"Pears: Organization of Perceptive and Introspective Form" (detail) 1934 by Lorser Feitelson


Relational Forms: Robert Bliss and Anna Campbell Bliss 

August 25, 2014 - February 28, 2015

Relational Forms highlights select furniture pieces designed by architect, Robert Bliss presented with intricate, two-dimensional artwork by Anna Campbell Bliss. The Bliss' moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1963 and have been influential figures in the art and design communities throughout the country. Robert Bliss was educated at Black Mountain College and MIT. He had a successful career as an architect in Minnesota before moving to Salt Lake City where he worked at the University of Utah as head of the Department of Architecture and later as Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture. Robert's concern for architectural education, city planning, and preserving the environment continues to this day as he participates in local and national committees dedicated to historic building preservation and maintaining the constructed heritage of local communities. Robert's furniture reflects modern designs emphasizing practicality without compromising a minimalist style.

Anna Campbell Bliss earned degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard studying math, art history, and architecture. Her paintings and prints displayed in this exhibition show a bridge of connection between these subjects and the more contemporary influence of computer science. Her precise screen-prints show her fascination with the complex relationships of color, geometry, pattern, and repetition. This exhibition is only the second time the work of this couple has been shown together. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design currently on display in the Caine Gallery.  

Anna Campbell Bliss
Spectrum Squared, 1973
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art
Utah State University
Charter Member Endowment Purchase

Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design
August 25, 2014 - February 28, 2015

Robert Bliss
Lady Murasaki's Fan Chair, 1993
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection
Gift of the Artist

This exhibition brings together a selection of works by Black Mountain College (BMC) faculty and students to explore the role and influence of the college on the fields of studio craft and design from the middle of the 20th century through today. Black Mountain College (1933 - 1957) was an experimental liberal arts college located in the rural mountains of North Carolina. The College was not designated as an "art school" as we understand them today, but from the beginning, the centrality of the arts at BMC offered students and faculty an array of opportunities to collaborate and explore various disciplines. This traveling exhibition was originally organized by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and has been adapted to incorporate works from the NEHMA permanent collection, demonstrating the national influence of the College.

This exhibition is made possible by support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.


Enchanted Modernities: Mysticism, Landscape and the
American West

April 14, 2014 - December 10, 2014 

This exhibition explores the role of the American West as a site for rebirth and enchantment, specifically through artists and composers who explored the visionary interpretations of the landscape in visual or musical forms inspired by Theosophical ideas.

Curated by a group of international scholars, selected works convey local and regional connections to Theosophically-inspired artists and musicians while also placing them within the international network of enchanted culture that flourished in the early 20th century.

So what is Theosophy? While its roots go back thousands of years, beginning from the 1500s forward, it has generally been associated with the practices of using knowledge and observations of nature and one's self as a way to understand the divinity in nature both physically and metaphysically.

According to founder Helena Blavatsky (1889), "Theosophy, in its abstract meaning, is Divine Wisdom, or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe." In 1992, leader of the American Section of the Theosophical Society Katherine Tingley stated, "Think of Theosophy not so much as a body of philosophic or other teachings, but as the highest law of conduct, which is the enacted expression of divine love or compassion....Theosophy is the inner life in every religion."

Although many of the individuals included in this exhibition openly discussed their interest and involvement in mystical movements such as Theosophy, this is the first exhibition to specifically explore the pervasive influence of Theosophical ideas on 20th century art and music in the American West.

Artworks included in this exhibition draw largely on the collection of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, supported by key loans from important public and private collections such as the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, the Gerald E. Buck Collection, the Raymond Jonson Gallery at the University of Arizona, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. Music and sound also feature prominently in the exhibition. Work from composers Dane Rudhyar and Henry Cowell are played in certain areas of the gallery to connect with the abstract, Theosophical fascination with vibration as a foundational element of both the natural and the human-made world.

The work of Logan, Utah-based contemporary photographer Andrew McAllister, prompts us to think about the legacies of these ideas and about what traces of these enchanted landscapes are apparent now, while the contribution of graphic designer Mike Daines conceptualizes the complex intertextuality of Theosophical influence into a visual map.

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Tanner Charitable Trust and The Leverhulme Trust. To learn more about this project and its worldwide scope, click on the link here: Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts.

Raymond Jonson
Watercolor #10, 1938
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art
Utah State University
Marie Eccles Caine Foundation Gift
© University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque

James G. Mansell, University of Nottingham
Christopher M. Scheer, Utah State University
Sarah Victoria Turner, Mellon Center for British Art (London) - Yale University

With Contributions by:
Helena Capkova, Waseda University
Rachel Cowgill, Cardiff University 
Anna Gawboy, Ohio State University 
Marco Pasi, The University of Amsterdam
Katie Tyreman, The University of York 
Gauri Vishwanathan, Columbia University

Currently Featured in the Study Center Visible Storage

Two sets of complimentary selections of lithographic and intaglio prints are presented as independent mini-exhibitions. These exhibitions are shown in large, metal, industrial drawers to provide viewers an intimate experience to examine the works on paper. These selected works demonstrate the varied technical approaches to these artistic processes, and they highlight the scope of possibilities within these longstanding printing traditions.

Set in Stone: Lithography from the Museum Collection
February 3, 2014 - February 2015

  Lorser Feitelson
  Girl Reading, 1940
  Dorothy Wanlass
  Fund Purchase
Scratching the Surface: Intaglios from the Museum Collection September 25, 2014 - May 2015

Shiou-ping Liao
Oriental Festival, no date
Museum Permanent Collection

On the Road: Envisioning the Landscape of Kerouac's America
October 21, 2014 - February 2015

Featuring photographs from the permanent collection, this series aims to assist students in envisioning American cities and landscapes as Sal Paradise, Jack Kerouac's protagonist in his Beat novel On the Road, may have seen them. This selection of photos is created in conjunction with the USU course, History 3770: Contemporary America, 1945 - Present.

Arthur Rothstein
Summit County, Utah, March 1940,
Wasatch Mountains, 1940
Marie Eccles Caine Foundation Gift