The Block Docent Diaries: Finding Inspiration

The Block Museum Student Docent Program is made up of students from across Northwestern University that serve as the museum’s tour guides and ambassadors. In Spring 2020, the program continues online as students connect, research, and plan in support of the Museum's mission. We reached out to this team to learn more about their current inspiration at this time. We asked What art, music, or...

“Caravans of Gold” exhibition publication receives 2020 Curatorial Award for Excellence

In April 2020 the Association of Art Museum Curators announced the Block Museum exhibition publication Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa as a recipient of the 2020 Award for Excellence. The annual, peer-juried award recognizes curators from around the country for groundbreaking projects that have advanced new methodologies,...

Checking in On…Lois Biggs, Tour Coordinator

During Spring 2020 the Block Museum staff and students continue to connect online and advance the Museum’s teaching and learning mission. This week, we check in on student worker Lois Biggs, who serves as our Tour Coordinator. In addition to being indispensable at The Block, Lois is senior in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, double majoring in art history and comparative...

“They said you can’t make a film like this”: Lizzie Borden on revolution, race, and radical action in”Born in Flames” [Audio]

Set in an alternate-reality socialist democratic United States, Lizzie Borden’s speculative fiction Born in Flames (1983) finds the country still plagued by social injustice. This feminist classic is a low-budget, grassroots production, documentary-like in its reflection of a long-gone grungy yet vibrant downtown New York City. Made at the height of the Reagan years, it tackles sexism, racism,...

Checking in On…Madeline Hultquist, Undergraduate Research Assistant

During Spring 2020 the Block Museum staff and students continue to connect online and advance the Museum's teaching and learning mission. This week, we check in on Madeline Hultquist, our Research Assistant who is funded through the Office of Undergraduate Research (shown here on screen as she works with Melanie Garcia Sympson, Block Curatorial Associate) I am currently working as an...

Collection Spotlight: Unidentified Man on Bike, Andy Warhol

Title: Unidentified Man on BikeArtist: Andy WarholNationality: American, 1928–87Date: ca. 1980Medium: gelatin silver printCredit: Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2008.1.128. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Unidentified Man on a Bike was donated to The Block Museum as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, which was developed by the Andy...

Collection Spotlight: Two Forms (Divided Circle), Barbara Hepworth

Title: Two Forms (Divided Circle)Artist: Barbara Hepworth (British, 1903–1975)Year: 1969Medium: Cast bronze with brown patinaSize: 93 x 89 x 23 inchesCredit: Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Leigh B. Block, 1988.3.3 Barbara Hepworth made Two Forms (Divided Circle) at the end of a decade in which she dedicated herself to works that incorporated the viewer....

“The Picture Is the Window”: Lynn Gumpert and Lisa Corrin on Abby Grey and intrepid art collecting [Audio]

Consisting of more than 700 artworks, the Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art at New York University comprises the largest institutional holdings of Iranian, Turkish and Indian modern art in any American university museum.  This unparalleled historical resource was amassed by Abby Weed Grey (1902-1983), a self-described “dyed-in-the-wool...

Letter from the Director: Museums have a unique role to play

On behalf of all of us at The Block Museum of Art, I am writing to tell you that we are thinking of the health and safety of our campus, our regional community, and the cultural community internationally at this very difficult and uncertain time. In his recent message to the Northwestern community, President Schapiro reminded us that we all need extra measures of compassion, patience,...

“Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago” sheds new light on Chicago’s rich collections

The Block Museum is proud to be among the many Chicago collections with work on view in Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Loans from The Block collection to the exhibition include; the abstract painting One (1970) by Sam Gilliam; Monochrome und Feuer (1961), a silkscreen triptych by Yves Klein; and the photograph Untitled (Nomsa Brath with earrings designed...