Museum Studies Exhibition Seminar Portfolio

of 25 /25
Quastler The Life and Work of G Gertrude Quastler The Life and W Work of Gertrude Quastler The L Life and Work of Gertrude Quast Restrike: The Life and Work of Ge Gertrude Quastler The Life and W The Life and Work of Gertrude Q

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Museum Studies Exhibition Seminar Portfolio

PowerPoint Presentation

Quastler The Life and Work of GerGertrude Quastler The Life and Work Work of Gertrude Quastler The LifeLife and Work of Gertrude QuastlerRestrike: The Life and Work of GertrudeGertrude Quastler The Life and WorkThe Life and Work of Gertrude Quastler1

3. Research4. UAG5. Library of Congress6. Graphic Design7. Photography8. Postcard9. Flyer10. Poster11. Fonts12. Labels13. Object labels14. Intro label15. Other Panels16. Title and Quotes17. Exhibition Documents18. Exhibition Blueprint19. Transcriptions20. The Exhibit21. The Concept22. Picking Objects23. Gallery Layout24. Installation25. Final Thoughts


UAG filesLibrary of Congress files

4UAG Research

Discovering the research conducted by Mary A. Schmidt author of the exhibition catalogue for the recent Quastler exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

Speaking with collector Graham Shearing about his Quastler collection.

5Library of Congress DiscoveriesBiography and personal relationshipsScope and visibility of her professional work


GRAPHIC DESIGNphotographypostcardflyerposterfonts

Updating Photography



Wood grain texturesCounterpoint Gallery 1 Beach Gallery 3Sadness Gallery 2 Exodus Gallery 4


EXHIBITION FLYER designRice paper textureWood grain textureAnchor artworks


EXHIBITION POSTER design*Pulling Quastlers handwritingKing: Modest typewriter font. Used in exhibition quote panels.Neue Haas Grotesk: Bold, 50s European designer font. Produced for newsprint. Made popular by: Zero Dark Thirty (2012) movie poster, American Apparel and Instagram logos. Used in this portfolios headers. Baskerville Old Face Regular: Transitional style font designed in 1757 with pronounced serifs. Shown to increase agreeability among readers. Produced for the publication of Classical works of poetry and literature. Made Popular by: Northwestern University, and the Canada wordmark. Used in the exhibitions object labels, theme labels, and marketing materials.


object labelsintro labelpoetry theme paneltitle and quotes13Gertrude QuastlerDog , 1950Papier-mch, cloth, and acrylic 1986.1.12Gertrude Quastlers explorations into an array of media are renowned. Although primarily a woodcut printmaker, she also worked in silk screen printing, monoprints, and textile work, exhibited paintings in oil, watercolor and gouache, and created sculpture of wire and wood. Many of these techniques allowed Gertrude to serially produce her art quickly and fluidly.Despite quickly adapting to diversity and innovation in the United States, the creation of this papier-mch sculpture exposes feelings of European nostalgia. The dog, a subject never before exhibited by Quastler, appears to be a stylistic representation of a collie owned by her family in Austria, as depicted in the photo below, one of a few childhood photos that remained in her possession at the time of her death. Although the use of papier-mch may suggest a departure from previous techniques, the implementation of fiber is reminiscent of her early life and fashion design career in Vienna and Paris.What images of childhood nostalgia do you still carry with you?Gertrude QuastlerCounterpoint #2, 1951Ink and paper1985.01.009One of two editions, Counterpoint is Gertrudes most renowned woodblock print. This version initially began to gain exposure with its 1952 publication in the American magazine Perspectives USA as a visual aide for an article about fellow printmaker, William Lieberman. In 1954, the image captured the attention of LIFE magazine, where it was subsequently adopted for an article about the revival of Woodcut printing in North America. A copy of this print was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1952.A second, slightly different production of this print can be viewed in the Rotunda Gallery.14Restrike- 1 to strike again. 2 a new print made from an old lithographic stone, metal engraving, woodcut, or the like.Gertrude Quastler was an artist of exceptional ability whose work was collected by numerous public art museums in this country and internationally in her lifetime. Despite this, very little is known about her work today, just 60 years after her death. Restrike: Uncovering the Life and Work of Gertrude Quastler is intended to re-present Quastlers art, utilizing contemporary historical perspectives and newly discovered archival materials in order to provide a fresh understanding of this artist. The Museum Studies Seminar class is proud to present this exhibition, which draws on the University Art Gallerys permanent collection of 150 Quastler works, donated by Pittsburgher Johanna Zimmerman, the artists sister-in-law, after the artists death. Documents uncovered this fall from Quastlers papers at the Library of Congress including photographs, personal letters and other correspondence, journal entries, and poetry have been incorporated into the exhibition as well. These artifacts are being presented for the first time, and provide additional insight into the life and career of this celebrated artist.

Four main themes are the focus of this exhibition: Biography, Process, Poetry, and Internal Struggle. Although many aspects of her life are still unknown, much can still be learned about how Quastlers status as a refugee, her travels, her life-long thirst for learning, and her chronic illness affected her art. The artists interest in the written word, especially poetry, inspired and stimulated much of her work. Her intensive focus on process and experimental techniques offers a detailed look at the skill, time, and persistence required to produce these works, particularly her woodcuts for which she was best known. Quastlers health issues sometimes resulted in works focused on darker subject matter, and reveal her use of art making as a therapeutic tool. We invite you to explore these galleries and consider anew the achievements of this forgotten artist.This exhibition was organized by the History of Art & Architectures Museum Studies Seminar class and made possible with the generous support of The Fine Foundation; the Office of the Chancellor, the School of Arts and Sciences; and the History of Art and Architecture Department of the University of Pittsburgh. The show is co-sponsored by the European Union Center of Excellence/European Studies Center EUCE/ESC.

Special thanks to Janet McCall, Executive Director, Society for Contemporary Craft and instructor of the Museum Studies Seminar; University Art Gallery Curator Isabelle Chartier, and graduate teaching assistant Annika Johnson for their guidance and support of this Museum Studies project. We also acknowledge, with gratitude, the advice and assistance of Graham Shearing, Chuck Biddle and Concept Art Gallery, Natalie Sweet, and Maria Castro.

15Restriking PoetryLike the visual arts, the written word has pervaded every aspect of Gertrude Quastlers life. Handmade creations such as handwritten birthday poetry, and woodcut printed greeting cards were among her favorite gifts to give. In casual correspondence with friends, intimate letters to her husband Henry, and professional contact with galleries and buyers, Gertrude commonly chose old-world pen and ink over typeface and phone call.This affinity with the literary crafts extended far into the lives of her friends. Gertrude and Henry held weekly poetry gatherings, inviting many of their closest friends from the University of Illinois, along with renowned Shakespearean scholar, Charles Shattuck, to sketch and paint social works of art inspired by open readings in their Urbana home.We invite you to continue in Quastlers tradition and restrike poetry inspired by Quastlers works of art. Simply use the materials provided to reimagine her artistic vision through your own words and experiences. When you are done, tack your completed poem near the work or works that inspired you.Uncovering Quastler Research for this exhibition was conducted in both the archives of the University Art Gallery and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Although the UAGs holdings include dozens of letters of correspondence between Mary A. Schmidt, author of the Westmoreland Museum of American Arts Quastler retrospective catalogue, and various friends of the late artist, the largest quantity of Quastlers personal documents exist at the Library of Congress. These documents include letters of submission (and rejection) to and from various galleries and museums, birthday and holiday cards, poetry, love letters, family photographs and much more. These artifacts open a window into the life and context of the artist, her professional goals as well as her personal relationships, and provide an unedited autobiography written and read in her own handwriting. Various facsimiles of these documents are on view throughout this exhibition. We invite you to search through these letters and files as we have and discover the artist on terms invisible through her art work alone.*These labels were modified for exhibition

"It brings art history alive when you deal with those kinds of sources."-Mary A Schmidt"Her work betrays the physical suffering that must have been a part of her life every day. The more of Gertrude's work that people can enjoy, the better, because it is pleasurable. It is happy." -Mary A Schmidt "Quastler is by no means alone among artists in that she and her work slipped from sight with her death. The chance translation of her work to Pittsburgh and its dispersal, partly preserved them but partly concealed them"-Graham ShearingQuastler carved her first woodcut in 1950 using an "old crate and some scalpels" from her husband Henry.-B. Monica Klippstein"Neither my wife nor I can think of any couple we've encountered more indivisible"-Richard Diebenkorn"Henry was a bit of a loner and Gertrude painted and did her prints with almost no sources of appreciation or encouragement"-Richard Diebenkorn"What Henry 'Did' was a mystery to all f us. But we, including Henry, took this for granted."-Richard diebenkorn"Gertrude did not "teach" - she encouraged, suggested, and criticized." -E. der Mateosian"My work is meant for my contemporaries. It should decorate a room, give some fun and some pleasure. It should tell about the things I love, like trees and open fields, the movements of people, the expression of a face."-Gertrude Quastler "When I fall in love with a new subject I explore it thoroughly in many, many drawings until the shapes I have seen in nature are completely absorbed. Only when the impressions have been distilled and clarified do I start painting, carving, or print."-Gertrude Quastler"Dear Miss Dickinson: Thank you for your letter of May 27. Let me answer your last question first. We are American citizens since 1945, -as I have never painted in Europe I think, I should be called an American painter."-Gertrude Quastler16

EXHIBITIONExhibition BlueprintTranscriptionsDOCS


19Maps are not funnyWe want to pinThat gigantic [view]To a definite point in the landscapeThat way it looks more like a gameAnd that does goodTo our haunted souls


EXHIBITIONThe ConceptPicking ObjectsGallery LayoutInstallation21


Picking Objects222223

Gallery Layout


Final Thoughts From scouring the Library of Congress for a Big Idea to the deinstallation of the final print, Restrike: The Life and Work of Gertrude Quastler has been an enlightening and educational pre-professional adventure. The success of the show is due to our teachers and mentors Janet McCall, Isabelle Chartier, and Annika Johnson, as well as my Documentation group members Katherine, Ryan, Deanna, and Danny, and my curatorial teammates Mariah, Michaela, and Sarah.

Special thanks to Graham Shearing; The Fine Foundation; the Office of the Chancellor, the School of Arts and Sciences; and the History of Art and Architecture Department of the University of Pittsburgh. The show was co-sponsored by the European Union Center of Excellence/European Studies Center EUCE/ESC.