The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum is pleased to present Artist + Muse: woodcuts by Charles Beck from the Timothy Murphy Collection, a touring exhibition of woodcut prints by the late artist Charles Beck (1923 - 2017) from the collection of the late poet Timothy Murphy (1951 - 2018). The collection remains on semi-permanent loan to The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum thanks to the Murphy family.
Murphy was an admirer and friend of Beck and derived both enjoyment and inspiration from his friend’s artwork. Murphy’s poem “Snowgeese” references and gives direct attribution to Beck’s iconic landscape of the same name:
for Charles Beck
The flock is whorled like a translucent shell
and intricate as the tubing of a horn,
its embouchure, the soft foot of a snail
lighting on sand, except the sand is corn,
chisel sloughed and left to build the soil
from which indebted farmers have been torn.
I catch one note—a wild, wayfaring cry
as snow geese splash into a glacial mere.
Framed by moraines under a nacreous sky,
they echo in the chambers of my ear.
How does an ear rival your artist's eye
that sees what I can only hope to hear?
Reproduced images of Beck woodcuts are also featured in most of Murphy’s published collections of poetry.
This exhibition comprises 24 Beck woodcuts and 6 Murphy poems on panel. It has previously toured west central Minnesota thanks to support from the Lake Region Arts Council.
Interpretive materials and exhibition signage included; please inquire for display space requirements, rental fees, and dates of availability. Only venues open to the public will be considered for exhibition.
This activity is funded by The Arts Partnership,
with support from the Cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.
This activity is funded in part by a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council through a Minnesota state legislative appropriation.
This project is supported in part by
a grant from the North Dakota Council on
the Arts, which receives funding from the
state legislature and the National
Endowment for the Arts.