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"Big Idea: The Maquettes of Robert Arneson"
2003-03-15 until 2003-05-18
Museum of Glass, International Center for Contemporary Art
Tacoma, WA, USA United States of America

Bay Area artist Robert Arneson (1930-1992) was one of America's most original, witty, and iconoclastic artists. He is widely credited for the reinvention of figurative ceramics as a salient language for contemporary sculpture. Big Idea: The Maquettes of Robert Arneson provides the viewer with a private encounter with the artist's creative process through the exhibition of his maquettes, or three-dimensional sketches, along with works on paper and two bronze sculptures. It is the first exhibition to draw from the artist's own collection of over 100 maquettes in terracotta and glazed ceramic.

A 96-page, full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It includes an essay by Dr. Daniel Rosenfeld, a Rodin specialist and former research fellow at Yale University. Rosenfeld was a curator at the Rhode Island School of Design and served as director of the Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His essay provides a history of the maquette referencing to such luminaries as Rodin, Michelangelo, and Bernini to note Arneson's original approach in conceiving his maquettes in colored glazes. The essay by Signe Mayfield, Curator of the Palo Alto Art Center, breaks new ground in presenting previously unpublished maquettes within the reference of Arneson's life and changing themes.

The exhibition has been made possible through the support of the Palo Alto Art Center, The Christensen Fund, Palo Alto; the Association of Ceramic and Glass Artists, California; the California Arts Council, a state agency; the Arts Council for Silicon Valley; an anonymous donor in honor of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; John Kottely; the Morgan Flagg Family Foundation; Dominic and Margaret Di Mare; Forrest L. Merrill; and private contributions.

The Museum of Glass is a fine arts museum dedicated to the presentation of the medium of glass within the context of contemporary art in all media. The Museum presents the richness and diversity of the art of our time and explores how glass draws from and contributes to the many facets of contemporary art. In addition to the Hot Shop Amphitheater where visitors can watch artists work, the facilities include galleries, outdoor exhibition areas, a theater, Education Studio, grand hall, store and café.

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