The Museum of Failure: An Exhibition by Caitlin Cass


Hartnett Gallery would like to announce the exhibition:

The Museum of Failure: An Exhibition by Caitlin Cass

January 30 – February 23, 2014
Hartnett Gallery, Wilson Commons, University of Rochester
Artist Talk and Reception: Thursday January 30th, 2014
Artist Talk: Gowen Room, Wilson Commons, University of Rochester, 4 p.m.
Reception: Hartnett Gallery, Wilson Commons, University of Rochester (following talk), 5-7 p.m.


Caitlin Cass calls herself the Great Moments in Western Civilization Cooperative. The cooperative makes comics, drawings, and museums that folklorize the Western Canon. Fueled by humanity’s urgent, often ill-fated, desire to reach beyond itself, they strive to expose, honor and commiserate in a history riddled with mistakes and uncertainty.

The Museum of Failure is the Cooperative’s ongoing ever-evolving art installation come historical exhibition. It collects comics, drawings, embroidery, text, paintings, video and sculpture into a maze-like art installation that folklorizes the blunders of Western History. Watch an inventor fall to his death attempting to fly. See an ancient library go up in flames. Far from cold criticism, this exhibit strives to honor and commiserate with historical figures, inspiring viewers with every gallant misstep. Each installation of the Museum of Failure is unique and site-specific. This rendition of the Museum takes full advantage of the Hartnett Gallery’s triangular shape and centers around an embroidered Tapestry of Failure.


Caitlin Cass grew up outside of Chicago and after spending much of her youth impersonating disaster victims for the local historical society she retreated to Santa Fe to study luminiferous aether and the Socratic method in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. She started making work under the moniker the Great Moments in Western Civilization Cooperative in 2007 and has since made artwork that folklorizes the Western Canon. She holds a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and an MFA in Visual Studies from the University at Buffalo. She’s held artist residencies at Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium and Contemporary Artists Center Woodside in Troy, NY. Recent shows include This is Not a Museum: Portable and Lurking at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C and Art-of-Fact, a fictional history exhibit that toured Canadian museums for the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.


Hartnett Gallery is funded by the University of Rochester Students’ Association, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Venture Fund from the Office of the President at the University of Rochester.


Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Friday, 11:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 12 Noon to 5:00pm



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