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Academic Year Opens with Two New Exhibits at USU's Museum

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

'Lady Murasaki's Fan Chair' by Robert Bliss

'Lady Murasaki's Fan Chair’ by Robert Bliss is part of the exhibit now showing at USU’s NEHMA.

'Ricochet' by Anna Campbell Bliss

'Ricochet' by Anna Campbell Bliss. The USU exhibit provides an opportunity to see work by both Robert Bliss and Anna Campbell Bliss.

The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) at Utah State University presents two inaugural exhibitions for the 2014-15 academic year.

“Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design” and “Relational Forms: Robert Bliss and Anna Campbell Bliss” open Sept. 5 with a gallery talk at 4 p.m. and an opening reception from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibited works from Black Mountain College include ceramics, textiles, furniture, sculptures, paintings and printed material created by students and faculty from the college. In addition to the items in the traveling exhibition, selected works from NEHMA’s permanent collection that demonstrate the scope of Black Mountain College’s influence on studio ceramic artists of the American West will be incorporated. The USU portion of the exhibit was curated by Windgate Foundation curatorial intern Adriane Dalton and NEHMA intern Nicholas Danielson.

“The Black Mountain College exhibit explores the impact of the college on the fields of studio craft and design from the middle of the 20th century to present day,” said Katie Lee Koven, director of NEHMA and curator of the exhibit. “Black Mountain College was an experimental liberal arts college located in the rural mountains of North Carolina.”

Lee Koven said that even though the college has been closed for 57 years, it still continues to be influential in the visual, performing and literary arts.

The “Relational Forms” exhibit highlights select furniture pieces designed by architect Robert Bliss and artwork by Anna Campbell Bliss.

“Robert Bliss studied at the Black Mountain College under Josef Albers and Lawrence Kocher and is included in the ‘Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design’ exhibition,” said Lee Koven. “Anna Campbell Bliss studied at Harvard and MIT and later also studied with Josef Albers. Her interest in mathematics and art compliments works such as Buckmunster Fuller, Ruth Asawa and Kenneth Snelson from the Black Mountain College exhibition.”

The couple moved to Salt Lake City in 1963 when Robert was appointed dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Utah.

“Robert’s furniture reflects modern designs emphasizing practicality without comprising aesthetics,” said Lee Koven. “Anna’s prints make connections between mathematics, computers, science and art. This is only the second time the works of this couple have ever been shown together.”

Both exhibits are free and open to the public and will run Aug. 25, 2014, to Feb. 28, 2015.

NEHMA is located on the USU campus and is open Tuesday- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s website or call the CCA Box Office at 435-797-8022. 

Related link:

USU Caine College of the Arts

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

Writer: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

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