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Smart Art Museum at University of Chicago Plans Major Reinstallation

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—The University of Chicago’s Smart Art Museum has announced a major reinstallation of its permanent collection and the launch of a three-year, three-part exhibition series intended to highlight works by women and artists of color. The exhibition series, Expanding Narratives, will include loans from university alumni and Chicago-based collectors and continue through 2020, when a reconfiguration of the museum’s galleries will be complete. 

Expanding Narratives: The Figure and the Ground is on view until December 30, 2018 and features work by Sam Gilliam, Lee Krasner, Kerry James Marshall, and Joan Mitchell, among others. The second chapter, expected to open in spring 2019, will focus on African-American artists and artists of the African Diaspora. The third will present works from around the world, examining connections between cultures.

“As we look to the future, the Expanding Narratives series will offer a transparent platform for us to consider what constitutes a great university art museum collection in the twenty-first century,” Alison Gass, the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum, said. “We don’t have the space to tell an encyclopedic history all at once, but we can be flexible and build an exhibitions and collections program that positions us as a site of critical debate, reflective of the academic excellence and global impact of the university.”

Expanding Narratives is accompanied by programming from the Feitler Center for Academy Inquiry, the museum’s interdisciplinary research division, which will invite faculty from various university departments to share interpretations of the works on view. The exhibition series will also support a two-year curatorial fellowship.

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May 14, 2018