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The Vault: David Fredenthal

Nov. 3 – Dec. 5, 2021

The Vault

David Fredenthal, <i>Bread</i>, 1930s. Gift of Grippi Gallery.

David Fredenthal, Bread, 1930s. Gift of Grippi Gallery.

This work was selected by Ian Madigan (Class of 2022), who explains: “I chose this work because of my keen interest in history and the painting’s current sociopolitical relevance. Bread depicts a boy in Detroit during the Great Depression. I think there are strong parallels to be made to the 2008 recession that decimated Detroit’s automotive industry and economy as well as the current pandemic. The hard angles provided by the cubist style work very well to communicate how rough the boy’s life was. His eyes have a blank stare as he absentmindedly chews on the bread. Seeing this work in person changed my first perception of it: I had not realized that Bread was cubist in nature when I first selected it. Then, I learned that it was a more subtle use of cubism than artists like Picasso employed.”

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.