Surpassing attendance expectations, M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities has drawn record crowds to the Akron Art Museum. As the last of only two venues in the United States to show this once-in-a-lifetime loan from Athens, Greece, Impossible Realities drew visitors from across the country. Escher fans came from as far away as Alaska, California and Washington, with most of the out-of-state visitors hailing from Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Illinois.
Because of its overwhelming popularity, the museum, in an unprecedented move, is extending the exhibition’s closing date. Visitors now have until Sunday, June 5, 2011 to examine first-hand the masterworks of Maurits Cornelis Escher before the collection returns to Greece.
Impossible Realities surveys the breadth of Escher’s career from the 1920s to the 1960s.
It showcases 130 of the artist’s finest works, starting with his early book plates, moving on to landscapes, tessellations and impossible worlds, and concluding with his very last print, Snakes (1969). Featured in the exhibition are seminal and instantly recognizable works such as Drawing Hands and Reptiles, as well as the extremely rare lithographic stone for the making of Flatworms and wood blocks, study drawings and single-color prints that illustrate Escher’s artistic process from concept to finished print. In addition, the Akron Art Museum is among a very few institutions to feature all eight of Escher’s mezzotints together, including Eye, one of the finest examples of the medium ever created.
Not only has the exhibition been a huge hit with general museum goers, it’s been a must-see for area schoolchildren. Earlier in the exhibition’s schedule, Merrill Lynch Akron Complex generously subsidized additional gallery hours for groups of K-12 students in order to meet the overwhelming demand for school tours. The additional hours of operation allowed the museum to serve approximately 700 additional students on a waiting list, bringing the total anticipated number of students and teachers served during the Escher exhibition to more than 5,700!