Luther W. Brady Art Gallery Celebrates 15-Year History in ‘Drawn From’

In honor of the show, friends and staff of the Brady Art Gallery look back at their favorite exhibitions.

December 4, 2017

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Top left: Howard Hodgkin, "All Alone in the Museum of Modern Art." Bottom left: Sam Gilliam, "Coffee Thyme II (Black State)." Right: Charles Demuth: "Tree Forms," courtesy of the Collection of the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, Pa.

The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery unveiled its latest exhibition, “Drawn From: 15 Years of Exhibitions at the Luther W. Brady Art,” in the fall to celebrate its 15-year history. The show includes highlights from the museum’s 80 exhibitions and features the work of renowned artists such as William Christenberry, Andy Warhol, Carol Brown Goldberg and Sam Gilliam. From pinhole photography to ancient Japanese prints to works from the GW Collection, the Brady Art Gallery’s exhibitions have continually elevated the arts on campus. 

Founded by its namesake and benefactor Luther W. Brady, B.A. ‘46, M.D. ’48, the Brady Art Gallery has served as the professional showcase for art at GW. In honor of “Drawn From”—and 15 years of history—George Washington Today asked the gallery’s staff and friends to pick some of their favorite exhibitions. Here’s what they had to say.

School of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean Jeffrey S. Akman

As a founding member of the Friends of the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, it's been a total joy to be involved with the Brady Gallery since the beginning and to watch it evolve into an important D.C. art space. I want to thank Luther Brady, Lenore Miller, Olivia Kohler-Maga and all of the artists for having taught me so much over these 15 years. 

Not surprisingly, I have many favorite exhibitions. I truly hate to leave any of the exhibitions off of my list, however, the Howard Hodgkin, Fritz Scholder, Jules Olitski, Glenn Goldberg, Sam Gilliam, Sean Scully, Clarice Smith and John Safer exhibitions were favorites of mine. The Andy Warhol and the Peter Caws/Nancy Breslin photography exhibits were truly illuminating, and “Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido” was a real treat. Furthermore, every exhibition that included pieces from Dr. Brady's extraordinary personal collection was very special.

Senior Planned Giving Advisor Jane Kolson

The Brady Art Gallery has hosted so many wonderful exhibitions that it’s not easy to single out a small list of favorites. But two stand out in my mind.  

Kay Jackson’s exhibition in the fall of 2011, “Environmental Works,” showcased her exquisitely beautiful and delicate art in a display that drew attention to endangered species and the hazards confronting the world’s habitats. Her use of gold leaf in many of the works gives them a quietly luminous quality that serves to emphasize each piece’s delicate lines. Her series entitled “Thinking Inside the Box” presents works of art in a box that serves as an elegant frame and gives depth to each piece. These updated shadow boxes delight the eyes while conveying the message of environmental vulnerability. That Ms. Jackson, M.F.A. ’84, is a GW alumna is the icing on her beautiful and meticulously created “cakes.”

More recently, in the spring 2017 exhibition “Of Leaves and Clouds,” artist Glenn Goldberg reflected the same delicate and meticulous artistic sensibility as Ms. Jackson, although he employs different materials and more exuberant color. Mr. Goldberg brings a delightful sense of whimsy to his art, and his work is recognizable by the repeated use of certain key shapes, including a stalk and a fan. Mr. Goldberg, who works out of New York City, was kind enough to visit the gallery twice during his exhibition and was unfailingly accessible to the many charmed patrons of his art.

Luther W. Brady Art Gallery Assistant Director Olivia Kohler-Maga
I’ve worked on so many exhibitions at the Brady Art Gallery and met so many interesting artists that it’s hard to pick just one favorite. The two parts of my job that keep me working are the ability to meet so many incredible artists and when you collaborate with an artist to bring a special project to life. Being able to meet Michael Craig-Martin, Iva Gueorguieva, Sam Gilliam, Glenn Goldberg, Michelle Jaffe and Jules Olitski, among many others, has shaped my interests and reminded me why I chose to study art. 

Working with Michael Craig-Martin and seeing the time-lapse video I envisioned come to life under the hands of the magnificent GW photographers and videographers will always be a special memory. For the exhibition “Decenter NY/DC,” I worked with GW Events and Venues to find a place for an installation by artist Victoria Greising. I will always remember how the resulting interactive artwork stretched through a three-story stairway activating an unused space in a way that has not been seen since. Having memories like these make all the work worthwhile.
University Art Galleries Director and Chief Curator Lenore D. Miller
In 15 years, we’ve come a long way. The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery has raised the bar for the presentation of contemporary art on campus, by loans for exhibitions from other university galleries, private collections and galleries, and museums. In 2006, Dr. Brady wrote, “The objective is to bring greater recognition to the gallery’s role in exhibiting ‘icons of the art world’ for educational purposes. In that year, exhibitions included the work of John Walker, Sam Gilliam and Jules Olitski. “Epic Paintings” in 2002 was inspired by archival research in New York, and through Dr. Brady’s wide network of friendships within the art world, relationships ensued resulting in three exhibitions of works by Jules Olitski. I am forever grateful for Dr. Brady’s inspirational exemplar, as a mentor and friend.

“Drawn From” is open through Dec. 15. “Ask A Curator” is every Friday from 12 to 1 p.m. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Media and Public Affairs Building. 
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.