Experience Black History Month at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Open 365 days a year, the VMFA shares its growing collection of African American art all year long. During Black History Month 2020, it’s great time to visit the collection and join the ongoing celebration of African American art, history, and culture.

Boy and H, Harlem, 1961, Louis Draper (American, 1935–2002), gelatin silver print, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment. Courtesy of the Louis H. Draper Preservation Trust, Nell D. Winston, trustee.

TALK
Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop
Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, VMFA, in conversation with Nell Draper-Winston
Thu, Jan 30 | 6:30–7:30 pm, $8 (VMFA members $5), Leslie Cheek Theater

VMFA’s Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, curator of Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop, will provide an overview of the exhibition, which features photography by members of the Kamoinge Workshop, an artist collective founded in New York City in 1963. Nell Draper-Winston, sister of photographer Louis Draper, will join Dr. Eckhardt in conversation to discuss her brother’s photographs and his roots in Richmond.

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Celebrate African and African American Family Day: Mali

OPEN STUDIO PLUS PERFORMANCE
Grandma’s Hands
Sun, Feb 2 | 1–4 pm, Free, no tickets required. Art Education Center. Performances in the Atrium 2 pm & 3 pm

Join others as they encounter generational lessons from two sisters with remarkable stories to share from the perspective of the African American South. Through song, stories, and signed poetry, we will learn how women have made an impact on culture through practices passed down from family matriarchs.

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RVA Community Makers Art Activity
Sun, Feb 2 | 1–4 pm, Free, no tickets required. Art Education Center

During Open Studio Plus Performance, celebrate family with Richmond artist Hamilton Glass and local African American photographers.

Take your digital family portraits onsite at VMFA to become part of a mixed-media public art collaboration. Glass will guide attendees in hands-on participation. You can also capture fun memories in the Family Portrait Photo Booth.

Extending the meaning of family to community, the project also brings together six local photographers—Regina Boone, Courtney Jones, Brian Palmer, Sandra Sellars, Ayasha Sledge, and James Wallace— who will create portraits of six selected community leaders.

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FIRST FRIDAY
Spirituals, Fri, Feb 7 | 6–8 pm, Free, no tickets required. Atrium

Welcome sopranos Lisa Edwards Burrs and Olletta Cheatham to the First Friday series with an evening of Spirituals. Lisa and Olletta will sing many powerful songs of the genre and explore their resonating impact on history.

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DANCE PARTY
VMFA After Hours: VMFA Is for Lovers
Sat, Feb 15 | 7–11:30 pm, $45/person ($35 VMFA members). Museum wide

Join host Kelli Lemon for a night of art, music, dancing, and love after dark. Catch DJ Lonnie B on the spin in the Marble Hall. Enjoy Legacy Band performing live music in the Atrium. Experience the exhibitions Edward Hopper and the American Hotel and Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop.

All galleries will be open during this event to give you access to our diverse collections of art from around the world.

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LIVE JAZZ, Dominion Energy Jazz Café: Jazz Around the Museum. Thu, Feb 13 | 6–9 pm, Free, no tickets required. Marble Hall

Back by popular demand! Who says a Jazz band can’t party, get down, and get funky? Led by saxophonist Robert “Bo” Bohannon, Klaxton Brown combines the old with the new, and will rock you steady all night long. Prepare to get Klaxtonized!

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Museum of Arts and Design Appoints Christian Larsen as Windgate Research Curator

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) today announced the appointment of Christian Larsen to the position of Windgate Research Curator, effective immediately. In this position, funded by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Larsen will lead an educational and curatorial partnership between the Museum of Arts and Design and Bard Graduate Center (BGC) to increase the visibility of craft and design in art history and the contemporary art world. He replaces Elissa Auther who was named Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator last September.

Museum of Arts and Design Appoints Christian Larsen as Windgate Research Curator

With great enthusiasm, we welcome Christian to the curatorial team at MAD,” said Chris Scoates, Nanette L. Laitman Director. “A respected curator and scholar, his ability to integrate research, teaching, and curating to articulate contemporary concerns and critiques with the craft and design community will prove instrumental in bringing our curatorial vision to life for visitors to our galleries.

Larsen brings to MAD more than twenty years of research, writing, curating, and teaching experience. His scholarship is grounded in the history of craft and design from the nineteenth century through to the present day, with a focus on Latin American architecture and design. Prior to joining MAD, he had been Associate Curator of Modern Decorative Arts and Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (2015–19), where he organized Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical at The Met Breuer (2017). He also served as custodian to one of the most important collections of French Art Deco outside of Paris.

As Curator at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach, (2013–15), Larsen’s exhibition and catalog Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern (2015) received an Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation Exhibition Award. Previously, he worked as Curatorial Assistant in the Architecture and Design Department of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, (2000–08), where he organized several exhibitions, including Digitally Mastered (2006–07), 50 Years of Helvetica (2007–08), and Ateliers Jean Prouvé (2008–09).

I am thrilled to accept the position of Windgate Research Curator, a unique opportunity to further the partnership and collaboration between MAD, the Bard Graduate Center, and the Center for Craft in North Carolina. I especially look forward to engaging BGC students in the research and production of exhibition content for MAD,” said Larsen. “This position promises a multi-institutional commitment to exploring the contemporary intersections of art, craft, and design.

Larsen received a BA from Amherst College (2000), and earned both an MA (2010) and an M.Phil (2013) in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, where he is a doctoral candidate finishing his dissertation Aquarela do Brasil: Transnational Flows of Brazilian Design and Material Culture.

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit madmuseum.org.

National Portrait Gallery Engages Audiences Across the Country With Five-City Tour of the Acclaimed Obama Portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald

Tour To Include Chicago, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston Starting June 2021

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced a five-city tour next year of the portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, that will launch during the summer of 2021. Next year, in mid-May 2021, the Obama portraits, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, will temporarily go off view from the museum’s exhibitions for tour preparation.

The official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama, on permanent view at The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald (Image provided by The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery)

The tour will commence in Chicago, June 18, 2021, and will continue, with the works traveling across the country, through May 30, 2022. This is one of several initiatives being set by the Portrait Gallery to engage communities nationwide throughout the next four years. The artworks are expected to reach millions of people who may not be able to visit Washington, D.C.

We view the country as our community,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “Since the unveiling of these two portraits of the Obamas, the Portrait Gallery has experienced a record number of visitors, not only to view these works in person, but to be part of the communal experience of a particular moment in time. This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people in the beauty of dialogue and shared experience.”

The paintings were commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and revealed in a special unveiling ceremony Feb. 12, 2018, in the presence of President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, and the artists. Wiley and Sherald are the first African American artists to have been selected for the National Portrait Gallery’s official portraits of a President or First Lady.

In addition to the paintings, the tour will include an audio-visual element, Portrait Gallery-led teacher workshops and curatorial presentations in each location. In anticipation of the tour, the Portrait Gallery is also publishing a book in partnership with Princeton University Press. The Obama Portraits will be released Feb. 11.

With the Obama portraits, the National Portrait Gallery continues its more than 45-year legacy of touring exhibitions. American presidents, in particular, have been the subject of several Portrait Gallery exhibitions. The exhibition “Theodore Roosevelt: Icon of the American Century” (1998 to 2000) traveled to several cities as did “Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery” (2000 to 2005). The museum’s acclaimed “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart toured to seven venues in “George Washington: A National Treasure” (2002 to 2004). The National Portrait Gallery’s collection includes more than 1,600 portraits of U.S. presidents and is the nation’s only complete collection of U.S. presidents accessible to the public.

Tour venues include:

  • Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago—June 18, 2021–Aug. 15, 2021
  • Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn, New York—Aug. 27, 2021–Oct. 24, 2021
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles—Nov. 5, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
  • High Art Museum; Atlanta—Jan. 14, 2022–March 13, 2022
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Houston—March 25, 2022–May 30, 2022
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92nd Oscars® Producers Announces First Slate Of Presenters and Oscar Show Performers

Oscar® Winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek Return to the Oscars® Stage

Cynthia Erivo, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz And Randy Newman To Perform Nominated Original Songs

With Special Appearances By Eímear Noone And Questlove

Oscar® winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek (Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting actress, and Best Actor in 2019) will present at the 92nd Oscars®, show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain announced today. All return to the Oscars stage after winning last year in their respective acting categories.

We love the tradition of having the previous year’s Oscar-winning actors on stage to celebrate the achievements of their peers and are thrilled to welcome back these four great talents,” said Howell Taylor and Allain.

Oscar® winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek (Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting actress, and Best Actor in 2019) Imaged provided by the Academy

Cynthia Erivo, Oscar® winner Elton John, Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz and Oscar winner Randy Newman will perform this year’s nominated songs at the 92nd Oscars® ceremony.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo is set to perform her nominated song “Stand Up” from “Harriet” (Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo) at the 92nd Oscars. credit: Benedict Evans.

We’re excited to have an incredible group of nominees and performers who will deliver one-of-a-kind music moments you will only see on the Oscars,” said Howell Taylor and Allain.

This year’s Original Song nominees and performers are as follows (in alphabetical order by song title):

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