International Museum Day

CB Display - Introduction wall

International Museum Day falls on May 18th with activities occurring throughout the month. This tradition began in 1977 and many museums take part in the fun. The awareness and participation has been growing since then. In 2014, numbers reached 35,000 museums in 145 countries; this became the new record.

Different themes are chosen to engage the community. For example, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) decided to title this year’s event Museums for a Sustainable Society. Museums contribute to society in a variety of ways including preserving history, supporting important movements, providing entertainment, and creating an excellent learning environment for all ages of people from different backgrounds.

The President of ICOM Dr. Hans‐Martin Hinz feels that “Museums, as educators and cultural mediators, are adopting an increasingly vital role in contributing to the definition and implementation of sustainable development and practices” (http://icom.museum).

A little more info…

Have you heard of a gentleman by the name of John Cotton Dana? He was both a library and museum director. He played an important role in shaping museums into what we know today. Over 100 years ago, he promoted a museum that was rooted in the needs of local communities (Wikipedia & Michigan Museums Association).


Two Unique Holidays in May

Monday, May 11th was National Twilight Zone Day. This relates to the TV show which first aired in 1959 and often stretched the imagination of its viewers. Arthur created a piece with torn paper titled Twilight Zone in 1974, a decade after the final year. We are curious if it was made as a tribute to the show or if something else inspired him to create this mesmerizing image.

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

Purple for Peace Day was Saturday, May 16th. This ties into the twilight zone because “it’s a day to promote peace between us and any space aliens who might be lurking about” (cute-calendar.com). One of the pieces of Arthur’s that uses a lot of purple is To Live in High Places-Justice. What does this image make you think of? Please share your thoughts.

To Live in High Places-Justice

To Live in High Places-Justice


Eugene Delacroix

Although a little late, we thought that Eugene Delacroix should be discussed in relation to Arthur. He was born on April 26,, 1798. Like Delacroix, Arthur was interested in the effects of color and Impressionism and is often considered to have been a huge influence in this movement. Delacroix was actually labeled as a master of color, while Arthur is known for his use of color, especially in regards to his gradation technique. In addition, they both worked with others to create finished pieces such as books, providing illustrations to go with the text. Furthermore, both became compelled to create portraits, figurative works, and religious imagery.

The work of Delacroix is still admired and his exhibits continue to attract visitors. It is our goal, that the museum and Arthur’s work will be viewed long into the future.

Eugene Delacroix Self Portrait

Eugene Delacroix Self Portrait: image from wikimedia.org





April is also National Woodworking month. Because of Arthur’s diverse art background, he can be included in the discussion of woodworking. Here at the museum, we have two pieces that Arthur created using a wood panel and a router, both from 1989. The first one is called Traffic on Boulevard Brune. This was made while Arthur was taking a class, the instructor told them to carve out what they saw without looking at what they were doing. Arthur balanced a wood panel on the balcony of his apartment and while viewing the traffic below, duplicated the scene quite well (especially with not being allowed to look down). The other piece that Arthur created using a wood panel and router is titled, Metamorphosis des Fleurs. After carving out the wood, Arthur adding a beautiful combination of color to bring the images to life. Because these were included in a previous post (Engraving, Etching, and Woodcut from March 14, 2014), they will not be part of this post. Instead, let’s take a look at another carving that Arthur did later on. Big Homage to The Scream was made in 1996 and is located below for your viewing.


What do you see? Please share your thoughts.


National Poetry Month

This month represents an art form that is often forgotten, but is also sometimes the focus of celebration. This post is on POETRY. There are many different types of art; Arthur may have chosen a favorite medium, but he recognizes that there are many different ways that an individual or group can express themselves.

This relates to the fact that Arthur is known to have worked with a variety of artists, ranging from authors/poets to photographers. An example of one of these collaborations involves poet Melisande (Melanie) Broekman. Arthur created images that he felt matched her words. This series is made up of seven linocuts. The paper used for these was all they could afford and therefore, has a high acid content. As a result, the paper is “burning” both itself and the prints mounted on it. To preserve these images, they will need to be “de-acidified” soon. Here is a bold image from the series.

Do Not Let Softness Care

Do Not Let Softness Care


Docent of the Month

Volunteer appreciation week was April 12th-18th and in honor of this, we would like to present to you a docent that is passionate about dedicating his time to the Arthur Secunda Museum.

Here is a little bit of information about Dennis M. Schaefer, a volunteer that has been with us since August 2014.

Dennis M. Shaefer-Docent at Cleary University's Arthur Secunda Museum

Dennis M. Shaefer-Docent at Cleary University’s Arthur Secunda Museum

What is you favorite color?

My favorite color is Mayan blue, which is made through the chemical combination of indigo and the clay mineral palygorskite. And if you’re thinking of painting an impressionistic work, you should have plenty of cadmium yellow.

What is your favorite art medium?

I do not have a favorite medium, but certain mediums work better to represent an idea…

What interested you to become a docent?

I was interested in being a docent because I wanted to be a vital contributor to the efforts of the museum, much like I would for a library, performance theatre, or arts-medium production workshop. You might as well throw parks and public gardens into the mix, as these are all venues that represent the art of living.

What is your favorite piece here at the museum?

Of all the amazing and thoughtful works by Arthur Secunda, one that is becoming a favorite of mine is Beverly Hills Forest, which is a serigraph created in 1982. Learning about the 20th century history of that area of California, Beverly Hills Forest brings a sense of beautiful whimsy with its unbridled colorful expression. I can’t help but smile and want to play along.

What is the most interesting thing that you have learned about Arthur Secunda?

His early studies took place at The Art Students League in New York.  He brought his talents along in his involvement to fight and save all that is good even during a world at war. He then broadened his artistic travels beginning with the GI education bill onward, producing artwork alongside those considered Masters of Modern and Pop Art.

What’s your favorite thing about volunteering here?

Meeting the guests and sharing the exhibits with them. I also enjoy helping the museum in its efforts to develop and promote the experience that is offered.

What advice do you have for new docents?

Be open minded to all arts and what they represent. Smile, relax, and enjoy.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing museums today?

The greatest challenge is in finding communities committed to devoting physical space for art to be developed and exhibited. When communities share the same level of artistic commitment, which allows artistic exploration, only then are some of the world’s greatest contributions unveiled. Museums and galleries can provide a home without fear, exploitation, or repression. The arts are our greatest virtue, creating a healthier environment. Museums and their outreach are The Home for such life experiences and expressions of the soul.