SPRING 2023 EXHIBTION | 1969: Reflection & Reimagination

We are thrilled to announce that the Wake Forest Historical Museum will host a selection of works from Wake Forest University’s Mark H. Reece Collection of Student-Acquired Contemporary Art. The exhibition will open to the public on January 31st and will run through June 2023.

About the Exhibit

1969: Reflection & Reimagination features artwork from the Mark H. Reece Collection of Student-Acquired Contemporary Art in celebration of the collection’s 60th anniversary. The exhibit was curated by Wake Forest University students with the support of their advisor, Jennifer Finkel, Acquavella Curator of Collections and includes twelve of twenty-eight pieces of art purchased by Wake Forest students in New York City in 1969.

This will be the first time the Mark H. Reece Collection has been on display in Wake Forest, North Carolina, the founding place of Wake Forest University and represents an important new partnership between the Wake Forest Historical Museum and Wake Forest University’s Office of University Art Collections.

About the Collection

Established in 1962, the Mark H. Reece Collection of Student-Acquired Contemporary Art is unusual in that it was conceived by students, selected by student committees, and purchased entirely with Wake Forest University funds. Every four years since the first New York buying trip in 1963, a small group of students, under the direction of an Art Department faculty member, have researched contemporary artists and the contemporary art market and purchased new artworks for the Wake Forest Art Collection. Included are paintings, prints, drawings, photography, and sculpture by such notable artists as Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Alex Katz, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon, Kiki Smith, and Shirin Neshat. The Mark H. Reece Collection of Student-Acquired Contemporary Art is now the University’s premier collection, numbering nearly 200 artworks by over one hundred different artists. This program is the first of its kind at a university. 

We are grateful to Wake Forest University Art Collection for making this exhibition possible.

Exhibit Events

1969: The Year Everything Changed | Book Club & Art Tour

February 7, 2023 at 6 PM

Join us as we discuss 1969: The Year Everything Changed by Rob Kirkpatrick. In this rich and comprehensive narrative, Rob Kirkpatrick chronicles an unparalleled year in American society in all its explosive ups and downs. This event includes a guided tour of 1969: Reflection & Reimagination. Learn more and register for this free event.

Ben Shahn: Passion for Justice | Film Screening

March 23, 2023 at 6 PM

A young Jewish immigrant, Ben Shahn fearlessly recorded in paint and on film a broad swath of America’s social landscape, from the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement. This program presents the biography of an artist who fused political awareness with modernism, whose works were as likely to appear on the cover of Time as in the Museum of Modern Art. After the film, Barry Trachtenberg, Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University, and Allison Slaby, Curator of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, will offer more insight into the life and work of Ben Shahn. 1969: Reflection & Reimagination features two prints by Shahn. Learn more and register for this free event.

Politics & Pastels: A Conversation with Jane Steelman | Talk

March 29, 2023 at 6 PM

Wake Forest artist Jane Steelman visits the museum to talk about her award-winning work. More information to come.

Night at the Museum | Extended Hours

The museum galleries will be open until 8 PM on the following dates. There will be no special program, visitors may drop by anytime between 9 AM and 12 PM & 1:30 PM and 8 PM. All are welcome. There is no admission charge to visit the museum.

February 16, 2023

April 4, 2023

Hands-on History: Modern Weaving | K5 Activity

May 2, 2023 at 4:30 PM

This special program is inspired by, Blue/Green, a handwoven wool tapestry by Robert Motherwell. Over 9 feet tall, Blue/Green is the biggest artwork in our spring exhibit. We’ll talk about what inspired modernist weavers and learn how to create our own abstract weaving. All supplies will be provided at this free program. More information to come.

Alcohol Inks with Jane Steelman | Class

May 10, 2023 at 5 PM

In this workshop, you will learn the basic techniques of painting with alcohol inks using various methods, such as free flow, pouring, and painting with brushes, cotton swabs and more while creating your beautiful inkscape/landscape! Everyone’s piece will be one-of-a-kind. Wake Forest artist Jane Steelman has many designs for you to select from and re-create reflecting your own creativity and individuality. You do not need to have previous art experience. Registration fee: $55. Learn more about this class and register.


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