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January Visual Arts at Northwestern

Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery and University Library winter events to open soon

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University’s January 2015 visual arts exhibitions offer warm and enlightening escapes on bleak and blustery winter days.

Free and open to the general public, all of the following events will take place on the Evanston campus. 


“Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies,” Jan. 13 through April 19, in the Block’s Main Gallery, was conceived and curated by Northwestern University professor Robert Linrothe in collaboration with Christian Lucanzits, the David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The exhibition will feature metalwork, paintings, ivories and woodwork from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas from the 7th to 17th centuries. “Collecting Paradise” presents an original and innovative look at Buddhist art from the region of Kashmir and the Western Himalayas, as well as the ways it has been “collected” throughout history. Bringing together 44 works from major collections across the U.S., this exhibition examines how Buddhist art from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas has traveled across centuries and borders -- first within the region and later to the U.S. and Europe -- raising questions about cultural impact and the varying motivations behind modes of collecting. Information on upcoming Block Museum related events.

“Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens,” Jan. 13 through April 12, in the Alsdorf Gallery, is a companion exhibit to the Block’s Main Gallery exhibition. It takes a critical look at U.S. and European engagement in the Himalayas, beginning in the mid-19th century. Through lenses, including photography, cartography, natural science and ethnography, it reflects on the ways Westerners have perceived, defined and acquired the Himalayas over time. It raises questions about what is gained and what is lost when one culture collects another.

“Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies” and “Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens” were organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; and the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. Additional funding and support was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Myers Foundations; Alumnae of Northwestern; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly; and Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and department of art history.

• This winter, the Block also will host the “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” exhibition, Jan. 13 through April 19, in the Katz Gallery. Curated by Northwestern students in Professor S. Hollis Clayson’s undergraduate art history course, “Museums: The Fin de Siécle Poster,” the exhibition explores the scope of Lautrec’s work in print media in the final decade of his life. Items on display will range from public works such as posters, illustrated books and theater programs to privately circulated portfolios. The selection of works reveal a wide range of lithographs by one of the best known artists of the modern era. The Block Museum thanks Andra and Irwin Press for graciously lending from their collection, a significant group of which is bequeathed to the Block.

Information on Block’s winter exhibitions. 

View Block Cinema’s complete fall screening schedule online.


Northwestern’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. For more information, visit or call 847-491-4000.


Free guided tours of the Block Museum’s exhibitions are held every Saturday and Sunday at

1 p.m. No reservation is necessary.

• Free tours for groups of five or more people can be pre-arranged. Requests should be made at least four weeks in advance. For more information, email or visit Block Museum.

• Gallery tours for higher education groups and kindergarten through high school classes also are available. For more information, visit Block Museum.

The following Evanston campus events at the Block are free and open to the public:


The following Block Museum events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Opening Celebration, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17. Robert Linrothe, Northwestern art history faculty member and curator of the exhibition, will provide an overview of “Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies.” Linrothe will address two sets of themes underpinning the exhibition -- travel, trade and artistic exchange across the Himalayas between the 7th and 17th centuries; and how and why works like those in the exhibition have been collected by Himalayan Buddhists and by Westerners, and the consequences of their respective approaches. The presentation will be followed by a conversation between Linrothe and Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, the George P. Bickford Curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

An Evening with Toulouse-Lautrec, 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21. A special evening organized around the exhibition “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” will begin with a lecture by Northwestern Art History Professor S. Hollis Clayson who curated the show with 13 undergraduate students. Clayson will provide an overview of Lautrec’s career (“Lautrec Invents Wicked Paris”) and introduce the exhibition, after which, each student will give a brief presentation of her/his individual research.

• Block Cinema Screening, “The Epic of Everest” (Captain John Noel, 1924, United Kingdom, DCP, 85 minutes), 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23. “The Epic of Everest” is a fascinating account of an attempt to climb the fabled mountain and a vibrant look at Tibetan villagers and nomads, but it is the stunning photography of Everest and the Himalayas that steals the show. Explorer and director Captain John Noel captures the awe-inspiring beauty of the region and its harsh conditions. General admission is $6 or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty, staff and students, students from other schools with valid IDs and individuals 60 and older. Quarterly passes also are available for $20. For more information, visit

• Curator’s Gallery Talk, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28. Join Northwestern art history faculty member and exhibition curator Robert Linrothe for a guided view of selected objects in the Main Gallery. He will introduce the exhibition's five main sections and direct visitors’ attention to relationships in the themes and styles of works from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas. This will be followed by a tour of “Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens,” a companion exhibition, on view to the public from Jan. 13-April 12, 2015, in the Alsdorf Gallery, in which some of the primary Western collectors are featured.

• Block Cinema Screening, “Lost Horizon” (Frank Capra, 1937, United States, DCP, 132 minutes), 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30. Based on James Hilton’s best-selling novel, Frank Capra’s “Lost Horizon” creates one of the most vivid settings in film. A plane crash brings the diverse group of survivors to Shangri-La, a mysterious and harmonious valley high in the Himalayan mountains. Restored version courtesy of Sony Pictures Repertory. General admission is $6 or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty, staff and students, students from other schools with valid IDs and individuals 60 and older. Quarterly passes also are available for $20. For more information, visit


A long-term construction project on Northwestern’s south campus has limited access to the Block Museum and Arts Circle Drive. Free parking is available after 4 p.m. in the lot directly south of the museum. For directions and additional parking information, visit


The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, first floor, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The Dittmar Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The gallery focuses on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern art students and traveling art shows. For more information, contact the Dittmar Gallery at 847-491-2348 or Norris University Center at 847-491-2300, email or visit


• “Night for Day,” featuring artwork by Jason Paradis, Jan. 9 through Feb. 8, Dittmar Gallery. Dittmar’s winter 2015 exhibition will explore the night sky, bringing the stars above into the gallery below. A combination of paintings, yarn and rocks, Paradis’ intricate, site-specific installations explore phenomena through collapsing time, distance and space. The exhibition and an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, are free and open to the public.


University Library will unveil two new exhibitions: “Beyond the Book: Art & Artifacts in the Library, Jan. 12-May 14, and “Farm to Table: Governmental Information and Food,” Jan. 19-May 1. The current exhibit, “William Hogarth’s Modern Moral Subjects: ‘A Harlot’s Progress’ and ‘A Rake’s Progress,” continues its run through Jan. 22. For more information, visit

• “William Hogarth’s Modern Moral Subjects: ‘A Harlot’s Progress’ and ‘A Rake’s Progress,’” through Jan. 22, on the third floor of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections. Painter William Hogarth created two series of morality tales that brought him much acclaim in the early 18th Century. The stories, told in a series of paintings, chronicle the woeful tales of a young man and a young woman who stray from the path of righteousness with tragic consequences. A complete series of engraved prints made from these paintings, held in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, are on display.

• “Farm to Table: Government Information and Food,” Main Library, Jan. 20 to May 1,  During the last century, the way our country harvests, transports and consumes food has been influenced strongly by U.S. government agencies and policies. Using materials drawn from the Library’s Government Information Collection, the University Library exhibition will highlight a few of the myriad ways in which the U.S. government has directly encouraged healthy eating, promoted safe food production and educated the country about food science. Seven cases of educational posters, wartime pamphlets, production documentation and other government-produced materials are on display.

• “Beyond the Book: Art & Artifacts in the Library,” in the Charles Deering Library lobby, Jan. 12 to May 15. As a steward of our cultural heritage, University Library holds far more than just books. Whether art or textiles or even food, the Library’s more unique holdings require a team of conservators who employ their highly specialized skills to safely house and preserve these items for future scholarship. This exhibit features some of these objects, including items that range from ancient Mesopotamian tablets to Obama-themed lollipops. It also includes information on how the Library’s team of experts solves the preservation challenges posed by each.


One Book One Northwestern is the University’s community-wide reading program hosted by the Office of the President. The selection for the 2014-15 academic year is Claude Steele’s book “Whistling Vivaldi” (W.W. Norton, 2010). One Book also has scheduled film screenings, lectures, themed dinner/panel discussions and more throughout the current academic year. All events are free and many are open to the public. For information, visit or email

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