Currently on view in the second-floor galleries of the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine of the Miller Art Museum is a new permanent collection display. A dynamic exhibition of black-and-white photography can be seen in the main gallery, and the second, smaller gallery is dedicated solely to the work of Museum founder Gerhard CF Miller, also with a new display of his work.
“The absence of color in black-and-white photography is a great way for the viewer to focus on form, shape and line in a composition,” said Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson, the Museum’s curator of exhibitions and collections. Viewers can see this in images like Daniel B. Anderson’s “Buggy in a Straw Loft,” a photo from 1989, and Suzanne Rose’s “snowy lane / winter,” from 2012. “Both of these works highlight line – in the pattern of barn rafters and in trees covered by snow,” said Shoshany Anderson. “And due to the black-and-white nature of the photos your attention is really drawn to form in a way it might not be if there were color present.”
“We have a really lovely selection of black and white photography in our permanent collection and we thought this was a perfect opportunity to highlight it,” said Shoshany Anderson.
Artists represented include David M. Currie, Suzanne Rose, Bill Jackal, Daniel B. Anderson, William Brophy, Toby Vandenack, William F. Lemke, Kenneth S. Vreeland, Leonard Quaretti, Thomas Jordan, David Parris and Ken Hedrich.
New works of Miller can be viewed in a display that focuses on Door County subject matter. Shoshany Anderson said, “Gerhard was known for his travels and made some fantastic art with sights around the world, but we wanted to highlight some beautiful depictions in all seasons.” This display consists of large-scale works, both in egg tempera, for which the artist is most well-known, and watercolor. The artist’s desk and easel are also on display in the gallery for visitors to see.
“Gerhard worked at his painting desk for decades,” said David Utzinger, Gerhard Miller’s grandson. “I would say the majority of his mature work was created at that desk.”
“It has always been my belief that the creative process starts with the creative space and the tools the artist sets out to do their work, and so, perhaps by recreating Gerhard’s creative space and by setting out the tools he used to create within that space, we may learn a little about his creative process,” said Utzinger.
Utzinger loaned the Miller Art Museum the desk and easel for the purposes of the display.
“The public is invited to visit the Museum to view works from our collection that they may not have seen before,” said Shoshany Anderson. “The Miller Art Museum’s collection is extensive and varied; a real treasure to our area.”
These two permanent collection displays will be on view through the end of 2018.
The museum is located within the Door County Library at 107 S. Fourth Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Hours are 10 am – 8 pm Monday, 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and closed Sunday. Admission is free; an elevator is available to access galleries on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. For more information, call 920.746.0707 or visit millerartmuseum.org.