Students research and propose art acquisition

Congratulations to the art history students of ART420D-Art and Its Markets, whose hard work paid off this past Spring when the Miami University Art Museum decided to acquire four of the prints they researched over the semester!

The Museum staff found the acquisition proposals of students Faith Walker, Abby Solon, and Maria DeSantiago most convincing [see below for images]. Walker argued that John Sloan's “Art of Salesmanship" (1930) will help the Museum to represent the Ashcan School of American realism and that it also tells the story of the early 20th century passion for African art among modernist artists and collectors. Solon's presentation of Max Klinger's "Self-Portrait" (1918) was grounded in the fact that the Museum already owns a famous portfolio of the artist's symbolist prints, to which the addition of a self-portrait adds biographical context. Lastly, DeSantiago's pair of prints, “Entry to the German Jails” and “Release from the German Jails" (1915) by Theophile Steinlen, built on the Museum's past exhibitions of World War One prints, the frequent use of the Museum's German collection by faculty in History and Art History, and the potential of this print for the theme of "Migrations," the topic of the upcoming 2020-2021 John W. Altman Program in the Humanities 

Each of the fourteen students of ART420D spent the spring building an acquisition proposal that they then pitched to the leadership of the Miami University Art Museum. The proposals assessed the art historical significance of each print, its potential to work well with other pieces in the Museum's collection, and its usefulness to campus teaching, a central part of the Museum's mission statement. Taking into account other important factors such as the condition of the work and comparing it to similar prints recently sold at auction, the students also assigned fair market values to their prints.

This class was the result of a collaborative effort with Thomas French Fine Art, the gallery that generously loaned over a dozen prints from their inventory for students to research over the semester. Speaking to the class via Zoom yesterday, gallerist Adrienne French described her own career path in the art world and her particular mission to educate through collection and collections advising. She was encouraged by the hard work of this "upcoming generation" of researchers, dealers, and collectors.

ART420D was generously supported by the Center for Career Exploration and Success, and was taught throughout the semester with the help of the Miami University Art Museum's curator, Jason Shaiman, and its registrar, Laura Stewart.

Thank you to all, and Congratulations!
Sincerely, Prof. Hatch

John Sloan (1871-1951)
“Art of Salesmanship,” 1930
Etching on laid paper
Art of Salesmanship by John Sloan

Max Klinger (1857-1920)
“Self Portrait,” 1918

Self Portrait by Max Klinger

Theophile Alexander Steinlen (1859-1923)
“Entry to the German Jails” & “Release from the German Jails,” 1915
Lithograph in black and white with a tan tint stone

Entry to the German Jails by Theophile Alexander Steinlen

elease from the German Jails by Theophile Alexander Steinlen