Last year the Akron Art Museum flipped the concept of museum giving from asking for donations to giving away memberships. That resulted in a giveaway of 10,000 new memberships. This year, they are allowing current members to pay it forward by gifting a membership.

The opportunity becomes available on Giving Back Tuesday (Nov. 27) and runs to midnight Dec. 31.

Anyone who is currently an active member of the museum at any level except the $25 Art Seeker can give away one free Art Enthusiast membership (worth $50). Current members can also give away upgraded gift memberships by paying the difference in the rates — a $75 Art House Family membership would be $25, and so forth. The gift membership must be given to someone other than the member.

Individual Art Enthusiast gift memberships will be available online or in person. The gift option will also be available to members who pay to renew their personal membership or to paid new members.

For more information and to join, visit akronartmuseum.org.

 

Baroness vs. Duchamp

According to an article published in Open Culture, obscure artist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, not Marcel Duchamp, was the creator of the iconic Dada sculpture “Fountain.” Von Freytag-Loringhoven was a pioneering Dada artist and poet — well-known in the 1910s and ‘20s and championed by Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. She appears in Pound’s Canto XCV, for instance. She is now recognized as the first American Dada artist.

And she also deserves the credit for one of the most seminal art objects to ever appear in a gallery: “Fountain,” the urinal signed “R. Mutt” that Marcel Duchamp claimed as his own and which has made him a legend in the history of art.

The story is all too familiar to any woman who has ever had her male boss publish her work with his name on it. Even more gratingly, the “glaring truth has been known for some time in the art world,” according to the blog of art magazine See All This. (https://bit.ly/2u0mXs4) Yet, “each time it has to be acknowledged, it is met with indifference and silence.”

Her authorship of “Fountain” is acknowledged in a letter from Duchamp to his sister. Its rejection from the 1917 Armory Show is the reason Duchamp resigned from its board in protest. But in 1935 surrealist André Breton brought attention back to “Fountain,” attributing it to Duchamp, who accepted authorship and began to commission replicas. Von Freytag-Loringhoven couldn’t have known or protested; she had died in 1927.

Just as easily as that, history was changed, and yet another woman didn’t get the credit she deserved.

 

This week

• Art Supply Sale: The Cuyahoga Valley Art Center opens its annual used art supply sale at 10 a.m. Friday at its studios, 2131 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. The sale continues through Saturday and repeats Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. As those who have been to the sale know, on the last day, everything is half price. Those wanting to donate items can contact CVAC at 330-928-8092 or office@cvartcenter.org.

• O'Keeffe opening: “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” opens Friday at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., University Circle. To make your ticket reservation online, go to https://bit.ly/2CLA5YJ. For questions, contact the CMA Ticket Center at 216-421-7350 during regular business hours.

 

Dorothy Shinn writes about art and architecture for the Akron Beacon Journal. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640 or dtgshinn@att.net.