ABOUT THE BUTLER: AMERICA’S MUSEUM
Founded in 1919 by Joseph G. Butler, Jr., the Butler Institute is the first museum of American art. The original structure, dedicated in 1919, is a McKim, Mead and White architectural masterpiece listed on the National Register of Historic places. The Butler’s mission is to preserve and collect works of art in all media created by citizens of our country. The Institute’s holdings now exceed 20,000 individual works, and the Butler is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.”
The Butler is located in Youngstown, Ohio, in Mahoning County, and receives no revenues from the city or county. The Butler charges no admission fee at the main location or at its branch museum, and relies on contributions from the community and the nation to meet its cultural mission. How you can help
The Beecher Center, housed in the south wing of the Butler’s Youngstown location, is the first museum addition dedicated solely to new media and electronic art. The facility regularly displays works of art that utilize computers, holography, lasers and other digital media. The Beecher Center houses the Zona Auditorium, a digital media theater designed for performance art and high-definition film presentations.
The Butler Art also operates a satellite facility in nearby Trumbull County. The Butler’s Trumbull branch, funded in part by Foundation Medici, focuses on important international artists whose works have profoundly influenced America, as well as exhibitions of works by contemporary master painters and sculptors.
Today At The Butler
Mark Perrott: Ancient Ink
May 5 – September 1, 2019
Meet -the-Artist: May 5 at 1-3 pm
Mark Perrott has spent decades documenting the ever-expanding tribe of tattooed Americans. He made his first portraits at Island Avenue Tattoo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1979, and since then has explored tattoo parlors all across America. In his current series, ANCIENT INK, Perrott turns his camera to the now increasing tribe of highly decorated, aging, and graying baby boomers. Through large scale (50” x 50”) photographs and accompanying interviews, Perrott introduces the viewer to dozens of individuals, including Jim, a retired city planner and “ink addict” from the 1970’s; Marge, a 74 year-old former Cleveland police officer; and Henry, an 87 year-old WWII era Navy veteran. “These subjects,” Perrott says, “speak of resilience, loss, transformation, mystery, and the emancipation that sometimes comes with growing old.”
Pittsburgh native Mark Perrott has worked as a professional photographer for the past fifty years. In addition to his commercial work, which includes portraiture and photography for annual reports, Mark has lifelong, made photographs that document Pittsburgh’s citizens, and its rich industrial landscape. In the early eighties, he gave special attention to the life and death struggle of “steel” in the Mon Valley, with a special focus on Pittsburgh’s Jones and Laughlin steel mill and its Blast Furnace Department, informally known as “Eliza.” Photographs from this project were used to create the book ELIZA, published in 1989, by Howell Press. He went on in 1999 to publish HOPE ABANDONED, a four-year investigation of Eastern State Penitentiary, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2013 he published his third book, E BLOCK, an extended photo essay of Western Penitentiary. Mark’s photographs are included in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, The Butler Institute of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Hollywood Stills from The Butler Collection
The Butler Trumbull
April 24 – June 2, 2019
Members only reception: May 11 (details forthcoming)
The Butler Institute of American Art’s permanent collection includes a unique collection of Hollywood Movie stills from the so called Golden Age of Hollywood. This unique collection, a gift of Charles A. Leedy includes many of the great stars of the silver screen in many of their greatest roles. The collection is unique and a cultural treasure.
The 83rd National Midyear Show
May 26 – July 28, 2019
Artist Reception and Award Presentation on June 2 1-3 pm
This annual juried show exhibits the artworks of adult artists from throughout the fifty United States and its territories. The exhibition includes accepted works in all two dimensional media, including oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, drawings, prints, photographs and digital.
Joseph Babisch: Curtain Up, Light the Lights
June 9 – July 28, 2019
Meet-the-Artist: June 9th 1-3 pm
Curtain Up, Light the Lights is a rendition of Broadway productions from the vision of Joseph Babisch. This selection of works features visual impressions of the American Musical Theatre along with original autographs related to the drawings. These unique versions of Broadway take a unique conceptual approach to each image which is directly inspired by a particular show. Babisch spent his life infatuated with Broadway, understandably since he was born and raised in New York. This influence played a prominent role in his life creatively and professionally. As he grew up he spent most of his time making art and attending the theatre, later to attend Buffalo State University where he studied Art Education. This led to him teaching in many ways, one of which was a TV show in Youngstown for kids and a puppeteering class at Youngstown State University. The theatre is expansive and full of liveliness, just as this exhibition of drawings by Joe Babisch shall be.
Joseph Babisch, Professor of Art Education, emeritus, and Broadway musical connoisseur, embodies a passion for the arts that is inextinguishable. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Babisch began attending Broadway musicals at a young age. His knowledge of Broadway abounds expectation and is sure to educate any that listen to his riveting and personal stories about the Broadway musical scene. This influence is evident in his personal artwork, but takes a unique perspective on his story telling.
Babisch has been making art his entire life, to the extent that he cannot remember being unconnected to the field. His love for the arts was always prevalent, so much so that he made it his life’s work.
Babisch went on to higher education to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Art at Buffalo State University. After school, he moved to Youngstown, Ohio, in 1956 where he has resided ever since. He started his professional career as an Art Teacher in Niles, Ohio, where he taught first through ninth grade students. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Arts degree in printmaking and graphics at Kent State University and a Master of Arts degree in education at Westminster College.
Later, he was offered a position at Youngstown State University where he taught in both the Art Department and the Education Department. In the 1970s, he developed a television show, “All About Art,” on WFMJ, which became an adjunct to Youngstown City Schools’ art education program and also benefitted the entire community. To this day, his award-winning contribution to the region’s educational enterprise has garnered him the respect of his many students.
Babisch retired after 44 years at Youngstown State University.
With his exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art, Joe Babisch celebrates the Broadway musicals he has long treasured as a unique form of American artistic expression.