News

The Block Museum and Block Cinema are frequently featured in national, regional and local media. Read our most recent stories below!

If you are a member of the media and need to obtain images, press releases, or more information, please contact Communications Manager Joanna Gueller at joanna.gueller@northwestern.edu


Newcity: Review: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec/Block Museum of Art (February 7, 2015)

This compact, one-room exhibition of a dozen and a half lithographs is a gem. Mounted by Northwestern upperclassmen and overseen by art-history professor S. Hollis Clayson, the works are drawn from the Andra and Irwin Press Collection. The students’ extended labels are well written and informative, and often reveal fresh insights...

ARTFORUM: "Radical Art in the 'Red Decade'" (February 7, 2015)

This large and important exhibition, first seen at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University and including more than six dozen drawings, prints, and photographs, shows that artists of the 1930s were just as uncertain as we are of how to depict inequality and how to fight it...

The New York Observer: Seeing Red: NYU's Grey Art Gallery Revisits America’s Socialist Moment in Full (February 4, 2015)

“The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ ” organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., has been expanded in New York by the Grey’s curatorial team led by Lucy Oakley. Adding additional items from various NYU archives, the show contains some 100 works by 40 artists...

The Financial Times: The Left Front, Grey Art Gallery, New York — review (February 3, 2015)

In isolation, each of the works in The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade’, 1929-1940 might appear a bit flimsy, or even amateurish. But there is power in numbers, and the show as a whole evokes an era when a large cohort of artists woke up each morning fired with a sense of social purpose. Curated by John Murphy and Jill Bugajski of Northwestern University, The Left Front focuses on Chicago-based artists whose names are little known east of the Great Lakes... 

The New Yorker: LEFT TURNS: The radical art of the nineteen-thirties (January 26, 2015)

The show originated at Northwestern University, where it was curated by John Murphy and Jill Bugajski, and it focussed on the movement’s legacy in Chicago. (“Left Front” was the name of an activist magazine published in that city in the early thirties.)...

Chicagoist: Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit, Curated by Northwestern Students, On Display (January 25, 2015)

French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is the subject of a new exhibition at Northwestern’s Block Museum (40 Arts Circle Drive) in Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity, which features print work and advertisements by the fin de siècle luminary. The exhibit is curated by Northwestern art history students under the direction of Professor S. Hollis Clayson. On Jan. 21, thirteen students presented their research in a lecture highlighting the collection and contextualizing the works. The exhibited pieces are on loan from the holdings of Irwin and Andra Press who have bequeathed their art to the Block Museum...

The New York Times: Raging at Racism, From Streets to Galleries (January 22, 2015)

…“The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ 1929-1940” at Grey Art Gallery, New York University, a carefully researched traveling show of political art assembled by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum at Northwestern University, with the scholars John Murphy and Jill Bugajski as curators. The works were made during the Depression, by artists, many of them European émigrés, dismayed by racism and poverty and confident of left-wing solutions to these wrongs. Maybe because so much of what they did was by-the-book ideology driven — as most of what’s in “Respond” is not — a certain consistency of style and tone prevails: realism and indignation. These features are often cited as political art’s inherent limitation, the reason it’s doomed to look dated, flat-footed and aesthetically second-tier... In the end, it’s the show as a whole, its massed voice, that is so impressive, and heartening.

The Chicago Tribune: Mt. Everest epic restored and screening at Block Cinema (January 22, 2015)

A member of England's Royal Geographical Society, Captain John Noel was on hand with his movie camera when British climbers George Mallory (who was 37) and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine (just 22) attempted their 1924 summit of Mount Everest. The pair famously disappeared on the final leg of their trek, leaving open the question of whether they ever made it to the top. Their journey leading up to that fatal outcome was captured on film thanks to the 20-pound hand-cranked camera hoisted around by Noel — a pioneer of high-altitude photography — who would stitch his footage together into a silent movie called "The Epic of Everest." Recently restored by the British Film Institute (with a new instrumental score), it screens Friday at Northwestern University's Block Cinema...

The Daily Northwestern: Northwestern art history students curate block Museum exhibit (January 22, 2015)

The Block Museum of Art held an event Wednesday evening organized around a student-curated exhibit of works by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibit is titled “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” and includes 18 pieces ranging from posters to theater programs. The project has been in the works for two years and was first suggested by Block Museum director Lisa Corrin, said Prof. S. Hollis Clayson, whose Fall Quarter 2014 art history class reunited to speak about the exhibit Wednesday night. The pieces were donated by NU alumnus Irwin Press (Weinberg ’59) and his wife Andra Press. “Their holdings in Lautrec are so deep and they have such good quality work,” Clayson said. More than 50 people attended the event, which began with a lecture by Clayson about Toulouse-Lautrec’s career. Her 13 students then presented their research on their respective works...

The Daily Herald: Budget-friendly fun (January 20, 2015)

See the artwork of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) at "Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity" at Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Exhibition includes lithographic works by the world-renowned modern artist….

Hyperallergic: Topless but Far From Helpless: Charlotte Moorman's Avant-Garde Life (January 17, 2015)

An exhibition examining Moorman’s career, which will open at Northwestern’s Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art a year from now and come to New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in the fall of 2016, should also help raise this avant-gardist’s art-historical profile.

NS Magazine: Arts and Culture (January 13, 2015)

LISA CORRIN, A museum director brings the world to Evanston.“If you come in for an hour, you’ll go away thinking for hours after you leave,” says Lisa Corrin about the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art where she serves as director. “We try to grow our exhibits from the soil of Northwestern, and really raise and explore the big questions.” The Block hosts three major exhibits a year, plus a monthly rotating exhibit curated by students. The exhibit opening Jan. 13, Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and its Legacies, brings together masterpieces of Himalayan Buddhist art from major U.S. museums. “One of the questions we’re exploring is: What does it mean to take art from a religious setting and move it to a museum?” Corrin explains. “How does that change the meaning?”

Evanston Review: Block Museum Buddhist art exhibit asks: What’s the cost of collecting? (January 13, 2015)

In the 8th century, an artist in Kashmir created a brass sculpture of Buddha intricately woven with copper and silver. Northwestern University art history professor Robert Linrothe said the piece is one of the finest representations of metalwork art — but its original use was to adorn a Buddhist temple and reflect the Buddhist teachings. That sculpture will be among more than 40 Buddhist artifacts including metal, ivory and wood pieces; manuscripts; and textiles in a new exhibition at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston...

Chicago Sun-Times: Block Museum Shines Spotlight on Kashmir Art in New Exhibition (January 13, 2015)

When Lisa Corrin took over as director of Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art in February 2012, one of the proposals on the table concerned a small study show focused on the little-known art of Kashmir. Corrin was so taken with the idea that she decided to considerably enlarge the scope of the undertaking, turning it into not the biggest but what she is calling the most ambitious exhibition in the museum’s history.

The Daily Northwestern: Block Museum exhibition features Kashmiri artifacts (January 8, 2015)

An 8th-century brass sculpture with copper and silver inlay, a masterpiece of technical workmanship, sits in the middle of an empty room. The display isn’t located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Louvre. Rather, it’s part of Block Museum of Art’s new exhibition, which includes two parts — The Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies, and Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens — opening Tuesday. Prof. Rob Linrothe, who is curating the exhibit, said this physical set-up is an integral part of understanding the exhibition...

Block Museum Unveils Complex Legacy of Kashmiri Art

Evanston, Ill. --- What is the impact when one culture acquires the sacred objects of another? The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University is putting that question under the microscope this winter with the exhibition “Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies.” 

Free and open to the public from Jan. 13 through April 19, 2015, this Main Gallery exhibition takes a penetrating look at how Buddhist art from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas has traveled across centuries and borders -- first within the region and later to the U.S. and Europe -- raising questions about cultural impact and the varying motivations behind modes of collecting.

“Collecting Paradise” features Buddhist objects, including manuscripts, paintings, and sculptures in ivory, metal and wood, dating from the 7th to 17th centuries. With 44 objects, the exhibition presents an original and innovative look at art from the region of Kashmir and the Western Himalayas, as well as how it has been “collected” over time.

The exhibition was curated by a leading scholar in the field, Robert Linrothe, associate professor of art history in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, with the support of Christian Luczanits, the David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

[Read the full press release here.]

Toulouse-Lautrec Prints on View at the Block this Winter

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, one of the best-known and widely-reproduced artists of modern times, gets a fresh look at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art this winter in an exhibition curated by undergraduate students and developed in a course taught by renowned 19th-century French art expert, S. Hollis Clayson.

Free and open to the public, “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” opens Jan. 13 and runs through April 19, 2015. This exhibition highlights the final decade of Toulouse-Lautrec’s life with a focused selection of 18 lithographic works, including public posters and advertisements, publications and privately circulated portfolios.

The works have been lent by Chicago-based collectors Andra and Irwin Press, supporters of the Block Museum who have bequeathed a significant number of works from their collection to the museum. Irwin Press is a Northwestern alumnus and member of the Block Board of Advisors and a professor emeritus of the University of Notre Dame.

Showcasing the complexity and variety of Toulouse-Lautrec’s production, this exhibition presents his work against the rise of printmaking, celebrity culture and the entertainment district in Paris in the late 1800s. It offers a fresh view of this extremely talented artist, a quirky aristocrat who walked a fine line by depicting the edges of respectable society.

[Read the full press release here.]

Block Museum Presents "Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey"

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic JourneyEVANSTON, Ill. --- Full-scale figurative collages, gigantic felted trees and an immersive environment will transform Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art this fall when it presents “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey.”

Organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the exhibition is the first U.S. survey for Wangechi Mutu, a contemporary African artist and sculptor who has achieved great global acclaim for her works in a diverse range of artistic media.  

The comprehensive exhibition featuring her thought-provoking and rich imagery opens Sept. 19 and runs through Dec. 7 at the Block Museum, the show’s sole Midwest region venue. Mutu is best known for large-scale collages depicting powerful hybrid female figures in lush, otherworldly landscapes. Many of her most iconic works are included in “A Fantastic Journey,” which features more than 50 works from the mid-1990s to the present.

The New York Times describes the exhibit as “magnetic…visually ravishing” art that is “at what has to be some kind of peak moment.” [Click to read more]