“Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.”
Hurry Slowly celebrates nearly fifty years of collecting leading up to the Museum’s Golden anniversary in the 2023-2024 academic year. Now settled into our recently expanded home, we step into the future while honoring our origins as a teaching and collecting museum in service to our community. With over seventy objects on view, the exhibition encourages visitors to consider why and how museums collect works of art and learn about why we continue to acquire today. Hurry Slowly traces the Museum’s growth around steadfast themes, echoes shifting influences that have driven our evolution, and previews a future that reflects a more inclusive and progressive notion of how museums might grow.
This exhibition recognizes the important work of founding director Constance W. Glenn, who laid the foundation for collecting practices in the 1970s and early 1980s. Starting from the first work acquired by the Museum, Lucas Samaras’ Photo Transformation (1974), Hurry Slowly unfolds episodically around major collecting events and thematically connects with interests of multiple disciplines taught on campus. Objects made by participants in the 1965 International Sculpture Symposium, including Kengiro Azuma and Piotr Kowalski, reflect the Museum’s long-term interest in artists who use matter and medium in new ways. A selection of works by Pop artists including Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol index Glenn’s leading scholarship into artists whose critique of Post War society laid the groundwork for contemporary art practice. Our Museum has long invested in abstraction, multidisciplinary practices, and in artists and objects that use material in unexpected and innovative ways. A review of transformational gifts from both the Hampton family and the Gold family respectively, National Endowment for the Arts purchases, and recent acquisitions demonstrates these Museum vision areas.
Hurry Slowly includes only a fraction of more than 2,000 objects that have been added to our permanent collection held in stewardship for our communities. Works by artists including Kim Abeles, Lita Albuquerque, Rhona Bitner, Michelle Vignes, and Dorr Bothwell are celebrated alongside new acquisitions from Clifford Prince King, Nancy Graves, Star Montana, Theodore Boyer, Brad Eberhard, Robin Mitchell, Stephanie Weber, and Charles Harlan.
The title of this exhibition comes from the Latin motto festina lente, which was recently referenced in Broadway actor Andre DeShields’ Tony Awards acceptance speech. The adage suggests urgency be met with thoughtfulness and diligence. With this meaning in mind, Hurry Slowly recognizes the fraught nature and pressing concerns of our time while emphasizing the Museum’s abiding and long-term commitment to public service across the past five decades.
Installation photograph of Hurry Slowly by Tatiana Mata.