Rethinking Monuments: American Sculpture in its Time, 1850 – 2000

Jan 13, 2023 — Apr 8, 2023
Level 1 Galleries

The way artists think about and make monuments changes through time. The stories those monuments tell also change as time passes. The meaning and impact of a monument changes based on the person who sees it.

Rethinking Monuments traces some of these changes from 1850 – 2000. The sculptors in this exhibition created large and small monuments. Made from bronze and plywood, found in the home and city streets. In diverse ways, their works experiment with ways to confront the past, shape the present, and hope for the future.

This exhibition will include works from the collections of four Michigan museums that frame the history of American sculpture and allow space for renegotiation of the histories, ideas, and legacies they embody. Artists in the exhibition include Hiram Powers, Harriet Frishmuth, Paul Manship, Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Hunt, and Melvin Edwards, among others.

Rethinking Monuments: American Sculpture in its Time, 1850 – 2000 is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts, Krasl Art Center, Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Detroit Institute of Arts as part of the Art Bridges Initiative.

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Exhibition Support

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:

  • Wege Foundation
  • James and Mary Nelson
  • brightly
  • Robert Daverman, AIA / Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Haworth Helps
  • Dirk and June Hoffius

Additional funding is provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society.