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Curricular Connections: Festivity and Democracy in Action

Sept. 1 – Dec. 12, 2020

Vitrine Gallery

Amanda de León, <i>Dancing in Harlem</i>, 1940s. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Perry.

Amanda de León, Dancing in Harlem, 1940s. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Perry.

Amanda de León, <i>Dancing in Harlem</i>, 1940s. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Perry.

Grant Wood, Shrine Quartet, 1939. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, MSU purchase, funded by the Emma Grace Holmes Endowment and the Nellie M. Loomis Endowment in memory of Martha Jane Loomis.

Amanda de León, <i>Dancing in Harlem</i>, 1940s. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Perry.

George Wesley Bellows, Billy Sunday, 1923. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, MSU purchase.

When does the everyday become political? Ranging from historic forms of entertainment to contemporary leisure activities, from social clubs with matching hats to a devilish holiday, these works illustrate the political nature of our public pursuits. This installation encourages visitors to think of the political influence and relevance that the selected works once held—and may still, especially if they relate to holidays or institutions that still exist today.

The works featured in Curricular Connections: Festivity and Democracy in Action were selected in partnership with MSU faculty members Eileen Roraback and Daniel Smith and gallery educator Matt Boyd. Curricular Connections is a series of exhibitions that engage with university courses and local educational partners. Festivity and Democracy in Action was conceived in collaboration with two Integrative Studies courses at MSU: “Theater and Society in the West” and “Art, Democracy, and Civic Virtues.” Integrative Studies is a general education requirement at MSU that promotes critical thinking around the subjects of arts and humanities, biology and physical sciences, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

Curricular Connections: Festivity and Democracy in Action is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and supported by the Alan and Rebecca Ross endowed exhibition fund.