Past Exhibits: 2010

2010 Exhibitions

1st Floor Main Gallery

  Celebration in Art
March 14 - April 25, 2010
Featuring the artwork of local students K-12
  Against the Grain: Modernism in the Midwest
May 15 - September 12, 2010
  One-day Art Exhibit & Auction: Photobooth Project
Saturday, September 25, 2010
  Stark County Artists' Exhibition Fall 2010
October 9 – November 14, 2010
Featuring artwork by present and former Stark County residents and to those currently working in Stark County.
  Between Two Worlds: The Photography of Nell Dorr
December 4, 2010–February 27, 2011


2nd Floor Permanent Collection Galleries

Selections from the Permanent Collection

View various paintings and photographs from the Massillon Museum's Permanent Collection. Our gallery currently features recent acquisitions by Ohio artists.

Nelly Toll: Now

March 5 - April 4, 2010

On display March 2010 in conjunction with the NEA Big Read. The reading selection for 2010 will be The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick. To learn more about the book and the project, visit the NEA's Big Read website.

On Friday, March 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the Massillon Museum will simultaneously open two exhibitions by Nelly Toll of Philadelphia. A Holocaust survivor, the author and artist Nelly Toll will be present for the event.

In 1943, a sympathetic Christian family hid eight-year-old Nelly Zygmunt and her mother from the Nazis in Lwow, Poland. During their year of confinement, Nelly created brightly detailed watercolor dreams of her ideal world. Her optimistic paintings are an important counterpart to the cruelty depicted by most children of the Holocaust.

(Image above: Nelly Zygmunt Toll, "Self-Portrait," c. 1944)

Prints of Nelly Zygmunt Toll’s childhood watercolors, “Imagining a Better World,” will be displayed in the Massillon Museum’s Studio M through April 4.

After World War Two, Nelly Toll pursued formal art training, earning a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and publishing three books on the topic of the Holocaust and related art.

“Nelly Toll: Now,” the artist’s recent paintings and collages will be exhibited in the Museum’s second-floor gallery through April 11. This will be the first exhibit of Toll’s 2009-2010 body of abstract and impressionistic artwork.

“The dual openings will enable visitors to experience Nelly Toll’s growth as an artist, from viewing prints of her childhood watercolors to the vivid paintings of her adulthood,” said Massillon Museum Curator Alexandra Nicholis, who has organized the two shows. “A common thread in both these bodies of work is an overall joyfulness and love of color.”

Toll will visit with Massilloon Middle School students on Thursday, when she will discuss her book, Behind the Secret Window, A Memoir of a Hidden Childhood During World War Two, which the students are reading. She will present a free public program at Kent Stark University Stark Campus on Friday, March 5, at 10:00 a.m.

The exhibitions, programs, and Toll’s travel are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of The Big Read. The Massillon Museum is exhibiting Toll’s work “then and now” as part of The Big Read and the Museum’s 2010 book selection, The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

For more information about the Nelly Toll exhibitions or The Big Read, call 330-833-4061 or visit To learn more about The Big Read, visit

1907-1908 Jewel Automobile

To read more about the first and only car made in Massillon, click here.

The Immel Circus Gallery

The Immel Circus gallery will be closed March 1 through May 15 for an exciting renovation project and re-installation! Stay tuned for details!

The Immel Circus gallery will be closed September 13 through October 24 due to gallery changes. Don't worry- it will be back on display soon!

Click here to follow the 2010 journey of intern Cristina Savu and our faithful volunteers as they conserve the circus.

Immel Circus Conservation Project
By Cristina Savu

The Massillon Museum is currently working to conserve the Immel Circus. The Museum curator, Alexandra Nicholis, and intern Cristina Savu, along with a group of volunteers, are restoring this beloved Museum attraction to its original condition through basic cleaning methods under the supervision of local conservator, Larry Sisson. The volunteers working on the project are: Deb Altimus, Bonnie Barton, Kelly Eggleston, Kara Firestone, Don Liebermann, Bobbie Muhlbach, and Jessica Shoemaker.

In March, the volunteers began the cleaning process. They started by cleaning the horse-drawn wagons around the perimeter of the circus. To make the pieces look like new again, soft sable brushes and cotton-tipped applicators are being used. So far, the results have been incredible. Pieces are once again shining. In April, a scaffolding system was set in place to help reach in the interior of the circus while minimizing the risk of damage.

The newly conserved Immel Circus will be unveiled in conjunction with the opening of the Sawdust and Spectacle exhibit May 19, 2010 at the Massillon Museum in celebration of National Circus Day.

Image above: Cristina Savu and volunteer Deb Altimus carefully remove dust from the Big Top of the Immel Circus.
Image below: Dr. Robert Immel poses with his circus in the 1990s.

Click here for more about the Immel Circus.

Sawdust & Spectacle: The Big Top in Small Town America

On display May 19 – August 15, 2010
Free exhibit opening on Wednesday, May 19 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

This will be a colorful summer at MassMu with the circus taking over our second-floor galleries. Sawdust and Spectacle: Under the Big Top in Small Town America opens on May 19 – National Circus Day! Organized by the Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth and funded by the Ohio Humanities Council, this exhibit will come to Massillon from its previous venue at the Ohio Art Council’s Riffe Gallery in Columbus.

Along with paintings, drawings and prints by more than two dozen artists, the exhibit will feature posters, sideshow banners, circus toys, postcards and dioramas. The Museum’s own Immel Circus, though not part of the traveling exhibit, will be a focal point of the display. Donated to the Museum upon its move to our current location in 1994, it was unveiled to the public at the Museum’s grand opening in 1996. The miniature hand-carved circus lot replica consists of 2,620 individual pieces. Museum intern Cristina Savu, along with several other volunteers, has been working diligently to dust and clean the circus diorama in time for the Sawdust and Spectacle opening.

Join us for the opening reception on Wednesday, May 19, from 5:00-8:00pm. The Museum’s front lawn will be transformed to bustling activity center featuring clowns, balloon animals, cotton candy, dance performances by the Ananda Center, and more! Free for all ages. To follow the Immel Circus Conservation progress, visit our blog.

article by Alexandra Nicholis

100 Years of Scouting in Stark County

On display September 18 - November 14, 2010

This exhibit commemorates the 100th year of Scouting in the United States. The national and local history of Boy Scouts is told through photographs, patches, Scout literature, clothing, and a documentary produced by Fred Gray. Highlights of the exhibit include a composite Boy Scout uniform, Order of the Arrow items, and early editions of local scout newsletters. Many of the photographs depict Massillon-area Scouts and their activities at Camp Tuscazoar.

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