Spalding House: A Thousand Words and Counting

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    Yamazaki Toshinobu II (1866-1903). "View of Loyal Ako Samurai Breaking into Kira's Mansion," Japan, Meiji period, 1886. Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Purchase, 1955 (15113.44a)

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    Kay Rosen (American, born 1947). "Blurred," 2004. Latex paint on wall.

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August 22, 2012 - January 02, 2013
Spalding House

Exhibition Overview

Spalding House's new education-driven exhibition concept looks at the museum’s collection and art in general from different perspectives and illustrate how art can be used as an unexpected tool in learning about disciplines such as literature, math, music, social studies, and physical education. The exhibitions are curated with schools and teachers in mind, but are also designed to engage and captivate “regular museum goers.” These shows really do have something for everyone.

A Thousand Words and Counting is made up of five engaging small-scale shows that illustrate aspects of literature. The literary connection to some works in these exhibitions are obvious, such as an Indonesian pidan depicting an episode from the classical Indian canon Jataka Tales. Other works, like prints from Goya’s Proverbios series and Ed Ruscha's contemporary work News, will challenge the viewer to make connections expand their definitions of literary concepts. Letters to Lili‘uokalani, showcasing original letters handwritten by Hawai‘i’s last queen, invites visitors to do some writing of their own.

The Divine Journey: Narratives in Religious Art: Central figures of the world’s religions have something in common—from Buddha to Job, they all embark on a journey that leads them to epiphany and enlightenment. Images of divine journeys are as intrinsic to many religions as the sacred texts they depict. The works on view range from William Blake’s prints illustrating The Book of Job, to a 13th-century bronze sculpture. Closed Nov 21.

Code/Character: The 47 Ronin: Woodblock prints depicting The 47 Ronin, a classic Japanese tale of honor and revenge among masterless samurai, are excellent examples of character development in literature. Through Dec 26.

Francisco Goya: Los Proverbios: The 18th-century Spanish master’s print series of eerie, surreal scenes are visual metaphors, and invite you to dream up your own proverbs. Through Dec 26.

Word: Used singly, or arranged in groups, words have the ability to inform and incite.  Works by such contemporary artists as Ed Ruscha and Kate Rosen, featuring deceptively simple words or phrases, explore language and its most elemental component. Through Dec 14.

Letters to Queen Lili‘uokalani: Twenty-one letters written by Queen Lili‘uokalani, Hawai‘i’s last queen, reveal a monarch deeply worried over issues regarding Crown Lands and other matters. Compare these long, thoughtful works to Hawaiian poet No‘u Revilla’s 21st-century visual poem distilled from the Queen’s letters—and you decide how personal communication has changed over the years. Through Jan 2.