Exhibition Archive

More Past Exhibitions

Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World

Feb. 1–April 27, 2019

Xaviera Simmons, If We Believe In Theory #1, 2009, © Xaviera Simmons

Dread & Delight brings together the work of 19 artists using early-modern European fairy tales as a radical visual and verbal vocabulary. The exhibition considers why artists have turned to fairy tales to unpack the complexities of postmodern life, and celebrates how their work has reinvigorated the seven featured stories. The exhibition is organized by the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and curated by Dr. Emily Stamey ’01

Reckoning with The Incident: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural

Jan. 25–April 6, 2019

John Wilson, Study for The Incident, 1952. Charcoal and crayon. Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection.

In 1952, while studying mural painting in Mexico City, African American artist John Wilson (1922–2015) created a hauntingly powerful mural depicting a racial-terror lynching at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. The commanding fresco was painted on an exterior wall of a building at street level and featured twice-life-size figures, so the experience of encountering it would have been direct and visceral. While the mural is no longer extant, Reckoning with “The Incident”: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural brings together nearly all of its known preparatory studies and related works, including oil paintings, lithographs, and drawings in chalk, crayon, graphite, and gouache.

This exhibition is organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, and made possible by the Isabel B. Wilson Memorial Fund.


Irresistible Images: Photographs from a Private Collection

Sept. 28–Dec. 15, 2018

Photograph from the Nigel Maister Collection

This exhibition features works from the dawn of photography in the 1840s through the early 20th century. While it includes works by well-known pioneers in the medium from Henry Fox Talbot to Gertrude Käsebier, the exhibition features copious works by anonymous photographers in the  wide variety of "types" — Daguerreotype, ambrotype, tintype, cyanotype, in addition to salt, albumen, and gelatin silver prints — to demonstrate the nature of photography as a truly universal form of expression, documentation, and self-creation adopted by the masses almost from the moment of its invention.

The exhibition is drawn entirely from the private collection of Nigel Maister, Professor of Theater at the University of Rochester, New York.

Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War

Sept. 28–Nov. 24, 2018

Watercolor by John Gaddis

This exhibition captures the daily life of a Union army soldier during the 1860s. All of the paintings were done by Corporal John Gaddis while he was based at Camp Randall, Wisconsin, and military campaigns in Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

The exhibition is organized and circulated by Wisconsin Veterans Museum, State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, Madison.

Memories from a Small Town: Keith Kozloff ’73

In Burling Gallery, lower level of Burling Library, through Nov. 24, 2018

Photograph by Kieth Kozloff

In 2017, Keith Kozloff rediscovered a trove of old negatives in a shoe box and had some of them professionally digitized. The digital images used for this exhibit contain various imperfections and scratches in the original negative emulsion. He made minor adjustments to the digital files and printed the uncropped images.

As a group, these images harken back (somewhat nostalgically) to an earlier, simpler, and more naive stage in his development as a photographer and as an adult.

Visit Kozloff's website for more of his works.

Nuns, Hippos, and Extraterrestrials: Tom Schneider’s Painted Reality

June 29–Sept. 16, 2018

Painting by Tom Schneider

Chicago artist Tom Schneider draws on the marvelous, weird, and improbable for his large-scale paintings, each of which is based on a story lifted from the tabloids or drawn loosely from mythologies. Schneider’s narrative canvases feature strong color and a vivid sense of pattern and design, honed in the 1980s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he worked with Chicago Imagist artist Karl Wirsum, of the famous Hairy Who. Uniting the surface of each painting is a curtain of eyes and mouths, like a chorus or audience cheering on the action and animating the scene. 

Schneider’s work is highly entertaining, entirely idiosyncratic, and a little bit unnerving. Seeing is believing at the Faulconer Gallery.

Schneider lives with his wife, Ann, and two dogs named Hoot and Holler. He is an exhibit technician for a children’s museum. His daughter is a graduate of Grinnell, class of 2016.


Faced: Charles Bierk

June 29–Sept. 15, 2018

Painting by Charles Bierk

This is the first exhibition in the United States to feature the photorealistic portraits and figurative paintings of Charles Bierk (b. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 1987.) His path to becoming an artist began in the studio of his father, American-Canadian painter David Bierk (b. Appleton, Minnesota, 1944-2002), who began his training in  the art of portraiture. This exhibition, composed of 17 paintings and five photographs, is organized in honor of Grinnell College's recent acquisition of Bierk's monumental portrait of the Canadian-Jamaican artist Tau Lewis, the first painting by Bierk to enter a museum collection. 

Making Life Visible: Art Biology, and Visualization

Feb. 2–June 10, 2018

Making Life Visible, an exhibition of work by 16 contemporary artists and scientists, with additional historical material from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, explores the processes of visualization and description in art and biology. Historically, biologists and artists had similar training in observation and drawing. Though the fields have diverged, individual practitioners on both sides continue to draw inspiration from one another, finding new ideas in the process of creating images. The exhibition asks: what do artists and biologists see, and how do their ways of seeing challenge and stimulate one another? Subjects addressed in the exhibition range from molecules and cells, to organisms and ecosystems, and the artists/scientists included work in labs, studios, museums, and academic institutions. 

Participating artists:

And historical works by:

  • Ernst Haeckel (German, 1834-1919)
  • Jacob Hoefnagel (Flemish, 1575-1630) with Joris (Georgii) Hoefnagel (Flemish, 1542-1601)
  • Martin Frobenius Ledermüller (German, 1719-1769)
  • Joseph Leidy (American, 1823-1891)
  • Maria Sibylla Merion (German, 1647-1717)
  • Don Antonio Parra (Portuguese, 1739-??)
  • Titian Peale (American, 1799-1885)

Curated by Lesley Wright, director, and Jonathan “Jackie” Brown, professor of biology.

Recent Gifts to the Grinnell College Art Collection

May 18–June 10, 2018

“Donations to Faulconer Gallery this past year have been remarkably strong. In this exhibition we highlight just a few of the over 200 works of art given to Grinnell College since July 2017. Through the generosity of these and other alumni and friends, our collection continues to strengthen and grow. We are grateful to all our donors for their vision and support, and for enriching our students and faculty through their gifts.” — Lesley Wright, director

BAX: Bachelor of Arts Exhibition 2018

April 6–May 6, 2018

Opening reception Friday, April 6, 4–5 p.m.

Featuring work by third and fourth-year art students who major in art as well as students in other majors who work intensively in studio. With support from Faulconer Gallery staff, students manage all the exhibition details: from the submission of proposals to selection of a juror, to the installation and the awarding of prizes.

En Voyage: Hybridity and Vodou in Haitian Art

Jan. 25–March 18, 2018

This year’s exhibition seminar, led by Professor Fredo Rivera ’06, explores the work of Haitian American artist Edouard Duval-Carrié and builds an exhibition around four of his paintings. The nine student curators will draw from the Grinnell College Art Collection and the Waterloo Center for the Arts — the largest public collection of Haitian art in the — to develop an exhibition and catalogue that places Duval-Carrié’s work in dialogue with a diversity of objects. The curators focus on themes of hybridity and displacement, and how Haitian art and vodou encapsulate African, European, and indigenous traditions.

Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India

Sept. 22–Dec. 10, 2017

This exhibition, featuring 47 paintings by 24 artists, showcases works from the Gond and Warli communities of central India, the Mithila region of Bihar, and the narrative scroll painters of West Bengal. Divided into four broad categories: Myth and Cosmology, Nature — real and imagined, Village Life, and Contemporary Explorations, the exhibition explores the breadth and variety of cultural traditions in India, revealing a dynamic aesthetic that remains deeply rooted in traditional culture, yet vitally responsive to issues of global concern.

Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India was curated by Aurogeeta Das and David Szanton with assistance from curating consultant Jeffrey Wechsler. The exhibition was organized by BINDU modern gallery and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

Shiny, Sticky, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses

July 1–Sept. 3, 2017

Beginning in the 1950s, the pop art movement emerged from an American culture awash in social turbulence, cultural experimentation, and pervasive consumerism. In their work, pop artists mirrored the language of advertising — with elements that emphasized a tactile experience. Chromed, streamlined cars convey speed and power. Brightly colored, glistening candies spark our appetite. Smooth and polished furniture gleams with the possibility of a more stylish home and lifestyle.

Shiny, Sticky, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses examines the sensory language of pop art. Created by America’s most famous pop practitioners, the works in this exhibition demonstrate the way in which pop art shattered the division between high culture and everyday experience, not only through subject and process but also by enticing the viewers’ sensations.

Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.

Diamonds of the Prairie

June 10–18, 2017

Works from the Grinnell Community by the Jewel Box Quilt Guild.

Robert Hodierne: Vietnam War Photographs

April 7–June 4, 2017

Robert Hodierne ’68 was a 21-year-old freelancer when he made his first trip to Vietnam in 1966, leaving Grinnell on a one-way ticket at the end of his third year. After returning to graduate, he enlisted in 1969 as a soldier assigned to Pacific Stars & Stripes in Saigon, where he spent another 14 months. During those two tours he photographed combat in every corner of the country. His Vietnam photographs reflect Hodierne’s concern for the ordinary soldier, many of them his own age when he was there. Hodierne has had a distinguished career photographing other conflicts around the world. He teaches in the Department of Journalism, University of Richmond.

The exhibition is organized by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia.

Civil Rights and War Protests: John Phillips ’67

May 15–June 4, 2017

Selections from portfolios of photographs by Grinnell College alumnus John Phillips '67 (1945-2010).


April 7–May 7, 2017

BAX (Bachelor of Arts Exhibition) features work by third and fourth-year art students — those majoring in art as well as students in other majors who work intensively in studio. With support from the Faulconer staff, students manage all the exhibition details: from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation and awarding of prizes.

Joan Linder: Operation Sunshine

Jan. 27–March 19, 2017

The drawings by Joan Linder ’92 in Operation Sunshine are the result of her horror and bewilderment as she investigated the environmental history of Brownfields and toxic waste sites near Niagara Falls. She spent many hours parked along the area’s dumping grounds, sketching their chain-link borders in over 80 running feet of accordion-style notebook drawings. Additional pen-and-ink drawings of earth patches are 1-to-1 scale, outlining ground and effectively questioning what lies beneath the ordinary pebbles and weeds that compose our land. Finally, Linder spent weeks in libraries and historical societies, creating over seventy hand-drawn copies of aerial maps marking radioactive storage sites; memos on human uranium injections; and declassified documents.

Crossing the Line: Selections from the Grinnell College Art Collection

Jan. 27–March 19, 2017

The Grinnell College Art Collection is distinguished by works of social and political commentary historically deployed by artists as weapons against oppression, exploitation, and human folly. Crossing the Line features works from many periods and media, highlighting recent acquisitions that speak to issues at the core of global discourse today: income and racial inequality, migration, incarceration, and public protest in the age of the war on terror. The exhibition is offered in conjunction with Rethinking Global Cultures, a yearlong seminar and related programs sponsored by the Center for the Humanities.

Archipenko: A Modern Legacy

Sept. 30–Dec. 11, 2016

Archipenko: A Modern Legacy is a major retrospective exhibition of the life and work of Alexander Archipenko, a maverick in modern sculpture, whose creations remain as important today as they were when they were initially conceived in the twentieth century. Featuring more than 50 sculptures, mixed media reliefs, and works on paper, the exhibition spans Archipenko’s entire career. Drawn from major museum collections as well as private holdings, the exceptional objects chosen for this exhibition will convey the richness of Archipenko’s vision as an innovator of modern art.

Archipenko: A Modern Legacy was organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Archipenko Foundation.

Anders Krisár

Sept. 30–Dec. 4, 2016

The Swedish artist Anders Krisár was included in the Faulconer Gallery's spring 2005 exhibition, Scandinavian Photography 1: Sweden. Since then he has turned to sculpture, producing figurative pieces that are uncannily lifelike — cast primarily from members of the artist's own family — and explore the impact of familial relationships and sociological structures on our lives as individuals in a virtual-reality age when physical contact — to imprint, or to be “touched” — is conceived as transgressive rather than palliative.

Portraits of Nature in Iowa

Aug. 25–Nov. 28, 2016

“Nature photography is my passion,” says Ken Saunders II, who retired from a long career with the College’s Facilities Management Department in 2015. All of the photographs in this exhibition were taken by Saunders within 40 miles of Grinnell. It may surprise some viewers that this diversity of wildlife can be found so close to our community.

The Center for Prairie Studies co-sponsored the exhibition, which was on view in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library. An opening reception took place on Friday, Sept. 2.

Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers: On the Bright Side...

July 1–Sept. 11, 2016

In a global cultural exchange routinely reduced to seconds-long sound bites and rapid-fire images, we often refer to “shiny objects” as those rare things that focus or capture our attention for a moment or two longer than usual. Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers, an artists’ collaborative in Claremont, California, explore this phenomenon in their sculpture, casting everyday objects and animals in unexpected ways that provoke questions of materiality, surplus and rarity, and the consequences of 21st-century cultural consumers’ desires.

Studio Faculty Exhibition

April 9–June 19, 2016

Work by Jeremy Chen, Mary Coats, Andrew Kaufman, Matthew Kluber, Evan McLaughlin, Andrew Orloski, Lee Emma Running, and Jill Davis Schrift.

All Hands on Deck

May 13–June 19, 2016

St. Louis artist Damon Davis created seven powerful prints entitled All Hands on Deck in response to recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere. The exhibition features these prints, created at Wildwood Press in St. Louis, as well as other recent additions to the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection.

BAX: Bachelor of Arts Exhibition 2016

April 9–May 1, 2016

Featuring works by third and fourth-year art students — those majoring in art and students in other majors who work intensively in studio.

Beverly Semmes: FRP

Jan. 29–March 20, 2016

In her Feminist Responsibility Project (FRP), Beverly Semmes simultaneously conceals, reveals, and otherwise colorfully intervenes in pornographic scenes from vintage Hustler and Penthouse magazines. The exhibition also features Semmes’s striking work in other media: glass, ceramic, and video, as well as three of her signature dress pieces, including one acquired by the Faulconer Gallery in 2014. This exhibition is co- organized with the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

Siberia: In the Eyes of Russian Photographers

Jan. 29–March 20, 2016

This exhibition is a geographical portrait that has the potential to alter stereotypes about a famously remote region. Photographs span more than 130 years, beginning with the late 19th century and continuing until the present. The images include rural and urban scenes, landscapes, native peoples, agriculture and industry, Russian frontier settlements, the Gulag, religion, and just plain everyday life. Leah BenDavid Val curated the traveling exhibition, organized by Foundation of International Arts and Education.

Current Styles in African Illustration

Burling Gallery, Oct. 26–Dec. 18

This exhibition highlights a diverse selection of some of the best talents in children’s illustration in Africa. It showcases current and distinctive styles coming from various regions on the continent. The illustrations are submissions to the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. Golden Baobab founder Deborah Ahenkorah is a recipient of the 2015 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize.

Start by Asking Questions: Works from the Faulconer and Rachofsky Collections, Dallas

Sept. 18–Dec. 13, 2015

How does a collector decide what to buy? Why would a collector buy something challenging or puzzling? Asking questions is fundamental to the collecting process and to understanding art, particularly contemporary art. Start by Asking Questions, drawn from the collections of Vernon ’61 and Amy Hamamoto Faulconer ’59 and Howard and Cindy Rachofsky, brings 46 works of art to Grinnell from The Warehouse, a space the collectors share in Dallas, Texas. With works by Janine Antoni, Eric Fischl, Mark Grotjahn, William Kentridge, Sigmar Polke, Yinka Shonibare, Kara Walker and others, the exhibition excites the mind and the senses with many provocative questions, and serves as a fitting tribute to Vernon Faulconer, who passed away in August.

A Closer Look at the Iowa Prairie: Photographs by Justin Hayworth

Burling Gallery, Aug. 17–Oct. 11

At one time prairie dominated the Iowa landscape. Now, less than 0.1% of the original Iowa prairie remains. Justin Hayworth’s macro photographs invite viewers to take a closer look at the beauty of prairie plants, celebrate the intricate aesthetics of prairie life, and teach about the unintended consequences of development.

Open to Interpretation

May 15–Aug. 2, 2015
Curated by Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach, and Lesley Wright, director

The Faulconer Gallery collection is filled with intriguing and curious works of art, which can be enjoyed or interpreted in many different ways. This summer exhibition brings together a range of works and asks visitors to provide comments and captions, selections of which will be shared for others to enjoy and ponder.

Against Reason: Anti/Enlightenment Prints by Callot, Hogarth, Piranesi, and Goya

April 3–Aug. 2, 2015
Faulconer Gallery

Against Reason explores the darker side of the Enlightenment by asking, among other things: What are the dangers of secularism, nationalism, and a scientific method that dismisses rather than exalts the qualities that make us both human and humane? This pan-European show includes works by four of the most acclaimed draftsmen of France, England, Italy, and Spain, respectively. Against Reason was curated by students Elizabeth Allen ’16, Timothy McCall ’15, Mai Pham ’16, Maria Shevelkina ’15, Dana Sly ’15, Hannah Storch ’16, and Emma Vale ’15, who designed the exhibition and wrote the catalogue during the exhibition seminar (fall 2014) directed by Vanessa Lyon, assistant professor of art history.

This exhibition includes a loan of four prints from the Legacies for Iowa, A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections Sharing Project, Supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.

French Posters from the Lenny Seidenman Collection

Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, has received a bequest of 14 posters and lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, and others from the estate of William M. Moore. The collection, named The Lenny Seidenman Collection, Bequest of William M. Moore, in memory of Nina Seidenman ’71, honors both Mr. Moore’s deceased wife, who attended Grinnell College for two years and remembered her time with great pride, and his father-in-law, Lenny Seidenman, who collected the art while doing Jewish relief work in Paris just after World War II.

In the collection are 3 posters (including the iconic Divan Japonais) and 7 lithographs by Toulouse-Lautrec, a poster by Bonnard, 3 posters by Jules Chéret, and a large theatrical poster by Bécon. The works are now on view in the Print and Drawing Study Room on the lower level of Burling Library.

1954 Korea: After the Korean War

Photographs by Cliff Strovers
March 23–May 17, 2015

Life-long Grinnell resident Cliff Strovers was stationed in Pusan (Busan), South Korea in 1953, as part of the 44th Engineering Construction Group after the Korean War. As he helped rebuild the country’s infrastructure, he took photographs of daily life around him. In recent years, he rediscovered the photographs, digitized them and began exhibiting them first in South Korea and now in Iowa. His photographs provide one view of Koreans as they recovered from war 60 years ago.

Organized by the Grout Museum District, Waterloo, Iowa.

Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX)

April 10–May 3, 2015

Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX) features work by third and fourth-year art students – both majors and students in other majors who work intensively in studio. Students coordinate the exhibition with support from the Faulconer staff from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation and awarding of prizes.

Student Curated Exhibitions

One of the features of the Faulconer Gallery’s exhibition program is its support of student-curated exhibitions that are the fulfillment of Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs), internships at the Faulconer Gallery, or the Exhibition Seminar, a combined course and exhibition directed by faculty members of the Department of Art in partnership with the Faulconer Gallery. The seminar’s purpose is to support students in the organization of an exhibition from the College's permanent collection based on subject matter, criteria, and objects selected entirely by the student participants. They set the exhibition checklist, supervise the design and installation, and write essays about their selected works that are compiled in a professionally designed and illustrated exhibition catalog published by the Faulconer Gallery.

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