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S&B Archives

Search S&B historical archives going back to 1894, presented by Grinnell College Libraries. Read about the release of the digital archive in the "S&B From the Beginning" news article on the College web site.

A gallery-goer takes a closer look at Jennifer Bartlett's House: Plaid, a work in the exhibition Re-Structure, which was on view in the Faulconer Gallery in 1999.A gallery-goer takes a closer look at Jennifer Bartlett's House: Plaid, a work in the exhibition Re-Strucrture, which was on view in the Faulconer Gallery in 1999.

On September 26, the Faulconer Gallery celebrated 15 years of bringing world-class art and artists to Grinnell’s campus.  

Varied Exhibitions

Faulconer Gallery frequently brings major national and international exhibitions to the upper Midwest, several times as one of the first stops in the United States. For instance, Grinnell is the second American location for the Edward Burtynsky: Water exhibition and the first American location for a major exhibition of the works of Canadian artist John Scott, curated by Daniel Strong, associate director and curator of exhibitions.

The gallery promotes learning though artistic excellence and creative collaboration. To that end, it has brought more than 200 exhibitions and 15 years of art programming to the College and the region. So far, the space has accommodated everything from French painting to video art installations to sculpture.

A mix of regional, national, and international art has graced Faulconer Gallery. A number of exhibitions have been curated by the gallery staff — some of them consisting exclusively of works from the College’s collection and others drawing on artists from around the world. The gallery also brings in major traveling shows.

Student Opportunities

Hundreds of students have worked for and done research with the gallery over the years. Every semester since 2005, the gallery has had a student intern, and each intern has the opportunity to curate an exhibition from the collection.

Two art history alums, Katherine Rochester ’06 and Julia McHugh ’07, had formative experiences at the gallery. Rochester helped develop the first-ever exhibit focused on the printmaking of famed South African artist William Kentridge, curated by Kay Wilson, curator of the collection. As an intern, McHugh helped curate an exhibit from the College collection, and as part of her art history MAP with Jenny Anger, associate professor of art, she curated an Enrique Chagoya exhibit. The two alums were recently selected for the inaugural session of the Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice, held in New York City. The program identified 16 art history Ph.D. students with the potential to become leaders in the museum world and provided curatorial and leadership training.

The Department of Art and Art History teaches an exhibition seminar every three years, giving students hands-on curatorial experience. Faulconer Gallery hosts the final exhibition and publishes the student-written catalog. These shows have ranged from German Expressionist prints to Edward Curtis’s photographs of Native Americans. Currently, Vanessa Lyon, assistant professor of art, is directing the exhibition seminar that will develop an exhibit of complex—and sometimes contradictory—visual responses to notions of Enlightenment reason, objectivity, and tolerance in the work of William Hogarth, Jacques Callot, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and Francisco Goya for spring 2015.

The gallery frequently shows more than one exhibition at a time, which allows for increased opportunities for professors to use art to supplement their courses. Twenty-two academic departments were directly involved in gallery events, and 34 classes made use of the gallery in the 2013–14 school year.

Creative Collaborations

“It’s important to remember that in addition to being a gallery, the Faulconer is also a public space,” says Lesley Wright, the director of the Faulconer Gallery.

A number of events not focused on the artwork on display happen each semester. Vocal and instrumental music ensembles perform regularly, and the gallery sometimes hosts readings for the Writers@Grinnellprogram as well as a weekly noon yoga session.

One of the main reasons the gallery hosts so many events is to get students, faculty, staff, and community members to go inside. Art can be intimidating, especially when placed in an intellectually rigorous environment such as Grinnell’s.

“A lot of what we do is make people comfortable going into a museum,” says Wright. “A collaborative event may get them in the door, then we hope they will stop by for a few minutes, or choose to study in the space, or visit every time they are in Bucksbaum. We want Faulconer Gallery to be a regular part of the lives of our campus and community.”

Profiles in Crisis
Join George Drake '56, Grinnell College Professor Emeritus of History and former president of the College, for his Leadership in Crisis video series on Nelson Mandela, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.