Department Celebrates HART Graduates at Reception and Awards Ceremony on May 11

History of Art majors and minors and their families and friends are invited to attend the department’s reception and awards ceremony for our graduating seniors on Thursday, May 11, from 2 to 4 pm. The event will be held in the atrium of Cohen Memorial Hall on the Peabody campus, and awards will be presented at 3 pm. Held in conjunction with the celebration of our graduates is the opening reception for a student-curated exhibition entitled American Modernism at Mid-Century: The Work of Morris Davidson.

Graduates and their families are invited to view the current exhibits in the Fine Arts Gallery near the atrium from noon to 4:00 pm. American Modernism at Mid-Century is the first comprehensive survey of Morris Davidson, a little known yet important twentieth-century American artist, presenting new research into the significance of his life’s work and using it as a lens to view many iterations of abstraction practiced from the 1930s through the 1970s. Davidson (1898–1979) was an abstract painter, teacher, and writer with expansive interests that covered a wide range of approaches, and indeed a tenacious commitment to, abstract painting.

On view in the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery now through September 17, the exhibition is the fourth in a series of annual partnerships between the Fine Arts Gallery and the Department of History of Art. The exhibition is curated by Aiden Layer ’19, Nancy Lin ’18, Ryan Logie ’17, Cecilia March ’18, Kittredge Shamamian ’17, Elliot Taillon ’17, and Nina Vaswani ’18, who were students in the “Exhibiting Historical Art” class, taught this year by Kevin Murphy, Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Humanities and chair of the Department of History of Art.

A second exhibit in the gallery, on view through May 27, is The Dada Effect: An Anti-Aesthetic and Its Influence, featuring works by artists whose imaginations were captured by the notion of anti-art for many decades, including Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, Robert Rauschenberg, and John Cage. The Dada Effect shows how Dadaist aesthetics and ideology directly influenced modern art and literature through the twentieth century in many subsequent movements, including Surrealism, ‘Pataphysique, and Neo-Dada.

The gallery will be open on Commencement Day (Friday, May 12) from noon to 4 pm, and Saturday, May 13, from 1 to 5 pm. Gallery hours for the summer (now through August 22) are Tuesday-Friday, noon to 4 pm; and Saturday, 1-5 pm. The gallery will be closed on Sundays and Mondays during the summer.

Morris Davidson (American, 1898–1979). Untitled [Two Figures], oil on canvas, 1944. From the Rosenfeld/Davidson Family Collection

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