Playing Favorites: Elizabeth Kilmer & Martina Lopez

We’ve asked FWMoA staff the hardest question you can ask art museum people: so, what is your favorite artwork currently on display? As “art museum people”, we often get asked about our favorite artists, artworks, and the art we choose to hang on our own walls. Since not all of our staff are front-end, and not all of them write for the blog, this series gives everyone a chance to get to know them, too. Taking advantage of our rotating exhibitions of artworks, from painted portraits to sculpted bronzes, FWMoA staff from all departments are choosing artworks that enthrall and enchant them; or, in other words, playing favorites.

A headshot of the writer, Elizabeth stands smiling into camera, one hand on hip in a cheetah print sweater and striped collared shirt.
Elizabeth Kilmer, Exhibitions Content Manager at FWMoA. Photo courtesy of FWMoA.

FWMoA’s Exhibition Content Manager Elizabeth Kilmer, an original writer for the blog, is leaving the Museum after 6 years following the birth of her child. She will be missed, and we’re sending her off by taking a moment to look at her current favorite: Martina Lopez’s photograph Linger, from her solo exhibition A Place Away.

Q: What is the first thing you noticed about this artwork? What drew you to this particular piece?

A: I was drawn to the haunting beauty of the woman from a 19th century photograph superimposed onto the landscape. She appears to truly be lingering in a space beyond her own time, waiting for something that we aren’t aware of.

Q: Would you hang this artwork in your home? Why or why not?

A: Yes! It’s a simple yet beautiful piece that immediately draws you in.

A woman in a long Victorian dress is superimposed onto a forest landscape. In the background, we can see trees and some sky. The woman stands looking to the right of the composition, one hand behind her back and her hair coiffed into a chignon.
Martina Lopez, Mexican-American, b. 1962. Linger. Hand-waxed pigment print with steel corners, 2021. Loan from the Artist. Photo courtesy of FWMoA.

Q: What does this artwork mean to you?

A: I’m not normally taken by works upon first viewing, but this one struck me with its quiet beauty and its sense of peacefulness.

I’ve always loved the 19th century, from the culture to the artwork, and I think Martina’s contemporary use of figures from that era, exploring and imagining their lives, makes all of the popular tropes of the time period, from table rapping to ghost stories, tangible and accessible for a modern audience.

I do want to take a moment to appreciate this woman’s attire – her dress is beyond exquisite, and her gloves take it to the next level. Her clothes are gorgeous, and I wish I had a reason to wear an outfit like this just once!

Q: Why did you choose to work in an art museum?

A: I interned with FWMoA while I was an undergraduate student at the University of Saint Francis, and I knew that working in an art museum would be an interesting job. While I was completing my master’s degree, I learned about a job opening and jumped at the opportunity to hold a position not only related to my degree, Art History, but also back in my hometown at a museum with which I was already comfortable and familiar. Having the opportunity to write about our exhibitions and give tours has allowed me to continue learning about different artists while also sharing some of my favorites with our visitors. I love being able to share my love of art and the stories it contains with the public, which is something you can really only do at an art museum!

Q: What has been your favorite exhibition at FWMoA during your employment? What exhibition are you most looking forward to in the next year or two?

A: I loved Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau.

Q: What kid of art (if any) do you have in your home?

A: We only have a few pieces of art in our home – two paintings by my father-in-law, art teacher Scott Kilmer. Most of our house is decorated with photographs from my husband and I’s travels to Colorado, England, France, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Come visit FWMoA to see the rest of Martina Lopez’s work, on display through December 12, 2021, in A Place Away.

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