Press Room

NMWA Exhibits Works by Artist Meret Oppenheim April 26–Sept. 14, 2014

Mar 25 2014

Drawn mainly from a recent donation,
Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships
explores Oppenheim’s provocative work
during her prolific career.

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships, on view April 26–September 14, 2014. This spotlight exhibition includes artworks from the Furtak collection supplemented by loans that span Meret Oppenheim’s (1913–1985) career. Highlights include the witty Table with Bird’s Feet (1973) and the famous photograph The Couple (1973) of two boots “kissing” as well as small sculptures, drawings, prints, books, letters and other archival materials. During her prolific career, Oppenheim created art that explored themes of sensuality and desire, friendship and love, nature and culture, and reality and imagination. This exhibition explores friendship as a source of inspiration and support.

Many of the 24 works on view are part of a recent donation to NMWA made by Vassar College art librarian Thomas Hill in honor of his friendship with late librarian of the Walker Art Center Rosemary Furtak (1943–2012). For the last 20 years of her life, Furtak, who loved Oppenheim’s art, collected what she could afford on her modest salary. To prevent her collection’s dispersal and sale, and to assure that Oppenheim’s books and objects would find a home where their artistic value was appreciated, Hill acquired the collection and donated it to NMWA in 2013.

“This exhibition will give visitors a taste of Oppenheim’s creative talent and originality,” said Curator of Book Arts Krystyna Wasserman. “I was attracted to the mysterious quality of her art, her inventiveness and her poetic imagination. We are presenting lesser-known works by Oppenheim, which illuminate the artist’s personal life, her artistic and intellectual friendships, and the landscape of her dreams. Oppenheim made art part of her life; she worked very hard but was often playful and open to new experiences.”

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National Museum of Women in the Arts