League, NY, with Harry Sternberg and Will Barnet in the late 1930s and early 40s. From 1938 to 1941 Keller worked on a series of paintings and lithographs featuring the construction of the New York Sixth Avenue Subway. He assisted Harry Sternberg on murals for the Lakeview Post Office, Chicago, 1939/42, and for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The World’s Fair mural was sponsored by the Roebling Cable Corporation and featured California’s Golden Gate Bridge. Keller was an organizer of the Young American Artists" Association, and the Victory Workshop in the 1940s.
In 1940/41 Keller had a studio at One Union Square, on the same floor as Reginald Marsh, and in 1945/53 he was at 30 East 14th Street (formerly occupied by Arnold Blanche), which he shared with Harry Sternberg. There Keller was part of a thriving artists" community; Isabel Bishop, Minna Citron, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Raphael Soyer, were neighbors. Rockwell Kent was another friend from these years.
During World War II Keller was a civilian artist for the Navy in 1943. Also in that year he also designed and researched for the Airways to Peace exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. He was art editor of the New Masses, 1945/48, and the March of Labor, 1949/51. He taught art history and studio art at Vassar College in 1952, and Duchess Community College in 1956, both in Poughkeepsie, NY, and at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY in 1971 (temporarily back from Rome), and Parsons School of Design, NY, in 1992. He was a staff artist and editorial cartoonist for the People"s Daily World from 1978 to 1988.
Keller and his family moved to Rome, Italy in 1961, where he continued to paint and exhibit his work. They had planned a one-year visit, but stayed for twelve years, returning to this country in 1973.
Among those permanent collections with work by Charles Keller are the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Art Students League in NY, Syracuse University Art Museum, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Library of Congress, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, the Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, the University of Southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau, the Wolfsonian, Florida International University, Miami Beach, the House of Friendship, Moscow, Russia, the Anticoli Corrado Museum of Art, Italy, the British Museum, London, England and the Tamiment Library of New York University.
Todd Walker (born Harold Todd Walker September 25, 1917- September 13, 1998) was essentially a self taught artist whose medium of choice was photography. He worked with light formed images for 60 years exploring sabattiers solarization, artist books, silkscreen, lithography, collotype and digital. All of these images utilized additive color with source images starting as black and white negatives. He had essentially 2 successful careers: he was an award winning freelance advertising photographer in the 50's and 60's as well as an internationally known and respected artist/educator/researcher from the early 70's until his passing in 1998.
In the 30’s shortly after his father died when Todd was 16 he went to work at the RKO studios as a painter’s apprentice. He polished the floors Fred Astaire danced on as well as working on film sets for Citizen Kane and a number of other films. In his late teens he enrolled in a summer school course at Art Center studying with Will Connell and Eddie Kaminski. Around that time, after he had to discontinue his studies at Art Center, he crossed paths with Shirley Burden who became a life long friend. Shirley Burden (who helped start Aperture,) enlisted Todd as a collaborator and they created Tradefilms making educational films for the military in the early 40’s on how to fly the P-38. Todd photographed every part of the P-38 in 4x5. Tradefilms ended after Todd joined the military during WW2 to become a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps.
After the military service Todd married and returned to LA where Shirley Burden shared a studio with him in Beverly Hills. In the 1950’s he gained a reputation and became a successful free-lance photographer working with clients like Charles & Rae Eames, Frank Brothers, TV Guide, and Campbell-Ewald, making the signature Chevy ads from the late 1950’s. He would make the pictures that were conceived in Detroit and then make his own version. His version was always the version that would end up as the advertisement. He was given awards yearly through the ASMP. In 1955 he was asked by the ASMP to go visit Edward Weston to pick out some prints for the organization and to help support Weston during his ailing years.
In 1963 he was asked to do a one-person exhibition at the California Museum of Science and Industry. This opportunity along with the visit with Edward Weston and his friendship with Wynn Bullock began a gradual transition away from advertising work toward personal expression, which he had been investigating during his off hours and storing in the ‘bottom drawer’. During the mid 60’s he began teaching at Art Center. Around this same time he attended one of the first Society for Photographic Education conferences where he crossed paths with Robert Heinecken. By this time Todd had begun exploring artist books and was making tiny hand made collotype/letterpress books that were hand bound. He did the work from start to finish – including the marbled paper that we would make with him. Both Todd and Heinecken arrived early at the SPE conference and they developed a fast friendship after Todd shared his tiny book endeavors with Robert. The book projects lead to the Thumbprint Press where approximately 25 books and portfolios were self-published.
Shortly after Todd’s encounter with Heinecken, he was invited to teach extension classes at UCLA. By this time Todd was deeply ensconced in exploring more of the 19th century photographic process including gum printing, cyanotype and van dyke brown printing as well as the sabattier solarization process for which he received high acclaim. Word spread and soon he was teaching at Cal State Northridge as well as Art Center and UCLA extension courses. This began a huge shift in Walker’s career path. When Robert Fichter moved from the Eastman House in Rochester to LA to teach alongside Heinecken at UCLA, another fast life long friendship was forged. Fichter, Heinecken, Curran and Walker had a small show in the late 60’s somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. Shorty after this event, Fichter recommended Todd Walker for a one year sabbatical replacement for Jerry Uelsmann at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Around this time there was also a one person exhibition in San Francisco through the focus Gallery. In 1970, Walker shuttered his advertising career and shifted his life focus toward being an artist/ professor/ researcher.
The one year sabbatical replacement position at the University of Florida in Gainesville turned into a seven year tenure at the university where he taught along with Jerry Uelsmann and Doug Prince. Todd was represented by Light Gallery in NYC, taught workshops all over the country, was published internationally and was sought out for technical advice by both students and professionals including Robert Rauschenberg.
In 1977, Walker was sought out by the University of Arizona at Tucson for a full time teaching position in a new photographic department that was being formed in connection to the Center for Creative Photography. Initially he taught alongside Harold Jones and W. Eugene Smith, but Smith passed away that first semester. Todd Walker impacted many of his students while he continued to expand his vast body of his life’s work. In 1981 he began teaching himself machine language and started to explore the possibilities of the digital photographic realm long before photoshop became a common tool. He was a pioneer on so many fronts but he had little interest in pursuing gallery representation by this time, except for his former student, Stephen Josephsberg, who maintained a gallery in Portland, Oregon. Todd Walker was highly regarded by the photographic community as a photographer’s photographer. His work is in many collections around the US. He continued to exhibit his work primarily through educational venues. He retired from teaching in 1987 at the age of 70 but continued to do class visits with students who were then teaching around the Tucson area. He continued his research in the digital realm on a daily basis until 2 weeks before his sudden death in 1998.
Robert von Sternberg Artist Statement
From the earliest efforts to irrigate the desert, to the postwar population explosion, to present-day suburban sprawl and conservation efforts, human enterprise has shaped the land-scape of Los Angeles. It is perhaps appropriate that Robert von Sternberg, who has lived and worked most his life in Los Angeles County, identifies human incursions into the natural world as a recurring theme at the heart of his photographic practice. Avid travelers, von Sternberg and his wife Patricia are especially fond of road trips, where the photographer delights in the offbeat side of the American touristic tradition. Far from focusing on the most canonical or scenic tourist destinations, the artist seizes on the visual possibilities of overlooked roadside attractions and chance conjunctions. The surreal artificial lighting that illuminates the American nighttime often provides the “definitive photographic images” that von Sternberg seeks in his travels: an incandescent gas station, the lurid red glow from a paper lantern, a grid of ceiling lights that mimic distant stars. Camera-toting fellow tourists also become subjects as they seek their own definitive images”—which sometimes also include the photographer himself. More often, though, von Sternberg captures scenes in which human figures are distant or absent. In this, his “decisive moments” are very unlike the densely populated ones pictured by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Still, von Sternberg’s roadside moments are crowded despite their ostensible vacancy. Through the roads, fences, signage, buildings, and all the other material structures of civilization, humanity marks the land; even in our bodily absence, we make our presence insistently known.