What Now? (or Not Yet) at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center presents the exhibition What Now? (Or Not Yet), on view now through September 10, 2023.
What Now? (Or Not Yet) signals potential and provisional energy. Works ranging from Matthew Vassar’s 1864 bequest to recent loans, gifts, and acquisitions thematize past, present, and future as categories in flux. The structure is open-ended: questions rather than answers, atmosphere over narrative, flow over permanence. The labels offer multiple perspectives written by curators, alums, and artists, and include excerpts from the forthcoming collections catalogue, Making & Meaning.
“This year marks several milestones for the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center: the thirty-year anniversary of the César Pelli-designed building, the publication of a new collections catalogue, and the beginning of a reinstallation of the galleries,” said T. Barton Thurber, The Anne Hendricks Bass Director. “In recognition of these occasions, the new exhibition invites critical reflection: How do collections shift and evolve? What kinds of knowledge—of history, identity, possibility—do artists create or contest, unmake or remake? How do artists help us see the past or shape the future?”
The exhibition features a diverse and global array of artists including Martine Gutierrez, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, and Wangechi Mutu. Loans from artists and partner institutions suggest possible directions for the collection. Art Bridges is lending major paintings by Jeffrey Gibson, Kerry James Marshall, Nari Ward, and an iconic “candy spill” piece by Félix González-Torres. The Forge Project is lending a large woven work by Nicholas Galanin and two etched photographs by 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Sky Hopinka. New York-based artist Andrea Geyer is lending a monumental wall diagram that maps the networks of women who influenced the course of American modernism. These works will be in dialogue with significant paintings from the Loeb’s permanent collection by artists such as Marsden Hartley and Dorothea Tanning.
To underscore the theme of future-oriented transformation, What Now? (Or Not Yet) will exist in two iterations. This semester, a group of Vassar students is working to re-curate the exhibition: reimagining the layout and design and highlighting different perspectives through new thematic groupings and interpretive text. They will engage with artists, curators, advocates, and museum professionals in learning how to mount an exhibition and develop their curatorial vision. The second iteration will open to the public in May.
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is a teaching museum, free and open to the public, supporting the college’s educational mission and communities. Formerly the Vassar College Art Gallery, the Loeb is the first art museum at a college or university that was part of the institution’s original plan. Today, the permanent collection includes over 22,000 works, comprised of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, textiles, and glass and ceramic wares. The Loeb strives to be a catalyst for scholarly, creative, and social justice work by Vassar students and others. Our undertakings reflect a commitment to broaden, and amplify, the voices represented in the museum setting, and to ensure that the Loeb’s programs and practices have a positive impact on our communities.
Commitment to DEAI
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College commits to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) as core values across its culture, systems, and practices. We pledge to allocate resources (human and financial) to create and sustain a museum culture in which difference is celebrated. The Loeb staff is dedicated to integrating DEAI priorities into gallery installations, programming, interpretation, collections management, acquisitions, and internal processes. Our ongoing work is guided by an intention to care for all people engaged with the Loeb while welcoming the exchange of ideas, enriching experiences, and diverse perspectives through art.
Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free and all galleries are wheelchair accessible. The Loeb is now open to the public every day (except Monday) from 10am to 5pm. The Loeb is located at 124 Raymond Avenue near the entrance to the Vassar College campus. parking is available on Raymond Avenue. Directions to the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at vassar.edu/visit.
The Art Center is also accessible via the Dutchess County Public Transit, Bus Route L. For additional information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit vassar.edu/theloeb.
We acknowledge that Vassar stands upon the homelands of the Munsee Lenape, Indigenous peoples who have an enduring connection to this place despite being forcibly displaced by European colonization. Munsee Lenape peoples continue today as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin, the Delaware Tribe and the Delaware Nation in Oklahoma, and the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Ontario. This acknowledgment, however, is insufficient without our reckoning with the reality that every member of the Vassar community since 1861 has benefited from these Native peoples’ displacement, and it is hollow without our efforts to counter the effects of structures that have long enabled—and that still perpetuate—injustice against Indigenous Americans. To that end, we commit to build and sustain relationships with Native communities; to expand opportunities at Vassar for Native students, as well as Native faculty and other employees; and to collaborate with Native nations to know better the Indigenous peoples, past and present, who care for this land.
Vassar College is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.