Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

We need your Vote! • Tuesday August 16, 2011

A bark painting from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection has been nominated as one of Virginia’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts by the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM). From August 15th to September 20th, the public is invited to vote for their favorite endangered artifact. VAM’s independent peer review panel will take public votes into consideration when determining the “top 10.” Winners will receive assistance launching a fundraising campaign to restore their artifact.

We need your help. Vote for our entry by selecting Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at UVA from the drop down menu and hitting “submit.” See all of the entries here.

This bark painting is one of several by artist Narritjin Maymuru on related themes in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. It depicts a Manggalili clan story associated with Djarrakpi (Blue Mud Bay) in northeast Arnhem Land, Australia. It also refers to a long history of interaction between coastal Aboriginal people and Indonesian traders from Macassar. The story involves two ancestral hunters who went out in search of parrot fish. They were eventually killed in a storm, which is alluded to by symbols such as the bird, the sail, and mast of the boat. Although the boat and mast were introduced to Aboriginal people by Macassans, this bark suggests an ancestral story from the creation era, predating Macassan contact. It is an excellent example of narrative in Yolngu art, depicting the same fishermen at different moments in the story. This work demonstrates the creativity of an individual artist in depicting major themes of Yolngu art.

See a video made by Kluge-Ruhe summer intern Chloe Delaney about this painting.

For more information about how you can help the Kluge-Ruhe Collection with our conservation efforts, lease contact Margo Smith at 434 244-0234.

Opening Reception and Mural Dedication • Thursday July 7, 2011

On Friday, July 8th, Kluge-Ruhe opened its History in the Making: Aboriginal Art of the Twentieth Century, a chronological look at Aboriginal art from the 1960s to the present. The exhibit features paintings on bark and canvas, sculpture and limited edition prints from Kluge-Ruhe collection, exploring the changing perceptions of Aboriginal art in the throughout the twentieth century. The exhibit will continue through August 5, 2012.

On Saturday, July 9th, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative dedicated a mural created by artists Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay/Gummaroi) and Frank Buffalo Hyde (Onondaga/Nez Perce). The Bridge is located at 209 Monticello Road. For more information see: http://www.thebridgepai.com/

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection brought Rennie to Charlottesville in January 2011 to paint the rotating gallery with his street-art inspired stencils. He and Native American artist Frank Buffalo Hyde participated in a symposium at UVa and collaborated on the mural for The Bridge.

Although his father is an artist, Rennie came to his own art practice through contemporary youth culture – hip hop, break dancing, and graffiti. Equally comfortable working in the street or the gallery, Rennie uses stencils and spray paint to produce intricate images addressing themes of identity, justice and tradition. Rennie’s kangaroo, dubbed “Big Red,” is both a national emblem, seen on Australia’s coat of arms, and a symbol of Aboriginal survival.

Hyde, who lives in Pittsburgh, mixes Indian imagery with icons of pop culture, expressing what he calls the “fragmented contemporary life” of a Native American U.S. citizen. He attended the Santa Fe Fine Arts Institute and the Institute of American Indian Arts. Hyde has exhibited his work for over 15 years in many Santa Fe galleries as well as in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

Click here to see a video about Frank and Reko made by local filmmakers Squid and Beard.

Kluge-Ruhe Selected to Participate in Conservation Assessment Program • Tuesday June 14, 2011

Kluge-Ruhe has been selected by Heritage Preservation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States, to participate in their 2011 Conservation Assessment Program (CAP).

The program consists of a general conservation assessment of museum conditions, policies, and procedures that relate to and affect collections care. Conservation priorities will be identified by two trained museum professionals who will conduct a site visit to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. The assessment will culminate in a written report, which will help the Museum develop strategies for improved collections care and provide a tool for long-range planning and fundraising. Heritage Preservation has allocated funding for two assessors to visit the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. One assessor will address conservation issues and the other will survey the museum’s historic building and how it relates to the preservation of the collection.

Over the last two years the Kluge-Ruhe Collection has undertaken an initiative to preserve and re-house over 500 artworks in the collection. Participation in CAP will expand these efforts to improve care of collections at the museum. For information about the program, click here. To see a slideshow of Kluge-Ruhe’s recent bark re-housing project, click here.

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