Cornell Names Jessica Martinez the Next Director of the Johnson Museum of Art

Cornell has named Jessica Martinez, the current director of Academic and Public Programs at Harvard University, as the new director of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Johnson Museum’s former director Stephanie Wiles left for Yale in July. After her departure, the role has been temporarily filled by Peter Gould and Ellen Avril, who also serves the museum’s chief curator and curator of Asian art. The director of the Museum is in charge of overseeing all museum operations. Martinez will be responsible for fundraising, personnel-management, acquisition of objects and conservation efforts, for example.

Cornell’s Artistic Window: Highlights from the Collection

From Picasso to Piranesi, Cassatt to Cunningham, the Johnson Museum’s Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson showcases a wide variety of art. The scope is immense in both historical and geographical breadth. Upon entering the exhibition, I found myself face-to-face with a cow with its head turned to the side, eyeing some distant pastoral horizon as though musing over the kinds of deep insights only cows are sensible of. Its front legs are posed as though aware of an audience — Constant Troyon’s 19th century bovine scene is at once striking and peaceful, unique and unobtrusive. Past the cow is a row of medieval Asian art where a bronze 12th century Ganesha is adjacent to a 15th century Burmese tile depicting two elephant-headed warriors.

How We Roll: Printing at the Johnson

Minna Resnick is a local artist who has been printmaking and drawing for over 30 years. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1980, one of many other honors she has received throughout her career. Her work is currently displayed at more than 50 public and private collections, both nationally and abroad. She has taught and lectured at many colleges across the nation, and was even an art instructor at Cornell for a few semesters.

Infinite Intricacies: Digging Deeper

At first glace, Merrill Shatzman’s work seems to convey some sort of message, carrying traces of symbols and patterns that appear to be jumping off the page, just waiting to be decoded. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that any message she attempts to convey is infinitely multi-faceted, as increasingly more layers of etchings and connections reveal themselves. In a statement, she says her work “… questions and examines the ‘universal language’ created by signs, symbols and pre-imagined images … us[ing] surroundings as both an idea and an artifact.” She describes her muse as graphic communication, markings and forms that have the ability to convey meanings through simple rearrangements and displacements of lines and curves.