Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon
April 6-May 25
In 2018, the Doomsday Clock was set to two minutes to midnight, the closest it has ever been to striking midnight since the height of the Cold War in 1953 when both the United States and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear weapons for the first time within ten months of each other. Today, while the Cold War’s lessons and fears have largely faded from our collective memory, it is critical to view a decidedly uncertain present through the lens of the past. Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon is on display Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 - May 25th, 2021.
Through two photographic essays, photographers Jeanine Michna-Bales and Adam Reynolds offer a calculated look at the “Architecture of Armageddon,” both the offensive and defensive implications of nuclear war. These quiet architectural spaces, devoid of people, allow viewers to come face to face with present nuclear realities while also offering a look into the collective psyche of the American people during the Cold War.
Reynolds’s project, No Lone Zone, documents the offensive side of the Cold War through nuclear missile silos in the United States. It provides a contemplated look at the nuts and bolts of Mutually Assured Destruction, the MAD logic behind nuclear deterrence. Michna-Bales’s project, Fallout, delivers typological documentation of the defensive side through various shelters and propaganda across the United States, both private and public. These fallout shelters, endorsed through Civil Defense programs, in reality, offered little more than a government-sponsored placebo to the American people, convincing them that something tangible was being done in the event of a nuclear holocaust.
This exhibition is aimed to spark curiosity and encourage discourse among audiences of all backgrounds as the works seek out places that are often hidden in plain sight. Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon is organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.
One Half the People: Advancing Equality for Women
June 16-Aug. 18
When our Constitution was written, it was silent on women. Excluded from most of the rights and privileges of citizenship women operated in limited and rigid roles while enslaved women were excluded from all. Yet women have actively participated as citizens —organizing, marching, petitioning—since the founding of our country. Sometimes quietly, and sometimes with a roar, women’s roles and the opening words of the Constitution “We, the People” have been redefined. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, “One Half of the People” explores the stories of women’s struggles to achieve full citizenship. From the decades-long campaign for voting rights to expanding social and economic equality through legislation, see how those before us obtained the rights and privileges of citizenship promised to women today.
A Great Frontier Odyssey: Sketching the American West
Sept.5 - Nov. 7
This new traveling exhibit depicts the 1873 cross-country journey of Jules Tavernier & Paul Frenzeny – and, subsequently, late nineteenth-century America – through their engravings of the American West.
After the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, the public clamored for images of the newly accessible American West. The Harper Brother’s publishing firm in New York sought to capitalize on this, and chose Jules Tavernier and Paul Frenzeny to provide images of the frontier. The intrepid men were skilled at depicting newsworthy places or events that favored the plight of the common man. Coupled with their artistic and journalistic talent and keen powers of observation, they were a powerful team; Tavernier created each engraving’s watercolor painting before handing it off to Frenzeny, who added newsworthy details and drew the scene in pencil on wood blocks.
The prints in this exhibit trace the artists’ journey to San Francisco, where both men initially settled in 1874 and became an important part of the city’s art life. From there, Tavernier traveled down the coast to visit the Monterey Peninsula and before long opened the town’s first professional art studio. He returned to San Francisco four years later, but his insatiable appetite for adventure eventually led him to Hawaii. After spending time in Monterey to refine his skills as a watercolorist, Paul Frenzeny resumed his career as a special correspondent in New York, and became an illustrator of choice for Western Adventure stories and for such famous novels as Anna Karenina and the Jungle Book. He also worked as a rider in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in London, where he spent the rest of his life.
Facing the Inferno: The Wildfire Photography of Kari Greer
Nov. 20, 2021-Jan. 15, 2022
Wildfires are directly affecting more and more of the population. Smoke from these fires have national impact, with the effects of global warming increasing all of this even more. Nationally, the fire season now extends almost year-round. This exhibit has been curated to grab audience attention immediately, then hold it through the power of the images and the importance of the accompanying information. Facing the inferno is the ideal bridge for conversations between the arts & humanities and the sciences.