The University Record, March 5, 2001

Museum of Art, Ford declare partnership

From the Museum of Art

This 1928 watercolor by Charles Sheeler, titled ‘River Rouge Industrial Plant,’ will be included in the exhibition ‘Albert Kahn: Inspiration for the Modern.’ The exhibition, planned for display June 2–Oct. 21, is made possible by a $545,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund to the Museum of Art. Image courtesy Carnegie Museum of Art
The Museum of Art and the Ford Motor Company Fund have announced a partnership to produce three significant, original exhibitions at the Museum over a three-year period. The $545,000 grant will provide principal funding for the exhibitions and make possible an array of related educational programs.

The grant, which represents the largest gift in support of exhibition programming in the Museum’s 54-year history, will help the Museum launch exhibitions on “Albert Kahn: Inspiration for the Modern” (June 2–Oct. 21), “Women at the Top: Images of Female Power, 1500–1650” (Feb. 16–May 5, 2002) and “Treasures of the Romanovs: Art from St. Petersburg” (Sept. 2003–Jan. 2004).

“This partnership is key to the Museum’s plans to substantially expand the scope of its exhibition program with larger, more ambitious projects that have the possibility to engage diverse publics,” says Director James Steward. “Each of them uses visual art to raise larger issues of broad humanistic concern. Clearly, we share a vision with Ford Motor Co., a vision of excellence in the arts, as well as a commitment to help bring the Museum to the forefront of the regional, national and international arts communities.”

Ford’s John Rintamaki notes that the company “invests in the long-term development of arts and educational initiatives. We believe that the arts speak a universal language that educates, inspires and brings together people, cultures and ideas. Supporting this museum,” adds Rintamaki, group vice president and chief of staff, “opens the door to opportunities for a new dialogue and learning that are of immeasurable value to the University and community.”

The exhibitions

“Albert Kahn, Inspiration for the Modern”

Michigan architect Albert Kahn (1869–1942) made his most lasting contribution through his pioneering industrial structures, glass-and-concrete masterpieces of expressed function. This exhibition of original drawings and sketches, together with models commissioned for the exhibition, explores Kahn’s unique body of work, including Hill Auditorium and Ford’s River Rouge Plant. The exhibition will document Kahn’s profound influence on modernism in both architecture and the visual arts through the works of artists, architects and designers who were key to the development of modernism internationally.

“Women at the Top: Images of Female Power, 1500–1650”

Women at the Top explores themes of gender, power and societal attitudes toward powerful women in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Featuring approximately 85 works drawn from major collections worldwide as well as the Museum’s collection, the exhibition presents a wide array of depictions of women in Renaissance and Baroque paintings, prints, sculpture and the decorative arts.

“Treasures of the Romanovs: Art from St. Petersburg”

From Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the Romanov czars were avid collectors of fine and decorative arts. Commemorating the 300th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg as Russia’s window to the West, this exhibition will present master works of painting, sculpture, furniture, porcelain and silver, drawn entirely from collections in St. Petersburg—many of them objects that have never been seen in the United States.

The Museum is working with the University Musical Society and the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies on a series of related programs.