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.


New this month!


Charles Sheeler

Industrial Series # 1, 1928
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 ReadCharles Sheeler


The Vault Unlocked Archive

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


Mabel Dwight

In the Crowd (Faces in the Crowd), 1931
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.

Read Mabel Dwight Listen Mabel Dwight


John Marin

Downtown, The El, 1921
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
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
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 
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
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
Museum purchase, 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, 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!

Read Sam Francis Listen Sam Francis



Claes Oldenburg

The Letter Q as Beach House with Sailboat, 1972
Museum purchase, 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.

Read Claes Oldenburg Listen Claes Oldenburg 



Helen Frankenthaler

Lilac Arbor, 1970

Museum purchase, 1975


Read Helen Frankenthaler Listen Helen Frankenthaler


Louise Nevelson

Essences #6, 1977

Museum purchase, 1978


Read Louise Nevelson Listen Louise Nevelson 


Jackson Pollock

Untitled (after Number 9), 1951

Museum purchase, 1980


Read Jackson Pollock Listen Jackson Pollock


Donald Sultan

Red, May 10, 2010, 2010

Collectors Circle purchase, 2014


Read Donald Sultan Listen Donald Sultan 


Robert Motherwell

Roth-Händle, 1974
Aquatint and collage on Auvergne a la Main handmade paper
Museum purchase, 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.

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.

Read Ellsworth Kelly



Jim Dine

Red Beard, 1973
Museum purchase, 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.

Read Jim Dine



Lyonel Feininger

Street in Treptow, 1931
Woodcut on thin Mino Japan paper
Museum purchase, 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
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
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, 1975


Read Jasper Johns


Alex Katz

Ada in Hat, 1990

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


Read Alex Katz



Lee Krasner

Embrace, 1974

Museum purchase, 1981


Read Lee Krasner


Chuck Close

Portrait/Scribble/Etching, 2000

Collectors Circle purchase, 2014


Read Chuck Close


David Bates

Untitled, 1991

Museum purchase, 2011


Read David Bates

Luis Jiménez

Border Crossing, 1987

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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