‘Tis the season: December exhibitions & events at the University of Michigan | Arts & Culture

‘Tis the season: December exhibitions & events at the University of Michigan

Back to Top

The University of Michigan welcomes one and all to its many museums, gallery exhibitions, and holiday performances to get in the spirit throughout the month of December.

MUSEUMS

MUSEUM OF ART

signature image for UMMA

“Orion” by sculptor Mark di Suvero can be found in front of the U-M Museum of Art.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), is one of the oldest and largest and university art museums in the country. Their collection comprises more than 21,000 works of art that span cultures, eras, and media, with works on view by world renowned artists like James McNeill Whistler, Helen Frankenthaler, Pablo Picasso, Joshua Reynolds, Kara Walker, Claude Monet, Frank Lloyd Wright and Andy Warhol, among many others. In addition to their permanent collection, UMMA hosts nearly 20 special exhibitions and over 100 events each year. Current exhibitions include:

Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection is the first major exhibition to examine the subject of Tibetan book covers. Protecting Wisdom presents a stunning visual display that illuminates a virtually unknown type of art, one that will charm and intrigue both those familiar and unfamiliar with Tibetan art.

Shakyamuni, outer face, upper book cover, Tibet, vol. 1, 14th–15th century, wood with traces of paint and gilding, MacLean Collection

Shakyamuni, outer face, upper book cover, Tibet, vol. 1, 14th–15th century, wood with traces of paint and gilding, MacLean Collection

The Aesthetic Movement in America: Artists of the Photo-Secession explores Pictorialism, the first truly international photography movement. It features the works of principal Pictorialists including: Stieglitz, Steichen, Käsebier, Clarence White, Paul Strand, and Alvin Langdon Coburn.

Traces: Reconstructing the History of a Chokwe Mask focuses on one artwork from UMMA’s African holdings: a Chokwe mask that was collected in 1905 near the Angolan city of Dundo.Traces tells the stories of some of these individuals as it reconstructs the “biography” of the mask.

Japanese Prints of Kabuki Theater presents a selection of dramatic prints that explore the visual culture surrounding kabuki theater by major artists such as Utagawa Toyokuni (1769–1825), Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865), Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861), and Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900).

Ernst Kirchner, In the Restaurant, 1903, ink on cream wove paper. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of the Ernst Pilgrim and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.98

Ernst Kirchner, In the Restaurant, 1903, ink on cream wove paper. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of the Ernst Pilgrim and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.98

Europe on Paper: The Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection features forty-seven works on paper—drawings, prints, and watercolors from the eighteenth to the twentieth century—that focus on the expressive capacities of line and its ability to articulate the seen and unseen.

Moving Image: Landscape explores traditional notions of landscape through four very different time-based works by artists Jim Campbell, Antti Laitinen, Joanie Lemercier, and Rick Silva.

For all of your holiday gift needs, visit the UMMA Store or shop online.

Location: UMMA is free and open to the public at 525 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Tues.–Sat., 11a.m.–5pm; Sun. 12–5 p.m.; Closed Mondays & University holidays

 

KELSEY MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY

The Kelsey Museum houses a collection of more than 100,000 ancient and medieval objects from the civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East. Among the objects on view is a colorfully painted Egyptian mummy coffin, magical amulets from the ancient Near East, an array of glass vessels, Greek pottery, a unique large-scale watercolor representation of the famous Villa of the Mysteries murals from ancient Pompeii, and more. View both the permanent galleries and the special exhibition Less Than Perfect.  

Blown-glass flasks; green glass; Fayoum, Egypt, c. 400–700 CE; Gift of David Askren; University of Michigan Museum of Art

From the “Less Than Perfect” exhibition at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology: Green glass; Fayoum, Egypt, c. 400–700 CE; Gift of David Askren; U-M Museum of Art.

On Thursday, December 8, spend an attend the Kelsey Museum Open House for an evening of archaeology and musical entertainment.

Location: The Kelsey Museum is free and open to the public at 434 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Tues.–Fri., 9 am–4 p.m.; Sat.–Sun., 1–4 p.m., Closed Mondays & University holidays.

 

MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

The Museum of Natural History includes displays on prehistoric life (with the most extensive dinosaur exhibits in the state), Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology and a digital planetarium. Explore both the permanent as well as the temporary exhibits including:

woolymammoth-2-e

The Bristle MammothThe mammoth remains found near Chelsea, Michigan, last fall will be on view through Dec. 31. The Bristle Mammoth (pronounced BRIS-lee) is named for James and Melody Bristle, the farming family who found the remains on their property and donated them to the University. Visitors will be able to touch one of the Bristle Mammoth’s bones, see some of the evidence for human activity at this site (such as the removal of edible tissues from parts of the carcass), and explore how the Bristle Mammoth’s bones, teeth and tusks will help scientists understand how these animals lived and why they went extinct.

Extreme TimeThink you know all about time? What about things that happen in femtoseconds or eons? Time in the natural world is so extreme, it is hard to perceive most of its scale unaided, which is the focus of this new exhibit.

Museum on the MoveU-M’s Museum of Natural History will be moving into a new facility, opening in 2019. Come discover where we’ve come from and where we’re headed in this new exhibit about our past and future. View fascinating historic images and plans for the new museum, and revisit past exhibit favorites retrieved from our archives.

Location: The Museum of Natural History is free and open to the public at 1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109. Hours: Mon.–Sat., 9am–5 p.m.; Sun.,12–5 p.m.; Closed on University holidays.

 

MATTHAEI BOTANICAL GARDENS

Corn husk dress, Moss jacket, Succulent dress, Courtesy University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is a 350-acre site that offers an indoor plant conservatory and greenhouse, and outdoor sites for research, display gardens, native plant gardens, natural areas and ongoing ecological restoration. Matthaei’s exhibition Avant Garden: Weaving Fashion and Nature Together is now on view.

Location: Matthaei is free and open to the public at 1800 N.Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Hours: Conservatory is open daily, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Trails open sunrise to sunset. Holiday Hours: Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, open New Year’s Day, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

 

GALLERIES

With over 20 galleries on campus, various U-M departments and libraries are committed to exploring artistic expression through many different subjects outside of traditional museum spaces. From Humanities to Women’s Studies, and the School of Natural Resources—stop in to view the many exhibitions on view this month.

Visitor at UMMA

 

LANE HALL GALLERY

Photography by Heidi Kumao, part of the exhibition Swallowed Whole: A Visual Journey Through Traumatic Injury and Recovery

Photography by Heidi Kumao, part of the exhibition Swallowed Whole: A Visual Journey Through Traumatic Injury and Recovery

Swallowed Whole: A Visual Journey Through Traumatic Injury and Recovery features the work of Stamps School of Art & Design Professor Heidi Kumao. Consisting of staged photographs and video which draw upon her experiences with a broken back and cancer treatment, the work embraces the absurdity and isolation that accompanied these medical traumas.

Location: The Lane Hall Gallery is free and open to the public at 204 State St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109. Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Closed Sat.–Sun. & University holidays.

INSTITUTE FOR HUMANITIES GALLERY

Mary Mattingly’s exhibition Objects Unveiled: Boxing, Rolling, Stretching and Cutting is the result of the work that she did as last semester’s artist in residence at U-M. During her residency, Mattingly travelled to the Upper Peninsula, exploring its terrain and cobalt mines (Michigan is one of only three states in the U.S that produces cobalt).  The exhibition ponders the social and political implications its production, and includes photographs and objects that are transformed through boxing, bundling, rolling, cutting, stretching, and crushing; all techniques used to alter Cobalt.

Location: The Institute for Humanities Gallery is free and open to the public at 202 S. Thayer St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

ART & ENVIRONMENT GALLERY

‘Red Bug on Milkweed’ Soft Sculpture. Carisa Kaplan 2016.

‘Red Bug on Milkweed’ Soft Sculpture. Carisa Kaplan 2016.

Located in the School of Natural Resources and Environment’s Art & Environment Gallery, Down To Earth features the work of of Ann Arbor and California artist Carisa Kaplan, who focuses in on what is seemingly insignificant in nature.

Location: The Art & Environment Gallery is free and open to the public in the Dana building’s Ford Commons at 440 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

U-M HEALTH SYSTEM ‘GIFTS OF ART’ GALLERIES

Gifts of Art curates nine galleries of changing art exhibitions throughout the U-M hospital, including 

 

Location: Gifts of Art galleries and performances are free and open to the public at 1500 E. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Events and performance time varies, galleries are open during hospital visiting hours.

 

U-M LIBRARIES

The U-M Library system consists of 30 libraries that house a variety of collections and exhibitions—visit the libraries for a unique experience.

 

CLARK LIBRARY EXHIBITION SPACE

The Clark Library Exhibition Space in the Hatcher Graduate Library, hosts a number of exhibitions, lectures, and performances including: Finding Their Way: Maps of Exploration, an exploration of some of the greatest expeditions in history, held on December 15 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Location: The Clark Library is located on the 2nd floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library at 913 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor,
MI 48109.
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m.–11:45 p.m.

 

WILLIAM L. CLEMENTS LIBRARY

Interiors of Clements library

Interiors of Clements library

The William L. Clements Library houses original resources for the study of American history and culture from the 15th through the 19th century. Both the library itself and the Avenir Reading Room house temporary and semi-permanent exhibitions including: Collecting the Clements Library, 1903-2016, and the Alcove Exhibit: Out of the Ordinary: Gems and Oddities in the Clements Library.

Location: Access to the Avenir Reading Room is through the south entrance of the Clements Library, located at 909 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Fridays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and by special arrangement.

 

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES

Handel's Messiah at Hill Auditorium

Handel’s Messiah at Hill Auditorium

 

December 9

(8 p.m.) Holiday Pops with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra: Bring your family and friends to Hill Auditorium for an evening of spirited music-making with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and some of the area’s most beloved choruses including the men of Measure for Measure, Pioneer, Huron and Saline High School Choruses. Purchase tickets here.

December 10

(8 p.m.) The King’s Singers Christmas Songbook features the world-renowned vocal sextet, the King’s Singers. Enjoy a performance full of holiday favorites at Hill Auditorium. Purchase tickets here.

December 15

(12:10–1 p.m.) Holiday Harmonies Gifts of Art presents Christmas classics performed by local band, Counterpoint in the lobby of the U-M Hospital. Away from campus for the Holidays? Like the Gifts of Art Facebook Page to livestream Thursday performances.

December 22

(12:10–1 p.m.) Jewish Folk Music: Ann Arbor-based Klezmer band, Klezmephonic performs Eastern European folk music sprinkled with swing and Roma stylings. Away from campus for the Holidays? Like the Gifts of Art Facebook Page to livestream Thursday performances.