Elmhurst Art Museum to get a hint of The Human Touch

Touring collection celebrates spectrum of human experience

Human Touch
Roy Lichtenstein, Modern Art I, 1996, lithograph, 51¼ x 37⅞ in. (Image provided by Elmhurst Art Museum)

ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Art Museum proudly presents the Chicago area debut of The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection, a national touring exhibition on display here from May 14 to Aug. 27.

The Human Touch celebrates people, diversity and the spectrum of contemporary human experience through works by renowned national and international contemporary artists including Chuck Close, Nan Goldin, Roy Lichtenstein, Kerry James Marshall, Carrie Mae Weems and Kehinde Wiley. The 40-plus paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs represented in the exhibition were selected from the more than 400 works in the Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management’s collection.

Elmhurst Art Museum hosts a series of artist-led portraiture workshops throughout the summer, inviting guests to explore portraiture in different mediums. Printmaker and photographer Benjamin Calvert leads an introductory workshop on photographic portraiture at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1.

“RBC Wealth Management features the human figure in its art collection because we believe that this age-old need to understand the human condition is still vital and that the human form remains its most direct manifestation,” curator Don McNeil said. “The human figure makes the collection accessible yet thought-provoking; entertaining yet challenging; timeless yet relevant. It shows who we are and how we live.”

Portraits and stories

The RBC Collection focuses on an exploration of the human figure. RBC Wealth Management began collecting contemporary art in the early 1990s as a way to connect with and to reflect the society in which it lives and works. Though works range in size and media, from serious to whimsical, and from realistic to abstract, each artist centers on the body as subject. From portraits, to telling stories through pictures, to more experimental means and angles, the artists evoke themes and ideas that are common to the human condition. The collection began touring the U.S. in 2014.

“We are excited to present highlights from the collection of RBC Wealth Management in The Human Touch,” Elmhurst Art Museum Executive Director, Jenny Gibbs said. “The collection has been thoughtfully assembled to represent artists at all stages of their career, from all backgrounds. The generosity of RBC Wealth Management affords Elmhurst Art Museum the opportunity to share with our community works from their multi-million dollar art collection, with artists like Kehinde Wiley, Chuck Close and Kerry James Marshall.”

Public Programs

Exhibition Tour, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 14: Join Don McNeil, curator of the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection, for an in-depth look at the exhibition.

Tour of Exhibitions, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 17.

Book Discussion with Elmhurst Public Library: Hidden Figures, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 20.

Family Day at the Museum, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 24: A day of art projects themed around The Human Touch as well as fun in the sun.

Portraiture Workshop: Photography, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1: Printmaker and photographer Benjamin Calvert will be leading an introductory workshop on photographic portraiture in conjunction The Human Touch. Attendees are asked to bring a camera-equipped cell phone. Free with museum admission.

Tour of Exhibitions, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22.

Story Time with GreenMan Theatre Troupe, 1 to 3 pm. Saturday, Aug. 12: Live storytelling performances alongside The Human Touch. (For all ages).

Tour of Exhibitions, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.

Family Day at the Museum, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26: A day of art projects themed around The Human Touch as well as fun in the sun.

For more information, call 630-834-0202 or visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.

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