Judith Bear Isroff Gallery
Nearly 700 works of art entered the Akron Art Museum’s collection over the past five years, despite the fact that the museum was closed from March 2004 to July 2007 for construction of its new building. Some of this art made its Akron debut when the museum opened the new collection galleries, but many works remain under wraps for now, waiting to surprise visitors over the next few years. Unveiled offers the opportunity to view around two dozen inspiring, and sometimes challenging, artworks never before seen in Akron. An amazing 87 percent of these new acquisitions were gifts. Some were given in honor of the museum’s staff; others were donated as a result of the opening of the new John S. and James L. Knight Building. First-time patrons, long-time supporters, Akronites, collectors from around the country and even nationally recognizable figures, including political commentator George Stephanopoulos, are among the donors. From the credit line that appears on each object label, visitors can learn who donated each work of art and the year it was given to the museum. One notable museum patron is Kathleen Monaghan, director of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum. Although she lives on the other side of the country, Monaghan has deep connections to Akron: she was director of the Akron Art Museum from 1984-85. Monaghan and her husband, Richard Shebairo, donated seven works of contemporary art to the museum in 2006. These included Sandy Skoglund’s Body Limits, a color photograph of a surreal scene where an entire room and its contents are covered in bacon. From black and white photographs to colorful prints, abstract painting to pop sculpture, Unveiled shows that recent gifts of artwork have come in all shapes, sizes and media. This exhibition enables the museum to publicly thank all of its supporters for their generosity and dedication to building and enriching the collection. This exhibition is organized by the Akron Art Museum and made possible by a generous gift from the Lehner Family Foundation.