A Year of Making Meaning: New Additions to the Collection 2020

October 24, 2020 - January 31, 2021

A Year of Making Meaning: New Additions to the Collection 2020 highlights some of the numerous works collected by FWMoA in the last two years. A main component of our mission is to not only collect fine works of art, but to put them on regular display for the community. Like many museums, we are unable to display the entirety of our collection at once, but this exhibition is one of the ways we can showcase some of our newest, brightest stars.

Our collecting philosophy centers on continually filling the gaps in our collection in order to build logical sub-collections within the whole of the permanent collection, primarily focusing on 20th century American art, with significant investments made in 21st century art. It is from these sub-collections that we create an array of exhibitions that include works from the collection. Museum CEO and Chief Curator Charles A. Shepard III searches auction houses, galleries, and private collections year-round for artwork to acquire, bringing artwork to Fort Wayne that will enrich our collection and engage our community. Further, Shepard researches artists who may not be household names, but are nonetheless fine examples of the best of our country’s creative identity. The art market, an often fickle economy driven by profit, prestige, and celebrity, regularly excludes hundreds of American artists from the mainstream art world defined by popular media. Thus, these artists are often inadvertently omitted from the story of American art, but museums, and ours in particular, can rescue many of these artists from being forgotten. Their stories live on in museum collections and come to life in exhibitions like these.

This exhibition’s selections may not share genres or thematic content; rather, the message here is that each work is an important part of American art, no matter its fame or familiarity in the common sphere. Though the focus of our collection is rooted in American art, we also collect work by artists who are not American-born but have significant ties to America and its culture. By collecting work by these artists and others, we are able to define America’s sphere of creative influence more completely.