Elise Engler drawing

The Handwerker Gallery presents:


Work by Elise Engler

March 18-April 17, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 19, 5-7 p.m.

Elise Engler makes lists, chronicling particular experiences by drawing and painting all of their components. Subject matter ranges from the personal and intimate to the political and expansive. Having once drawn everything she owned, Engler continues to depict the contents of her luggage whenever she travels. Other work is more anthropologically documentarian: all the chairs in a NYC public school classroom, the contents of over sixty women’s handbags, everything used to maintain Riverside Park. Drawing from several different projects, the works selected for Taxing Times share two concerns-- the passage of time and the expenditure of American tax dollars. The work ranges from drawings of the weapons and casualties of the Iraq War to Engler’s recent experience during her federally sponsored time in Antarctica through the National Science Foundation.

Engler lives and works in New York City. She received her Master of Fine Arts from Bennington College, and her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Hunter College, City University of New York. In October of 2014, Engler visited Ithaca College during Family Weekend to facilitate a drawing event for which students and their families drew missing objects sold from the college's permanent collection during the 1970's. Those drawings will be included in this exhibition along with Engler's drawn response.


AS THEY SAW IT: The Easby Collection of Pre-Columbian Art

Curated by Professor Jennifer Jolly (Department of Art History), Gabriella Jorio ('16), Sarah McHugh ('15), Kenneth Robertson ('15)

March 18-April 17, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 19, 5-7 p.m.

Today, many accept that the ancient peoples of the Americas created art: fine art museums display collections of exquisite objects, courses on Pre-Columbian art and scholarly studies present their cultural significance, and the art market assigns them monetary value.  However, the ancients did not make objects for those contexts—it was only through the labor of scholars, museum professionals, dealers, and collectors that they became “art.” When Dudley T. Easby, Jr. and Elizabeth Kennedy Easby looked at pre-Columbian objects, they saw works of art, and their life work involved translating their shared appreciation for pre-Columbian art to a broader audience. Mr. Easby (1905-73), a lawyer who served as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s legal secretary, was a self-trained expert in pre-Columbian metalwork who worked tirelessly to bring Pre-Columbian art back to the Met. Mrs. Easby (1925-1992) had a Master’s in pre-Columbian art, worked as a curator at the Metropolitan and Brooklyn Museums, and researched jade. Their romantic and academic collaboration brought them around the world to pursue scholarship, plan exhibits, and engage in cultural diplomacy throughout the pivotal decades of the mid-20th century.  In the process, they assembled a modest collection of Pre-Columbian Art, which was given to Ithaca College in 2008.  Curated by students, this exhibit makes visible the process of transforming artifacts into art, from the mechanisms of expatriation, to the labor of scholarship and the recontextualization of objects in museums.  It both honors the Easbys’ labors, and perpetuates their goal of presenting pre-Columbian art to new eyes.