NORMAN, OKLA. — The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art celebrated the
reinstallation of modern art with the help of some new friends. Austin band
White Denim and guest speaker Bill Goldston, director of Universal Limited Art
Editions New York, are just a few of the guests scheduled for the exhibition
opening, which starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4.
As part of this fall’s upcoming
opening of the new Stuart Wing and
reopening of the newly renovated
original building, the University of
Oklahoma’s art museum is
reinstalling works of contemporary
and modern art from its permanent
collection. The Sandy Bell Gallery,
formerly the museum’s location for such works, has been utilized as a rotating
exhibition gallery since construction began in spring 2009.
“Our excitement for October’s grand opening of the Stuart Wing is so contagious,
we can’t wait to share it with the community,” said Ghislain d’Humières,
director of the museum. “We’ve packed so much into the June 4 weekend. If
you’ve never visited the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, this will be an
unforgettable event you will not want to miss.”
Saturday’s event began with a guest lecture by Goldston, who spoke about artist Robert Rauschenberg’s relationship with art collectors Sash
and Mary Spencer. Mary Spencer recently gave the museum a collection of
works by the same contemporary artist. Following the lecture, choreographers
Derrick Minter and Lieneke Mous presented a special dance inspired by works
in the exhibition and performed by OU School of Dance students during the
Austin, Texas indie rockers White
Denim held a live concert on the museum’s front
lawn, in collaboration with the Norman Music
Festival. The concert was made possible, in part, by
a grant from the Norman Arts Council Hotel Tax
The opening weekend also served as a sign-up
party for the Museum Association’s newest level,
the Metro Arts Circle (MAC). The MAC is geared towards 25-45-year-olds and
will host exclusive parties throughout the year featuring art, networking, special
guests and more.
After the concert, MAC hosted an after
party at Blackbird Gastropub on Campus Corner, just walking distance
from the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
The reinstallation of modern and contemporary art features works from the
museum’s permanent collection, as well as works on loan from a private
collector. The exhibition includes works by Leon Polk Smith and Roy
Lichtenstein, as well as a rare Edward Ruscha painting depicting Oklahoma,
titled No Man’s Land (1990), on loan courtesy of the artist.
“Contemporary art often engages complicated issues of personal history, race
and sex as a means of fostering dialogue on how personal and group identity
interact with society,” said Mark White, the Eugene B. Adkins Curator for the
museum. “For instance, Edward Ruscha’s No Man’s Land recalls the artist’s youth
in Oklahoma, and his lack of knowledge of life outside the state. Leaving
Oklahoma in his late teens became a pivotal moment in his personal and artistic
maturity as he explored the country beyond his familiar haunts.”
The reinstallation also features a set of works by Rauschenberg called The Lotus
Series, the last series of works by the artist before his death in 2008. The series is a
recent gift by Mary Spencer.
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner
of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus.
Admission to the museum is free to OU students with a current student ID and
museum association members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 17
years of age, $2 for OU faculty/staff and free for military veterans with proof
and children 5 and under. The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is
free on Tuesdays. The museum’s website is http://www.ou.edu/fjjma. Information and
accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4938.