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Arthur G. Murphy, Bridge Worker No. 6, 1935, Lithograph
Long-term loan courtesy the Fine Arts Program, U.S. General Services Administration
Acrylic on Panel
Courtesy of the Artist; Monte Dolack
“Works in Progress: Prints from the New Deal” runs from November 13, 2020 to January 16, 2021. The exhibition features American prints from the period of the Great Depression.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected President of the United States in 1932, promised the American public a “New Deal” to end the Great Depression, the long economic downturn that followed the global stock market collapse of 1929. One of the programs he ushered in was the Works Progress Administration, which eventually employed over 8 million Americans and funded government construction of roads, bridges, airports, and schools, as well as public art that left an indelible imprint on the nation’s memory.
Thousands of American artists and their families survived on the support of the W.P.A. in the 1930s and early 1940s, creating an array of imagery that depicted labor, industry, transportation, leisure and, perhaps most importantly, our shared humanity. The exhibition reveals the work of that generation, frank yet optimistic prints that open a unique window on an unforgettable era of hardship and resilience.
On Friday, Sept. 25, the Montana Museum of Art and Culture at the University of Montana will open a new exhibition of art books from the Dan Weinberg Collection, a recent donation to the museum’s Permanent Collection.
“Bookish: Selections from the Dan Weinberg Collection” will run from Sept. 25 through Dec. 12 in the Meloy Gallery of UM’s Performing Arts and Radio Television Center. There is no opening reception due to the coronavirus pandemic, but MMAC will offer virtual tours and programming, including a series of book reveals and interviews with scholars.
The books, donated by Montana State Senator Dan Weinberg in 2018, were published by the New York-based Vincent FitzGerald & Co. Since 1980, that company has been recognized for bringing visual artists and writers together in creative collaboration to produce limited-edition books in the French tradition of the “livre d’artiste.” This exhibition gathers fine examples of artists’ books, prompting viewers to consider ways in which the book can evolve beyond conventional formats into other art forms.
Weinberg’s gift honors the lifelong work of his friend Vincent FitzGerald, an economics graduate of Fordham University and cousin of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. They first met while training for the Peace Corps in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 1968. In 1970, FitzGerald returned to New York to make handmade art books, which he continued to do until his retirement in 2018.
Weinberg, a clinical psychologist from Whitefish, won election to the Montana State Senate in 2004. In 2008, he founded the Montana Innocence Project, an organization that works to exonerate the innocent and prevent wrongful convictions.
Visit the Dolack show on YouTube. For an introduction to the exhibition and a virtual tour, go to: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpG_TkShR1gIYJ9yWTN37Yg?view_as=subscriber
Monte Dolack is one of the most widely recognized and beloved artists in Montana. The artist marks his 70th birthday in the year 2020. Simultaneously, the MMAC will celebrate its 125th anniversary. As the inaugural exhibition of the museum’s sesquicentennial season, the show brings together many original oil paintings, sketches, lithographs, and posters, reflecting Dolack’s love of the natural world and blending his interests in storytelling and mythology with his profound sense of humor.
The artist’s keen observations of nature and his concern for environmental issues have led to commissions from dozens of conservation organizations like American Rivers, Defenders of Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited; and he has created over 300 posters and prints for various organizations since 1964. Dolack’s works can be found in the collections of the American Association of Museums, the Library of Congress, the National Wildfire Foundation, and many other prestigious museums and corporations.
Dolack has received countless awards. Most recently, in 2018, the Montana Arts Council bestowed on him the Governor’s Arts Award for lifetime achievement. In 2009, along with his late wife Mary Beth Percival, Monte received the Distinguished Fine Arts Alumni Award from UM’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. He was also selected by the Missoulian as one of the 100 most Influential Montanans of the 20th Century. Since 1993, he has managed a flourishing fine art studio/gallery in Missoula, Montana. His work is available at Monte Dolack Fine Art and dolack.com, as well as at The Frame of Mind Gallery in Missoula.