Exhibition Reviews in the Time of COVID-19

The Panorama Exhibition Reviews Editors

The Exhibition Reviews section of Panorama is managed by three volunteer editors. Currently, the team is comprised of Caroline Riley, Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd, and Frances K. Holmes. Rebecca Bedell served as an Exhibition Reviews co-editor through December of 2021.

Together, the editors commission and oversee the production of exhibition reviews for the journal. The team balances concerns relating to the mission of the journal, the geographical range of the exhibitions, and the artists, materials, and chronological periods covered.

Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the work of museums. It has delayed and/or resulted in the cancellation of numerous important exhibitions of American art. Curators and museum staff have worked tirelessly to re-route artworks, extend loans, modify exhibition catalogues, and shift programming to virtual formats, reminding us of the vital importance of museums and the tremendous degree of labor that shapes exhibitions. Museums have had to plan for the future while being forced to close their doors to the public and revise their budgets in response to dwindling sources of income. These efforts are a credit to each institution’s resilient and devoted staff, who have been simultaneously dealing with the needs of their families and their respective communities.

In response, we have engaged in productive dialogues with the Panorama editorial board to devise informal guidelines that help ensure the safety of our reviewers. Concern for them forced our section to be more thoughtful about how we commission reviews. We have had to be nimble regarding exhibition schedule shifts, responsive to the changing landscape of museum visitation, and considerate of the safety and comfort level of our reviewers. We temporarily stopped asking graduate students to write reviews based upon the concern that, due to the precarity of their position and need for author credit, they might feel unable to decline and put themselves at greater risk. We were also forced to pull exhibitions slated for review from the schedule when museums closed or when COVID cases spiked in certain geographic regions. We have been working collaboratively with reviewers, and, when in doubt, we revised our expectations and listened to them in order to ensure that their needs were met.

Due to the complexities of the past two years, we were not able to commission or complete reviews for a significant number of stunning and insightful American art exhibitions in the United States and internationally. We thank curators, educators, and other museum and exhibiting venue staff for continuing to produce innovative scholarship and these important exhibitions under such difficult circumstances.

We recognize that COVID-19 is still with us and that we have been forever changed by its devastating path through our communities and our lives. In this issue, we have decided to share a list of “exhibitions that we missed,” provided here in alphabetical order, in an effort to acknowledge the incredible creativity and resilience of curators, museum educators, and other creative producers in these challenging times.

Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful
Curated by: Seth Feman and Jonathan Frederick Walz
Exhibition Schedule: Chrysler Museum, July 9–October 3, 2021; The Phillips Collection, October 30, 2021–January 23, 2022; Frist Art Museum, Nashville, February 25–June 5, 2022; The Columbus Museum, GA, July 1–September 25, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful. Edited by Seth Feman and Jonathan Frederick Walz. New Haven: Yale University Press in association with the Columbus Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art, 2021.

Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now
Curated by: Dan Nadel
Exhibition Schedule: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, June 19–October 3, 2021
Exhibition Catalogue: It’s Life as I See It: Black Cartoonists in Chicago, 1940–1980. Edited by Dan Nadel. Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art; New York: New York Review Comics, 2021.

David Driskell: Icons of Nature And History
Curated by: Julie L. McGee
Exhibition Schedule: High Museum of Art, February 6–May 9, 2021; Portland Museum of Art, Maine, June 19–September 12, 2021; The Phillips Collection, October 16, 2021–January 9, 2022; Cincinnati Art Museum, February 25–May 15, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History. Edited by Jessica May. New York: Rizzoli Electa in association with the High Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art, and The Phillips Collection, 2021.

David Hammons: Body Prints, 1968–1979
Curated by:
Laura Hoptman
Exhibition Schedule: The Drawing Center, New York, February 5–May 23, 2021
Exhibition Catalogue: David Hammons: Body Prints, 1968–1979. Edited by Laura Hoptman, with contributions by Linda Goode Bryant, Laura Hoptman, Senga Nengudi, and Bruce W. Talamon. New York: The Drawing Center, 2021.

Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement
Curated by:
Julia R. Myers
Exhibition Schedule: Eastern Michigan University Gallery of Art, September 13–October 20, 2021
Exhibition Catalogue: Julia R. Myers. Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement. Ypsilanti: Eastern Michigan University Gallery of Art in association with Wayne State University Press, 2020

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts
Curated by: Wolf Burchard
Exhibition Schedule: Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 10, 2021–March 6, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: Wolf Burchard. Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2022.

JCover of catalogue for "Judy Chicago: In the Making"udy Chicago: In the Making
Curated by:
Claudia Schmuckli
Exhibition Schedule: de Young Museum, San Francisco, August 28, 2021–January 9, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: Judy Chicago and Claudia Schmuckli with Jenni Sorkin and Janna Keegan. Judy Chicago: In the Making. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in association with Thomas & Hudson, 2022.

Labyrinth of Forms: Women and Abstraction, 1930–1950
Curated by: Sarah Humphreville
Exhibition Schedule: Whitney Museum of Art, October 9, 2021–March 13, 2022

 

Marisol and Warhol Take New York
Curated by:
Jessica Beck
Exhibition Schedule: Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, October 14, 2021–February 14, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: Angie Cruz, Jeffrey Deitch, Eleanor Friedberger, Jennifer Josten, and Franklin Sirmans. Marisol and Warhol Take New York. Edited by Jessica Beck. Pittsburgh: The Andy Warhol Museum, 2021.

On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale
Curated by:
Elisabeth Hodermarsky
Exhibition Schedule: Yale University Art Gallery, September 10, 2021–January 9, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: Helen A. Cooper, Elisabeth Hodermarsky, Linda Konheim Kramer, and Marta Kuzma. On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021.


¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now
Curated by:
E. Carmen Ramos and Claudia E. Zapata
Exhibition Schedule: Smithsonian American Art Museum, November 20–22, 2020, and May 14–August 8, 2021; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, February 20–May 8, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: E. Carmen Ramos, Tatiana Reinoza, Terezita Romo, and Claudia E. Zapata. ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now. Edited by E. Carmen Ramos. Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum in association with Princeton University Press, 2020.

Simply Brilliant: Artist-Jewelers of the 1960s and 1970s
Curated by:
Cynthia Amnéus
Exhibition Schedule: Cincinnati Art Museum, October 22–February 6, 2022
Exhibition Catalogue: Cynthia Amnéus, Adam MacPhàrlain, Ruth Peltason, Rosemary Ransome Wallis, and Amanda Triossi. Simply Brilliant: Artist-Jewelers of the 1960s and 1970s. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Art Museum in association with Giles Press, 2022.

Welcome Home: A Portrait of East Baltimore, 1975–1980
Curated by: John Jacob and Krystle Stricklin
Exhibition Schedule: Smithsonian American Art Museum, July 16, 2021–January 16, 2022
Pictured: Joan Clark Netherwood, “I am an American Day” parade, East Baltimore Street, 1977

Yolanda López: Portrait of the Artist
Curated by: Jill Dawsey
Exhibition Schedule: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, October 16, 2021–April 24, 2022

 

Cite this article: “Exhibition Reviews in the Time of COVID-19,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 8, no. 1 (Spring 2022), https://doi.org/10.24926/24716839.13086.

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