Check Out These 10 Must-See Fall Exhibits

Underwater artifacts and Winnie the Pooh take center stage at these new museum exhibits this fall

Archaeologist eye to eye to with a sphinx underwater, Eastern Harbor, Alexandria, Egypt, 1st century BC; granodiorite; 27 9/16 x 59 1/16 inches; National Museum of Alexandria (SCA 450); IEASM Excavations; Photos: Jèrôme Delafosse © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Jèrôme Delafosse

Get out and make fall a season of learning across the United States. These 10 museums will teach you, among other things, about the history of Victorian dolls, the gravity of Bill Traylor’s art and the mysteries of ancient Egypt.

The Driehaus Museum—Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America
(Chicago, Illinois; September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019)

Albert Abendschein (American, 1859–1914?), Mrs. Grenville Kane, ca. 1900. Watercolor on ivory. New-York Historical Society, Gift of the Estate of Peter Marié, 1905.124 Driehaus Museum
Théobald Chartran (French, 1849 –1907). James Hazen Hyde, 1901. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Gift of James Hazen Hyde, 1949.1 Driehaus Museum
Henry Augustus Loop (American, 1831 – 1895). Fannie Fredericka Dyckman and Mary Alice Dyckman, 1876. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Bequest of Fannie Fredericka Dyckman, 1951.374 Driehaus Museum

The Driehaus Museum’s flagship fall exhibit is a collaboration with the New-York Historical Society that focuses on formal portraiture in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Beauty’s Legacy showcases about 60 portraits of the wealthy and elite, who wished to show off their social status by commissioning famous artists to paint their likeness. Families like the Vanderbilts, the Astors and the Bonapartes are featured in portraits painted by artists like Rembrandt Peale, Eastman Johnson and John Singer Sargent. In addition to Beauty’s Legacy, the Driehaus will concurrently run Gilded Chicago: Portraits of an Era and Treasures from the White City: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Both tell a story of post-fire Chicago and how it reemerged as a major metropolitan city. Gilded Chicago has ten portraits in the collection of familiar Chicago names like Pullman, Field and McCormick.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and USC Fisher Museum of Art—Justin Brice Guariglia Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene
(Los Angeles, California; September 18, 2018 – December 8, 2018)

Justin Brice Guariglia, QAANAAQ I, 2015 / 2016. Acrylic, polystyrene, 128 x 96 x 1.75 in. © 2017 Courtesy of the artist
Justin Brice Guariglia, LANDSCAPE STUDY I, GOLD, 2014 / 2015. Acrylic, 22 kt. gold leaf, gesso, linen, aluminum panel. 40 x 30 x 0.6 in. © 2017 Courtesy of the artist

Starting September 18, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) and its neighbor museum, the USC Fisher Museum of Art, will display a joint exhibition focusing on the Anthropocene, which is the geologic age of human impact on the planet and on climate change. Earth Works features 24 pieces from artist Justin Brice Guariglia, who flew with NASA to study melting glaciers in Greenland. Twenty-three pieces will be on display at the USC Fisher Museum, showcasing photos the artist took on his NASA trips through a special acrylic printing process that blends photography and painting. The NHMLA will display Guariglia’s large-form piece Jakobshavn I, measuring 11 feet by 16 feet. It depicts one of the fastest melting glaciers in Greenland.

South Carolina Historical Society Museum—Fireproof Building
(Charleston, South Carolina; Opens September 22)

Rev. Archibald Stobo’s Bible, circa 1658. This Bible belonged to the Reverend Archibald Stobo, a Scottish Presbyterian minister who arrived in Charleston in 1700. The Bible was one of the few possessions that survived the destruction of the Rising Sun, the ship upon which Stobo and his family sailed to Charleston. Shortly after the Stobo family disembarked, the ship was swept out to sea by a fierce hurricane. South Carolina Historical Society Museum
The Carolina Housewife, circa 1851. The South Carolina Historical Society has a number of handwritten receipt books in its collections. Receipt books often contained recipes for medicines and cleaning products alongside culinary recipes. The recipes in these books were created by the women themselves, borrowed from friends, or adapted from popular cookbooks like Miss Leslie’s or The Carolina Housewife. Frequently, a recipe consisted of little more than a list of ingredients, the assumption being that a cook would be experienced enough to figure out the rest on her own. South Carolina Historical Society Museum
Earthquake Sand from Charleston, 1886. Among the society’s collections are ten corked, wax-sealed vials of mineral sands thrown up by the Geysers around Charleston, SC during the Earthquake of August 31, 1886. The vials are housed in a rectangular cardboard box with a label suggesting that they originated at a shop belonging to W. Kirkwood at the corner of Coming and Spring Streets in Charleston. An accompanying broadside reads, “EARTHQUAKE SANDS!” The bottom of the page contains a note to the reader: “As many of the colors of the sand are getting to be scarce, you had better procure a bottle or box now!” South Carolina Historical Society Museum
The Fireproof Building. Andrew Cebulka

After a multi-million dollar renovation, one of South Carolina’s oldest buildings, the Fireproof Building, will reopen in September as an interactive museum documenting more than 30 years of the state’s history. The exhibits will be shown through the eyes of historical South Carolina residents, and will also highlight exciting pieces from the South Carolina Historical Society’s collection. Some must-see pieces include rice plantation maps from the 1700s (which are currently on loan from the Smithsonian), Revolutionary War officer Francis Marion’s powder horn and pipe bowls from the 1700s. Visitors will also enjoy interactive map tables and active portraits of four local historical figures.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
(Boston, Massachusetts; September 22, 2018 – January 6, 2019)

Teddy Bear, about 1906-1910, manufactured by Margarete Steiff. MFA Boston
“The bees are getting suspicious,” Winnie-the-Pooh chapter 1, 1926, Ernest Howard Shepard. MFA Boston
Winnie-the-Pooh first edition, 1924, published in London by Methuen & Co. Ltd; printed by Jarrold & Sons Ltd. MFA Boston
Winnie-the-Pooh sake cups, about 2014, made by Hasami for the Walt Disney Corporation. MFA Boston

Fans of Winnie the Pooh will love the Exploring a Classic exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—it’s designed to follow the history and appeal of the classic stories from inkling to literary powerhouse. The exhibit will showcase about 200 artifacts from A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard, including original drawings, early editions, photographs and letters showing the creation tales of all the characters of the 100 Acre Wood, and how they’ve stood the test of time, becoming childhood favorites for generations. Don’t miss the original line drawings of Pooh and Christopher Robin, the teddy bear that inspired it all, plus a set of modern sake cups.

Smithsonian American Art Museum—Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor
(Washington, D.C.; September 28, 2018 – March 17, 2019)

Bill Traylor, Untitled, ca. 1939–1942, colored pencil on cardboard. Collection of Jan Petry and Angie Mills. Photograph © John A. Faier. Smithsonian American Art Museum
Bill Traylor, Untitled (Yellow and Blue House with Figures and Dog), July 1939, colored pencilon paperboard. Smithsonian American Art Museum; Museum purchase through the Luisita L. andFranz H. Denghausen Endowment. Photo by Gene Young. Smithsonian American Art Museum

Exclusive to the Smithsonian American Art Museum this fall is an exhibit about the collected works of Bill Traylor, the only known artist enslaved at birth to produce a large body of drawn and painted works. Between Worlds will feature 155 pieces of Traylor’s work. He began creating his art in 1939 when he was in his late 80s. At that time, he lived on the streets in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was born into slavery. Although he only lived for ten more years, he left behind more than a thousand pieces of art. His simple but colorful drawings and paintings show the juxtaposition of white and black cultures at the time and the political tones of the time.

Whitney Museum of American Art—Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018
(New York, New York; September 28, 2018 – April 14, 2018)

W. Bradford Paley (b.1958), Code Profiles, September 2002. Java applet. Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art for its artport website AP.2002.11. Whitney Museum of American Art
Casey Reas (b.1972), {Software} Structures #003 B, August 2004/2016. Java, Adobe Flash Player. Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art for its artport website AP.2004.5. Whitney Museum of American Art
Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), Wall Drawing #289, 1976. Wax crayon, graphite pencil, and paint on four walls, dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc. 78.1.1-4. © 2018 Sol LeWitt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Whitney Museum of American Art
Nam June Paik (1932-2006), Fin de Siecle II, 1989. Video installation, 201 television sets with four laserdiscs, 168 x 480 x 60 in. (426.7 x 1219.2 x 152.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Laila and Thurston Twigg-Smith 93.139. © Nam June Paik Estate. Whitney Museum of American Art

Computer programming takes an artistic turn in Programmed, a new exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The exhibit explores art made between 1965 and 2018, all following a specific set of programmed instructions, rules, algorithms and codes. Programmed follows two distinct threads—one showing how programming can impact and change conceptual art, and the other showing how algorithms and instructions can manipulate what we see on television or through other image signals. The exhibit uses the Whitney’s own collection to explore how computational art has evolved and changed over the decades based on technology.

Wrightwood 659—Ando and Le Corbusier: Master of Architecture
(Chicago, Illinois; October 12, 2018 – December 15, 2018)

Inside Wrightwood 659. Tom Rossiter

Hiding in a Chicago neighborhood, in what looks like just another apartment building, is a new exhibition space celebrating architecture and socially engaged art. Wrightwood 659 was once a three-floor walkup on the city’s north side but is now a four-floor space with an outdoor patio on the top floor. The inaugural exhibit will be Ando and Le Corbusier: Masters of Architecture, opening in October. Tadao Ando is a Pritzker Laureate and designed the entire space. The exhibit will highlight Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s influence on Ando and his work. More than 100 Le Corbusier models, archival images and drawings will be on display, plus 106 small-scale models that Ando’s students made of Le Corbusier’s work. Ando’s work will be on display on the third and fourth floors of the space. Some must-sees include Le Corbusier’s 1929 model of the Villa Savoye, a 1950 model of the chapel at Ronchamp and Ando’s students’ 60-foot-long art island model of Naoshima. Wrightwood 659 will host two ticketed exhibits a year, alternating between architecture and social activism focuses. Tickets must be reserved online.

Minneapolis Institute of Art—Egypt’s Sunken Cities
(Minneapolis, Minnesota; November 4, 2018 – April 14, 2018)

Statue of Arsinoë, Canopus, Aboukir Bay, Egypt; 3rd century BC; black granodiorite; Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum (SCA 208); IEASM Excavations; Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Christoph Gerigk
The stele of Thonis-Heracleion raised under water on site in the bay of Aboukir, Thonis-Heracleion, Aboukir Bay, Egypt; National Museum of Alexandria (SCA 277); IEASM Excavations; Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Christoph Gerigk
Archaeologist eye to eye to with a sphinx underwater, Eastern Harbor, Alexandria, Egypt, 1st century BC; granodiorite; 27 9/16 x 59 1/16 inches; National Museum of Alexandria (SCA 450); IEASM Excavations; Photos: Jèrôme Delafosse © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Jèrôme Delafosse
The bust of the colossal statue of Hapy has been strapped with webbings before being cautiously raised out of the water of Aboukir bay, Egypt. Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Christoph Gerigk
Colossal statue of the god Hapy, Thonis-Heracleion, Aboukir Bay, Egypt, 4th century BC; Late Period-Ptolemaic Period; red granite; height: 17 feet 8 5/8 x 35 7/16 inches, weight: 6 tons; Maritime Museum, Alexandria (SCA 281); IEASM Excavations; Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Christoph Gerigk
The awakening of Osiris; 26th dynasty (664-525 BC); gneiss, gold, electrum, bronze; Egyptian Museum, Cairo (CGC 38424); Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. Christoph Gerigk

More than 1,200 years in the past, the Egyptian cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus became victims of the planet, submerged in the Mediterranean Sea’s rising tides. They stayed hidden for more than a millennium, until 2000, when underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio rediscovered them in Aboukir Bay near Alexandria. Goddio and his team found a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian artifacts, everything from statues and jewelry to ceramics and religious icons. Egypt’s Sunken Cities documents Goddio’s discovery story and the historical pieces the team found. On display will be three massive 16-foot-tall sculptures weighing more than 8,000 pounds each, plus more than 250 pieces of ancient Egyptian art found at the site and other pieces on loan from museums in Cairo and Alexandria.

Jamestown Settlement—TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia
(Jamestown, Virginia; November 10, 2018 – January 5, 2020)

Embroidered bodice, circa 1610. A long-sleeved bodice on loan from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust features an embroidered design of trailing stems and leaves worked in colored silk and metal threads, with metal spangles or sequins. In the “TENACITY” special exhibition, the object is associated with governor’s wives and women aspiring to an upper class. Courtesy of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Jamestown Settlement historical interpreter in re-created fort sewing shirts. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
Ducking Chair, English, traditional 17th century. An English ducking chair, a recent acquisition to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection, represents the use of public humiliation as punishment that was common in England and in America from the early 17th to 19th centuries. Offenders – usually women – were strapped to a sturdy chair, which was fastened to a long wooden beam, and dunked into a body of water. A 1634 Virginia court case recorded that Betsey Tucker was punished in this way for “brabbling” or gossiping. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

At the start of the New World, when settlers first arrived in Jamestown, women were considered second-class citizens. As a result, much of their history was not record, save for a few records here and there documenting marriages, deaths, or court cases. Now, those women are being brought to the forefront of history with a special yearlong exhibit at the Jamestown Settlement called Tenacity. The exhibit will have more than 60 artifacts documenting the struggles and contributions of women in the colonial days. Some of the more rare items on display include an embroidered bodice from 1610, a 17th century ducking chair and the Ferrar Papers from 1621 that documented all the original women recruited to come to Virginia.

Philadelphia Museum of Art—Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls and the Feminine Ideal
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; November 11, 2018 – March 3, 2019)

Three doll dresses from Miss Fanchon’s wardrobe, late 1860s-1870s, possibly France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-9a—c, 14a,b,3. Philadelphia Museum of Art
Miss Fanchon’s Gloves, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-109a,b. Doll’s Handbag, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Mrs. William Hill Steeble and Martha B. Newkirk in memory of their mother, Mrs. I. Roberts Newkirk, 1977-189-4aa. Philadelphia Museum of Art
“Miss French Mary” Fashion Doll, around 1875, France. Gift of Mrs. James Wilson Wister, née Elizabeth Bayard Dunn, 1970-215-1a. Philadelphia Museum of Art
Doll’s Sewing Equipment, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Edward Starr, Jr., 1976-58- 9Ah1-7 and Gift of Mrs. William Hill Steeble and Martha B. Newkirk in memory of their mother, Mrs. I. Roberts Newkirk, 1977-189-4y. Philadelphia Museum of Art
Miss Fanchon’s Roller Skates, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-80a,b. Philadelphia Museum of Art
“Miss Fanchon” Fashion Doll, around 1870, France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-1a. Philadelphia Museum of Art
“Miss G. Townsend” Fashion Doll, 1870s, France. Gift of Edward Starr, Jr., 1976-58-9. Philadelphia Museum of Art

Four dolls are at the heart of Little Ladies, an upcoming exhibit from the Philadelphia Museum of Art that explores how gender roles in Victorian times were passed on to girls through play. The dolls, named Miss Fanchon, Miss G. Townsend, Miss French Mary and Marie Antoinette, were crafted in 1860s and 1870s France and were the hot item for privileged girls during the Gilded Age. They stand about 18 inches tall and have painted heads, wigs, and leather bodies. Each doll comes with an arsenal of belongings, as well—from extensive wardrobes that include undergarments and gloves, to personal items and accessories like tiny toothbrushes and roller skates. One of the dolls’ trunks, for example, has more than 150 items. During the Gilded Age, girls were able to imagine the future life expected of them through play with the dolls, solidifying ideal social customs and cementing gender roles into the subconscious.

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