October 19, 2023—The Miller Art Museum debuts its two final exhibitions of 2023, Newfangled: Modernism in the Permanent Collection and the Wildlife Biennial XXI, both opening to the public on November 4, 2023. An opening reception, free and open to the public, is scheduled for Friday, November 3 from 5:30 – 7:00pm. Light refreshments will be served and music will be provided by Craig Schultz. The exhibition will be on view through December 30, 2023.

Newfangled, presented in the museum’s first-floor main galleries, includes 34 works from the museum’s permanent collection that illustrate the modern art period and define particular characteristics and influences.

The modern art period, enduring between the 18th and 20th centuries, was marked by the gargantuan effects of the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and two world wars. This combination of revolutionary social changes served as a catalyst, prompting artists to reject traditional values in search of innovation. Modernism looked to the future with newfangled individualism, imagining an idealized society with a belief in universal truths.

In this exhibition, curated works from the museum’s collection will exemplify a variety of artistic philosophies defining modern art such as Formalism, Abstraction, and Rationalism. The exhibit will also interpret photography’s early impact as a new technology. These works will also establish how major social changes between the 18th and 20th centuries, such as industrialization, urbanization, and individualism, influenced artists and invigorated visual culture. Further, it also marks the specific end of the modern art period and the rise of postmodernism and contemporary art, and some of the ways that modernism continues to influence society today.

“We are so fortunate to have a permanent collection that is so rich in possibilities and can be curated to provide learning opportunities with exhibitions like Newfangled,” says Helen del Guidice, curator of exhibitions and collections at the Miller Art Museum. “This exhibition will include educational text that connects artmaking to its time and the world around it while offering perspective on how modern art influenced visual culture.”

Concurrently on view on the Ruth Morton Mezzanine, visitors can see the Wildlife Biennial XXI, encompassing a collection of 24 works by four Wisconsin artists: Randall Dettmann (Algoma, WI), Jan Comstock (Baileys Harbor, WI), Kristin Gjerdset (West Allis, WI) and Suzanne Rose (Sturgeon Bay, WI). All artists offer varying perspectives on the topic of wildlife.

Wildlife BiennialXXI 2023

1. Randall Dettmann, Help!, acrylic.    2. Suzanne Rose, timber wolf, digital photograph, 2010.    3. Kristin Gjerdset, Insects Ice Blue, watercolor and gouache.

Dettmann’s paintings in acrylic are empathetic and remorseful depictions of the natural world, which interrogate man’s poor stewardship that harms the creatures we share space with. Kristin Gjerdset, working in watercolor, acrylic, and gouache, presents microenvironments highlighting interactions between tiny creatures within a habitat. Comstock’s work includes realist oil paintings depicting animals in proximity, from the fox resting in a snowbank to ladybugs basking in the sunlight on a window sill. Four large-scale photographic portraits of taxidermy from the Wild Miscellany series by Suzanne Rose provide an intimate, face-to-face viewing of large animals; the photographs are 2023 acquisitions to the Miller Art Museum’s permanent collection.

Newfangled: Modernism in the Permanent Collection and the Wildlife Biennial XXI will be on view in downtown Sturgeon Bay through December 30, 2023. The museum will be closed December 25-26 for the Christmas holiday.

The Wildlife Biennial XXI is presented by exhibit sponsors Jack and Sue Anderson, The Cordon Family Foundation, and Barb and Mike Madden. Newfangled is presented with support from Miller Art Museum sustaining members with additional grant and in-kind support from Third Avenue Playworks and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The museum is located within the Door County Library at 107 S. 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Hours are Monday 10 am - 7 pm and Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 5 pm. Closed Sunday. Admission is free; an elevator is available to access galleries on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. For more information about the exhibits or the museum, call (920) 746-0707 or visit www.millerartmuseum.org. Find the museum on Instagram at @MillerArtMuseum or Facebook at Miller Art Museum.

Exhibition Related Programming:
Member Preview Tour
Friday, November 3 | 4 – 5:00pm
Miller Art Museum | 107 S. 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay
Join Curator of Exhibitions Helen del Guidice for an intimate guided tour prior to the exhibit opening to the public. Free with paid membership.

Opening Reception
Friday, November 3 | 5:30 - 7 pm
Miller Art Museum | 107 S. 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay
Celebrate the opening of the Newfangled: Modernism in the Permanent Collection and the Wildlife Biennial XXI and enjoy light refreshments and live music by Craig Schultz. This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, November 17 | 11am – Noon
Miller Art Museum | 107 S. 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay
Write On, Door County, in partnership with the Miller Art Museum, presents Art/Speaks, a free writing lab encouraging people to write in response to exhibited artworks. Led by poets Carrie and Peter Sherrill, the 60-minute writing activity is perfect for both beginning and advanced writers in any genre. Free; advance registration is not required.

Free Film Screening | Ridge & Swale
Monday, November 27 | 6:30pm
Miller Art Museum | 107 S. 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay
Ridge and Swale, a two-part documentary celebrating a legacy of conservation and community, tells the story of how the Door County community has worked and continues to work on preserving and maintaining its natural beauty and heritage. Produced by Peninsula Filmworks, the series is made possible by its sponsors: the Peninsula Pulse, Destination Door County, The Ridges Sanctuary, Door County Medical Center, and The Clearing.


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