The Dayton Art Institute, one of Dayton's oldest cultural attractions and one of the premier fine arts museums in the Midwest, just opened its 2023 special exhibition season with an expansive touring exhibition, New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West, featuring late 19th and early 20th-century works from Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. The museum also recently announced the rest of its 2023 exhibition season, as well as the lineup for its popular Bob Ross Auto Group Jazz & Beyond series. Read on for all the artistic details!

Image: A gallery view of the special exhibition New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West at Dayton Art Institute (Photo by Jerry N. Smith)

New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West

Paintings from the exhibition New Beginnings at Dayton Art InstituteThe DAI has partnered with the Tia Collection to present New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West, which is currently open at the museum through May 21.

After an extended four-year tour, The Tia Collection’s largest and most-extensive traveling exhibition makes its final stop in Dayton. New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West features more than 150 works by 85 artists from Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. New Beginnings offers a fresh yet comprehensive insight into the evolution of art in that region, with works from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth, with most coming from the 1910s through the 1940s. The exhibition includes signature works by acclaimed artists such as Oscar Berninghaus, Andrew Dasburg, Stuart Davis, Victor Higgins and Will Shuster.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Santa Fe and Taos were recognized as two of the nation’s–and world’s–most important art communities. The cosmopolitan denizens of these relatively remote outposts embraced a multicultural America by engaging with Native American and Hispano populations.

Above images (clockwise from the left): Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929), Lucinda (detail), 1917, oil on canvas, Tia Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Katherine Farrell (American, 1857-1951), Untitled (detail), about 1940, oil on canvas, Tia Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico. E. Martin Hennings (American, 1886-1956), Beneath Clouded Skies (detail), about 1922, oil on canvas, Tia Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Beulah Stevenson (American, 1890-1965), Camino del Monte Sol (detail), 1947, oil on board. Tia Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“We are thrilled to bring this major exhibition to Dayton, one of the largest we have presented in a long time,” said DAI Chief Curator Jerry N. Smith. “As someone who used to live in the Southwest and is familiar with art of the American West, this is a particular treat for me, personally. There are so many works of high quality in this exhibition. Seeing the works in Dayton brings to mind the days of the early twentieth century when the artists working in Taos and Santa Fe would send their paintings to the Midwest on traveling exhibitions.”

A gallery view of the New Beginnings exhibition at Dayton Art InstituteIn this exhibition, marquee works by romantic painters are displayed alongside modernist artists and photographers, as well as artists who are either little known or under-recognized. By placing the works of lesser-known artists alongside pillars of the art community, New Beginnings offers a less-explored perspective and new dimension to the history of the Taos and Santa Fe art colonies and their enduring legacy.

“As the exclusive venue in the Midwest, it is exciting to bring this unique exhibition to the Dayton Art Institute” said DAI Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The diversity of style, medium and subject of this collection is outstanding. There is something for everyone in this show.”

Several related programs and educational resources will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition, including:

  • Curatorial Conversations gallery talks on Saturday, March 18 (in-person at the DAI) and Thursday, April 14 (online via Zoom). Both programs take place 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Exhibition Films Screening: “Painting Taos,” Thursday, March 30, 6:30 p.m.
  • Gallery Experiences: Select Saturdays, March 4, March 25, April 15, April 29, May 20 (in-person at DAI) and select Thursdays, March 9, April 20, and May 18 (online via Zoom)
  • Community Studio Workshops: Painting En Plein Air, Saturday, April 22, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and Sunday, May 7, 12:30-2 p.m. (advance registration required)

Visit the exhibition page on the Dayton Art Institute website for more about New Beginnings and its programs.

Other Exhibitions and Events at the Museum

Dayton Art Institute

The DAI also recently announced its upcoming 2023 special exhibitions:

Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper with Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists 
June 24-September 17, 2023 

Washi Transformed looks beyond origami and presents 35 highly textured two-dimensional works, expressive sculptures and dramatic installations that explore the astonishing potential of washi, traditional Japanese paper. In this exhibition, nine Japanese artists embrace the seemingly infinite possibilities of the medium, underscoring the unique stature this ancient art form has earned in the realm of international contemporary art. The breathtaking creativity of these artistic visionaries deepens our understanding of how the past informs the present, and how it can build lasting cultural bridges out of something as apparently simple and ephemeral as paper. Born of Fire complements Washi Transformed and features a diverse selection of 14 works by both emerging and internationally established Japanese women ceramic artists. Pioneering new forms and technical and aesthetic innovations in the medium, these remarkable artists are breaking barriers and forging new ways of creating and thinking about ceramics that reflect changes occurring in contemporary Japanese art and society. The works express the influence of nature, innovations in ceramic-making techniques and an array of practices.  

Toulouse-Lautrec: The Birth of Modern Paris 
October 21, 2023-January 14, 2024 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is recognized internationally as one of the most significant post-Impressionist artists for his depictions of cabarets, theaters, dance halls and brothels of late 19th-century bohemian Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec used empathy and humor to capture life as he found it in the bustling “City of Light.”  His interest lay in portraying people, not only those he met during his infamous nights on the town, but also his friends and the working-class citizens of Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec: The Birth of Modern Paris includes more than 200 works of art and highlights some of the best-known images of this great artist as presented in many of his large original advertisement posters, letters, prints and drawings (including double-sided drawings), a rare lithographic stone, photographs and books with illustrations by the artist. This exhibition is organized by The Museum Box in collaboration with Pan Art Connections, Inc. (DE).

Other current and upcoming focus exhibitions at the museum include Woodblock Prints of Saitō Kiyoshi currently on view through July 16th. Pondering the Mystery of Late Life will open on March 18 and remain on view through June 11, 2023.

Additionally, the DAI just announced the return of its popular Bob Ross Auto Group Jazz & Beyond series, which kicked off on March 9 and continues with concerts in April, July, August, October and November.

Visit the Dayton Art Institute website for more information and to plan your next visit!

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