Animal Fair: Birds, Beasts, and Bugs in Children's Book Illustrations

Jun 05, 2010 - Jun 05, 2011
Duvoisin Gallery

Whether illustrating animals in works that pique a child’s interest in nature, or using them as surrogates for humans to tell a story, illustrators find critters to be most obliging subjects. Engaging and varied in appearance, behavior, and habitat, animals never complain, though they may be depicted with photographic realism or portrayed in fantastic or abstract styles. 

Featured artists Adrienne Adams, Maginel Wright Barney, Roger Duvoisin, Jill Kastner, Kimberly Bulken Root, Petra Mathers, John Schoenherr, Ward Schumaker, Art Seiden, Catherine Stock, Lynd Ward, and others exploit a range of media and techniques to animate creatures of all sorts. Subject matter ranges from realistic description of animal life through fable and fantasy, expressed in a wide range of styles. Underlying all is each artist’s perception and understanding of his or her fascinating animal subjects.

Organized by Gail Aaron, former Assistant Curator of Original Illustrations for Children's Books


Susanna Suba
Original illustration for The Monkeys and the Pedlar, 1970
Watercolor on paper
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers 
Gift of the artist, © 1970 by Susanna Suba
Photo Bryan Whitney

The Colors of the Steppe: Nonconformist Art from Soviet Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Colors of the Steppe
Jan 26, 2010 - Oct 24, 2010
DuBrow Gallery

The neighboring nations of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are located in Central Asia, the vast land mass that stretches from the Caspian Sea to Mongolia. Both nations share an Islamic heritage and a physical geography defined by the flat, expansive grasslands known as the steppe. In keeping with Islamic traditions, the arts and architecture of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have long prized the expressive use of color.

For much of the twentieth century, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were part of the Soviet Union, forming two of its fifteen constituent republics. During this period, professional artists were required to work in the official Soviet style of Socialist Realism. Socialist Realism, which favored heroic and patriotic topics painted in a conservative style, was intended to produce a unified national art and severely restricted the creative freedom of artists. As a consequence, many existing artistic traditions, including the decorative use of color characteristic of central Asia, were regarded by authorities as outdated and incompatible with official Soviet art.

The Colors of the Steppe examines the revival of expressive color in the underground, or nonconformist, art of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The artists included in this exhibition employ bright, vibrant colors as a means of reconnecting with their native artistic traditions. The result is a modern, regional art, in which tradition and innovation are combined as an alternative to official styles.

Organized by Adrian Barr, Dodge Fellow

Gulbakhar Ashimova

untitled, 1985

Oil on paper

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union

Photo Bryan Whitney


Timeless, Still: Photographs from Muybridge to Warhol

Barbara Morgan: Martha Graham-Letter to the World, 1940
Oct 02, 2010 - Dec 12, 2010
Eisenberg Gallery

Many great photographers have memorably captured movement or singular moments in time. Others have skillfully used the camera to create intriguing studies from nature or a still-life composition. This exhibition, which presents approximately 30 photographs drawn primarily from the Zimmerli’s holdings, explores notions of stillness and considers how images shot years ago seem timeless to today’s viewers. 

Organized by Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings

Barbara Morgan

Martha Graham - Letter to the  World, 1940

Gelatin-silver photograph

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Gift of Robert Brooks

Photo Peter Jacobs


Milton Avery: Inner Harbor, 1945
Sep 01, 2010 - Jan 11, 2011
Voorhees Gallery

Water is essential to life on earth; it is at the core of human civilization and also provides meaning for some of our most potent metaphors; we imagine time as the flow of water, history as the course of a river, power as the downward rush of a waterfall or the crash of a tsunami. We find pleasure in listening to the ocean waves or a babbling brook, feel joy in the relief of cool water on hot, dry skin, and recognize beauty in the stillness of a lake in a verdant landscape. With such capacity for imagining time, pleasure, and aesthetic delight, it is not surprising that water has been the subject of poetry, music, dance, and the visual arts across geographies, cultures, and history. 

The exhibition on view at the Zimmerli is a broad survey of the subject of water across historical time and geographical space. Drawn from the Zimmerli’s 60,000-object collection with particular strengths in Russian and Soviet Nonconformist art, nineteenth-century French art, as well as works on paper, including drawing, prints, photographs, and original illustration for children’s books, the exhibition also includes important loans from public and private collections. An interdisciplinary cell phone audio tour features a variety of voices from various scholarly departments at Rutgers. Reflecting the university’s educational aims, Water aspires to introduce both campus and community audiences to the diversity of the Zimmerli’s collection and the range of intellectual inquiry and research at Rutgers.

Water includes prints by Vija Celmins, Honoré Daumier, Paul Gauguin, Hiroshige, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler; paintings by Albert Bierstadt, John F. Kensett, Johan Barthold Jongkind, and Nikolai Dubovskoi; and photographs by Sally Gall, Edward Steichen, and Francesco Infante (among others). Contemporary artists Lynn Davis, Hans Haacke, Geoffrey Hendricks, Maya Lin, Wangechi Mutu, and Bill Viola are also represented.  

The exhibition is organized by Donna Gustafson, Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator at the Zimmerli. Assistance was provided by Gail Aaron, former Assistant Curator of Original Children’s Book Illustration; Christine Giviskos, Associate Curator of European Art; Beth McKeown, Interim Assistant Curator, Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts; Robin Radway, Graduate Student in Art History; Anne Riculli, Intern; Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings; Julia Tulovsky, Assistant Curator of Russian and Soviet Art; and Jeffrey Wechsler, Senior Curator, Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. 


Milton Avery

Inner Harbor, 1945

Oil on canvas

© 2010 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Gift of Roy R. Neuberger


Vladimir Nemukhin: Works on Paper

Vladimir Nemukhin: Untitled, 1967
Oct 09, 2010 - Mar 27, 2011
Dodge Wing Lower Level

Vladimir Nemukhin is considered a leader of the generation that initiated the unofficial art movement in the Soviet Union in the late 1950s. Rejecting the official doctrine of Socialist Realism—the art style based on Communist collective propaganda that was the only method permitted in the Soviet Union—the unofficial artists proclaimed an individual and independent approach to art that was concerned with universal values. Nemukhin’s work, predominantly abstract and highly personal in style, often incorporates playing cards, symbols of fortune and destiny, which have become a readily distinguishable hallmark of the artist.

Organized by Julia Tulovsky, Assistant Curator of Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art

The exhibition and related programming is supported by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.

Vladimir Nemukhin
Untitled, 1967
Mixed media on paper
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union


Embodied Dreams: The Later Work of Boris Sveshnikov

Boris Sveshnikov: Voyeur, 1974
Nov 06, 2010 - Apr 10, 2011
DuBrow Gallery

This exhibition is the second part of a retrospective exhibition of Sveshnikov’s paintings and drawings from a span of over 30 years. Falsely accused of subversive activity while an art student in Moscow, Sveshnikov was sentenced to eight years in a Siberian labor camp. His life became a lesson in perseverance and survival. Whereas the first part of this exhibition presented works created during the artist’s internment, this installment centers on the art produced after his release and subsequent rehabilitation.

Organized by Allison Leigh-Perlman, Dodge-Lawrence Fellow 

Boris Sveshnikov
Voyeur, 1974
Oil on canvas
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union



Dancing with the Dark: Prints by Joan Snyder 1963-2010

Joan Snyder: Madrigal X  from 33 Madrigals, 2001
Jan 29, 2011 - May 29, 2011
Voorhees Gallery

Dancing with the Dark: Prints by Joan Snyder 1963-2010, the first retrospective of the artist’s prints, displays the extraordinary range of Joan Snyder’s distinctive graphic achievement. A Rutgers alumna, nationally noted painter, and 2007 MacArthur Fellow, Snyder has developed a powerful body of work that explores aspects of nature, humanity, and identity. A pioneering feminist artist who was championed early in her career, Snyder has infused her works with physical energy and vibrant color to express deeply personal experiences. For over 45 years, she has created remarkable prints full of passion and zeal, in addition to her widely acclaimed paintings; over 110 prints are featured in this exhibition. Her adventurous, if unorthodox, approach to printmaking challenges traditional uses of graphic media. Snyder restlessly combines different print techniques, then varies them with painterly applications of color ranging from melancholy darks to sensuous hues to shocking accents. The visual eloquence and vigorously applied techniques in the resulting prints, which are full of confessional and memorializing iconography, invite engagement with their raw emotional power.

This major exhibition presents rare uneditioned prints, unique hand-colored monoprints, and outstanding examples of editioned prints with selected variant impressions or working proofs. The exhibition ranges from Snyder’s earliest woodcut portraits, executed during her student years, to “hot off the press” prints. Many of the images and variant proof impressions are borrowed from the artist; other works are from the Zimmerli Art Museum’s collection or from other museums and private holdings.

This exhibition is accompanied by the first illustrated monograph documenting Joan Snyder’s prints, with essays by Faye Hirsch, the noted contemporary arts writer and senior editor at Art in America, and Marilyn Symmes, the exhibition’s organizing curator and the Zimmerli’s Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings. 


Joan Snyder
Madrigal X  from 33 Madrigals, 2001
Monoprints (color lithograph, monotype, and color woodcut)
Image and sheet: 85.1 x 90.1 cm (33 ½ x 35 ½ in.)
Copublishers: the artist and Jungle Press Editions, New York
Printer: the artist with Andrew Mockler and Tilden Daniels, Jungle Press Editions, New York
Unique monoprint from a series of 33 variant monoprints
Collection of the artist. © Joan Snyder

Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: An American Printmaker in an Age of Progress

Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: Fascism, 1943
Mar 19, 2011 - Jul 31, 2011
Eisenberg Gallery

This exhibition features rare prints by the Hungarian-American artist Jolán Gross-Bettelheim (1900–1972), a pioneering modernist woman printmaker. Gross-Bettelheim excelled in creating prints of industrial scenes, machinery, and technology. Her compositions celebrated the modernist geometric imagery that prevailed during America’s machine age. Jolán Gross-Bettelheim’s prints are comparable to those of leading American printmakers, although her work is not widely known.

Organized by Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings, with Christina Weyl, Rutgers Department of Art History graduate student

Jolán Gross-Bettelheim

Fascism, 1943


Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers 

Gift of Miklós Müller and Jan S. Keithly

Photo Peter Jacobs


Mystics and Moderns: Painting in Estonia Before Glasnost

Olav Maran: Talmla, 1964
Apr 30, 2011 - Oct 28, 2011
DuBrow Gallery

Estonia lies at the geographic doorway to Russia, but the Estonians have long turned their gaze across the Baltic Sea to Finland, Europe, and beyond. In folklore, mystical forces connected Estonia and its people to the natural world. Such notions of a shared, mythical ancestry captured the public imagination in the nineteenth century, triggering the National Awakening. This movement fused Estonian national consciousness with a longing for the social, cultural, and technological modernity sweeping Europe. Enrolling in the academies of Germany, Italy, and France, Estonian artists adapted the lessons of European modernism to the task of shepherding their national myth into modern form.

Soviet occupation at the close of World War II isolated Estonia from Western Europe, severing the cultural contact that had inspired and nurtured Estonian national identity. From the east, Moscow now dictated Socialist Realism, a policy that favored patriotic depictions of Soviet militarism, industry, and science. Estonian artists faced a grim choice: conform to Soviet protocols or risk oblivion.

Stalin’s death in 1953, however, sparked a period of cultural “thaw,” and renewed the question of national self-determination. Foreign exhibitions and publications brought glimpses of a contemporary art field now dominated by American painters. In keeping with their national predecessors, Estonians adapted these global forms to explore the limits of representation and experience. Mystics and Moderns celebrates this exploration, and thus the continuity of Estonian culture through the Soviet occupation and withdrawal in 1991.

Organized by Jeremy Canwell, Dodge-Lawrence Fellow at the Zimmerli Art Museum

This exhibition is made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.

Olav Maran

Talmla, 1964

Gouache on fiberboard

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers 

Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union

Photo Jack Abraham

Cast Me Not Away: Soviet Photography in the 1980s from the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection

Sergei Borisov: Dialogue Group, 1983
May 14, 2011 - Nov 13, 2011
Dodge Wing Lower Level

This exhibition is a photographic portrait of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. In over 50 works by 18 artists, it presents life as it was and showcases universal themes of human existence such as childhood, love, family, and rebellion of youth in the atmosphere of a very particular era.

The 1980s were years when Soviet society went from deep political and economical stagnation and apathy to the turmoil of abrupt political change. During a long period of “stagnation” the aging and ossified political elite tried to conceal the increasingly apparent crumbling of the Soviet system behind increasingly phony and ostentatious propaganda. In 1986 the new leader of the country, Mikhail Gorbachev, initiated the policy called perestroika that inspired the intoxicating feeling of freedom and led to the downfall of the communist system.

Overall, for the people of the country, the 1980s were years of relative stability. Deprived of initiative, they concentrated on their individual lives and experiences. Against this background, a new kind of unofficial Soviet photography emerged that took as its central attributes the private, the personal, and the intimate. If propaganda images reflected the views of the officialdom, the new photography expressed the views of its creators, offering a testimony of human experience. The new photography emphasized authenticity: the photographer’s genuine interest in the life of his subject, in spontaneous situations, and in the everyday world.

Cast Me Not Away presents a visual record of Soviet life just before this society, closed for decades, opened up to the rest of the world. The title refers to the work in the show by Vladimir Kupriyanov in which people, standing on the threshold of the new epoch, look into the future simultaneously with excitement and anxiety. Vulnerable to irony and criticism from the perspective of conventional standards of living of the Western world, their lives were, although very different, not necessarily unhappy.

Organized by Julia Tulovsky, Associate Curator of Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art

This exhibition is made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.

Sergei Borisov

Dialogue Group, 1983

Gelatin silver print

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union

Photo Peter Jacobs