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Japanese Warriors: Robots from the Warren Schwartz Collection and Japanese Traditions

November 6, 2014 through February 15, 2015

Zaboga, from the Warren Schwartz Collection

Ganera, from the Warren Schwartz Collection

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Japanese, 1839-1892
Kinsei Gikyo Den
Woodblock, not dated
Hackley Picture Fund Purchase 1975.13

Michael and Kay Olthoff & Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery

Renowned Boston-based architect and rabid collector of toy Japanese robots, Warren Schwarz is one of five major collectors of toy robots in the country. He is sharing with the MMA a selection of his more then 1,000 robot toys that originated in Japan, showcasing these strange and legendary action figures whose golden age of popularity was from 1972 to 1982. Many toys from Schwartz’s collection are rare examples and often include their original packaging.

Legions of these Japanese exotic playthings were, in part, architecturally inspired and rooted in centuries of Japanese history and culture. Shiny and colorful, their characters were identified with their own story lines developed for Japanese TV shows and movies. The alluring robots, both fearsome and playful, are festooned with spikes and swords, spring-powered missiles and “rocket punches.” They invaded U.S. toy stores with an irresistible frenzy, beginning decades ago, and are still zealously collected today.

During the fertile decade of the early 1970s and 1980s, some of the most popular Japanese pop-culture characters were created including Godzilla, Red Baron, Jumbo Machinder, Ultra Man, Mazinger Z, and the Transformers. The toys from this period remain among the most unique and imaginative playthings ever created for children worldwide. Works from the Schwartz collection have been featured in Super #1 Robot (Chronicle Books, 2005), and in several other publications for Japanese animation enthusiasts. 


Sponsored by Cinema Carousel

Thursday, November 6
Opening Reception and Program
5:30-7:00 pm Opening Reception
7:00 pm Lecture by W. Schwartz
Join us for refreshments; then learn about the world of Japanese robot toys by one of their most avid collectors. Free and open to the public.



November 6, 2014 – January 26, 2015
Japanese Traditions from the Permanent Collection

Alcoa Foundation & Ernest and Marjorie Cooper Gallery

Japanese Traditions features the art of Japan in a wide array of eras, media, and subject matter, all pulled from the MMA’s permanent collection. Woodblock prints of the 18th and 19th centuries will be included along with prints from the 20th century, revealing both a continuity and transformation from the past. Nineteenth and 20th century ceramics, decorative arts, and works of contemporary glass are also highlighted. Japanese Traditions accompanies the Japanese Warriors, providing a deeper perspective into the cultural and artistic origins of the robot collection.

The following programs are free and underwritten by MMA Education Partner Alcoa Foundation/Howmet.

Saturday, November 8, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
(Robot) Ornament Designer Super Saturday
Free Family Fun Da
Create a robot-themed ornament for the Super Saturday Christmas Tree, which will be part of the MMA’s Festival of Trees display that opens November 20. Each young designer will get a free kid’s FOT admission ticket. Super Saturday activities will include guided tours through the Japanese Warriors exhibition and an anime film.
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Guided Tours
Tour Japanese Warriors with an MMA docent.
10:00 am & 1:00 pm Film
Castle in the Sky
(125 mins) This children’s anime adventure features young miner Pazu and mysterious girl Sheeta, who team up to find the long-lost island of Laputa, which is rumored to have great riches and gems.
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Make & Take
Design robot ornaments using recycled items, including garland and more, to adorn a Super Saturday Festival of Trees holiday tree!

Thursday, November 13, 12:15 pm
Brown Bag Film

The Hidden Fortress
(139 mins.) Director Akira Kurosawa's classic adventure depicts the travails of two scheming peasants drafted by a defeated general to escort an imperious princess and her clan's royal treasure through enemy terrain. Free coffee and cookies are provided. Bring your own lunch.

Thursdays, November 13 and December 4, 11, 18
1:00 – 3:00pm
Open Public Tours

Drop in for guided tours of Japanese Warriors. Reservations are not required.


Stuart Klipper: The World in a Few States

September 11 through November 2, 2014


Stuart Klipper
Storage barn, Field, Hwy 24, w of Chenoa, McLean Co., Illinois
Circa 1995
c-print ILFORD

L. C. & Margaret Walker Gallery II

Photographer Stuart Klipper has traveled the world, working on every continent and ocean, including both the North and South Poles. His photography is an exploration of the human experience with the environment, of the places we can go and the impact we have upon those spaces. The World in a Few States is a story of the United States told in 51 photographs, one for each state and the District of Columbia.

The photographs in this series are an endeavor to capture both the quality of the region of each state and the ways in which people have both lived in and altered the landscape. In the artist’s words, the project “is subsumed by my life’s concern with the nature of Place and placement in Nature. Its photographs examine the manifold ambient and manifest characteristics that define and crystallize the identity of American places; they plumb, depict, document, and clearly view the nature and the temper of American regions.”
Stuart Klipper: The World in a Few States has been organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography (FEP), Minneapolis.

Defining Michigan, a digital display of scenes from across our state taken by Michigan photographers, will accompany the Klipper photos.

This exhibition is underwritten by Bayer CropScience and Fifth Third Bank.
Additional support has been provided in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts.


West Michigan Symphony: Celebrating 75 Years

September 18 through November 2, 2014

Top to bottom:

Christy DeHoog Johnson
Petit Fours
Mixed media on wood panel

Sheila Grant
Acrylic on canvas

Katherine Bourdon
Synesthesia: Urban Jazz
Acrylic on canvas
Alcoa Foundation and Ernest & Marjorie Cooper Gallery

The MMA will host a special exhibition to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the West Michigan Symphony this fall. The exhibition will feature artwork commissioned by the Symphony for its new office, performance, and outdoor space in the downtown Muskegon Russell Block building. The MMA is also inviting artists and Symphony fans and supporters to create their own anniversary celebration cards which will be on display as well.

Commissioned Artists featured in the exhibition
Richard Dorean Brinn
Lee S. Brown
Christy DeHoog Johnson
Sheila Grant
Michelle Newman
Adam Dahlstrom
Timothy Norris
Sheryl Budnik
Katherine Bourdon
Jon Workman
Amy Wilkinson

All artworks will be installed in the WMS offices following the close of the exhibition.

Thursday, September 18, 5:30 pm
Opening Reception

Seventy-five years and growing and going strong through the years…
Celebrate at the opening reception for the exhibition. The event takes place at the MMA and will feature music performed by Sylvia Norris, WMS principal harp. Reception admission is free and open to the public. Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Beer and wine will be available at a cash bar.


The commissioned works of art have been generously underwritten by Dr. Fred and Deb Brown.

The exhibition is underwritten by Nichols. Additional support is provided by Blue Lake Public Radio.



Remember and Rebuild: Picturing the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Photographs by Amy Dreher

September 11 through November 9, 2014



All photographs by Amy Dreher, Photographer for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York. All rights reserved.

Construction Worker

Tribute to 9/11 Victim Welles Remy Crowther at the South Pool Parapet
Protecting himself in his trademark red bandana, 24-year-old Crowther guided people to safety from the 78th floor of the South Tower before perishing in the Tower’s collapse.


FDNY Ladder 3 at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, NY

World Trade Center steel remnants and artifacts like this vehicle were stored until they were moved into the Museum. Ladder 3 company lost all who responded on September 11, 2001.

Installation of WTC tridents at the 9/11 Memorial Museum
A surviving signature structural element of the World Trade Center - shrouded in cloth being lowered into place at the 9/11 memorial site. This was one of two Tridents returned to the site. They now stand sentry in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The Memorial Site
From an elevated construction perch high atop One World Trade Center, photographer Amy Dreher captured this stunning view of the 9/11 Memorial site, its lighted squares outlining the original footprints of the Twin Towers. Photo used with permission the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Photograph by Amy Dreher, Photographer for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York. All rights reserved.

North Pool at Twilight
Photograph by Amy Dreher, Photographer for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York. All rights reserved.

Survivor Tree
In bloom at Van Cortlandt Park, the Bronx



L. C. & Margaret Walker Gallery I

On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 individuals from all walks of life, among them victims with ties to Michigan, perished in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. In 2006, construction of a memorial and museum commenced on the former 16-acre site of the original World Trade Center.


The Muskegon Museum of Art has the unique privilege of being the first American art museum to tell the story of the creation of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Remember and Rebuild honors all those who died; pays tribute to the construction of an important national site of remembrance; strengthens our sense of national identity; and expresses the unity, respect, and inspiration that people from all over the world bring to their experience of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Remember and Rebuild is also the first exhibition to feature the work of 9/11 staff photographer Amy Dreher, and the first to introduce to a national arena a selection of artifacts from the vast collections of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

This exhibition has been organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art in cooperation with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York. Remember and Rebuild is underwritten by presenting sponsor DTE Energy Foundation, and co-sponsors PNC, Rehmann, and Rolar Products, Inc.; with additional support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, Richard and Nancy Morgenstern, Port City Group, Ramos and Sons Auto Body and Towing, the Rotary Club of Spring Lake, Port City Group, Roger and Marilyn Andersen and the MMA NYC Tour Group, MLive/Muskegon Chronicle.


September 11, 2014

5:30 pm Opening Ceremony & Public Reception
7:15 pm Lecture by Amy Dreher
An outdoor ceremony, open to the public, paying tribute to those who perished on September 11, 2001 will precede the opening of the exhibition. Muskegon County police and firefighters, Muskegon firefighters who traveled to Ground Zero, elected officials, and local union and trade representatives will be honored guests at the ceremony. At the conclusion of the opening ceremony, the Museum will open its doors for the public reception for Remember and Rebuild, followed by a lecture by National September 11 Memorial & Museum staff photographer Amy Dreher. Limited lecture seating available, First come-first seated. Auditorium doors open at 6:45 pm.

I Remember
Community Sharing and Video Taping

Thursday, September 18    1:00-3:00pm
Thursday, October 2    1:00-3:00pm & 5:00-7:00pm
Thursday, October 16    1:00-3:00pm
Thursday, October 30    1:00-3:00pm & 5:00-7:00pm

The tragic attacks of 9/11 created lasting effects and many personal stories about that day. Knowing that visitors may wish to share their stories, we have partnered with Baker College of Muskegon’s second-year Digital Video Production students to help us capture our visitors’ stories, ultimately creating Muskegon’s own video memorial project and tribute, including installation shots of Remember and Rebuild. A copy of this project will be gifted to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Thursday, October 16
The Stories They Tell

6:30 pm Light Refreshments. Cash wine bar.
7:00 pm Lecture by Jan Seidler Ramirez
National September 11 Memorial Museum Chief Curator and Director of Collections Jan Ramirez will discuss the fascinating challenge of determining what tangible records to preserve from the tragedy of September 11 and its aftermath. From the monumental to the intimate, whether pulled from the 9/11 wreckage or created in the following days and months as spontaneous memorials, each artifact (including those shared on display at the MMA in Remember and Rebuild) has a story to tell.

Thursday, October 23
Supporting Their Own
Stories from Muskegon Firefighters Who Visited Ground Zero

6:30pm Light refreshments, Cash wine bar.
7:00pm panel discussion
A group of nine Muskegon firefighters traveled to the 9/11 site following the attacks. What they witnessed was nothing short of life-altering. These firefighters will join us to share images and talk about their experiences at the 9/11 site, as well as the how they honored their fallen brothers at numerous memorials and funerals. Learn more about their first-hand experiences during a Q & A session following the discussion.

Brown Bag Films & Super Saturdays
This fall, these regular MMA programs offer special opportunities—through film and positive family activities—to explore 9/11 history, experience, and recovery in depth. These programs are free and underwritten by MMA Education Partner Alcoa Foundation/Howmet.


Brown Bag Films
Film admission is free with paid museum admission.
Brown Bag Films are underwritten by MMA Education Partner Alcoa Foundation/Howmet.
Thursday, September 11, 12:15 pm and
Sunday, September 14, 2:00 pm
102 Minutes that Changed America

This film features eyewitness accounts of the September 11, 2001 tragedy as it unfolded at the World Trade Center. There were 102 minutes between Flight 11 and Flight 175’s impacts in the North and South Towers and the eventual collapse of both buildings. This film documents the responses of eyewitnesses watching these horrific events in real time through images and recordings.
Thursday, September 25, 12:15 pm and
Sunday, September 28, 2:00 pm

Rebirth documents the stories of five survivors whose lives were forever altered by the events of 9/11. A series of interviews over a 10-year period record their lives, showcasing how they worked through the trauma and grief of losing loved ones and colleagues as they slowly altered their experiences into newfound hope and healing. Produced by Project Rebirth (
Thursday, October 9, 12:15 pm and
Sunday, October 12 at 2:00 pm
New York: The Center of the World, 1946–2003

The film chronicles the history of the World Trade Center, from its rise to its fall, from the beginning that was shrouded in controversy and politics to the architectural work, building processes, and daunting engineering challenges of its construction, and ultimately, to its last day on 9/11.
Thursday, October 23, 12:15 pm and
Sunday, October 26 at 2:00 pm

(129 mins.) Jules and Gedeon Naudet thought they would be working on a documentary about an average day of a rookie New York City firefighter. What they didn’t know, and could have never anticipated, was what they began filming on the morning of September 11, 2001. Their film ultimately became a documentary of 9/11 and captured many powerful moments of extraordinary acts of courage and compassion as their cameras rolled at what would become known as Ground Zero.

Super Saturdays
Family Saturdays

Super Saturday admission and activities are free and underwritten by MMA Education Partner Alcoa Foundation/Howmet.


Saturday, September 13, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
9/11 Super Saturday

See how the World Trade Center site was rebuilt, why we create memorials, and how first responders help our community; create a peace brick to honor and remember 9/11; visit with City of Muskegon firefighters who will be on site with their trucks, and watch the film The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers.
10:00 am & 1:00 pm Film
The Man that Walked Between the Towers  
(30 mins.) This Andrew Carnegie Medal winning film by Mordicai Gerstein was inspired by the true story of Philippe Petit and his daring 1974 high wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Film is narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal.
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Guided Tours
Tour Remember and Rebuild with an MMA docent and special guest Amy Dreher, Staff Photographer for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
11:00 am – noon Firefighters & Fire Truck Visit
Make sure you stop in the MMA back parking lot to check out a REAL fire truck and visit with the City of Muskegon Firefighters!
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Make & Take
Honor and remember 9/11 by designing your own peace brick. Activity takes place in MMA classroom.

Saturday, October 11, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
American Super Saturday

A special day for families to join in celebrating America as we focus on companion exhibitions Remember and Rebuild and Stuart Klipper: The World in a Few States, which is the story of the United States told in 51 photographs, representing each state and the District of Columbia.
10:00 am & 1:00 pm  Film     
Scrambled States of America
(28 mins.) The states are bored and long for a change, so they decide to swap spots in hopes that each can get to see a different part of the country. This film is based on the book Scrambled States of America, which was written and illustrated by one of our hometown favorites, Laurie Keller.
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Guided Tours
Explore The World in a Few States with an MMA docent.
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Make & Take
Yay for the mitten state! Create art based on our favorite state—Michigan of course!




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