‘From Ukraine to New Jersey,’ the undying message of art prevails

 Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery

Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery

Have you wondered what it would be like to be a guest curator of a museum or art gallery where you oversee the Mona Lisa or The Starry Night?

A Seton Hall graduate student, Taylor Curtis, has just snatched the role as a guest curator in South Orange at the Pierro Municipal Gallery.

She oversees and manages an exhibit called “From Ukraine to New Jersey: Louis Lozowick’s Prints of American Life.”

This exhibit showcases the work of Louis Lozowick, who lived through the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression.

Curtis and Sandy Martiny, the director of the gallery, and Dr. Petra Chu, director of the Seton Hall graduate program of Museum Professions, worked so that the gallery displayed a well-rounded exhibition to really showcase Lozowick’s time in New Jersey, where he produced many of his prints.

“His prints of the period show skyscrapers, bridges, and other technological marvels that exemplify the optimism of that decade,” Taylor said. “When the Wall Street crash of 1929 brought
an end to all of that and ushered in the Great Depression, Lozowick’s lithographs began to change. His focus now was on the fate of unemployed workers and on social and racial inequality.”

His works are seen in the Whitney Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and galleries around the world.

Painting the walls red behind the black and white lithographs was an original vision that Curtis had for this exhibit, but then she said she realized that the red walls might be too distracting.

One thing she does want though, is for visitors to make connections with the exhibit.

“Whether that means realizing the beauty and meaning in Lozowick’s black and white, geometrical prints, learning about lithography and how tedious the process can be, or seeing a place you have been before in Lozowick’s prints,” she said.

Curtis worked as an assistant curator for the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, but she aspires to be a full-time curator and the courses she attended at SHU prepared her for this career path.

She learned early on that in order to create a successful exhibition, she has to collaborate with the community around her, Curtis added. After this exhibit, she will be an intern in the 3D Exhibition Design Department at the American Museum of Natural History.

“From Ukraine to New Jersey: Louis Lozowick’s Prints of American Life” will be on display from Jan. 20 through Feb. 25.

Dr. Helen Langa, professor at American University will visit Seton Hall to give a lecture about Lozowick on Jan. 28 at 7p.m.

Erika Szumel can be reached at erika.szumel@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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