Yale Art Gallery exhibition explores the evolving field of wood art

Photos: Exhibition: Conversations with Wood: Selections from the Waterbury Collection

Michael Hosaluk's "Family," 1998. (Yale University Art Gallery, gift of David ‘58, Ruth, and Marcus Waterbury, in honor of Richard C. Levin "for outstanding leadership as president of Yale University, 1993-2013."
Derek Bencomo's "Shadow Dancer, Fourth View," 2003. (Collection of David ’58 and Ruth Waterbury)
William Hunter's "Garden Songs," 2004. (Collection of David ’58 and Ruth Waterbury)
Robyn Horn's "Full Circle, Slipping Stone Series," 2005. (The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, gift of David ’58 and Ruth Waterbury)
Bruce Mitchell's "Windscape," 1989. (Collection of David ’58 and Ruth Waterbury)
Michael J. Peterson's "Sculpture," 2007. (The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, gift of David ’58 and Ruth Waterbury)
David Ellsworth's "Lunar Sphere," 2000. (The Minneapolis Institute of Arts [MIA], gift of David ’58 and Ruth Waterbury, in honor of Christopher Monkhouse for bringing wood art to the MIA.
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Works from one of the nation’s finest collections of wood art will be showcased in a new exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Titled “Conversations with Wood: Selections from the Waterbury Collection,” the exhibition features more than 70 objects from the 500 works in the collection of Minneapolis collectors Ruth and David Waterbury. The Waterburys are founding members of the organization Collectors of Wood Art.

The show “reflects the evolution of the field over the past 25 years, from one with a focus on the lathe and wood turning to an artistic field that now includes many more processes,” note the organizers. The exhibition reflects the variety of artists and the multiple scales of objects that define the field of wood art today. Items on view range from turned wood bowls to large, sculptural pieces. These objects are complemented by select works given by the Waterburys to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Renowned international artists in the exhibition include Michelle Holzapfel, Robyn Horn, Todd Hoyer, William Hunter, Ron Kent, Michael Mode, Hayley Smith, Alan Stirt, and Bob Stocksdale.

“As leading collectors, Ruth and David Waterbury have played a central role in raising the visibility of wood art nationally and building a collection here at Yale,” says Patricia E. Kane, the Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery. “This exhibition is a rare opportunity to view a collection of this caliber, and to learn more about the recent history and innovation of contemporary wood artists.”

The exhibition is on view through August 18 at the Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St. at York Street. For museum hours and directions, call 203-432-0600 or visit the gallery’s website.