I recently had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Santiago, Chile for the opening of the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes’s exhibition Centenario: Exposición Internacional: Del Pasado al Presente. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Museo.
One hundred years ago, the United States was one of seventeen countries invited to present exhibitions at the grand opening of the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes in Santiago, Chile. When the museum announced that the same countries who participated in the inaugural exhibition would be invited to present the centennial exhibition, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago contacted Dr. Wayne P. Lawson, then executive director of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) and now director emeritus of OAC and board member of the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA). The Embassy asked Dr. Lawson to produce an exhibition to represent the U.S. at the centennial. In addition, the Embassy gave OAC one of the largest grants it has ever awarded to support the creation and installation of the exhibition.
“In the wake of globalization, art is the great engine of mutual understanding that connects the world and empowers societies,” said Dr.Lawson. “Through art, through this exhibition, people will learn a great deal about us as a society and the changes that have taken place over the last 100 years. To understand each other’s culture is to respect each other.”
Dr. Lawson invited myself and James M. Keny, co-owner of Keny Galleries, to curate the show.
I cannot tell you how proud I am to have the Columbus Museum of Art represent the United States in this wonderful exhibition
Jim and I created 100 Years of North American Art to highlight North American artists’ responses to the myriad social challenges and changes particular to their periods of the century. Over the course of the twentieth century, artists in the United States experienced major social issues and changes, encompassing, among others, labor, immigration, and human rights.
And, of course, I took pictures while we were there to share the moment with all of you.
Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.
Nannette Maciejunes, CMA Executive Director