As we approach our 100th year anniversary, Sue Slick reads up on one of the founding fathers of the museum, Theodore F. Thieme.
It's installation week at FWMoA! If you visit us before Saturday you'll have to pardon our mess as this week we are installing the exhibit we’re calling 1026 West Berry Street – The Fort Wayne Art School. Read on to see what Suzanne Slick learned while curating this exhibition and how the community came together to contribute!
In my role at FWMoA, I’m lucky enough to be inextricably linked to all our social media accounts, so every little thing people say about us is conveniently delivered to my inbox. Most reviews are positive, accurate, and heartwarming. Some stretch the truth, and others inspire my blog posts. A common set of complaints seem to bubble to the surface of our negative reviews: “It’s not as big as I thought it would be;” “There’s not enough to see;” “There were no famous artists like Degas or Renoir;” “It’s not like Chicago or Los Angeles.” Read on to see how our museum compares to others and what makes our collection unique.
Surprising things often turn up in our archives, and the story of the first Director of the Fort Wayne Art School & Museum is one of those. When Theodore Thieme, president of the Wayne Knitting Mills, gave his home on Berry Street to the Fort Wayne Art School in 1921, he mandated some conditions before the transfer of his property could occur. One condition was that the Museum would become a formal part of the institution, others described the new board, constitution, and memberships, and, finally, it was agreed that the school would have a Director. Until then, the Board of Control had recruited an array of instructors, but had not appointed an executive. Now, with the added responsibilities of the Museum, a large endowment, and growing enrollment, it was necessary that the school and museum have a leader.
Our first official installment of Treasures from the Vault features one of FWMoA’s original treasures: Snails on Rhubarb. Painted in 1919 by German painter Richard Müller, Snails on Rhubarb is a whimsical study of foliage and the critters inhabiting this small ecosystem. Scattered over several large rhubarb leaves are snails, and a frog who seems to be mid-jump. A glimpse of a pond is seen in the background, which we can imagine as the home of our amphibious friend, his gastropod companions, and other creatures out of sight.