“Modern Medieval: Materiality and Spirituality in German Expressionist Prints” opens at the Museum

Installation view of the exhibition "Modern Medieval..." at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Installation view of the exhibition “Modern Medieval…” at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Modern Medieval: Materiality and Spirituality in German Expressionist Prints opened to the public on February 16 and will be on view through June 4, 2017. Highlighting the BCMA’s diverse permanent collection, the exhibition juxtaposes early twentieth-century German prints with late-medieval objects, presenting a unique perspective on western medieval culture’s influence on German Expressionism. German Expressionism diverged from the academic tradition of naturalism in its belief that art should express emotional responses to the world, while capturing one’s inner spirits. Avant-garde artists found inspiration in artwork that was not constrained by or esteemed in the academic tradition, particularly woodcuts created in the late-medieval and early-Renaissance period. Including works by Ernst Barlach, Albrecht Dürer, Lyonel Feininger, Erich Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Käthe Kollwitz, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, among others, Modern Medieval examines the important intersection between medieval and modern material production, analyzing materiality and multi-sensory engagement that evoked the spiritual in both the Middle Ages and early twentieth-century Germany. The exhibition also offers insight into the significance of medieval culture on the development of abstraction in the twentieth century.

Please join us for the exciting upcoming programs held in conjunction with this exhibition:

April 13, 2017 | 4:30 p.m. | Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

“The Presence of Spirituality in German Avant-Garde Artistic Responses to World War One”

Robin Reisenfeld, curator, works on paper, Toledo Museum of Art will discuss the increase in production of spiritual and religious imagery in German avant-garde responses to World War I.

April 25, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. | Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall

Film screening and discussion: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Tricia Welsch, professor of cinema studies, and Honor Wilkinson, curatorial assistant, will discuss the aesthetic and thematic relationship between early twentieth-century German cinema and visual art following the screening of the renowned 1920s German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Listen to assistant curator Honor Wilkinson on WBOR 91.1 talking with College writer Tom Porter about the Modern Medieval exhibition (audio may take a few moments to load)

Honor Wilkinson

thumb:Chinese, "Jar (Guan)," 3000-2500 BC, painted ceramic. Gift of George and Elaine Keyes in honor of Barry Mills. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.