The Vault Unlocked with Todd Giles, PH.D. logo

The WFMA is excited to announce that you can now listen to The Vault Unlocked on our website. These monthly podcasts hosted by Todd Giles will take you inside the WFMA's collection vault to learn more about the art inside, because getting to know more about art helps us better know ourselves. Todd is an associate professor of English at MSU Texas, where he teaches and writes about American literature, art, film and culture.


 

Featured this month!

 

Edward Hopper

Evening Wind, 1921
Etching on Umbria paper
Museum purchase, 1972

Have you ever wondered why all your friends' careers seemed to be taking off while yours was at a standstill? If you answered yes, be sure to check out this month's edition of The Vault Unlocked. In his exploration of the life and work of Edward Hopper, Todd Giles explores Hopper's journey from painting to etching and back again.

Evening Wind is currently on display in From Boom to Bust: Modernism, Regionalism, & Social Realism (1920-1940), open until February 4 at the WFMA!

Listen Edward Hopper Read Edward Hopper

 


The Vault Unlocked Archive

Listen and read past episodes of The Vault Unlocked. More podcasts coming soon!

 

Thomas Hart Benton

Haystack , 1938
Lithograph

Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

In much the same way that populist politics looks back at history through rose-colored glasses, so too does the popular art of the American Regionalists working in the 1930s and 40s. The artwork of Thomas Hart Benton depicts bucolic country scenes, Midwestern farming families, and characters from American tall tales and history. Benton’s Haystack (1938) reminds us of the earlier Jacksonian dream of individual yeoman farmers working the back forty before the age of large-scale factory farming depicted one year later in John Steinbeck’s novel of the Dust Bowl, The Grapes of Wrath (1939).

Listen Thomas Hart Benton Read Thomas Hart Benton

 

Arthur Davies

Against Green, 1924
Soft ground etching with aquatint

Museum purchase, 1978

How could someone whose own artistic style was stuck in the 19th century have such a large impact on 20th century American art? Where does Arthur Davies lyrical, delicate and mystical aesthetic fit in with the hard-edged angularity and intellectualism of modernism? And why does Davies use color when most artists of his era were still producing black and white prints? These questions and more are examined in this month’s exploration of Against Green.

Listen Arthur Davies Read Arthur Davies

 

Louis Lozowick

Luna Park, 1926
Lithograph

Museum purchase, 1978

Strap in for this month’s episode of The Vault Unlocked to explore Louis Lozowick’s 1926 theme park inspired lithograph, Luna Park. Lozowick, one of America’s lesser-known Modernists, brings to bear a variety of aesthetic styles in this fast-moving artwork to invite our eyes and minds to travel up, down, and round-and-round at one of New York’s greatest tourist attractions of the early 20th century, Luna Park.

Listen Louis Lozowick Read Louis Lozowick

 

Charles Sheeler

Industrial Series # 1, 1928
Lithograph
Museum purchase, 1977

This installment of Todd Giles’ The Vault Unlocked highlights a rare and important lithograph, Industrial Series #1, by Modernist Charles Sheeler. Though this print may not possess the more well-known traits of Modernism, Dr. Giles helps us understand the role of this painter, self-taught photographer, and avant-garde collaborative filmmaker through something new-Precisionism.

Listen Charles Sheeler Read Charles Sheeler

 

Mabel Dwight

In the Crowd (Faces in the Crowd), 1931
Lithograph
Collectors Circle purchase, 2021

Have you ever felt like you were just a face in the crowd? What does that crowd look like? Is it full of people connected by their similarities or separated by perceived differences? Grapple with these questions and more through the lens of Mabel Dwight's 1931 Lithograph In the Crowd (Faces in the Crowd) in this month's episode of The Vault Unlocked.

Listen Mabel Dwight Read Mabel Dwight

 

John Marin

Downtown, The El, 1921
Etching
Museum purchase, 1977

How can an artist capture the essence of their surroundings without getting trapped in the Mundane? This month Todd Giles explores John's Marin's unique approach to capturing both the exciting and mundane on the streets of NYC!

Listen John Marin Read John Marin

 

 

Armin Landeck

Rooftop and Skylights, 1969
Copper engraving
Museum purchase, 1972

Have you ever felt as though there was more to something than met the eye? Can a straight line be anything more than a straight line? Ponder these questions and more in this month's addition of The Vault Unlocked, exploring Armin Landeck's 1969 copper engraving, Rooftop and Skylights, alongside Todd Giles.

Listen Armin Landeck Read Armin Landeck

 

 

Reginald Marsh

Huber’s Museum, 1928
Lithograph
Museum purchase, 1973

Have you ever thought that only art could express life in all its complexities? Reginald Marsh may have agreed. His images of early 1900s New York City capture small moments amidst this teeming, ever-changing city. Take a 5-minute break to enjoy The Vault Unlocked!

Listen Reginald Marsh Read Reginald Marsh

 

 

Sedrick Huckaby

American Dad, 2015
Lithograph
Collectors Circle purchase, 2021

In observance of Black History Month, take five with Todd Giles in The Vault Unlocked! Professor Giles helps us muse about the human face and the artwork's title in a closer look at the print titled American Dad by artist Sedrick Huckaby.

Listen Sedrick Huckaby Read Sedrick Huckaby

 

 

Rockwell Kent

Self-Portrait, 1934 
Lithograph
Museum purchase, 1973

We're in for a treat this month! Todd Giles considers a compelling self-portrait by Rockwell Kent through the lens of Walt Whitman's poetry as both artists' search to know themselves. In Kent's intense expression, what emotions do you see? Can you relate?

Listen Rockwell Kent Read Rockwell Kent

 

 

Vernon Fisher

Scenes from the American West, 1990
Lithograph
Collectors Circle purchase, 2012

How does a painter make a print look painterly? What might the mind look like as it works? Learn about these points and more in this month's episode!

Listen Vernon Fisher Read Vernon Fisher

 

Childe Hassam

A Vermont Village, 1923
Etching
Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

We know about French Impressionism, but have you heard about American Impressionism? Why did Impressionist artists use so many marks? Find out with your host Todd Giles.

Listen Childe Hassam Read Childe Hassam

 

 

Sam Francis

Red Again, 1972
Screenprint on Arches Cover White paper
Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

What is generally the first thing we do when we look at abstract art? How did Sam Francis' experience of living in Japan inform how his art looks? Learn about these points and more!

Listen Sam Francis Read Sam Francis

 

 

Claes Oldenburg

The Letter Q as Beach House with Sailboat, 1972
Lithograph
Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

What happens when a sculptor makes a fine art print? What do we think about the letter Q turned upside down, as a beach house? How many ink runs did it take for Oldenburg to get these colors? Find out these details and more in this month's episode with your host Todd Giles.

Listen Claes Oldenburg Read Claes Oldenburg

 

Helen Frankenthaler

Lilac Arbor, 1970
Aquatint

Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

 

Listen Helen Frankenthaler Read Helen Frankenthaler

 

 

Louise Nevelson

Essences #6, 1977
Intaglio

Museum purchase, 1978

 

Listen Louise Nevelson Read Louise Nevelson

 

 

Jackson Pollock

Untitled (after Number 9), 1951
Screenprint

Museum purchase, 1980

 

Listen Jackson Pollock Read Jackson Pollock

 

 

Donald Sultan

Red, May 10, 2010, 2010
Screenprint

Collectors Circle purchase, 2014

 

Listen Donald Sultan Read Donald Sultan

 

 

Robert Motherwell

Roth-Händle, 1974
Aquatint and collage on Auvergne a la Main handmade paper
Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

Have you ever been given the opportunity to try a new way of doing things? What repercussions did stepping out of your comfort zone have? Explore Robert Motherwell's 1974 aquatint Roth-Händle, and see what's possible when you try something new!

Read Robert Motherwell

 

 

Edward Hopper

Evening Wind, 1921
Etching on Umbria paper
Museum purchase, 1972

Have you ever wondered why all your friends' careers seemed to be taking off while yours was at a standstill? If you answered yes, be sure to check out this month's edition of The Vault Unlocked. In his exploration of the life and work of Edward Hopper, Todd Giles explores Hopper's journey from painting to etching and back again.

Listen Edward Hopper Read Edward Hopper

 

 

Ellsworth Kelly

Blue/Green, 1970
One of Series of Ten Lithographs 
Museum purchase, 1972

Why does American artist and WWII Veteran Ellsworth Kelly use color and geometric shapes in his art? How is this art? Did Kelly's war experience influence his art? Learn about these points and more in this epidsode.

Listen Ellsworth Kelly Read Ellsworth Kelly

 

 

Jim Dine

Red Beard, 1973
Etching
Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

How did Jim Dine's childhood experience with his grandfather's hardware store impact him as an artist? How do hand tools and art tools relate? Learn about these points and more in this episode.

Listen Jim Dine Read Jim Dine

 

 

Lyonel Feininger

Street in Treptow, 1931
Woodcut on thin Mino Japan paper
Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

Lyonel Feininger set out to be a musician but fell in love with drawing while studying in Germany. Following a brief career as a caricaturist for various magazines, he began to create paintings, etchings, and lithographs during the proto-Cubism movement of the early 1930s. Learn more in a short, lively exploration of the life and work of Feininger with Todd Giles.

Read Lyonel Feininger

 

 

Mark Tobey

Flight Over Forms, 1966
Lithograph
Museum purchase, 1974

How is an artwork made, by whom, in what time and place, and for what reason? These are the questions explored by Todd Giles in this month's episode of The Vault Unlocked!

Read Mark Tobey

 

 

Philip Guston

Untitled (From Suite of Ten Lithographs), 1966
Lithograph on Rives BFK paper
Museum purchase, 1978

Why should we take the time to interact with art? What draws you to particular pieces, artists, and styles? How does art enrich our lives? Take a trip inside the WFMA vault to answer these questions and explore the life and work of Philip Guston in this month's edition of The Vault Unlocked with Todd Giles.

Read Philip Guston

 

 

Tom Wesselmann

Nude (for Sedfre), 1969
Screenprint
Museum purchase, 1974

Join Todd Giles as he reflects this month on a complex artwork depicting a female nude by Pop artist Tom Wesselmann. The combination of the nude female form with a time of radical social change and a Pop art style, now seen through the lens of our own time, makes looking at this artwork complex and perhaps emotional.

Read Tom Wesselmann

 

 

Jasper Johns

Fool’s House, 1972
Lithograph on special Arjomari paper

Museum purchase assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1975

 

Listen Jasper Johns Read Jasper Johns

 

Alex Katz

Ada in Hat, 1990
Screenprint

Gift of the Blanton Museum of Art, 2018. Transfer from The Contemporary Austin, Camille and Dave Lyons

 

Listen Alex Katz Read Alex Katz

 

 

Lee Krasner

Embrace, 1974
Screenprint

Museum purchase, 1981

 

Listen Lee Krasner Read Lee Krasner

 

Chuck Close

Portrait/Scribble/Etching, 2000
Etching

Collectors Circle purchase, 2014

 

Read Chuck Close

 

David Bates

Untitled, 1991
Screenprint

Museum purchase, 2011

 

Read David Bates

Luis Jiménez

Border Crossing, 1987
Lithograph

Collectors Circle purchase, 2012

 

Read Luis Jiménez

 

Thanks for joining us as we unlock the vault at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas. 

 

 

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