‘Looking Ahead: Portraits from the Mott-Warsh Collection’ Opening at Museum


by News Bureau on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 14, 2012 – “Looking Ahead: Portraits from the Mott-Warsh Collection” will be displayed beginning Aug. 28 in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The exhibit will remain on display through Oct. 21.

The works, which feature the black face, are featured in representational and conceptual portraiture. Artists showcased in this exhibition directly and indirectly examine the social, political and cultural nuances of the black face and head in fine art and popular visual culture. 

The theme of black portraiture has been primarily explored in photography and literature yet rarely in fine art museum exhibitions. Several of the works are self-portraits, and a few are portraits of artists who are represented in the Mott-Warsh Collection.

In general, art museums seldom present portrait exhibitions.  This exhibition was organized as an attempt to fill that void and unite a group of artists, who rarely, if at all, are shown together in the same venue. 

Works by the following artists are featured in the exhibition: Charles Alston, Robert Arneson, Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Mary Borgman, Elizabeth Catlett, Chuck Close, Diane Edison, Chester Higgins Jr., Whitfield Lovell, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allie McGhee, Hank Willis Thomas, Mildred Thompson, Alphonse van Woerkom, Charles White, Peter Williams, John Wilson, Richard Wyatt Jr. and Richard Yarde.

This exhibition features artwork in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture.  Several of the works are small, intimate pieces, and other works are large in scale and domineering in their presence.

Based in Flint, Mich., The Mott-Warsh Collection was initiated by Maryanne Mott and her husband, the late Herman Warsh, in 2001. With a focus on artworks created by artists of the African Diaspora, the Mott-Warsh Collection includes artworks produced in the 20th and 21st centuries by more than 150 artists, covering a range of media from drawing to painting, prints to photography and mixed media to sculpture.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, located at 518 S. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call (573) 651- 2260 or email museum@semo.edu.