Exhibition: Reflections: The Artistic Spirit of Merv Corning

Saturday, Jun 6, 2020

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Reflections: The Artistic Spirit of Merv Corning

Once in a great while, working in the world of art and artists you come in contact with a singular soul that stirs the senses and emotions – an artistic spirit whose story moves both your mind and heart. It is with great pleasure that we share with you Merv Corning’s creative legacy.

Within his vast body of artwork, including landscapes, architecture, aviation, and more, Merv was well known for his portraits of football players, Hall of Famers, and Super Bowls. He counted many owners and others throughout the NFL as major collectors of his work. In fact, the NFL first contacted Corning in 1966-67 for watercolor illustration work; their relationship would span 30 years, with Corning becoming the official National Football League Super Bowl artist in 1977. Merv had a solo exhibition here at CMA in 1989. “Game Day”, as it was titled, received much acclaim.

This major retrospective exhibition will honor Merv Corning’s importance as an American master of art—particularly watercolor. Featuring approximately 70 - 80 of the artist’s major works, we will showcase the range of the artist’s methods and subjects, alongside stories that will bring each to life. It includes watercolors, oils, and illustrations, everything from his majestic countrysides to the WWI aviation studies to his NFL works, and even unfinished works that tell stories through their starts and stops. And it will include a re-creation of Merv’s studio—just as it was the day he passed away. We will be showcasing not only works from our collection, but also the private collections and museums around the country that hold many of Merv’s most treasured pieces – including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Pro Football Hall of Fame, and numerous others.

Virtual Opening Date: May 7 - July 19, 2020