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Virtual Exhibitions

LeConte Stewart

LeConte Stewart found inspiration from the landscapes, urban centers, farms, and homes of Utah.  Likewise, many residents in the communities where he lived and worked found inspiration in Stewart.  This website explores his life, the people and subjects that influenced his work, and the legacy he left behind.

In LeConte Stewart Papers, courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, you can view Stewart's class notes from his studies at the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York, as well as the teaching materials he used as the Chair of the Art Department at the University of Utah.  Discover the sites Stewart painted and how they changed over time in Then and Now; listen to audio commentary in Exhibition Highlights; and watch rare footage, courtesy of Claudia Sisemore, of Stewart painting, drawing, and discussing his artistic philosophies in Stewart Speaks.  This educational resource serves as a companion to LeConte Stewart: Depression Era Art, on view at the UMFA from July 21, 2011-January 15, 2012.

Visit LeConte Stewart


The Smithson Effect

Robert Smithson's iconic earthwork, Spiral Jetty, takes the form of a 1,500-foot-long and approximately 15-foot-wide coil of basalt rocks that extends into Utah's Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point. Smithson was one of a number of artists in the late 1960s and 1970s who moved out into the vast, open landscapes of the American West, putting the earth itself to use as an artistic medium. This site provides resources about Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (1970) for viewers who may or may not have visited the earthwork in person. It serves as a companion to The Smithson Effect, an exhibition that explores Smithson's influence on contemporary artists since the 1990s, on view at the UMFA from March 10–July 3, 2011.

Visit The Smithson Effect


Influences of the Silk Road

Although we traditionally think of the Silk Road as a single route across the deserts of Central Asia, it was in fact a complex web of overland and maritime trade routes linking Asia, the Middle East and Europe.  Material goods and ideas went far beyond the established routes. Silk from China made its way into the courts of Europe along the same routes that brought knowledge of gunpowder, paper and navigation technology to Europe and Western science to China. Leopard fur from Africa was traded in Asia along routes that also brought the religion of Islam.

This virtual exhibition highlights selected explorers of the Silk Road, features downloadable podcasts of curatorial commentary, and links to a Bukhara Qu'ran and other holdings of the Rare Books Division, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, at the University of Utah.

Visit Influences of the Silk Road


Patrick Nagatani's Nuclear Enchantment

Nagatani’s photographic series Nuclear Enchantment can be explored in its entirety in this new virtual exhibition.

A New Mexico resident, Patrick Nagatani often uses the local landscape as a stage for scenes that comment wryly on the atomic history and nuclear industry of the area. Drawing on his background in movie set design, Nagatani creates and photographs elaborate installations that combine life-size foam-board cutouts, handcrafted miniature models, paint and collage elements. The resultant images amount to a kind of theater of the absurd, questioning the frequent clash between human culture and scientific advancement.

Presented in conjunction with Desert Secrets, this online exhibition features a timeline of nuclear development, a Google Maps tour of the sites depicted in Nagatani’s photographs, and short videos that illuminate the compelling history and complex techniques behind his work.

Visit Patrick Nagatani's Nuclear Enchantment




Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art

The UMFA is honored to curate and premiere this extraordinary exhibition of American Indian art from the John and Marva Warnock Collection. Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art will present 149 objects of unique artistry and powerful cultural expression from the Native people of the Plains, Plateau and Northeast.

Enjoy this interactive look into the objects and how they are made. Complete with interviews with Curators Emma Hansen and Bernadette Brown, this program will prepare you for your visit, or quench your thirst for knowledge.

Available in English and Spanish.

Visit Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art 



LeConte Stewart (1981-1990), American, Smith's House, 1937, oil on canvas, gift by bequest of Kay H. Blood, collection of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah, Museum#2001.16.2

Spiral Jetty
Gianfranco Gorgoni (b. 1941), Italian, Spiral Jetty, 1970, gelatin silver print, gift of John Weber Gallery, Museum # 1996.022.001

Possibly Kashmiri, India, 18th century, Hadith in Arabic with Farsi marginalia, ink and gold leaf on vellum, gift of Kent C. Day, Museum # 2002.5.2

Patrick Nagatani (American, b. 1945), National Atomic Museum, Kirtland Air Force Base,  Albuquerque, New Mexico, from the series  Nuclear Enchantment, 1990, chromogenic print,  gift of Dr. Mark Reichman, Museum #2003.25.42

Plains, Sioux, Shirt, ca.1860, Native tanned deerskin; natural and dyed porcupine quills; multi-colored glass seed beads; human hair; sinew sewn; mineral pigments (blue), WC8803013

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