The Press Newspaper
Just who are the patrons of The Toledo Museum of Art? They’re men, women and children…young and old, of varying ethnicities and backgrounds who come from near and far to enjoy what the museum has to offer.
Through Jan. 10, 2013, the TMA is paying tribute to its community in a new exhibition featuring a collective portrait composed of a room-sized installation of faces.
“Museum People: Faces of TMA” showcases photographs of nearly 700 individuals – visitors, supporters, volunteers and staff – who are not just the faces but also the heart of the Museum. The images were shot over a period of weeks during public sessions held at the Museum.
“We wanted to highlight the incredible community of people who support the Museum – people from our local area and from around the world,” said Amy Gilman, associate director of the Museum and curator of contemporary art.
The show, on exhibit in Gallery 1 off Libbey Court, is part of a fall season of portraiture headlined by the major international exhibition “Manet: Portraying Life” and complemented by several others at the Museum. Toledo is the exclusive U.S. venue for the major exhibition, which that explores the creative force of Édouard Manet and his work in the genre of both posed portraiture as well as portraits depicting everyday life in the Paris of his time. The exhibit opens Oct. 7 and continues through Jan. 1, 2013.
Last spring, hundreds of community members of all ages had their portraits taken by local award-winning photographer Jim Rohman and his assistant Giles Cooper for possible inclusion in the exhibition.
While at first glance the “salon style” sea of faces may seem to emphasize repetition and similarity, a closer look reveals the expressions of personality and fundamental diversity of the people that make up the Museum.
“We have incredible objects in the collection and show wonderful exhibitions, but it would be meaningless without the nearly 400,000 visitors who come here each year,” said Gilman. “In a season of portraiture, it just seemed fitting to create a group portrait of our TMA.”
The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Toledo Museum of Art members and supported in part through the sustainability grant program of the Ohio Arts Council with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Admission to the exhibition and Museum is free.