The Hoover Institution’s new exhibition, Art and History: Treasures from the Hoover Library and Archives, runs from April 23 to December 20, 2013, in the Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion (next to Hoover Tower) on the Stanford University campus.
Drawing on the extensive holdings of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, this exhibition showcases the work of artists who have captured important historical moments in their work. Each piece in Art and History, whether created by a professional or an amateur artist, expresses her or his place and experience in both an inspiring and a tumultuous world.
Additionally, as the arts become more pervasive on campus thanks to the Arts Initiative, the exhibition supports this effort by focusing on the remarkable artwork in Hoover’s collection.
The exhibition, which includes more than hundred objects spanning the twentieth century, many of which are on view for the first time, features:
- Striking selections from Hoover’s renowned poster collection
- Beautiful botanical drawings from a Russian expedition to California in the nineteenth century
- Rare art books from prerevolutionary Russia
- Watercolor depictions of the Gallipoli campaign from 1915
- Hand-painted letters of appreciation from recipients of humanitarian aid after World War I
- Drawings on thin rice paper done during the Long March led by Mao Zedong
- Groundbreaking political cartoons by Chinese artist Jack Chen
- Poignant sketches of life in the Gulag by Thomas Sgovio
- Dramatic battle scenes in the Pacific Theater during World War II by American photographer Edward Steichen
Also featured are several audio and video selections, including a documentary on Zhang Shuqi, father of Stanford professor Gordon Chang and celebrated painter (and teacher of Madame Chiang Kai-shek, whose watercolor of a conifer is also on display): in a virtuoso performance of less than seven minutes, Zhang is shown creating his elegant and decisive brushstrokes depicting birds and flowers.
One of the goals of the exhibition is to inspire visitors to think about an artist’s place in history and the windows they have created through which we can look into the past.
The exhibition is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm, and is free of charge. Parking on campus is free on Saturdays. For more information, go to http://hoover.org or call the Hoover Archives at (650) 723-3563.