This summer brought me the opportunity to curate a show in the MU’s Concourse Gallery. I’m the Assistant Curator and with that comes the privilege of caring for the Memorial Union’s Art Collection, which is like eating candy all day considering I’m an art major.
I chose to base the show on Gordon Gilkey and his contributions to our Collection. I didn’t think a former college dean and art professor could catch my interest in such a way, but Gilkey did. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a detective story – he was that, an art detective. He volunteered for the job and wrote to Roosevelt at the start of WWII about his concern for the bombing of buildings which housed precious artworks, work that is now at the Louvre, the Met, and museums that we travel and see, thinking it’s never been outside those white walls.
I pulled content straight from the source, Gilkey’s Oral Memoir, which was recorded just before he passed. In it, he tells of his friendships with persecuted artists, his recovering of artwork confiscated by the Nazi’s and how his art collection grew to be over 14,000 pieces. The resulting exhibit, which will be up until the 31st of August, is titled Prince of Prints: Gilkey’s Patronage. It’s a comprehensive look at the work he gifted to the Memorial Union. Please, come take a look before it goes back in storage.