Art museum celebrates century of creating

This fixture is one of many cut glass pieces in the museum.

This fixture is one of many cut glass pieces in the museum.

In the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the Fort Wayne Art Museum opened its doors for the first time. Now, 100 years later, in the time of another pandemic, the museum is celebrating its most significant milestone. A century later and with art filling the building, the Fort Wayne museum commemorates the art they’ve been fortunate enough to have.

As Covid hit big, so did quarantine and so did the boredom that comes along with staying at home for days on end. Many took up the hobby of creating art, desperate for anything to do. So, when the museum opened back up, the attraction was at large. 

“After we reopened, it was like a flood of life came back into the building,” said museum employee, John Stout. 

With that flood of life, the museum hurried to prepare itself for its 100th year.

“It was exciting once we realized what the 100th year entails… some of us have been preparing to show our favorite pieces for years,” said Stout.

The museum has showings for pieces frequently but never does every piece get shown in these showings. The sheer amount of art in the museum makes it nearly impossible to do in a reasonable fashion

“Of course, we show our favorite pieces weekly, but the ability to go into depth is rare,” said Stout.

Stout also talked about how his favorite pieces are sometimes overlooked and forgotten about. 

“My favorite piece, “Seascape” by Homer Gordon Davisson, is ignored sometimes because it doesn’t connect with many other pieces,” said Stout. 

Many pieces in the museum are intertwined in some way, shape, or form.

Whether it be because of the year, event, or person that donated the pieces, there are few between that don’t have some sort of connecting history.

“The art I like the most are connected to each other; it’s three paintings from the same year but they’re all so very different,” said fellow museum employee Ellen Green.

On March 12, one of the showings for a century of art was held. 

Many of the presenters sounded passionate about what they were talking about and what they were showing to the rest of Fort Wayne and more. 

A piece worth noting is a painting, titled “A Glimpse of the Sea” painted by Amangansett Thomas Moran in 1904.

There wasn’t much historical prevalence to it, like some artifacts in the museum, but the piece was mesmerizing in a way some others weren’t.

With that being said, there’s something for everyone at the Fort Wayne Art Museum. Whether you’re interested in art and history or just want to see some cool pieces, there’s bound to be something that captivates you, just like it did to people attending the showings. 

“The reason I was drawn to working at the museum was because of a sculpture from around 40 years ago,” said Green. 

Green also said that sometimes a specific piece will catch someone’s eye.

“It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes someone will come in and stare at a piece for a long time, then a few days or weeks later I’ll see them again staring at the same piece,” said Green.

As said before, everyone can enjoy something at the museum, especially with the number of pieces that have been donated and brought in over 100 years. 

Green and Stout both spoke about interactions they’ve had at the museum that have stuck with them.

“There was this small girl, probably around 5 or 6, and she came over and she pulled on my shirt and asked to go back to a painting, then, half an hour or so later she found me again to direct her back to the same painting,” said Green. 

A fascination or appreciation in art can start at a young age and grow if fostered well.  

“The man who painted Illuminata came in a few days after it was installed and fell to his knees and cried for what seemed like forever,” said Stout.

Although others’ actions can affect people like Stout and Green for the time to come, the art is what brought them all there in the first place.

“One day, I was just hit with this wave of emotions towards this cut glass cup and I had to ask a co-worker to take over while I excused myself to the restroom to let my emotions out,” said Green. 

The attachment to art can come at any time. When the piece is first looked at or even months later, pieces can affect our emotions and outlook on life. 

Art is timeless and through the century of art available for view at the museum, that is shown more heavily than ever.