Events Celebrate Artist, Author Dorothea Tanning

May 02, 2011

Events May 2-20 in Galesburg and at Knox College celebrate renowned artist Dorothea Tanning.

May 2
6:30 p.m. Proclamation by the Galesburg City Council, signed by Mayor Sal Garza, declaring May 14 as "Dorothea Tanning Day" in Galesburg. Galesburg City Hall.

May 9
All Day. Exhibit "Saved by Imagination." Selections from exhibit catalogs of Tanning's art work, spanning more than 75 years in a variety of media. On display through May 20 on the second floor of Seymour Library.

May 13
4 p.m. Poetry reading and discussion by Mary Jo Bang of Washington University in St. Louis. Bang will read from her own poetry and discuss Tanning's work in visual art. Bang's poetry collection, "The Eye Like a Strange Balloon," explores the place of modern art in society, including the work of Tanning and her husband Max Ernst, two leading practitioners of the surrealistic style. Muelder Room, Seymour Library, Knox College.

May 14
11 a.m. Commemorative event and marker dedication at Tanning's childhood home on Hawkinson Avenue in Galesburg. Speakers will include Mayor Garza and Tanning's nephew, John Nyman. A marker, designed by Knox College faculty member Christie Ferguson Cirone, will be unveiled outside the home where she grew up with her two sisters, who also attended Knox College -- Maurine Elizabeth Tanning Nyman, Class of 1927; and Mary Louise Tanning Johnson, Class of 1936. 420 Hawkinson Avenue, Galesburg.

1 p.m. Exhibit of ten of Tanning's original paintings and prints. The exhibit also will include reproductions of a number of drawings that Tanning made for Knox's yearbook, The Gale; and literary journal, The Siwasher, when she was a student at Knox. This is the first time that the drawings have been enlarged for public exhibit. On display through 6 p.m. Kresge Hall, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College

1 p.m. "Dorothea: 'Birthday' and Beyond," a lecture by Michael Taylor of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Taylor is the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and an eminent scholar of surrealism, including Tanning's influential work in the style that blends fantasy and reality. "Birthday" is the title given to one of Tanning's most famous paintings by Ernst, already a famed surrealist artist when the two met in 1942. They married in 1946 and until Ernst's death in 1976 lived in New York, Arizona and France -- where their circle of friends comprised the leading figures in 20th century art, including Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Joan Miro. The Philadelphia Museum owns "Birthday," and Taylor co-curated a 2001 exhibit of Tanning's work. Kresge Hall, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College.

2:15 p.m. "In Her Own Words: Dorothea Tanning's Memoirs." A presentation by members of Tanning's family. John Nyman and Mimi Johnson, Tanning's nephew and niece, will read excerpts from her memoirs and show family pictures. Nyman is professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Johnson is an arts administrator in New York City whose clients have included famed composer John Cage, one of Tannings's friends and also an accomplished visual artist. Kresge Hall, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College.

3:30 p.m. "A Literary Life: Poetry, Autobiography and Novels." Panel discussion by distinguished scholars of Tanning's work in creative writing. The panelists are Mary Jo Bang, professor of creative writing at Washington University; and two editors who have worked with Tanning -- Alice Quinn, executive director of the Poetry Society of American and former poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine; and Jeffrey Shotts, poetry editor of Graywolf Press, publisher of Tanning's forthcoming book. Kresge Hall, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College.

5 p.m. Reception for two Knox College student publications, Catch and Folio. Catch is an award-winning literary magazine and the successor publication to The Siwasher, which was the first journal to publish Tanning's art work. Folio is a new student-run journal at Knox devoted solely to visual art. Its first issue is dedicated to Tanning and features her work.