The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana is pleased to present the exhibit The Artists of the Wonderland Way, on display January 25 through April 6, 2013, in celebration of New Albany’s bicentennial. The exhibit explores artworks created just before World War I and in the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s by local artists who were members of the Wonderland Way Art Club.
The 1906 opening of the Art Shop in New Albany by James L. Russell created an influential venue for regional art in the Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky, area, and a gathering place for such artists as Joseph Krementz, Ferdinand Graham Walker, Harvey Joiner, Paul Plaschke, John Bauscher, Grover Page, Orville Carroll, and Russell and his son, James J. Russell. The Art Shop was a combination art supply shop and gallery, and the Wonderland Way Art Club was born there.
The artists who formed the club were inspired by, and took the club’s name from, a network of roads, going along the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio to Mount Vernon, Illinois, that was designated the Wonderland Way in the immediate post-World War I years in an effort to promote tourism by automobile. New Albany was one of the major Indiana cities on the route, along with Madison, Jeffersonville, Corydon and Evansville. While the Wonderland Way Art Club itself had a short life, the name endures to describe those artists who frequented the Russell Art Shop from the World War I era to the start of World War II.
The exhibition The Artists of the Wonderland Way will include work by Norvin Baker, John T. Bauscher, Orville Carroll, Hundley Coolman, Sidney D. Crosier, William Hancock, Harvey Joiner, Walter Kiser, Joseph Krementz, Carl Lotick, Grover Page Sr., Grover Page Jr., Harvey Peake, Paul Plaschke, R.M. Rasmussen, James L. Russell, James J. Russell, Lawrence Russell, Fred Shrader, A. J. Van Leshout, Ferdinand Graham Walker, and Cora Weymss. This exhibit represents the first time that the work of these artists has been shown together in over 50 years.
Warren and Julie Payne, of Payne Fine Arts, served as guest curators for this exhibition. The Paynes are art collectors who have curated exhibitions in southern Indiana and Louisville for many years. They are very familiar with the artists of the Wonderland Way and have published eight art exhibition catalogs, including one titled, “The Collectors’ Showcase: Artists of the Ohio Valley School and the Wonderland Way, 1883-1940.”
There will be an opening reception for The Artists of the Wonderland Way on Friday, January 25 from 6-8 pm. While exploring the galleries visitors can enjoy refreshments, listen to live jazz by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet, and visit with guest curators Warren and Julie Payne. This event is free and the public is invited to attend. The opening reception is sponsored by the Carnegie Center, Inc. Support for the exhibition was provided by The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, The New Albany Bicentennial Commission, and the Carnegie Center, Inc.
There will be several educational programs in conjunction with the exhibit, including a curators’ talk, and a virtual tour of Fairview Cemetery and Cedar Bough Place (both of which have connections to many of the artists in the exhibit) at one of our Lunch & Learn programs. Programs are free and open to the public, but please note those that require registration (registration can be made by calling 812-944-7336). Additional information on these programs will be available at www.carnegiecenter.org.
Complete Schedule of Events
Fri. January 25, 6-8 pm Opening Reception Free
Tues. February 19, 12-1 pm Lunch & Learn, Rediscovering Free, registration required
Regional Art, with Peter Morrin, Bring a lunch, drinks provided Director of the Center for Arts
and Culture Partnerships, U of L
Tues. February 26, 7-8 pm Curators’ Talk, presented in Free
partnership with the Floyd
County Historical Society
Tues. March 19, 12-1 pm Lunch & Learn, A Virtual Tour of Free, registration required
Fairview Cemetery and Cedar Bring a lunch, drinks provided
Sat. March 23, 1-4 pm Consult a Curator Free, registration required
201 E Spring St
New Albany, Indiana
About Carnegie Center
The Carnegie Center for Art and History, a department of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, is a contemporary art gallery and history museum that offers a full schedule of changing exhibitions and other educational programs. The Carnegie Center also features three permanent exhibits: Grandpa Makes A Scene: The Yenawine Dioramas; Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad; and Remembered: the Life of Lucy Higgs Nichols. The Carnegie Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am-5:30 pm, and is located at 201 East Spring Street in historic downtown New Albany, Indiana. The Carnegie Center for Art and History is fully accessible. Admission is free. For more information on exhibits, events, and classes, visit www.carnegiecenter.org. The Carnegie Center is proud to present the New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series in partnership with the New Albany Urban Enterprise Association; visit www.napublicart.org for more information.