Release Date: May 24,2022

Akron Art Museum Announces Updated Collection Exhibition

May 24, 2022, Akron, OH – In celebration of its centennial, the Akron Art Museum announces a reinstallation of its collection galleries, titled Share the Past, Create the Future: Selections from the Akron Art Museum Collection. The spaces have been completely revamped, the most dramatic change that they have undergone in over a decade. In the galleries, visitors will witness the fantastic progress the institution has made in its collection over the past one hundred years. Share the Past will be on view in the Museum’s Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation Galleries through April 9, 2023.

Share the Past features works of art organized around themes strongly represented in the collection. In organizing the collection by theme and not by historical period, the Museum invites viewers to experience art in a way that reflects the present day. Some of the artworks have been shown frequently throughout the institution’s history, while others are being displayed for the very first time. Each object on view is meant to invite new and fresh conversations. Through this presentation, the aim is to offer a more inclusive look at the embedded diversities within the history of art.

“I’m so excited to share a refreshed presentation of the collection with our community,” Jared Ledesma, senior curator said. “The thematic galleries strengthen the Museum’s relevancy while also displaying a more comprehensive overview of our holdings. It was difficult to place favorites into storage, but thrilling to pull new works from the vault and place them alongside hallmarks of the collection.”

Each gallery in this reinstallation is organized around one of the following themes: The Otherworldly and the Fantastic, The Political Landscape, Realism, Images of Blackness, Abstraction, and The Natural World.

Assistant Curator Jeff Katzin, PhD, stated, “These new installations have provided a wonderful occasion to look to both the past and the future. We’ve been able to reflect on the century of hard work, smart choices, and community support that built the Museum’s collection, while also considering how we can expand on that legacy. It has been a privilege to help mark this historic occasion and to share it with our visitors.”

This reinstallation almost doubles the number of artists represented in the collection galleries, including nineteen women and eighteen artists of color as well as twenty-five works never shown before. Among the works never shown are Homage to Nature, a key photograph by Sarah Charlesworth, a seminal figure of the Pictures Generation, and The Beach, an eerie and intoxicating painting by Nicaragua-born, Miami-based artist Farley Aguilar. Visitors will also be pleased to find Nick Cave’s Soundsuit, which joined the Museum’s collection in 2019 but has been off-view since.