Northwestern’s campuses have many laboratories — sites for observation, experimentation and discovery. While most people do not think of art museums as labs, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is just that — an environment in which to speculate, test assumptions, encounter new ways of seeing and engage in collaborative, cross-disciplinary projects that place art in a broad context.
Like any laboratory, the Block is a place for getting up close to what is under investigation. Students and faculty have direct access to the nearly 5,000 objects in the museum’s collection of reproducible art forms — prints and photographs — and other works on paper, such as drawings. This may happen during a sociology class discussing images of labor conditions in the 1930s or in an art history seminar comparing a 15th-century engraving by Albrecht Dürer with an ink-jet print created through digital technology.
This summer, in Art on Paper, the Block celebrates the depth and diversity of its holdings and the role the collection plays within Northwestern’s intellectual and cultural life. On view through Aug. 26, the exhibition also highlights generous alumni who have contributed to the Block Museum, one of Northwestern’s significant teaching and learning resources.
The Block Museum’s permanent collection is searchable online. Individual artworks from the collection may be viewed by appointment in the Eloise W. Martin Study Center. Call 847-467-0734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. The Block Museum of Art is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Phone: 847.491.4000. Email: email@example.com.
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