Restoring Russell

Below is information for this year’s James Spencer Russell restoration project and exhibition.  While a portion of this information is redundant for many of our regular readers, we are providing these details for those that are new to the story of rediscovering the life and art of James Spencer Russell and for those in the media that will be covering this story and exhibition.

During the restoration process and development of the exhibition, we will be making blog posts and videos to document the journey.  This information will be posted here as well as at Satch’s website.RussellRestoredBannerCompleteWebSo, here is the information about Restoring Russell:

In 2006 during the last hours of a day-long auction in Indianapolis, Julie and Ron Kern stood in the middle of a room full of incredible art. The art was powerful and varied, intricate and profound. It was of a quality that immediately caught and held their attention.

The art was created by the late James Spencer Russell who was an accomplished Indiana born artist who exhibited in the finest New York City galleries and other American galleries and museums. His work was included in group exhibitions that featured well known and acclaimed artists. But, within the history of Indiana art, Russell was virtually unknown.

Julie and Ron along with two other collectors (Dr. Steve Conant and Dr. Tom Kuebler) that had purchased Russellʼs work at the auction occasionally would meet and discuss it. They knew that the art was important and that it was the work of an exceptional artist. Thanks to the efforts of this small group of collectors and Rachel Perry, the Chief Curator of Fine Arts at the Indiana State Museum, a retrospective exhibition of James Spencer Russellʼs art at the Indiana State Museum was realized.

Rachel Perry charged Julie and Ron with researching and writing the exhibition catalogʼs essay. During that process, they realized that there was a bigger story to tell, and they spent three years researching and writing the book, Style, Elegance and Wit: Rediscovering the Life and Art of James Spencer Russell.

Recently, Julie and Ron acquired two additional pieces of art by James Spencer Russell. Unfortunately, these pieces are in need of repair and restoration.
The first piece is H from a three part series, H.C.E., who is the main character in James Joyceʼs infamous novel, Finnegans Wake. This piece was exhibited at the Ruth White Gallery in New York City in 1965 and in the 5th Biennial National Religious Art Exhibition in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1966.

The second piece is seven parts of a “quilt” that Russell constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Russellʼs Quilt was one of the major pieces that he created after moving to Kewanna, Indiana in 1975.

Both works will be restored by Julie Kern (Satch) and her brother, Edward Satchwill II. The quilt is missing some of its original pieces. To complete the quilt, Satch will incorporate unused components made by James Spencer Russell given to her by Russellʼs friend, Wade Bussert.

The works, in their unrestored condition, will be exhibited at SATCH LOST AND FOUND ART STUDIO/GALLERY on Friday, March 4, 2016.

After restoration, the works will be featured within an exhibition of James Spencer Russellʼs art from the collection of Ron and Julie Kern at the Circle City Industrial Complex. Several of the works to exhibited were featured in the Indiana State Museumʼs retrospective exhibition, and many will be shown for the first time. The exhibition opens on October 7, 2016 and will run through October 30.

Restoring Russell, Part I
Exhibition of unrestored art by James Spencer Russell

IDADA First Friday March 4, 2016
6 to 9 p.m.
Circle City Industrial Complex, Studio 2L
1125 East Brookside Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Restoring Russell, Part II

Exhibition of art by James Spencer Russell from the collection of Julie and Ron Kern, including restored works

Exhibition Opening
IDADA First Friday October 7, 2016
6 to 9 p.m.
Exhibition runs through October 30, 2016
The Gallery at Circle City Industrial Complex
1011 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202


Hosted by the Circle City Industrial Complex


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