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One is the loneliest number

Meet the "Power Couples" and discover the pendant form—works of art conceived as pairs—in a new exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

A pair of iconic tabletop seasonings. Secret lovers. Well-heeled newlyweds. Gothic churches. Iconic landscapes. Kittens.

Meet the "Power Couples" and discover pendants—works of art conceived as pairs—in a new exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA). "Power Couples: The Pendant Format in Art" explores how timeless pairings from 16th-century Europe to contemporary Utah illuminate of-the-moment ideas.

“Artists adopted pendants to push the physical and conceptual boundaries of storytelling. It remains a popular format for this reason,” said Leslie Anderson, curator of European, American and regional art.

Anderson conceived and organized the exhibition, the first of its kind devoted to a comprehensive look at the pendant format and the artistic strategies at play. She’ll give a talk on Aug. 7, 2019, and the UMFA will host a symposium on Oct. 4, 2019, that features university, national and international scholars presenting new research on pairs in the visual arts and music. Wendy Ikemoto, curator at the New-York Historical Society, will give the symposium’s keynote address.

The museum will also offer free children’s and adult art-making programs and a music performance in conjunction with the exhibition. Details below.

Drawing chiefly from UMFA’s dynamic collection, "Power Couples" explores how artists have used the pendant format across media, cultures and time periods to explore gender roles and social status; to present moments of before-and-after, cause-and-effect and departure-and-return; and to compare and contrast familiar stories and ideas. Visitors can engage hands-on with these concepts through a variety of in-gallery experiences.

The exhibition features new acquisitions, perennial favorites and rarely seen, recently conserved objects of European, American and Asian art in a variety of mediums such as paintings, etchings, prints, sculpture, photographs and video art. Select loans from other museums, including Denver Art Museum, BYU Museum of Art and the Church History Museum, are also featured.

"Power Couples" is on view through Dec. 8, 2019. Entrance to the exhibition is included in the price of general admission, and admission is free for U students, staff and faculty thanks to Arts Pass.

Support for "Power Couples" is provided by curatorial sponsor Marriner S. Eccles Foundation, conservation sponsor Ann K. Stewart Docent Conservation Fund and programming sponsor Carolyn & Kem Gardner.


Art making—Third Saturday for Families: Duo Paintings
Saturday, July 20, 2019 | 1-4 p.m.
Emma Eccles Jones Education Center Classroom

Make your own power couple with mini canvases and paint.

Open Studio: Power Couples
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 | 6 p.m.
Emma Eccles Jones Education Center Classroom

A drop-in art exploration program for adults.

Talks and lectures

Curator Talk | Leslie Anderson
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 | 7 p.m.

Learn about the artistic strategies and themes explored in the pendant format.

Sight and sound

U School of Music performers
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 | 7 p.m.
UMFA galleries

Let the music inform your viewing and let the artwork inform your listening.


"Power Couples" Symposium
Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 | 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Auditorium

Scholars present new research on pairs in the visual arts and music.

Keynote speaker: Wendy Ikemoto, curator, New-York Historical Society, 10 a.m.


**Banner image: Kerry James Marshall (American, b. 1955), Diptych Color Blind Test, 2003, acrylic paint on MDF panels, 36 x 48 in, on loan from the Denver Art Museum, UMFAL2019.1.1