Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present
August 28-December 18
The University Art Museum presents Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present, the first comprehensive survey of original works by prominent American artists examining the quintessentially American sport of football, a sport with its origins in the 19th century Ivy League colleges of the eastern seaboard. Following the CSU venue, the exhibition will travel to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. Through the enthusiastic response of institutions and private collectors throughout the country, the exhibition brings works from major museums and private collections by important artists from the 19th through the 21st century including Winslow Homer, Frederic Remington, George Bellows, John Steuart Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and a host of others.
Through paintings, prints, sculpture, photography, and new-media art featured in this exhibition, football can be read as a cultural narrative that reflects attitudes and transitions in our country’s history. Significant artists have regularly depicted aspects of the sport which reflect themes central to American life from the Civil War period to the present day: class; race, assimilation, and integration; gender relationships and the place of women in sports; patriotism and capitalism; violence and war; public spectatorship; and mass-media/celebrity culture.
The exhibition illuminates and reveals themes that continue from the earliest historical images to the present day. For example, debates about violence and long-term health issues were explored by artists as early as the 19th century. The exhibition examines these artworks through multiple interpretative formats – text, special programming events, and an exhibition catalogue – in order to involve a broad spectrum of visitors in this important discussion.
Scrimmage is a truly interdisciplinary project; the museum is pleased to thank our CSU Team: Dr. Albert Bimper (Ethnic Studies), Dr. Robert Gudmestad (History), Dr. Emily Moore (Art and Art History), Dr. Constance DeVereaux (LEAP Institute), Dr. Nancy Jianakoplos (Economics), the CSU Marching Band, and the Department of Athletics for their support and participation. This exhibition is organized by the Unversity Art Museum at Colorado State University and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND GUESTS
Exhibition Grand Opening
Friday, August 28, 6-8 p.m. University Art Museum
Celebrate the opening of Scrimmage with the CSU Marching Band and other special guests.
Scrimmage Visiting Critic Lecture: Dr. Michael Oriard
Gladiators: Reading the Concussion Crisis and Football’s Future Through the Visual Arts
Wednesday, September 9, 5 p.m. Griffin Concert Hall, UCA
Michael Oriard, distinguished professor of American Literature and Culture (Emeritus) at Oregon State University, walked on as a defensive end at the University of Notre Dame, and earned a spot as a starting center. He left Notre Dame with a graduate fellowship to study literature, as well as a position with the Kansas City Chiefs. After receiving his PhD from Stanford, Oriard joined the faculty at Oregon State University. He is the author of four cultural studies of football (Reading Football, 1993; King Football, 2001; Brand NFL, 2007; and Bowled Over, 2009) and a memoir (The End of Autumn, 1982, 2009). Long interested in issues of brain trauma, Oriard turns his attention to the history of images and how they give us insights into these important and topical issues.
Scrimmage Visiting Artist Lecture: Monique Crine
Thursday, September 17, 2 p.m. University Art Museum
Denver-based artist Monique Crine, is known for her compelling paintings, drawn from photographs. Crine’s painting, Richard, included in the Scrimmage exhibition, is drawn from a photograph of her father in football uniform, and relates to her current practice. Recently shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Crine’s new series on professional football players, explores athletes as iconic American figures. Crine’s visit is sponsored, in-part, by SOVA, the Student Organization of Visual Art.
Scrimmage Visiting Artist Lecture: Shaun Leonardo
Macho Ritual and the Performance of Masculinity
Wednesday, October 14, 5 p.m. Organ Recital Hall, UCA
Shaun Leonardo probes conventions of portraiture to reveal complexities of masculinity and manhood. Through physically demanding performances, as well as cutout paintings, drawings, and sculpture, Leonardo negotiates ideals of worth, achievement, and the experience of failure. Leonardo’s work Bull in the Ring, 2008, is featured in the exhibition Scrimmage. The work derives from Leonardo’s collegiate football career at Bowdoin College in which he re-enacts a drill, since banned, in order to investigate themes of extreme masculinity.
Scrimmage Gallery Talk: Gary Huibregtse
The Athletic Moment: Photographic Evolution in Scrimmage
Tuesday, November 3, 12 p.m. University Art Museum
With a thirty-year tenure at CSU, Gary Huibregtse leads the Photo Image Making program in the Department of Art and Art History. In this gallery talk, Professor Huibregtse leads visitors through an overview of aesthetic developments in the photographic medium as they relate to images in the Scrimmage exhibition.
Scrimmage Gallery Panel: American Indian Mascots in Sports: The Persistence & Reinforcement of Stereotypes
A discussion with Colorado Representative Joe Salazar, Ty Smith (director of NACC), Leslee Lovato (office of admissions) and Tiffani Kelly (assistant director of NACC)
Tuesday, October 20, 4 p.m. University Art Museum
A section of Scrimmage addresses how images of football reflected racial and ethnic prejudice in our history. While African American and Native American players distinguished themselves on the football gridiron, their images are rarely seen in the early history of football art; instead they are reduced to racial stereotypes, or parodied in mascot imagery. This issue remains topical today. Join the museum for a discussion with a panel including Colorado Representative Joe Salazar, sponsor of a recent bill concerning the persistence of American Indian mascots at schools and sports franchises, on mascots and the impact of this imagery on Native peoples. This program is presented in conjunction with Native American Cultural Center (NACC) at CSU.
SPORTS TALK IN THE ART MUSEUM
A series of talks on sport and art, in conjunction with Scrimmage.
Thursdays, 4 p.m.
Talkin’ Gender: Sept. 10
Dr. Michael Oriard, visiting critic, professor emeritus, American Literature and Culture, Oregon State. On gender issues in football and football art.
Talkin’ Race: Oct. 1
Dr. Albert Bimper, assistant professor, ethnic studies, senior associate athletics director for diversity, inclusion, and engagement. On African American athletes and the lack of representation in sports imagery and history.
Talkin’ Tough: Oct. 15
Shaun Leonardo, visiting artist. On the artist’s performance and video work that question notions of masculinity as related to sport.
Talkin’ Money: Oct. 29
Dr. Nancy Jianakoplos, professor, economics. On football economics, including controversies surrounding the status of collegiate players.
Talkin’ Success: Nov. 12
Dr. Robert Gudmestad, associate professor, history. On football’s supplanting of baseball as America’s game.
Talkin’ Back: Dec. 3
Linny Frickman, director, University Art Museum. On the art museum as a site for discussion of sports and cultural issues.
TOURS AND CLASS VISITS – Please call the museum at 491-1989 to schedule group visits.