Arts & Letters

February 13 – May 1, 2016
Anna K. Meredith Gallery

Arts & Letters considers connections between literature and the visual arts across various times and cultures. Works from the Art Center’s permanent collections, from works on paper from the 16th century to contemporary sculpture, will sit alongside generous loans from the libraries of the Salisbury House and the University of Iowa. Painting, photography, sculpture, and video are represented. Rare book editions, including Salvador Dali’s illustrations for “Alice in Wonderland” and the Kelmscott Chaucer, a magnificent example of Victorian design organized by William Morris, are particular highlights.

Many of the works in Arts & Letters have rarely been on public display. Illustrations from various noted novels will appear, as well as images from familiar Biblical stories, Greek myths, fairy tales, and fables, with Shakespeare, Goethe, Hermann Melville and Lewis Carroll all taken on by more than one artist.  Joseph Cornell and Jasper Johns both offer tributes to noted poets. Other works explore the theme of reading more abstractly, as both a physical act and intellectual exercise.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a color, fully-illustrated gallery guide, with essay by show curator Laura Burkhalter. Educational programming for the show will be extensive, including a several gallery talks with Burkhalter and guests from the Salisbury House and University of Iowa. President of the Lewis Carroll Society Stephanie Lovett will deliver a lecture. Actors will be invited to interpret some of the characters portrayed in the show’s works, particularly those of Shakespeare. We also hope to engage literature and writing students from area colleges and universities for special tours and workshops. Burkhalter will also curate a film series to accompany the show.

Arts & Letters is organized by Associate Curator Laura Burkhalter. 

Arts & Letters Logo block

entirely unexpected