VALPARAISO, Ind. Exhibitions featuring works by some of Indiana's most beloved artists and selections from a recent donation of Native American artifacts will open the 2009-2010 season of Valparaiso University's Brauer Museum of Art
Opening Aug. 25 at Brauer Museum (http://www.valpo.edu/artmuseum) are "Selections for the Robert and Ellen Haan Collection of Historic Indiana Art" and "Left Behind: Native American Artifacts from the Robert Schoon Collection." The exhibits will remain on display through Nov. 20
Indiana's most significant and beloved artists of the 19th and 20th centuries - figures such as T.C. Steele, Lucie Hartrath and Otto Stark - are held in the collection of Robert and Ellen Haan of Lafayette.
"The collection of historic Indiana art formed by Robert and Ellen Haan is the largest and most significant collection of its kind in the country," said exhibit curator Dr. Laurette McCarthy, a scholar of Indiana artists. "The works in this exhibit reflect the major themes prevalent in American art throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th: portraiture, landscape, still life and genre. Several paintings also reveal artists' interests in subjects of agriculture, industry and the train in the American landscape."
While Dr. McCarthy said Indiana's most famous artists are often thought of as impressionists, Hoosier painters also worked in other styles.
"The main goal of this exhibition is to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the wide range of artistic practice in historic Indiana art by drawing attention to other styles of art," she said.
The exhibition of 30 works will provide an overview of the styles and themes explored by Indiana's artists over the past two centuries.
Also on display to begin the 2009-2010 season is "Left Behind," an exhibit featuring a number of arrowheads, axe heads and other Native American artifacts from the Robert Schoon Collection, which contains more than 1,500 objects recently donated to Brauer Museum by the widow of the Wheatfield area farmer.
Preparing the exhibit was Patricia Korzeniewski, a senior art and geography major from Crown Point who spent the past year cataloguing the collection. She previously assisted geography professor Dr. Ron Janke with his research on the Kankakee Sand Islands - an area that encompasses the Schoon farm and provided bountiful hunting and fishing habitats for several different groups of Native American peoples over the course of more than 15,000 years.
"I tried to make this exhibit artistic as well as educational," Korzeniewski said. "In addition to seeing artifacts from a very significant collection, people who come to 'Left Behind' will learn about the history of the people who created these objects, what they were like and how they made these arrowheads and other artifacts."
Korzeniewski, who is part Ojibwa, said she became intrigued with Native American culture and history during her studies at Valpo and has enjoyed identifying when and who made the various artifacts in the Schoon Collection.
"I've always been impressed with the natural lifestyle of Native Americans and how they lived off the land but also gave back to the land," she said. "I hope that people who see this exhibit come away with a better understanding of Native American history and culture and feel some of the excitement I have felt while visiting archaeological sites of native peoples."
An opening reception for the Haan Collection and "Left Behind" will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 and is open to the public.
Other events, all free and open to the public, taking place during the exhibit are:
More information about Brauer Museum's 2009-2010 season, including a complete list of exhibition-related events, is available online at http://www.valpo.edu/artmuseum. Brauer Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the academic year. Admission to the museum and all events is free. Group tours may be arranged by calling (219) 465-7926.