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Masculinities: Mainstream to Margins

Student Co-Curated Exhibition

January 11 – June 29, 2014
Kehinde Wiley, Ivelaw III (Study) detail), 2006. Watercolor on paper, 27 ½ x 21 ½ inches. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC. Gift of Blake Byrne, T’57, in honor of Raymond D. Nasher. © 2013 Kehinde Wiley.
Andy Warhol, Three Unidentified Men
Andy Warhol, Three Unidentified Men, (detail), January 1985. Polacolor ER print, 3 5/16 x 4 3/16 inches (8.4 x 10.6 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum. Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. ©The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Spanning over 500 years, the works in this exhibition complicated our ideas about gender, biological sex and the inadequate binary of feminine and masculine. Through time and around the world, the definition of a “real man” has varied dramatically. This installation explored many of the ways masculinity is, and has been, performed and defined. Some works fall in line with current traditional definitions of masculinity, while others challenge stereotypes about the ideal man. Together, they reveal the multifaceted and occasionally paradoxical realities of gender, specifically the construction and deconstruction of masculine perfection.

This exhibition was curated by professor Ann Marie Rasmussen’s Fall 2013 Rivalrous Masculinities class, including graduate students Christian Straubhaar and Steffen Kaupp, and undergraduates Ryan Elizabeth Bennert, Sarah Kristin Filter, Mary Bourke Hagan, Indrani Saha and Kelly Noel Waldorf. Special thanks go to the Humanities Writ Large initiative at Duke University; the Link staff at Perkins Library, especially Andrew Frantz; and the students and professors from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and the University of Hamburg, Germany, with whom the class participated in an international teaching experiment fostering intellectual exchange.

Kehinde Wiley, Ivelaw III (Study)
Kehinde Wiley, Ivelaw III (Study) (detail), 2006. Watercolor on paper, 27 ½ x 21 ½ inches. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC. Gift of Blake Byrne, T’57, in honor of Raymond D. Nasher. © 2013 Kehinde Wiley.

The student co-curators wrote a series of blog posts to accompany the exhibition.

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