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Men of Steel, Women of Wonder

February 9 – April 22, 2019

Men of Steel, Women of Wonder

Superman and Wonder Woman are two of the most beloved icons in American pop culture. Created in times of economic adversity and world war, these characters quickly emerged as beacons of American morality and equality, representing the ideals of truth, justice, and the American way.

The artists in Men of Steel, Women of Wonder use Superman and Wonder Woman to explore national identity, American values, social politics, representation, and the concept of humanity in this exciting, thought-provoking exhibition.

Photo of old woman in bathing suit
Jason Bard Yarmosky, Wintered Fields, 2016, Oil on canvas, 72 x 144 in., Courtesy of the artist
Photo of Christopher Reeve as Superman on telephone
Siri Kaur, Christopher (phone), 2006, Chromogenic print 60 x 45 1/2 in., Courtesy of the artist

A full-color catalog, published by the University of Arkansas Press, is available for purchase in our Museum Store or call 479.657.2310 to order.

Photo of exhibit catalog

 

Men of Steel, Women of Wonder is a new exhibition developed by Crystal Bridges Assistant Curator Alejo Benedetti that examines art-world responses to Superman and Wonder Woman ranging from their Depression-era origins to today’s contemporary artist interpretations. Find over 70 paintings, photographs, installations, videos, and more by over 50 artists.

Offering fresh perspectives on these cultural icons and tapping into our current national love for superheroes, the artists in Men of Steel, Women of Wonder use Superman and Wonder Woman to explore national identity, American values, social politics, representation, and the concept of humanity in an exciting, thought-provoking, unforgettable exhibition.

We recognize that Superman and Wonder Woman are familiar figures and may have more appeal for younger audiences. For parents and families, it’s important to know that in Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, there are a range of ways artists are depicting these characters. Some are represented in familiar and heroic ways, while others are exploring mature topics like race, gender, sexuality, and national identity.

Crystal Bridges encourages using resources, such as our in-gallery guides and digital engagements, to help better understand the artwork and prompt conversations about important subjects.

Sponsored By

Stout logo Arkansas Humanities Council logo

ConAgra Brands, Rhianon DeLeeuw and Joshua Mahony, Esther Silver-Parker, Tony Waller, & Deborah Wright.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Artists

Mel Ramos, Peter Saul, Siri Kaur, Fahamu Pecou, Katherine Bradford, Jim Shaw, Barnaby Whitfield, Norman Rockwell, Francis Criss, Hugo Gellert, Ann Rosener, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, Tyrone Comfort, Aiden Lassell Ripley, James Edward Allen, Herschel Levit, Samuel Margolies, Harry Sternberg, Valentin Popov, Robert Pruitt, Laurie Anderson, Mary Beth Edelson, Mike Kelley, Raymond Pettibon, Llyn Foulkes, Laylah Ali, Jason Bard Yarmosky, Simon Monk, Renée Cox, Pope.L, Michael Ray Charles, Emma Amos, Mel Casas, Steven Paul Judd, Peter Williams, Rich Simmons, Sarah Hill, Margaret Harrison, The Waitresses, Dara Birnbaum, Dulce Pinzón, Enrique Chagoya, Vincent Ramos, Roger Shimomura, Papo Colo, Aphrodite Désirée Navab, Keiichi Tanaami, Jacky Tsai, Siamak Filizadeh, Joe Shuster, Harry G. Peter