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The Zimmerli seeks to educate, inspire, and challenge diverse audiences by providing them with the direct experience of art in its many forms. The museum supports Rutgers’ educational mission by collecting, researching, preserving, and displaying works of art, and by making its unique collections and archives accessible for study and enjoyment by the Rutgers community and visitors from throughout New Jersey and beyond. The Zimmerli aspires to reach all ages through its exhibitions, publications, and educational programs.
The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art
Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging
from ancient to contemporary art.
The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in:
· nineteenth-century French art;
· Russian art, from icons to the avant-garde, and Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and
American art with notable holdings
One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university. The Zimmerli is located on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University, a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.
Underground Art from the Soviet Union
The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, donated to the Zimmerli in 1991, underwent an extensive reinstallation in spring 2012. Museum staff took the opportunity to rotate works on display, as well as compose more in-depth translations from Russian to English of some of the key artists' texts and interpretations to create a more comprehensive cultural context for visitors. The refurbishment continues the Zimmerli's commitment to preserving the artworks in its trust, one of the cornerstones of the museum's strategic plan, and presenting these groundbreaking artworks that document a key period in the 20th century. All media are represented, including paintings on canvas and panel, sculpture, assemblage, installations, works on paper, photography, video, artists’ books and other self-published texts called samizdat. This encyclopedic array of nonconformist art extends from about 1956 to 1986, from the beginning of Khrushchev’s cultural “thaw” to the advent of Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika. Work created during the Gorbachev era (through 1991) is also represented. In addition to art made in Russia, the collection includes many examples of nonconformist art produced in 12 of the Soviet republics. A recent generous gift by Claude and Nina Gruen extends the Zimmerli’s Russian art holdings to post-perestroika work produced since 1986. Many of these artworks were made by former Soviet artists now living in the diaspora.
Featured 2012-13 Exhibitions & Events
Works by Contemporary Artists from the Sally and Wynn
September 4, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Celebrating the dynamic dialogue between art and language from 1960 to 2012, Art=Text=Art presents more than 100 American drawings, prints, conceptual works on paper, and artists' books selected from the internationally respected collection of Sally and Wynn Kramarsky, noted New York collectors. In this major exhibition, 48 artists explore the form, function, and multiple interpretations of language. Juxtaposing both the verbal and the visual aspects of individual words, passages of text, numbers, and symbols, these works prompt insights into wide-ranging subjects. Among the artists represented are: Carl Andre, Alice Aycock, Jill Baroff, Suzanne Bocanegra, Mel Bochner, Trisha Brown, Stephen Dean, Elena Del Rivero, Jane Hammond, Christine Hiebert, Jasper Johns, Sol LeWitt, Stefana McClure, Ed Ruscha, Karen Schiff, and filmmaker John Waters.
Mary Cassatt Prints: In the Company of Women
September 29, 2012 to March 3, 2013
Initially trained in Philadelphia, Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) pursued her artistic career in Paris, where she was invited to join the Impressionist group of painters in 1877. Inspired by the experimental prints being made by her artist friends Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, Cassatt made her first prints during the late 1870s and early 1880s. This exhibition of 23 works features the Zimmerli’s holdings of Mary Cassatt’s prints, including a rare complete set of 12 drypoints from 1890, which showcases a wide range of technical effects. Also featured are five of Cassatt’s innovative color prints; her major technical achievements in color intaglio printmaking sealed her reputation among the world’s most gifted printmakers.
Le Mur at the Cabaret des Quat’z’Arts
October 13, 2012 to February 24, 2013
Between 1894 and 1905, a group of artists and poets who frequented the Cabaret des Quat’z’Arts in the Montmartre district of Paris produced Le Mur (The Wall), a changing display of drawings, poems, and newspaper clippings that were mounted on a wall of the cabaret. The Zimmerli’s collection features 1,500 sheets from this unique journal, in which contributors satirically commented on current events, literature, and art. Organized to complement the special exhibition Art=Text=Art, this installation of approximately 50 sheets from Le Mur evokes the experience of this journal, which crossed the boundaries between the verbal and the visual.
Leonid Sokov: Ironic Objects
January 26 to July 14, 2013
This exhibition of approximately 50 works is the first major show in the United States of one of the most significant Soviet nonconformist artists, Leonid Sokov. Soviet nonconformist artists deviated from the officially prescribed patriotic style of Socialist Realism, creating their “unofficial art” following Stalin’s death in 1953 until Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika in the late 1980s. Sokov is associated with Sots Art, one of the most influential developments within Soviet nonconformist culture and prominent during the 1970s and 1980s. Sots artists mocked the regime’s efforts to control all forms of creative expression by distorting and defacing recognizable elements of Soviet propaganda in their work. Sokov’s multi-layered visual and verbal puns provide the viewer with a deeper insight into contemporary culture, politics, and life in general. Born in 1941 in the village of Mikjaliovo, Kalinin (now Tver) region, the artist has lived and worked in New York since 1980. Sokov’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally; he also represented Russia in the 2001 Venice Biennale.
March 2 to September 8, 2013
The Zimmerli’s collection is rich in works by Henri-Gabriel Ibels (1867-1936), who worked in Paris as a prominent printmaker, illustrator, and poster designer. Like his friend and collaborator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Ibels often featured performers from the theater, café-concert, and circus in his works, capturing their gestures using his signature vigorous line. Prints, drawings, pastels, posters, and books illustrated by Ibels are featured in this special presentation, demonstrating the artist’s range and his prominence in the Parisian art world of the late nineteenth century.
Stars: Contemporary Prints by Derrière L’Étoile Studio
March 24 to September 29, 2013
Featuring contemporary prints by many of the artists who defined the American art scene after 1980, this is the first survey exhibition of prints produced by Derrière L’Étoile (Behind the Star). Founded in New York in 1978 by Maurice Sánchez—the master printer behind the creative stars—the studio has produced extraordinary prints in lithography and other traditional printmaking media, as well as with the latest photographic and digital technologies. Selected from the Zimmerli’s extensive print collection, Part I showcases prints created between 1980 and 1995 by such artists as John Baldessari, Sarah Charlesworth, Agnes Denes, Leon Golub, Yvonne Jacquette, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Robert Longo, Robert Mangold, Susan Rothenberg, and Laurie Simmons, among others. In fall 2013, Part II presents prints created between 1995 and 2012.
Leningrad’s Perestroika: Crosscurrents in Photography, Video, and Music
April 20 to September 13, 2013
This exhibition highlights the unique photographic, video, and musical innovations that shaped the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) unofficial art culture during the period of glasnost and perestroika. With works by 20 artists – the majority of which have never been exhibited – it presents photographers, musicians, and video artists as active members of groups, rather than individual producers, to underscore their collective goals as a larger counter-cultural phenomenon in the city. The eclectic body of material produced over the span of a transformative decade shared a common goal: to stimulate the audience’s imagination and disrupt everyday social interaction. Photography and video crossed the boundary between the present and the past, becoming an important tool for fostering reflection. Their documentary character was exploited to reveal the city to its inhabitants, connecting individuals to the rapid transformations of Soviet society, while opening an anticipatory window into the future.
In the Search of an
Absolute: Art of Valery Yurlov
Through April 4, 2013
Moscow artist Valery Yurlov (born 1932) worked in the 1960s and 1970s when Soviet nonconformist artists were forming movements and grouping into collectives. Yurlov, however, worked alone, beyond the confines of politics and ideologies, his work standing out as one of the earliest examples of geometric analytical abstraction within Soviet nonconformist art. This exhibition continues a series of one-man shows devoted to early nonconformist artists.
Lynd Ward Draws Stories: Inspired by Mexico’s History, Mark Twain, and Adventures in the Woods
Through June 30, 2013
The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers pays tribute to one of America’s great illustrators of the 20th century with Lynd Ward Draws Stories. A gifted artist-storyteller, Ward illustrated more than 100 books, most of them for children and young adults. Featured in the exhibition are 37 of Ward’s captivating original and printed illustrations selected from the Zimmerli’s collection. This exhibition is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as well as during first Wednesday evenings of the month. To reserve a class or group tour Tuesday through Sunday, please contact the Education Department at 732.932.7237 at least two weeks in advance.
Art After Hours: First Wednesdays
Art After Hours invites the Rutgers community and the general public to engage in a multifaceted approach to the arts on the first Wednesday evening of the month (September – July) from 5 to 9 p.m. A current exhibition is central to the evening, which leads off with a curator- or docent-led tour, followed by a performance, artist talk, or participatory workshop, and the opportunity to socialize. Seasonal specials in the Museum Store and complimentary light refreshments are also available. Free with regular admission.
Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,
Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.,
and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.
The George Riabov
Collection of Russian art.
Portrait of the brother of the poetess Zinaida Gippius, 19302, oil on canvas.
Costume design for a 1937 production of the opera-ballet "Le Coq d'Or", by Basil's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Stage design for the ballet "Le Dieu Bleu", 1911, gouache and watercolor on paper.
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