Engaging the Canon: Selections from the AMAM Art Rental Collection

June 19 - September 9, 2012
Education Hallway

Founded in 1940 by Professor Ellen Johnson with support from Oberlin College President Ernest H. Wilkins, the Art Rental program allows students to rent two original works of art for the entire semester. Students from across the disciplines often camp overnight in the museum courtyard in order to secure a favorable position in line. Once inside, they can choose from over 400 works by artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Renoir, Warhol, and Dalí among many others.

The works on view in the exhibition highlight three contemporary artists who critique the Western artistic canon and its institutions by proposing a radical conceptual reversal, rewriting a dominant narrative, or appropriating a well-known master painting. Faith Ringgold’s lithograph, shown here, depicts an imaginary encounter between influential black women holding a collectively crafted quilt and a timid-looking Vincent van Gogh, the epitome of solitary artistic genius.

This exhibition was organized by Erika Raberg, Curatorial Assistant in the Office of Academic Programs.

Faith Ringgold (American, b. 1930)
The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, 1995
Art Rental Collection Fund, RC1996.1