Love for All My Life features images of family from the Wichita Art Museum’s permanent collection. Generations of American artists have depicted families–either their own or others–returning to the subject over and over again. Whether made up of biological relatives or chosen members, these works celebrate families in ways that are both universal and specific, allowing artists to explore themes like memory, joy, and interdependence.
Saco Bride and Saco Bridegroom, the oldest works on display, were painted by an unknown artist in honor of a couple’s marriage. Sunday Kind of Love and Woman and Cats both reference an artist’s love for their spouse while also evoking more general feelings of contentment and desire. The Chess Game, The High Chair, and Portrait II explore the connections between generations. Memory Portrait of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas commemorates the bonds between romantic partners and their larger circle of friends. Family Dinner features children, parents, and grandparents seated together around the table, each a link in both the family and the painting. Together, the works ask us to consider the joys and complexity of family ties.
This exhibition opened Friday, December 23, 2022 and is on view in the M.C. Naftzger Gallery.