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Ojibwe Modern Artist Featured in New Exhibit to Open Valentine's Day
‘Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison’ opens at the Minnesota History Center Feb. 14
Drawing on his physical and spiritual homelands, artist George Morrison (1919–2000) created works that speak to both American urban settings and the solitude of Northern Minnesota. His paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures have been displayed in numerous public and private exhibitions, and he is one of Minnesota’s most cherished artists. Yet because Morrison’s artwork typically does not include overt references to his Indian heritage, it has stirred debate about what it means to be a Native American artist. View a survey of his prolific career in the exhibition, “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison,” at the Minnesota History Center, Feb. 14 – April 26, 2015.
“Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison” was organized by the Minnesota Museum of American Art and Arts Midwest, with the Plains Art Museum. The exhibit includes about 80 drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures that bring together concepts of abstraction, landscape and spiritual reflection. Kristin Makholm, executive director of the Minnesota Museum of American Art said, “This first, comprehensive retrospective of his work will reveal how visions of identity and place play an essential role in assessing American art of the 20th century and beyond.”
“We’re pleased to host this exhibit at the Minnesota History Center,” said Brian Szott, head of collections and art curator for the Minnesota Historical Society. “We hope this exhibit will help provide Morrison—a major player in the modern art movement—with the critical attention he deserves.”
The core of this retrospective issues from one of the largest and most important collections of Morrison’s artwork in the country, at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul. Some of these pieces were lent for a two-person show with Allan Houser that helped inaugurate the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., in September 2004. Supplemental works are borrowed from important private and public collections throughout the country, including four pieces from the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Modern Spirit Exhibit Preview, Feb. 12, 7 to 9 p.m., $15/$12 MNHS members
Enjoy exclusive early access to the exhibit and a complimentary dessert and a coffee bar. Copies of the exhibition companion book signed by curator W. Jackson Rushing III will be available for purchase in the History Center gift store. Tickets are $15 or $12 for MNHS members. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 651-259-3015 or online at tickets.mnhs.org.
History Lounge: George Morrison, A Life in Art, Feb. 17, 7 p.m., free
Join Margot Galt as she relates stories of working with Morrison on his biography, Turning the Feather Around: My Life in Art, and what it revealed about one of Minnesota’s most important and beloved artists. Margot Galt teaches creative writing at Hamline University. This program is free.
North Coast Nosh, Feb. 19, 7 to 10 p.m., $20/$15 MNHS members
Celebrate the traditions and flavors of Minnesota's indigenous people with “The Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman. Sherman will curate a program that includes tasting and conversation with indigenous food and drink purveyors, in the setting that the Heavy Table’s popular "North Coast Nosh" series is known for. Tickets are $20 or $15 for MNHS members. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 651-259-3015 or online at tickets.mnhs.org.
“Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison” is organized by the Minnesota Museum of American Art and Arts Midwest, with the Plains Art Museum. The exhibition and its national tour are supported by corporate sponsor Ameriprise Financial, foundation sponsor Henry Luce Foundation, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Major support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the generous contributions of individuals across the Midwest. Learn more at www.mmaamorrison.org.
The Minnesota History Center showing of “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison” is funded in part by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Hours and location
The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Exhibit gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773.
Admission to “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison” is included with regular History Center admission of $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, $6 for children ages 6 to 17; free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.
The Minnesota History Center holds the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. The History Center is home to an innovative museum, engaging public programs, a modern library, distinctive gift shops and an award-winning restaurant.
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.
The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.