The Minnesota Jewish Community Center will present two concurrent exhibitions illuminating the career and legacy of cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who lived 1883 to 1970.
The exhibitions, running concurrently Thursday, Oct. 14, through Monday, Dec. 20, largely comprise rare original drawings, sculpture, and memorabilia from the personal collection of Goldberg’s youngest grandchild, St. Paul-based filmmaker Geoffrey George.
“Simplicity Made Complex: The Life and Legacy of Rube Goldberg,” will be shown in the Tychman-Shapiro Gallery of the JCC’s Sabes Center Minneapolis, 4330 Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park. It will feature the breadth of Goldberg’s life and career with an emphasis on his trademark machines that perform simple tasks through exhaustively complex means.
The corresponding exhibit, “Complexity Made Simple: The Political Cartoons of Rube Goldberg,” will be on display in the Herman J. Birnberg Fine Art Gallery of the JCC’s Capp Center, 1375 St Paul Ave. in St. Paul. It will take an inverse view of Goldberg’s work, focusing on his political cartooning and ability to distill a complex geopolitical landscape into a single image, a pursuit for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Political Cartooning in 1947.
The exhibits also feature an original Rube Goldberg-inspired machine created by Minnesota-based kinetic artist Robin Schwartzman, as well as an original documentary film, directed by Geoffrey George. This documentary, which will premiere at the upcoming Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival, will highlight how Rube Goldberg was a man of his times, as well as a satirical futurist, whose work has remained relevant.
Works by Thomas George will be on display concurrently at both Minnesota JCC locations.
George, Rube Goldberg’s son, began painting professionally prior to serving in the Navy in World War II and continued painting almost daily for the next 70 years.
George’s works are in the collections of the world’s leading cultural institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Museum of American Art, amongst others. George died in 2014.