June 24 – September 2, 2007

Taming the FlameTHE FOURTH ANNUAL MICHIGAN INVITATIONAL - Taming the Flame: Decorative Artworks in Iron and Glass

This exhibition presented over 100 works by 38 artists invited from throughout Michigan. The exhibition featured some of the finest contemporary metalwork and art glass from the state. Visitors learned about the history of iron and glass, and the varying ideas, techniques, and styles of well-known and emerging Michigan blacksmith and glass artists. The exhibition explored the range of decorative artworks where artists use fire to transform their media. Each artist tamed the flame to manipulate metal or glass into functional, architectural or sculptural works of decorative art. The style, technical expertise, and innovative expression of the artists served as the criteria for the selected works included in this exhibition. The exhibit was curated by Les Reker, the Museum’s Executive Director, and Ryan Kaltenbach, who served as Assistant Curator.


February 25 – June 3, 2007

Michigan Modernism 1920-1950: Julia and Henry Roecker and Their Contemporaries

On display were examples of painting, sculpture and works on paper by 31 artists working in Michigan between 1920 and 1950, for whom the Modernist movement became an important motivation.  The artworks featured in the exhibition were by Julia and Henry Roecker and over 50 other artists, from the Museum’s permanent collection and on loan from 15 private collections or regional museums throughout the state of Michigan. They were selected by Les Reker, the Museum’s Executive Director, and guest curator Jean Beach of Saginaw.


November 5, 2006 – January 28, 2007

From Baga to YorubaFrom Baga to Yoruba: Treasures of African Art (From the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the Benjamin Cox Collection)

The Saginaw Art Museum inaugurated its affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution with this exhibition featuring treasures from the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.  The exhibition included unique examples of African art from the Benjamin Cox Collection, on loan to the Saginaw Art Museum, including ritual masks, carved figures, gold pendants and other works of fine art and utilitarian objects from the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Liberia. To complement these objects and represent other diverse regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, tradition-based woodwork sculpture, beadwork, masks, textiles and baskets from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art were on display.