Events Honor Artist, Author Dorothea Tanning

May 02, 2011

Max Ernst, Dorothea TanningWorld renowned artist, Galesburg native and Knox College alumna Dorothea Tanning will be honored with a series of free, public events from May 2 through May 20 at Knox and in the community.

"Dorothea Tanning: From Galesburg Roots to Worldwide Fame" will include an exhibit of Tanning's artwork, a commemorative proclamation by the City of Galesburg and dedication of a plaque outside her childhood home, and an all-day symposium on her impact in the world of art and literature.

Tanning, who celebrated her 100th birthday last August, has made significant contributions in a number of fields, including painting, sculpture, writing and theatrical design. Knox College awarded her an honorary degree in 1988.

"Dorothea Tanning is one of our most innovative and provocative painters, printmakers, sculptors and designers for theatre and ballet," said Robin Metz, director of Creative Writing and Philip Sidney Post Professor of English at Knox, who helped plan the events. "Her achievements also transcend visual art -- in her mid-eighties she established an entirely new career in writing, through her poetry, fiction and memoirs."

The free, public events from May 2 through May 20 will commemorate and explore Tanning's early life and education in Galesburg and at Knox, and her world famous work in art and literature. Speakers will include Mary Jo Bang of Washington University in St. Louis; Michael Taylor of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Alice Quinn, executive director of the Poetry Society of American and former poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine; Jeffrey Shotts, poetry editor of Graywolf Press; and members of Tanning's family -- John Nyman and Mimi Johnson, Tanning's nephew and niece.

"Dorothea Tanning: From Galesburg Roots to Worldwide Fame" is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly; with additional support from Knox College, the Knox College Special Collections and Archives, Folio - the Knox College Visual Arts Journal, the John and Elaine Fellowes Fund, and the Galesburg community. Additional assistance was provided by the Dorothea Tanning Collection and Archive and members of Tanning's family.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 48 states and 51 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.