Thomas H. Kapsalis Exhibition


VALPARAISO, Ind. – Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art will present an exhibition featuring Chicago abstractionist, art educator and World War II veteran Thomas H. Kapsalis this winter.

“Thomas H. Kapsalis: Artist’s House, Paintings and Sculpture, 1947-2008” will be on display from Dec. 4 through March 21 at Brauer Musem of Art (

Kapsalis taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for more than 50 years.  His works have inspired many other artists and Kapsalis continues to engage viewers with his newest works. 

Gregg Hertzlieb, director/curator of Brauer Museum of Art, says the exhibition features more than 40 two- and three-dimensional pieces from all stages of the artist’s career, drawn from the Kapsalis’ personal collection and from respected public and private collections. 

“His paintings reflect a spirit of playful inventiveness,” Hertzlieb says. “They foreshadow the stylized creations of the Chicago Imagists, as well as an enduring interest in formal innovation related to Cubism and the Bauhaus movement.”

The exhibit is accompanied by a biographical video produced by Michele Feder-Nadoff, artistic director of Chicago’s Cuentos Foundation, which will be on display in the museum.  Cuentos Foundation is a nonprofit community organization that promotes intercultural understanding and exchange through the arts.

A full-color catalog also will be available for purchase at the exhibition, and features an introduction by Hertzlieb and scholarly essays by John Corbett and Michele Feder-Nadoff.

 Hertzlieb says original research by Corbett and Feder-Nadoff led to the catalog and video, which together provide the most complete profile of the artist to date.

The exhibit featuring Kapsalis, a native of Chicago, is supported by many of his fellow students who volunteered their time to coordinate various aspects of the exhibition. 

“These supporters want to honor the artist’s dedication to abstract painting throughout the years, as well as his devotion to his teaching,” Hertzlieb says.  “All of these former students involved in the planning of the exhibition and producing its accompanying materials were motivated by their admiration of Kapsalis and his art.”

Brauer Museum will host Kapsalis for the exhibition’s opening reception at 7 p.m. Dec. 4  in the museum. 

Kapsalis also will speak at two events that accompany the exhibition: a coffee hour at the museum Jan. 13 at 7 p.m., and a gallery talk Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.  Hertzlieb also will present a coffee hour program Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. to further explore the exhibition and biographical video.

These exhibitions were made possible through funds provided by the Partners for the Brauer Museum of Art, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Valparaiso University Cultural Arts Committee.

More information about Brauer Museum’s 2009-2010 season, including a complete list of exhibition-related events, is available online at  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.