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Rockford Art Museum
Rockford Art Museum

Rockford Art Museum

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711 North Main Street,

Rockford, IL

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Founded in 1913, Rockford Art Museum exists to enrich the quality of life in the Rockford region through art collection, exhibitions and education. RAM is located inside the Riverfront Museum Park at 711 North Main Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois. Open daily. Learn more at rockfordartmuseum.org and follow @rockfordart on social media. To become a member of the museum today, visit rockfordartmuseum.org/connect/become-a-member.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Happy birthday to our permanent collection artist, RAM board member, instructor and friend Lynn Fischer-Carlson! Come to the galleries this weekend to see her piece currently on view. (We’re open Th-Su, 10-5) @lfc522 Lynn Fischer-Carlson‘Processor #5’, 1995ceramic, steel, and waxCollection of Rockford Art Museum1996 Jessica Holt Purchase AwardLynn Fischer-Carlson’s ceramic “processors” are characterized by the use of bone-like structures combined with ambiguous organs. They are fantastic integrations of visceral biomorphic obscurities that swell, twist, ungulate, grow, and decay, and represent the bits and pieces of life that are normally kept within oneself. These biomorphic forms are intended to confront emotions, stimulate imagination, exploit human functions and solicit sexual innuendos. (Excerpt, Lynn Fischer-Carlson, 1996)

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Have you come in to read this interesting timeline that links colonization and golf, aptly titled “History of Golf”? It’s featured in our current exhibition ‘Jonah King: How the West Was Won’ which will be on view through Memorial Day. Galleries are open from 10-5, Thursday through Sunday. PS. This beautiful vinyl was printed by our favorite local vinyl printer @signs_now_rockford and was funded by a grant from @rockfordareaartscouncil

Friday, May 14, 2021

Calling all artists! Deadline to apply for this year's Greenwich Village Art Fair (happening September 18th) is Monday, May 24th! Apply at zapplication.org (search Greenwich Village Art Fair) or through the links available at GreenwichVillageArtFair.com or RockfordArtMuseum.org! Hope you can join us!https://www.facebook.com/rockfordartmuseum/videos/183986123589948

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s-biological and chosen. We are who we are because of your love. Bring mom in to see this beautiful Manuel Carrillo photograph, along with many other pieces, today! Galleries are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 5 with free admission.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Ed Paschke (American, 1939 - 2004)‘Rosarita’, 1973black and white lithograph, ed. 195/200Collection of Rockford Art MuseumGift of Barbara and Harold Klawans“One thing that makes Ed Paschke’s work immediately recognizable is his celebration of figures that subvert accepted norms and embrace a certain ‘weirdness’. Although Paschke is more frequently known for his fluorescent and borderline psychedelic shape-shifting figures, ‘Rosarita’ invokes a more subtle sense of the uncanny. Paschke’s characters frequently blend traditional depictions of men and women to create a seamless and surreal composite of the human figure. What makes ‘Rosarita’ distinguished in Paschke’s unique way, is an unexpected combination of rippled abs, dainty arms, armpit hair, a pronounced jawline, narrowly plucked eyebrows, and pinstriped string bikini.Interestingly, Rosarita’s hairstyle would have been fairly out of place in 1973 (the year this piece was created,) but would have been much more common in the 1950s. This is the same era in which the practice of female body hair removal (a practice that has come and gone out of style for millennia) had risen to popularity in the United States. In light of the fact that the human body, and women’s bodies in particular have long been the site of various culture wars, Paschke’s ‘Rosarita’ celebrates a special archetype: a human being proud to be unique, and unafraid of what the world thinks.”- Frances Downey (Assistant Curator)‘Rosarita’ is currently on view as part of the Permanent Collection exhibition, “Night Vision”. Galleries are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 5 with free admission.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Karl Wirsum was a true original and legendary member of the Hairy Who and Chicago Imagists. We mourn the loss and celebrate his life and are so honored to have one of his lithographs in our permanent collection. “Inner ‘E’ Stare Bonnet”, Ed. 5/20 by Karl Wirsum (1939-2021)“Basically what I try to do is set up an enjoyment level. My whole system of creativity is based on a kind of enjoyment, even though some of the things I may do may have some grotesque elements to them, or, not all kind of joyful in the final result. A lot of my stuff… hopefully has some kind of mysterious element or some other kind of thing happening with it. But, basically, my own mood has to do with feeling good.”—Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago interview, 1981, chicagoimagists.com © The Chicago ImagistsKarl Wirsum was born to a working-class family of recent German immigrants on the northwest side of Chicago in 1939. His father, a mechanic, and his mother, a seamstress, were killed in a car accident when Wirsum was 9 years old. He moved to the far southeast side of the city, near a campus of steel refineries, to live with a close family friend who earned his living as an upholsterer. During a long hospital stay in his childhood, Wirsum amused himself by drawing pictures. A nurse noticed his natural talent and suggested that he might benefit from Saturday classes offered to children by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This was Wirsum’s first formal interaction with art, and it stuck. After graduating from high school, Wirsum enrolled as a full-time undergraduate at SAIC. Wirsum’s art is in the collections of institutions around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna, Smithsonian American Art Museum Washington D.C., and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Wirsum is perhaps best known to Chicagoans for his mural Plug Bug, created in 1991 on the side of a ComEd electrical substation on Block 37, a formerly empty block in the middle of Chicago’s downtown. Learn more about him at chicagoimagists.com.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Charles Ludeke (American, b. 1955)‘The Wishbone Artifact’, 1978drawing, wood sculpture, and wood platformCollection of Rockford Art MuseumCharles Ludeke’s choice to title this piece ‘The Wishbone Artifact’ presents the viewer with an immediate mystery with seemingly deliberate intention. It feels impossible to take in this piece without questioning whether or not the “artifact” inches from your feet is a replica, an original, or if the story being told is entirely fictional. Ludeke’s sculptural component makes it seem as if the artifact in the sketch simply materialized into the gallery. If this is the case, then it is fair to assume that the three archaeologists will manifest in due time, to tell us their story.-Liv Cimino (Curatorial Intern)Come see this piece today while the galleries are open! Visit us from 10 to 5, Thursday through Sunday. Admission remains free.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Elbridge Ayer Burbank (American, 1858-1949)Portrait of a Woman, Munich, 1892oil on canvasCollection of Rockford Art MuseumGift of Miss Annie WheelerBorn in Harvard, IL, Elbridge Ayer Burbank studied at the Chicago Academy of Design from 1874-1876. In 1889, he travelled to Munich, Germany to continue his studies. At the time, Munich was one of the primary places to study art in Europe, overshadowed only by Paris, France. It was during his studies in Munich that Burbank painted ‘Portrait of a Woman, Munich’. The painting was described by the Chicago Tribune in 1893 as follows, “At A.H. Abbott & Co.’s is exhibited a strong portrait of a young woman by Elbridge Burbank. It is a young woman in white, seating in a white chair, and posed against a background of white drapery. The rendering of the different qualities of white in a symphony of this kind is a most difficult feat of painting, and in this Mr. Burbank has been most successful.” This piece is one of our favorites from our American Masters collection and is currently on view along with 8 other traditional paintings. The galleries are closed today but plan to come see this gorgeous oil on canvas work when we’re open: Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 5; admission is free.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

To create ‘How the West Was Won’, Jonah King collaborated with California residents Joseph Wilson and Richard Morgan, two self-proclaimed avid golfers and Donald Trump supporters. King invited Wilson and Morgan to play a game of golf across the expansive western Mojave desert, which King documented. The documentation from the collaboration ultimately became this three-channel video.How the West Was Won’ shares the title of the 1962 ultra-widescreen American western film, which opens with this narration: “This land has a name today and is marked on maps. But the names and the marks and the land all had to be won. Won from nature and from primitive man”. This film and unnerving quote about westward expansion contextualizes the entire exhibition—not just in the artwork’s content but also its mediums. For instance, King’s stunning ultra-wide video projection directly references the format of the original film, but in the place of gallant cowboys trailblazing the West there are two older white men, in casual sports attire, playing an eternal round of golf in the middle of the Mojave Desert—a foreboding foreshadow of the consequences of climate change. Like two ghosts, the golfers seem to be forever destined to haunt the barren landscape, not with rattling chains, but with swinging golf clubs.Jonah King: How the West Was Won’ is currently on view. Galleries are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 5. Admission is free.

Sunday, May 2, 2021