Museum’s Grand Opening Film “August 28” To Air Publicly for 24 Hours
On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered on the National Mall to March for Jobs and Freedom. This month, more than 50 years later, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will commemorate the March on Washington with a digital resource webpage exploring the historical significance of the march with collection objects, stories, videos and content related to the historic march. This page will include voices of A. Phillip Randolph, Rep. John Lewis, and many unsung activists and a performance by singer Marian Anderson. The resource webpage is available at nmaahc.si.edu/marchonwashington.
To mark the anniversary day (Aug. 28), the museum will also make available the film commissioned for its grand opening by Ava Duvernay,August 28: A Day in the Life of a People. The film will be available to view on the museum’s homepage and YouTube channel starting at 10:00 a.m. for 24 hours.
“This Friday marks the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, which in 1963, brought together more than a quarter-million people advocating for racial justice,” said Spencer Crew, acting director of National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Demonstrations have long been a way for American citizens to help the nation live up to its stated ideals, making Friday’s anniversary and march not just a commemoration, but the continuation of an American tradition that began centuries ago.” Crew continued, “Evidence of not only how far we have come since 1963, but the long journey ahead to justice and equality.”
March on Washington Programming
NMAAHC Presents Why we march…(a short video)
Friday, Aug. 28
“Why we march…” is a three-minute video exploring the role of marching in social justice reform. The video uses photography from the museum’s collection to illustrate more than 50 years of community activism and protest movements for racial and social justice and equity in the United States to begin to answer the question, why we march. Click video below or visit @NMAAHC’s YouTube channel or the March on Washington webpage to see the video.
Cinema and Conversation—Black Journal: Black Women
Thursday, Aug. 27; 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
This series will feature two rare films from the museum’s collection, The Black Woman and Alice Coltrane, from the seminal program Black Journal (1960–1970). Alice Coltrane is an intimate visit with musician Alice Coltrane at her home. The Black Woman focuses on—in the words of Black Journal host Tony Brown—one of the greatest institutions in the world: “The Black woman.” Curator of photography and film Rhea Combs will introduce the movie, followed by a discussion with scholar Philana Payton and journalist Joan Harris, who was interviewed in The Black Woman. Co-presented with Screen Slate, the films will be available for viewing at www.twitch.tv/screenslate.
Following its temporary closure on March 13, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Whitney Museum of American Art today announced its plans to reopen to the public on September 3, 2020. Prioritizing the health and safety of its visitors and staff, the Museum will operate at no more than twenty-five percent of its total capacity to ensure proper physical distancing.
The Museum also announced that pay-what-you-wish admission will be offered to all through September 28, 2020. Due to limited capacity and to facilitate contactless entry into the Museum, all visitors and members will need to reserve timed-entry tickets in advance on whitney.org.
“Cultural institutions like the Whitney are an essential part of the fabric of New York and are integral to its successful and safe reopening,” said Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum. “Our priority is the health and safety of our staff and visitors. Over the past few months, our internal team has carefully developed safety protocols with guidance from health experts and collaboratively working with peer institutions across the city through the NYC Museums Reopening Task Force. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Museum with confidence that they can safely engage with our exhibitions and collection. I am especially pleased that we will be able to offer pay-what-you-wish admission during the month of September, making the Museum more accessible to New Yorkers.”
Enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols, state-of-the-art air filtration systems, one-way directional signage, and ground markings are among the new safety measures that have been implemented throughout the building. In accordance with city and state guidelines, all staff, volunteers, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing while in the Museum.
The Whitney also announced today the extension of critically acclaimed exhibitions. Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945and Cauleen Smith: Mutualities have been extended through January 31, 2021. Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist, which originally opened on March 13 when the Museum’s temporary closure began, has been extended to November 1, 2020. The Museum’s billboard project at 95 Horatio featuring Jill Mulleady’s We Wither Time into a Coil of Frighthas been extended through January 2021. The collection installations,Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019and The Whitney’s Collection: Selections From 1900 to 1965 will also welcome visitors back to the Museum.
MoMA Temporarily Closes Museums and Stores in New York
MoMA announced today that it will close The Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street, MoMA PS1 in Queens, and the MoMA Design Stores on 53rd Street and in Soho, effective immediately and through March 30. MoMA will continue to monitor developments with COVID-19 and regularly reassess this temporary closure.
Glenn D. Lowry, The David Rockefeller Director of The Museum of Modern Art, said: “Nothing is more important to MoMA than the health and safety of our community. We take seriously our responsibility as a civic institution to serve the public good. With that in mind, as it is more and more challenging to predict the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have decided to temporarily close MoMA.”
MoMA has been prepared for this possibility for several weeks and made the decision in ongoing consultation with public health experts, city and state officials, peer institutions, and the Boards of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among MoMA employees. Plans are in place to continue to support employees and MoMA’s better than best practice cleaning and sanitization protocols.
MoMA plans to re-open at the first opportunity that ensures the health and safety of all visitors and employees.
All Events at Carnegie Hall from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 are Cancelled
All March events cancelled in effort to reduce spread of COVID-19
With the health and safety of its public, artists, and staff as its foremost priority, Carnegie Hall today announced that it will be closed for all public events and programming through the end of March, effective midnight tonight, in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
All events and programming at Carnegie Hall from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 have been cancelled. For a list of performances at Carnegie Hall that are affected, please see the attached list or click here. Carnegie Hall events on Thursday evening, March 12 will take place as scheduled.
Upcoming education programming presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute—whether taking place at Carnegie Hall or in off-site locations—is suspended through March 31. All free Carnegie Hall Citywide performances in venues throughout New York City are cancelled through March 31.
All other scheduled concerts and programming starting on April 1, 2020 and beyond remain on the schedule pending the reopening of Carnegie Hall. The general public is encouraged to check carnegiehall.org/events for the most up-to-date programming information.
Patrons who purchased tickets by credit card from Carnegie Hall for a performance that has been canceled will receive automatic refunds; those who purchased by cash at the Box Office may email a scan or photo of the tickets to email@example.com, along with complete contact details (name, mailing address, and phone number), through June 30, 2020, for a refund. Those who purchased tickets directly from other concert presenters should contact that presenter for refund information.
Patrons who have any further questions should contact CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that email and call volume may be high with limited in-house staff, and tickets may be refunded on a delayed schedule. We thank you for your patience as we navigate this evolving situation together.
Asian Art Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Announce Temporary Closure Effective March 14, 2020
The Asian Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), comprising the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) collaboratively announce a temporary closure to the public effective at 5 pm PST on Friday, March 13. With their united focus on the health and safety of their visitors and staff members, the museums made this decision to align with local and federal guidelines and social distancing recommendations for the containment of the coronavirus.
The Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA will tentatively reopen to the public on Saturday, March 28, 2020, and the FAMSF museums will reopen on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The museums will individually evaluate whether the closure timeframe needs to be extended.
ASIAN ART MUSEUM
The closure of the Asian Art Museum includes the museum, its café (Sunday at the Museum) and its store. More information can be found at asianart.org.
SFMOMA’s closure includes the museum, its restaurants (In Situ, Cafe 5 and Sightglass coffee bars), stores (museum and SFO store) and the Artists Gallery at Fort Mason. For the most up-to-date information including information on rescheduling a visit, go to sfmoma.org/coronavirus-update.
Born in Mozambique, Malangatana Ngwenya (1936-2011) was a painter, a poet, a revered national hero, and a pioneer of modern African art.
Opening March 21 and on view through July 5, the Art Institute of Chicago will be showcasing Malangatana: Mozambique Modern, an exhibition that brings together over 40 key paintings and drawings that highlight the years between 1959 and 1975. It was during this time that Malangatana developed a signature painting style, characterized by a dense assembly of figures on the picture plane, the phantasmagoric depiction of animals, humans and supernatural creatures, and a composite palette of bright and dark colors. Moreover, in this period Malangatana imbued his paintings and drawings with social commentary and critique of the colonial situation in Mozambique.
Malangatana: Mozambique Modern is organized by Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art; Felicia Mings, Academic Curator; and Constantine Petridis, Chair of the Department of Arts of Africa and the Americas.
In choosing the subjects of his work, Malangatana took a decidedly allegorical approach, taking inspiration from local religious practices, his own cultural background, and life under Portuguese rule. As such, many of the symbols in Malangatana’s paintings show the artist’s early exposure to Christian education and motifs that reference religious and cultural practices of the Ronga people to which he belonged.
Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago mentions: “The work of Malangatana presents an exceptional opportunity for the Art Institute to think more globally and critically about international modernisms, in both our exhibition program and the museum’s collection. Malangatana: Mozambique Modern proposes that modern art is an inherently unstable art-historical category that requires constant revision and questioning.”
Though largely self-taught, Malangatana took painting classes in the late 1950s at the Industrial School and the Núcleo de Arte da Colónia de Moçambique (Colonial Arts Center of Mozambique)—the latter a center of artistic activity in the capital Maputo (then Lourenço Marques). In this period, Malangatana became active in the artistic and cultural milieu of Maputo and found his first teachers and sponsors in artists and architects João Ayres, Augusto Cabral, and Pancho Guedes. While his first paintings show traces of the styles of European modernism he encountered in his art education and through the interaction with his mentors, Malangatana soon established his unique aesthetic, ranging from his distinct color palette to the inclusion of elements from daily life in fantastical scenes.
“Malangatana’s stunning aesthetic will captivate audiences. This, paired with the social impulse of these works as well as his larger oeuvre and life, make him a truly prolific, civically engaged artist––someone that we can all learn from. He is also a figure that had a tremendous impact on Mozambican art history, so I am delighted to be part of a team that is bringing further visibility to his work,” says Felicia Mings, Academic Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The changes in Mozambique’s political history during the 1960s and 1970s significantly impacted Malangatana’s life and work. A Portuguese colony until 1975, Mozambique was among the last African countries to gain independence from colonial rule. As the quest for liberation grew with the formation of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) in 1962 and the beginning of the armed resistance against the Portuguese in 1964, a strong anticolonial sentiment and a need for new artistic and cultural forms emerged. Malangatana had touched on social and political themes in earlier work, but from the mid-1960s through the 1970s he articulated them more explicitly, while always retaining an allegorical tendency in his approach.
Constantine Petridis, Chair of the Department of Arts of Africa and the Americas states: “The vibrant paintings of Malangatana provide a window into the political and cultural milieu in which the artist established himself as a pioneering modernist. Marked by both decolonization and nationalism, Malangatana’s oeuvre compels us to revisit the prevailing Eurocentric definition of the art-historical canon.”
The Runway Afternoon Tea, Inspired By The Exhibition “Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows,” Launches At Four Seasons Hotel London At Ten Trinity Square
The Exhibition Offers An Access All Areas Experience Of Karl Lagerfeld’s Most Influential And Monumental Fashion Shows Will Exhibit For The First Time In The Uk At The Forbes 5-Star Hotel
Widely regarded as one of the most outstanding photographers of his generation, Simon Procter’s exhibition features images captured backstage at Lagerfeld’s shows, providing a glimpse through his lens into the inner world of Chanel and the celebrated designer.
Following the Fall 2020/Winter 2021 shows at Paris Fashion Week, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square and Art Photo Expo will present the UK debut of Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows– an exhibition of photographs by renowned British artist Simon Procter, celebrating the work of the late Karl Lagerfeld. The exhibition will launch on March 18, 2020, and will be on display in the Rotunda Bar and Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square.
Widely respected in today’s contemporary art scene and acclaimed as one of the most outstanding photographers of his generation, Procter was also one of Karl Lagerfeld’s most trusted documentary photographers, having been granted unprecedented backstage access at the Chanel shows. For more than a decade, Procter’s daring camerawork captured the energy and essence of the Chanel shows, visually recreating the epic sets. From a luscious forest scene to a rocket launch, Procter combines multiple photographs to illustrate in a single image the many perspectives of the intense but fleeting spectacle. Procter also captured images of Lagerfeld preparing models backstage, a privilege afforded to few, offering a unique glimpse into the inner sanctum of the fashion house.
Following Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, Rizzoli devoted a book comprising Procter’s photographs and candid never-before-seen images of Lagerfeld backstage entitledLagerfeld: The Chanel Shows.
Bringing the book to life, the large-scale photographs will line the circular perimeter of the Hotel’s Rotunda Bar and Lounge, and the exhibition will include some never-before-seen artworks. Guests will be offered an unparalleled look into the wide-ranging creativity of one of history’s most respected and iconic designers, making it essential viewing for all lovers of fashion and admirers of Chanel and Lagerfeld’s incomparable legacy.
In addition to the works showcased in Rotunda, limited edition artworks will be available to view and purchase in an adjacent gallery for the duration of the exhibition, with prices starting from GBP 5,500. The Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows books will also be available for purchase in the gallery, including a limited number of copies signed by Procter himself.
Running until June 30, 2020, visitors can also enjoy The Runway Afternoon Tea inspired by Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows by Simon Procter and a cocktail crafted by Director of Mixology Harry Nikolaou in celebration of the exhibition.
Historian and Narrator John Monsky Captures the Dramatic Final Months of World War II With Multimedia Production Featuring 35-Piece Orchestra and Leading Broadway Artists, Historic Video, Original American Flags From Normandy Beach and Beyond, and Images from the Archives of Legendary Photojournalists
Historian and narrator John Monskybrings his groundbreaking American History Unbound series back to Zankel Hall on Saturday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 9 with The Eyes of the World: From D-Day to VE Day—an exciting multimedia production that tells the powerful story of the American landing on the Normandy beaches and subsequent 11 months of battle that finally secured victory in Europe.
On June 5, 1944, on the eve of D-Day, Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower told American forces, “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” While D-Day marked a turning point and pathway to victory, the landings and eleven months of battle that followed would be among the most brutal for the American troops and Allied forces.
This immersive concert experience, presented with the New-York Historical Society in the 75th anniversary year of VE Day, recounts this period through striking photography from the archives of American photojournalist Lee Miller, who, reporting for Vogue magazine, was among the 127 accredited female journalists covering the war, as well as letters home from a young American intelligence officer who landed at Normandy and fought with the army through VE day. Along the way, they connected with legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway and photojournalist Robert Capa. The paths of these four remarkable figures intersect and intertwine as they served as the “eyes for the world” from D-Day to eventual victory.
The program features the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by music supervisor Ian Weinberger (Hamilton), joined by leading Broadway vocalists including Nick Cordero (Waitress, A Bronx Tale), Kate Rockwell (Mean Girls), Tony LePage (Come From Away), and Bryonha Parham (After Midnight) performing evocative music of the era—from La Vie en Rose and Woody Guthrie’s What Are We Waiting On to signature songs of legendary bandleader Glenn Miller who volunteered for the Army at the height of his career—and selections from the film soundtracks of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. Tickets for the June 6 and 9 performances are on sale to the general public now.
The American History Unbound series, exploring watershed moments in American history, combines live music performed by celebrated Broadway actors and a full orchestra, incorporating film, photography, historic flags and material culture from Monsky’s personal collection. Narrated by Monsky with a script punctuated with his own memories and observations, each production includes powerful examinations of singular and pivotal events—from the Revolutionary War and Civil War to D-Day—turning points in history that changed America.
Decades ago, Monsky’s mother bought her 12-year-old son his first “flag,” a red kerchief (an artifact from Theodore Roosevelt’s unsuccessful 1912 presidential bid), to appease his boredom while on a routine shopping outing. Today, his collection of flags and textiles — tangible artifacts that connect us to our history — has become one of the finest in the country. As his collection grew, so did annual Flag Day presentations held in Monsky’s apartment. As the events grew larger in scope—adding bands and Broadway singers to accent his talks—they eventually required portal-widening-living room-construction to accommodate friends and family, all riveted by Monsky’s storytelling. Sought-after invitations to these informal gatherings attracted the attention of The New Yorker in 2012, when Monsky took a second look at the War of 1812, with a presentation that included the commissioning pennant from the great wooden frigate, the USS Constitution. Louise Mirrer, the President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, where Monsky is a trustee, recalled, “I attended the Flag Day celebrations and was absolutely dazzled. One of those years after viewing…a really exceptional explication of history, I said to John, ‘you know, you should do that in our auditorium.’” She has since called his D-Day production “the most moving event ever presented on the Society’s stage.”
Monsky has been creating and performing his American History Unbound productions for over a decade and was recently honored by the New-York Historical Society. After two previous sold-out productions—The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad (2018) and We Chose To Go To The Moon (2019)—The Eyes of the World is the third installment of American History Unbound to be presented at Carnegie Hall.
“John has a passion for combining storytelling, music, visuals, and film in unique and creative ways that bring history to life and that connect emotionally with his audiences,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “We look forward to this next edition which will take us through some of the most important moments of World War II, traveling on a journey that is sure to be powerful as well as illuminating.”
Like Monsky’s previous productions, The Eyes of the World includes tangible historic objects woven into the storytelling narrative, some of which have been in storage and not seen by the public for more than 75 years. His presentation includes the flag famously placed by Rudder’s Rangers on the rocks of Pointe du Hoc to mark the command post; a rarely-seen divisional color of the US 29th Infantry Division, which suffered tremendous losses on the beaches of Normandy; the flag from landing craft LCI 94, which picked up photojournalist Robert Capa from Omaha Beach on D-Day; community “service banners” hung in schools and churches across America, with blue stars indicating the number of their “boys” in service, plus more.
“I did not start out looking for the figures we follow in this production—Hemingway, Capa, Miller, and a young intelligence officer who landed on D-Day,” said John Monsky. “They revealed themselves as we researched a single flag flown on a Higgins boat and the boys it carried to the beaches. Every twist and turn surprised us as the story unfolded, with its conclusion making the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, as Lee Miller and others come together in some of the War’s most dark and haunting places.”
“We are grateful for the contributions of historian and author Alex Kershaw, the staff of the American Battle Monuments Commission and The National World War II Museum, as well as Katie Couric and John Molner for their encouragement and passion to tell the stories of American history. It’s also been an extraordinary privilege to work with Lee Miller’s family—her son Antony Penrose and granddaughter Ami Bouhassane—to expose her work to the wider audience it deserves.”
Joined by World-Class Musicians, Rosenwinkel Performs Songs from his Brazilian Inspired Album Caipi
On Saturday, March 21 at 9:00 p.m., renowned jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkelperforms in Zankel Hall as part of the Joyce and George T. Wein Shape of Jazz series. With a career spanning 25 years, Rosenwinkel is widely considered one the most important and influential jazz guitarists of his generation. For this special performance, Rosenwinkel’s talents will be on display as he sings and plays guitar, joined by musical collaborators from both Brazil and the United States—Pedro Martins(Guitar and Vocals), Frederico Heliodoro(Electric Bass), Antonio Loureiro(Keyboards), Felipe Viegas(Keyboards), and Bill Campbell(Drums)—to perform songs from Caipi, an album described as “immediately gripping” by Jazz Times.
The conceptual influence of Kurt Rosenwinkel’s music can be readily observed on a global scale. Whether in concert halls, basement jazz club wee hours jam sessions, conservatory practice rooms or radio station airwaves, Rosenwinkel’s distinctive voice as a composer and guitarist has had an undeniable impact on music in the 21st century.
The American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer has gained international recognition for his deft artistry and unabated individualism since he first appeared on the New York music scene in 1991. His legacy as the pre-eminent jazz guitar voice of his generation is plainly evident on his eleven albums as a leader, each one the inspiration for legions of musicians young and old across the globe. Rosenwinkel’s aesthetic vision and multi-genre facility has caught the ear of some of modern music’s most prominent stars; collaborations with Eric Clapton, Q-tip, Gary Burton, Paul Motian, Joe Henderson, Brad Mehldau, and Donald Fagen are but a few highlights from a remarkably diverse and extensive catalogue of over 150 sideman recordings.
“There are a lot of prizes today, but very few women [get them],” Aware cofounder Camille Morineau says. “A few years ago we launched a French Aware Prize in Paris, and when I was invited by the Armory to walk through the fair [around then], I became conscious that there were quite a lot of women in the fair and solo booths, and this felt new, interesting and strong.”
At the 2020 Armory Show, Edmonds was unanimously selected by the jurors who coalesced around the discovery of her flag paintings – a new body of work presented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles at this year’s Armory Show. “We were all flabbergasted by Edmond’s work. I think that’s what fairs are about, discovering work and having strong experiences of the art that is beyond words,” Morineau says. “I didn’t know June’s work well, and fairs are a place of surprises and a place to learn. I hope that the prize will be about sharing these surprising and strong moments with other people.“
June Edmonds was born 1959 in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. She received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. She also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is the recipient of a 2018 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Grant (COLA) and Exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; a California Arts Council Individual Artist Grant; Paducah Artist Residency in Kentucky; Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist residency in Taos, NM; and Dorland Mountain Community artist residency in Temecula, CA. Edmonds has exhibited at the California African American Museum, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Luckman Fine Art Gallery at CalState Los Angeles, Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles, CA; Angels Gate Art Center in San Pedro, CA; and the Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA. Edmonds has completed several works of public art with the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including an installation at the MTA Pacific Station in Long Beach, CA.. Her paintings are held in collections throughout the United States including the Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; as well as Rodney M. Miller Collection, New York, NY; and Kelly Williams Collection, New York, NY, among others.
Edmonds’s Flag Paintings explore the American flag as a malleable symbol of ideals, promises, and identity and create space for the inclusion of multivalent identities that consider race, nationality, gender, and political leanings. Each flag is associated with the narrative of an African American, past or present, a current event, or an anecdote from American history.
Spencer Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, released the following statement on the death of noted mathematician and one of NASA’s “human computers,” Katherine Johnson.
It is with deep sadness that we at the National Museum of African American History and Culture mourn the passing of noted NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. She played a key role on the 1969 Apollo 11 space team, calculating the precise trajectories that would make it possible for the U.S. to land a crew safely on the moon. The critically important work she performed moved our country forward in a compelling way as we charted a bold course in space travel. It also broke barriers for women in science and mathematics.
From her earliest childhood Johnson counted things. “I counted everything: the steps, the dishes, the stars in the sky,” Johnson once said, recalling her youth. The youngest of four children of a farmer and a schoolteacher, Johnson was born into a household that valued education. Since there was no school for African American children in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson and her siblings attended a laboratory school at West Virginia State Institute, a historically black college. At 15, Johnson enrolled at West Virginia State earning a degree in math education and French.
Johnson was one of three black students selected to integrate West Virginia University’s graduate program. After a brief time, she left school to start family and to teach. In 1952, Johnson learned about a program that would change the course of her life. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ Langley Aeronautical Laboratory (now known as NASA and the Langley Research Center) was hiring black women mathematicians to be “human computers” to check calculations for technological developments. In 1953, Johnson began her new job working as a member of a computing group; however, her inquisitive nature and boldness won her a place in Langley’s flight research division. Known for her mathematical accuracy, Johnson performed calculations for several historic NASA missions, including the first manned mission to the moon.
Despite being born into an era when professional opportunities for women of color were scarce, Johnson quietly rose above the odds stacked against her. She and other African American women at NASA were consigned to a separate office, dining and bathroom facilities, but over time Johnson’s work won her acceptance. When recalling her time at NASA, Johnson insisted that she never struggled with feelings of inferiority. She knew she was just as good as the next person.
After retiring from NASA, Johnson became a strong advocate for mathematics education. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, and a NASA research facility is named in her honor. Her story has been told in the bestselling book and feature-length film Hidden Figures.
Johnson will forever be remembered for her work with NASA and as a pioneering force for women of color in science, technology, engineering and math.
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 6 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
Performances to Feature Two Exciting Double Bills: Legendary Producers and Songwriters T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry on November 13; and Grammy Award-Winning Artists The Fairfield Four and Ranky Tanky on February 25
Carnegie Hall has announced the all-star lineup of artists for two exciting double-bill American Byways concerts to be presented in Zankel Hall in the 2020–2021 season. Curated and hosted by singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (who was a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist in the 2015–2016 season), these one-of-a kind performances take New York audiences on a journey through American roots music, featuring Appalachian traditions, the blues, and more.
On Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:00 p.m., Cash brings together two iconic producers and songwriters––T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry—for a very special concert. Renowned for producing ground-breaking albums by artists including Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, and Elton John, Burnett was also behind the soundtrack for films like Walk the Line and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Mentored in part by Burnett, Joe Henry has earned acclaim for producing albums by artists including Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, and Rhiannon Giddens (whom Burnett has worked with as well). For this rare double bill performance, Burnett’s fluid guitar-playing and thoughtful songwriting is paired with Henry’s deeply personal and marvelously eclectic style of storytelling with inflections of rock, folk, country, and jazz.
Multiple Grammy and Academy Award winner Joseph Henry “T Bone” Burnett is a producer, musician and songwriter. Known recently for composing and producing music for the critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective, his film work includes the five-time Grammy winning soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, Cold Mountain, The Hunger Games, Crazy Heart and Walk The Line, amongst others. He has collaborated with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and won Album of the Year and Record of the Year Grammy Awards for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Raising Sand.
In a career spanning more than 30 years, Joe Henry has left an indelible and unique imprint on American popular music. As a songwriter and artist, Mr. Henry is celebrated for his exploration of the human experience. A hyper-literate storyteller, by turns dark, devastating, and hopeful, he draws an author’s eye for the overlooked detail across a broad swath of American musical styles—rock, jazz and blues—rendering genre modifiers useless.
Mr. Henry has collaborated with many notable artists on his own body of work, including Don Cherry and T Bone Burnett (Shuffletown, 1990), Victoria Williams and the Jawhawks‘s Gary Louris and Marc Perlman (Kindness of the World, 1993), guitarists Page Hamilton (Trampoline, 1996), Daniel Lanois and Jakob Dylan (Fuse, 1999), Ornette Coleman, Brad Mehldau, Marc Ribot, Brian Blade, and Meshell Ndegeocello (Scar, 2001), Bill Frisell and Van Dyke Parks (Civilians, 2007), Jason Moran (Blood From Stars, 2009), Lisa Hannigan (Invisible Hour, 2014).
Celebrated Trumpeter Sean Jones Leads Ensemble with Grammy Award-Winning Vocalist Dianne Reeves as Special Guest
First-Ever Tour to Africa by One of Carnegie Hall’s Three Acclaimed National Youth Ensembles to Include Debut Performances in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Makhanda, and Bloemfontein, June 24-July 7, 2020
This June and July, Carnegie Hall’s critically-acclaimed national youth jazz orchestra—NYO Jazz—returns for its third season of extraordinary music-making, highlighted by its first-ever tour to South Africa from June 24-July 7, 2020. This remarkable ensemble, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2018, annually brings together some of the most outstanding teen jazz musicians from across the United States to train, perform, and tour with some of the world’s greatest artists while also serving as music ambassadors for their country.
NYO Jazz’s historic visit to South Africa—to include debut performances in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Makhanda, and Bloemfontein—marks the first time that one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles will perform on the African continent. It follows successful international tours by NYO Jazz to some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and music festivals in 2018, and the ensemble’s debut tour to Asia in 2019.
Celebrated trumpeter Sean Jones returns to lead NYO Jazz in 2020. He is joined by iconic jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves as special guest. These NYO Jazz concerts will offer a rare chance to hear the five-time Grammy Award winning vocalist performing with a big band, singing jazz standards in arrangements that have been especially made for her. The ensemble’s diverse repertoire will also feature a new composition by John Beasley, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for this tour, and other contemporary pieces that explore jazz’s influence on hip-hop, R&B, and pop music alongside big band standards.
“We are thrilled to have NYO Jazz make its debut in South Africa this summer—the first visit to Africa by any of our national youth ensembles” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “Given South Africa’s extraordinarily rich music traditions, which include a deep passion for jazz, we know this tour will be a tremendous opportunity for musical and cultural discovery for these amazing young players. We are proud to showcase their incredible depth of talent and the high level of musicianship found across the United States as we find ways to connect the members of NYO Jazz with young musicians and music lovers across the country.”
NYO Jazz’s 2020 tour will offer America’s finest young musicians the opportunity to experience the richness of South Africa’s culture and history while sharing their remarkable artistry with audiences throughout the country. Complementing their performances, the players’ schedule will also include exciting opportunities for cultural exchange and peer-to-peer activities with local young people, an element that has become a hallmark of international tours by all three of Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles.
In Fall 2020, A Lifetime Retrospective Dedicated To Jasper Johns Will Be Presented Simultaneously In New York And Philadelphia
In an unprecedented collaboration, this major exhibition is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art
October 28, 2020–February 21, 2021
The most ambitious retrospective to date of the work of Jasper Johns, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be presented simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia this fall. A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in nearly a quarter century. It opens concurrently in Philadelphia and in New York on October 28, 2020. Visitors who attend the exhibition at one venue will enjoy half-price adult admission at the other when presenting their ticket. And throughout the duration of the exhibition, members of each institution will receive free admission at both venues. (Additional details will be available at whitney.org and philamuseum.org.)
Filling almost 30,000 combined square feet across the two venues, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Conceived around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, this two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.
Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, commented, “We are delighted to present this unique retrospective together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an important occasion for both museums, which have had connections with the artist going back decades. The Whitney has been collecting and showing Johns since the 1960s and we are thrilled to honor his ninetieth birthday in 2020, which also marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Whitney’s founding. Enigmatic, poetic, rich, and profoundly influential, Johns’s work is always ripe for reexamination.”
“Given the crucial place that Jasper Johns holds in the art of our time, this collaboration enables our two museums, together, to examine the artist’s vision in all its multiplicity and depth,” added Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art has long dedicated a gallery to the display of Johns’s work, which, given his admiration of Cézanne and Duchamp, richly resonates with our collection. Along with our colleagues at the Whitney, we hope to introduce a new generation of visitors in our respective cities to the exceptional achievements of this artist over the course of a career that now spans nearly seven decades.”
Jasper Johns (b. Augusta, Georgia, 1930) grew up in South Carolina where he pursued an interest in art at an early age. He attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in 1948, and briefly attended Parsons School of Design. For two years he served in the army and was stationed in South Carolina and Japan. He returned to New York in 1953, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham, with whom he would famously collaborate. His work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives and solo shows, including Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Jewish Museum (1964), Jasper Johns at the Whitney (1977), Jasper Johns: Works Since 1974 at the PMA (1988–89, which traveled to the Venice Biennale, where Johns was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement), Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996–97, the last comprehensive East Coast survey), and most recently Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ at the Royal Academy, London, and The Broad, Los Angeles (2017–18). The innovative collaboration and structure of the Whitney and PMA’s retrospective distinguishes it from these previous shows and will account not only for the complexity and originality of Johns’s body of work at a new scale, but also will seek to test some of the conventional perceptions of it.
Since the early 1950s, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has produced a radical and varied body of work distinguished by constant reinvention. In his twenties, Johns created his now-canonical Flag (1954–55), which challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism by integrating abstraction and representation through its direct, though painterly, deadpan visual power. His works have continued to pose similar paradoxes—between cognition and perception, image and object, painting and sculpture—and have explored new approaches to abstraction and figuration that have opened up perspectives for several generations of younger artists. Over the course of his career, he has tirelessly pursued an innovative body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, books, and the design of sets and costumes for the stage.
The exhibition is conceived as a unified whole, comprising two autonomous parts, and is co-curated by two longtime scholars who each has a close relationship with the artist: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the PMA, and Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney. Basualdo noted, “We attempted to create an exhibition that echoes the logic of Johns’s work, and it is structured in a mimetic relation to his practice. Galleries at each venue will serve as cognates, echoes, and inversions of their counterparts at the other, allowing viewers to witness and experience the relationships between continuity and change, fragment and whole, singularity and repetition which Johns has used throughout his career to renew and transform his work.”
Rothkopf said, “One of our primary aims was to revivify the incredible sense of daring and discovery at the heart of Johns’s art. He stunned the establishment as a young man but continues to astonish audiences with surprising new ideas as he nears ninety. Surveying the whole of his career, we see an artist propelled by curiosity, constantly challenging himself—and all of us.”
March 17 Concert Includes New York Premiere of Music by John Adams, Cellist Gautier Capuçon Playing Saint-Saëns, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird
March 18 Performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony to be Heard by Listeners Everywhere via Carnegie Hall Live Broadcast and Digital Series
This March, acclaimed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in his final Carnegie Hall concerts as the orchestra’s music director.
The orchestra’s program on Tuesday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m. includes the New York premiere of John Adams’s I Still Dance(co-commissioned by San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall as part of the Hall’s 125 Commissions Project) as well as Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Gautier Capuçon and Stravinsky’s The Firebird.Throughout his tenure, Mr. Tilson Thomas has championed the work of groundbreaking American composers including John Adams, whose relationship with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) spans nearly four decades. Mr. Adams’s new work, which opens the program, is dedicated to Mr. Tilson Thomas and his husband, Joshua Robison.
The following evening–Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m.–features a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s recording of this work was the first to be released on the orchestra’s in-house SFS Media label and was recognized with a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance, the first of seven Grammys to be received for their complete recordings of Mahler’s symphonies. This March 18 concert will be heard by listeners everywhere as part of the Carnegie Hall Livebroadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and online at wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr.
Mr. Tilson Thomas made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1969. He has since performed more than 100 times at the Hall, curating two extended Carnegie Hall Perspectives series. He last led the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall in October 2018, when the orchestra opened the Hall’s 2018-2019 season.
Mr. Tilson Thomas concludes his tenure as SFS Music Director in June 2020 with performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Upon concluding the final concert, he becomes the orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate.
Michael Tilson Thomas assumed his post as the San Francisco Symphony’s 11th Music Director in 1995, consolidating a relationship with the orchestra that began with his debut in 1974. Since then, he and the orchestra have formed a musical partnership hailed as one of the most inspiring and successful in the country. His tenure has been praised for outstanding musicianship, innovative programming, highlighting the works of American composers, and bringing new audiences to classical music. In addition, the orchestra has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in music education and pioneer in using digital technology to widen the reach of classical music.
A Los Angeles native, Mr. Tilson Thomas studied with John Crown and Ingolf Dahl at the University of Southern California, becoming Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra at nineteen. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen, and Copland at the famed Monday Evening Concerts and was pianist and conductor for the Piatigorsky and Heifetz master classes. In 1969, Mr. Tilson Thomas was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ten days later, he came to international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg mid-concert at Lincoln Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut days later replacing Mr. Steinberg leading the BSO. He went on to become the BSO’s Principal Guest Conductor, and he has also served as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and as a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With the London Symphony Orchestra, he has served as Principal Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor; he is currently Conductor Laureate. He is Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, which he co-founded in 1987. The NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,200 alumni worldwide, including more than 15 members of the SFS.
Evgeny Nikitin stars in the title role and Anja Kampe makes a notable Met debut as Senta
François Girard returns to the Met for the first time since his acclaimed production of Wagner’s Parsifal
Der Fliegende Holländer will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, March 14, as part of The Met: Live in HD series
A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam; The Abu Dhabi Festival; and Opéra de Québec
The Metropolitan Opera presents a new production of Wagner’s early masterpiece Der Fliegende Holländer tonight, with performances continuing through March 27. Valery Gergiev conducts the new staging from director François Girard, whose interpretation is centered on the young woman Senta’s obsession with a portrait of the Dutchman.
Girard, whose revelatory 2013 take on Parsifal set the recent Met standard for Wagner stagings, now unveils a spellbinding new vision of the composer’s tale of a cursed sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean for eternity. With sweeping sets by John Macfarlane, Girard’s new production turns the Met stage into a rich, layered tableau reminiscent of a vast oil painting. Valery Gergiev conducts a brilliant cast led by bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin as the Dutchman, with German soprano Anja Kampe making her anticipated Met debut as the devoted Senta, whose selfless love is what the Dutchman seeks. Bass Franz-Josef Selig is her father, Daland, and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov is her deserted former lover, Erik. Mihoko Fujimura makes her Met debut as Senta’s nurse, Mary, and David Portillo sings the role of the Steersman.
The creative team includes set designer John Macfarlane, costume designer Moritz Junge, lighting designer David Finn, projection designer Peter Flaherty, choreographer Carolyn Choa, and dramaturg Serge Lamothe.
The performances on March 24 and 27 will be conducted by Patrick Furrer, making his debut. At the performance on March 24, the role of the Steersman will be performed by Alok Kumar.
Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was the controversial creator of music-drama masterpieces that stand at the center of today’s operatic repertory. An artistic revolutionary who reimagined every supposition about theater, Wagner insisted that words and music were equals in his works. This approach led to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” combining music, poetry, architecture, painting, and other disciplines, a notion that has had an impact on creative fields far beyond opera.
The score of Der Fliegende Holländer is an extraordinary combination of operatic lyricism, dramatic insight, and magnificent effects. At the time it was written, Wagner had not yet developed his theories of music-drama, which would form the basis for his later works. Many of the features of conventional opera (recitatives, arias, ensembles), therefore, can still be found, but the way Wagner integrates them into the fabric of the score clearly foreshadows his later technique of a continuous musical flow.
The final phase of competition is the public Grand Finals concert on the Met stage, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy, on Sunday, March 1
Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $20,000 and invaluable exposure in the opera world
Finals concert to be broadcast live on the Met’s website and SiriusXM
Following February 24th’s semi-final competition, nine young singers have advanced to the final round of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2020 National Council Auditions. In the public concert, finalists perform on the Met stage Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m., for an audience of judges, agents, industry leaders, and the general public (in the auditorium and live on the radio). The finalists, chosen by a panel of opera administrators from the Met and other companies, each perform two arias with the Met Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Prize money will increase for the first time in 20 years, with the winners receiving individual cash prizes of $20,000 (previously $15,000), and the prestigious and potentially career-launching title of National Council Auditions Winner. The remaining finalists receive $10,000 (previously $7,500).
The concert will be hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, a 2005 National Council Auditions winner, and will also feature a performance by tenor Javier Camarena, while the judges deliberate.
The concert will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75, and streamed live on the Met’s web site, www.metopera.org.
The 2020 finalists, the regions they represent in the competition, and their hometowns are:
Grammy Award-Winning Choir Performs New York Premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua Featuring Cellist Maya Beiser
On Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Grammy Award-winning new music choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, performs the New York premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaraguawith cutting-edge cellist Maya Beiser, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall as part of its 125 Commissions Project.
Travel Guide to Nicaragua is inspired by Gordon’s hazy memory of his first eight years of life living on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua with his Eastern European parents who had emigrated to the country. In writing this third substantial work for The Crossing, Gordon—one of the founding members of Bang on a Can—also reaches beyond his childhood memories, pondering the world of the Maya and Aztecs and drawing on the words of poet Rube´n Dari´o and Mark Twain, who visited the country in the mid-1860s.
There’s a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.: Conductor Donald Nally and composer Michael Gordon in conversation with John Schaefer, host of WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck. Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
Hailed as “America’s most astonishing choir” (The New York Times) and “ardently angelic,” (The Los Angeles Times), The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 19 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in three years. They have presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, LA Phil, the American Composers Orchestra,Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, the Annenberg Center, Beth Morrison Projects, The Rolling Stones, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and more. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia’s Classical andJazz Public Radio.
The Crossing’s recordings of Robert Convery and Benjamin Boyle’s Voyages (August 2019, Innova) and Kile Smith’s The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona) were both nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance. Lansing McLoskey‘s Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy; The Crossing’s collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), won the 2018 Grammy Award; and Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, all for Best Choral Performance. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org.
Hailed for her “stirring emotional power” by The New York Times, Maya Beiser has been called a “cello rock star” by Rolling Stone, praised as “a force of nature” by The Boston Globe, and dubbed “the queen of Avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post.
Raised on a Kibbutz in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Beiser was discovered at the age of twelve by the late violinist Isaac Stern. Upon graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a rebellious career, passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, expanding her art form and bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music.
Beiser is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kennedy Center, BBC Proms, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Barcelona’s L’auditori, Paris’ Theatre de La Ville, Stockholm’s Concert Hall, and in major venues and festivals across five continents.
Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with are Philip Glass, Louis Andriessen, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Brian Eno, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, Lucinda Childs, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Mark Anthony Turnage, David Lang, Bill Morrison, and Wendy Whelan.
Beiser’s discography includes twelve solo albums, many of them topping the classical music charts. In the summer of 2019, she launched her own record label – Islandia Music records – and released delugEON, a concept album that deconstructs the classical canon. On January 10 2020, she released “Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar” – a reimagination of David Bowie’s last album – topping the Classical Crossover charts and receiving rave reviews. Beiser is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with James Newton Howard.
Maya Beiser is a United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Music and was a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT. Her mainstage TED Talk has been watched by over one million people. (www.mayabeiser.com)
Over the past 30 years, Michael Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio and kaleidoscopic works for groups of identical instruments. Transcending categorization, his music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
This season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players with Roomful of Teeth and Splinter Reeds premiere the concert-length In a Strange Land, the Strings of Autumn festival in Prague feature Gordon as composer-in-residence and perform Timber plus all of Gordon’s string quartets; and the percussion/piano/bass trio Bearthoven premieres a new work.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of VMFA fellowships. Twenty-six students and professional artists were selected from more than 500 applicants to receive a total of $146,000 towards professional advancements in the arts. The VMFA Fellowship Program has awarded more than $5.8 million to over 1,395 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists serve as jurors to select fellowship recipients.
“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is proud to support student and professional artists working across the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director and CEO. “We offer one of the largest fellowship programs of its kind in the United States and recognize this effort as a core part of our mission.”
VMFA awarded ten professional fellowships of $8,000 each this year. Professional fellowship recipients are:
Paul Finch, New & Emerging Media, Richmond;
Emma Gould, Photography, Richmond;
Sterling Hundley, Drawing, Chesterfield;
Sue Johnson, Mixed Media, Richmond;
Abigail Lucien, Sculpture, Richmond;
Margaret Meehan, Sculpture, Richmond;
David Riley, Film/Video, Richmond;
Dash Shaw, Drawing, Richmond;
Jon-Philip Sheridan, New & Emerging Media, Richmond; and
Susan Worsham, Photography, Richmond.
Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, was the juror for the professional fellowship entries.
Undergraduate fellowships of $4,000 went to ten students this year. The recipients are:
Tatyana Bailey, Photography, Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy (VCU), Richmond;
Emma Carlson, Film/Video, VCU, Des Moines, IA;
Nicolas Fernandez, Photography, VCU, Fredericksburg;
“Jitish Kallat: Return to Sender” March 13–June 28, 2020
The Frist Art Museum presents Return to Sender, an exhibition of immersive installations created by the celebrated Indian artist Jitish Kallat. The dramatic works, which engage both mind and body, are inspired by historic messages that reveal the best and worst of humanity. The exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from March 13 through June 28, 2020.
Jitish Kallat is a Mumbai native who produces installations, paintings, photographs, and sculptures that often recall historic acts of speech. Return to Sender brings together two works based on missives: Kallat’s widely exhibited work titled Covering Letter (2012), which was selected for India’s pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), and a new project called Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) (2019). “Kallat’s explorations of the epistolary mode are well suited to our museum as our building is the former main post office of Nashville,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Trinita Kennedy. “From here countless letters have been sent and received.”
Covering Letter is a haunting interactive digital projection of a 1939 typewritten letter from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, sent just a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II. The letter is seen on a curtain of traversable dry-fog in the dark. “Gandhi makes a radical appeal for peace, anticipating the brutal bloodshed that the impending war would unleash,” says Kennedy. In the spirit of his doctrine of universal friendship, Gandhi uses the salutation “Dear Friend…” and urges Hitler to resist “reducing humanity to a savage state.” Visitors walk through the screen of descending mist, simultaneously inhabiting and dissipating the moving text. Kallat describes the letter as “a space for self-reflection; a petition from one of the greatest proponents of peace to one of the most violent individuals who ever lived. It can also be read as an open letter from the past destined to carry its message into our turbulent present, well beyond its delivery date and intended recipient.” Kennedy hopes the work will have special resonance in Nashville. “This exhibition marks the first time that Covering Letter has been exhibited in the American South, a place where Gandhi’s ideas about of nonviolent resistance were a vital part of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) commemorates and reinvokes the Golden Record, sent as time capsules aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes launched by NASA in 1977. For those expeditions, select sounds, music, and images were placed on two gold-plated phonographic records with the intent to represent life on Earth to any extraterrestrial discoverer. Currently located over 13 billion miles away from planet Earth, they are expected to continue their cosmic journey well beyond the probable extinction of our species and our planet.
Upon entering this installation, visitors will hear a chorus of humanity greeting the universe in 55 languages. There is a projection of a map indicating Earth’s position in our solar system and a large round table with over a hundred images printed on parallax lenses, which are illuminated by lights that pulsate at the rate of human breath. The images, drawn from the Golden Record, include scientific and cosmological diagrams, representations of our genetic makeup and anatomy, as well as other life forms, and architecture, often annotated with measurements. “This is an epic presentation of Earth to an unknown other,” says Kennedy. At a time when we find ourselves in a deeply divided world, Kallat foregrounds these sounds and images for a collective meditation on ourselves as united residents of a single planet.
In Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) there is also a bench shaped like the hands of the Doomsday Clock. This symbolic clock, updated annually by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, represents a hypothetical human-made global catastrophe as midnight, and the proximity of the world to apocalypse as a number of minutes or seconds to twelve. “The Golden Record’s presentation of unity and harmony among earthlings is belied by the actual state of the world,” says Kennedy. “The reality is that our planet hangs in the balance through circumstances of our own making, and the clock bench is an ominous metaphor that differs from the euphoria and optimism associated with the midnight on occasions such as New Year’s Eve.” Woven into the hour are humankind’s worst fears and greatest hopes.
This exhibition marks the first time that Kallat’s two Covering Letter installations will be shown together. Exhibited in darkened galleries and open ended in meaning, they are intended to provoke contemplations of our world and the universe.
Born in India in 1974, Kallat has exhibited his work widely across the world in contexts such as galleries, museums, and biennials. In 2017, the National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi) presented a mid-career retrospective of his work titled Here After Here, 1992–2017, curated by Catherine David. Kallat has had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other museums.
He has exhibited widely, at Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Serpentine Galleries (London), Tate Modern (London), the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (Spain), and other institutions. His work has been part of the Asian Art Biennial, the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Curitiba Biennial, the Gwangju Biennale, the Havana Biennial, the Kyiv Biennial, and the Venice Biennale, among others. Kallat also served as the curator and artistic director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s second edition, in 2014.
Thursday, March 12
Artist’s Perspective: Jitish Kallat
6:30 p.m., Frist Art Museum Auditorium
Free; first come, first seated
Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat will share a cross section of his work, exploring the many processes, themes, and ideas that recur throughout his wide-ranging artistic practice. Kallat’s works often engage with the ideas of time, transience, sustenance, the ecological, and the cosmological. These explorations take the form of investigative animation videos, photo-works, paintings, sculptures, and elemental drawings that participate in atmospheric phenomena such as wind and rain. In works such as Covering Letter (2012), which will be on view at the Frist, a historic moment is invoked, prompting a contemplation on our present by mediating it through the past. This artist-talk may unfold into a dialogue, as a Q&A session will follow Kallat’s lecture.
The Exhibition Features Quilts And Wall Hangings By The Artist That Showcase Her Expressive And Narrative Approach To Quiltmaking.
A new exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum presents colorful quilts and wall hangings made by artist Pauline Parker (1915-2013), who used fabric and stitching as a platform for storytelling.
Opening March 20, 2020, The Quilts of Pauline Parker features more than thirty objects that showcase her expressive approach to quiltmaking, illustrating how Parker transformed a traditionally domestic craft into one that highlighted current events, historical and Biblical figures, and her own travels and experiences.
“Parker’s works are a wonderful result of her training as a painter, her exquisite eye for pattern, and her ability to create beautifully cohesive compositions from disparate parts,” said Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art. “The Milwaukee Art Museum has a long and rich history of presenting quilt exhibitions, dating back to the 1930s, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by presenting the work of this talented artist.”
Parker studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but her work in fabric began in Wisconsin, where she moved upon retirement. She initially worked with traditional patterns and used techniques she had learned from her mother and aunts, before expanding her subject matter, stitching more freely and exploring a less traditional approach to quiltmaking.
Many of Parker’s narrative quilts, or “fabric collages” as she termed them, resemble paintings in their construction, use of perspective and three-dimensionality. Each quilt was inspired by a personal experience, a poem or a misprinted piece of fabric, which could often lay the groundwork for a story. The artist layered fabrics and materials, including netting, buttons and shells, to build her compositions. Parker made the more than thirty fabric collages featured in the exhibition between the late 1980s and early 2000s.
The Quilts of Pauline Parker runs from March 20 through July 19, 2020, in the Bradley Family Gallery, and is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art.
The McCombe and Pfeifer Families and the Gottlob Armbrust Family Fund in Memory of Helen Louise Pfeifer is the Presenting Sponsor of this exhibition. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Garden Club is the Contributing Sponsor.
Exhibitions are made possible by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Visionaries: Debbie and Mark Attanasio, Donna and Donald Baumgartner, John and Murph Burke, Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, Joel and Caran Quadracci, Sue and Bud Selig and Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation.
Tues, 1:30 p.m.
March 24, April 28, May 12
With Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art
Free with Museum admission, free for Members
Gallery Talk with Special Guest
Thurs, March 19, 6:15 p.m.
Discover the stories behind the works in the exhibition during this in-gallery conversation with the artist’s daughter, Margaret Parker, and Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art.
Sun, 1-4 p.m.
March 22, March 29, April 5
Bring your sewing project to the East End to sew and socialize with (and get tips from!) the guest artist. Museum admission is not required.
Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin to lead orchestra with stops in London, Paris, and Baden-Baden
The Metropolitan Opera today announces that the Met Orchestra will tour Europe in the summer of 2021, immediately following its annual residency at Carnegie Hall. With all performances conducted by the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the tour includes stops at the Barbican Centre in London on June 29, 2021; the Philharmonie in Paris on June 30 and July 1, 2021; and the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany, on July 3 and 4, 2021. Four of the world’s leading opera stars join the Met Orchestra: mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who will sing selections from Berlioz’sLes Troyens, and soprano Christine Goerke, tenor Brandon Jovanovich, and bass Günther Groissböck, who will perform the first act of Wagner’s Die Walküre.
The Met Orchestra last toured in 2002, when it performed in Salzburg, Austria; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden, Germany.
The tour also features performances of American composer Missy Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres). Nézet-Séguin and the Met Orchestra will perform Mazzoli’s chamber opera Breaking the Waves at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the summer of 2020, and Mazzoli has been commissioned to compose an opera for a future season at the Met. The complete itinerary and programming for the tour is below.
“These concerts will show off the Met Orchestra at full capacity under Yannick,” said Met General Manager Peter Gelb, “demonstrating their dual strengths in symphonic and operatic repertoire.”
“This is a major milestone in the Met’s recent history. I am very grateful for the music we make all season long at the Met, and I cannot wait to have European audiences experience the Met Orchestra’s brilliant artistry in person. And what better way to celebrate their excellence than to bring along dear friends Joyce, Christine, Brandon, and Günther as collaborators?” said Nézet-Séguin. “I am proud that the Met is continuing to reach audiences beyond Lincoln Center. This European tour is the perfect capstone to the coming season.”
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra 2021 European Tour
Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.
Barbican Centre, London
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Berlioz: Les Troyens, “Chers Tyriens,” featuring Joyce DiDonato
Berlioz: Les Troyens, Royal Hunt and Storm
Berlioz: Les Troyens, “Adieu, fière cite,” featuring Joyce DiDonato
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 8:30 p.m.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
R. Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20
Missy Mazzoli: Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)
Wagner: Die Walküre, Act I, featuring Christine Goerke, Brandon Jovanovich, and Günther Groissböck
Thursday, July 1, 2021, at 8:30 p.m.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Berlioz: Les Troyens, “Chers Tyriens,” featuring Joyce DiDonato
Berlioz: Les Troyens, Royal Hunt and Storm
Berlioz: Les Troyens, “Adieu, fière cite,” featuring Joyce DiDonato
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Saturday, July 3, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Berlioz: Les Troyens, “Chers Tyriens,” featuring Joyce DiDonato
Berlioz: Les Troyens, Royal Hunt and Storm
Berlioz: Les Troyens, “Adieu, fière cite,” featuring Joyce DiDonato
Artistic Director Harry Christophers Will Celebrate Final Season With a Powerful Line-up of Favorites, Major Choral Works
The Handel and Haydn Societywill celebrate Artistic Director Harry Christophers’s 12th and final season with nine major subscription concerts at Symphony Hall and the New England’s Conservatory’s Jordan Hall and select other venues. The 2020-21 season, the 206th in the organization’s history, will feature a host of Christophers’s favorite compositions and a powerful line-up of major choral works featuring the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, Chorus and notable guest artists.
Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 205 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues.
The season will feature guest conductors Harry Bicket, Jonathan Cohen, Laurence Equilbey, Raphaël Pichon, and Václav Luks. Special guest soloists will include sopranos Amanda Majeski, Amanda Forsythe, Carolyn Sampson, and Mary Bevan; mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers; tenors Nicholas Phan, James Way, Jeremy Budd, and Robert Murray; baritones Ryan McKinny, Tyler Duncan, and Sumner Thompson; countertenors Anthony Roth Costanzo, Iestyn Davies; and bass-baritones Henry Waddington and Matthew Brook.
The Handel and Haydn Society brings Classical and Baroque music to life on period instruments in historically informed performances. For the 2020-21 season, Harry Christophers has selected a series of acclaimed choral and orchestral works, rarely performed in one season. The selected compositions will highlight the immense talent of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus. Christophers will conduct Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt; and Haydn’s The Creation, Drum Roll symphony, and Theresienmesse.
Christophers was appointed Artistic Director at H+H in 2009, the thirteenth artistic director in the organization’s history. During his tenure, the organization has been transformed. H+H has grown to be regarded as one of the finest Baroque and Classical ensembles in the nation. Christophers led the organization through its 2015 Bicentennial. He has hired more than 60% of the current roster of musicians, whom he has led in 13 commercial recordings, the most of any H+H artistic director. There has been an increase in touring, sharing the H+H magic with audiences at Tanglewood and in New York City. During his tenure, subscription sales have risen more than 70%, and philanthropic support has risen significantly, including an increase in the endowment from $3 million to $11 million.
“Since his initial appointment, Harry Christophers has been the accomplished artistic beacon of the Handel and Haydn Society. Under his leadership, we’ve expanded, taking the Orchestra and Chorus to new heights and delivering one exceptional performance after another,” said David Snead, president and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “In the upcoming season, we’ll celebrate his legacy, showcasing the compositions he loves best and shining a spotlight on the H+H Chorus. It will be a monumental season, not to be missed.”
The 2020-21 Season
The Handel and Haydn Society’s 2020-21 season begins on September 25 and 27, 2020 at Boston’s Symphony Hall with Brahms A German Requiem. Led by conductor Harry Bicket, the performance will open with the H+H premiere of Abendfeier in Venedit, Op. 19 from Clara Schumann, a close friend of Brahms and regarded as one of the most distinguished pianists and composers of the Romantic era. This composition, for an a capella chorus, will be followed by Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, featuring soprano Amanda Majeski, baritone Ryan McKinny and the H+H Orchestra and Chorus.
The season continues with Bach + Vivaldi Gloria on October 23 and 25, 2020, at Symphony Hall. Conductor Jonathan Cohen will lead the H+H Orchestra in a rousing performance of J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 1, BWV 1066 followed by C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat, featuring festive trumpets and drums, and Vivaldi’s sunny Gloria, RV 589. Soprano Amanda Forsythe, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, tenor Nicholas Phan, and baritone Tyler Duncan will join the H+H Orchestra and Chorus for the concert.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) held the opening of MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), Boston’s newest, free contemporary art museum this past weekend. MAAM will offer an accessible contemporary art experience for all, partnering with emerging and established artists to bring diverse perspectives to Boston. As a teaching museum, MAAM will educate MassArt students about the professional museum field and bring inspirational and aspirational exhibitions to campus.
After extensive renovations, MAAM opened in the space formerly known as the Bakalar & Paine Galleries at the heart of MassArt‘s campus on the Avenue of the Arts. MAAM will be a kunsthalle, or non-collecting museum, showing temporary exhibitions that feature the work of emerging and established artists to bring fresh, diverse perspectives to Boston. As MassArt’s teaching museum, MAAM will be a resource for MassArt students and faculty, educating students about contemporary art, partnering with faculty to support the curriculum, and preparing students for careers in the museum field. As an extension of the College’s public mission, the Museum will also be a vital resource to the community, offering a pathway to education in the arts and free, unique educational programming to Boston-area public schools and community groups. Always free, MAAM will be open year-round to the public. (To learn more visit maam.massart.edu.)
MAAM’s inaugural exhibitions will feature the U.S. solo premiere of internationally-renowned artist Joana Vasconceles; a group exhibition titled Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art; and a site-specific installation by artist duo Ghost of a Dream.
Joana Vasconcelos: Valkyrie Mumbet (On View: February 22 – August 2, 2020)
To mark the grand opening of MAAM, Vasconcelos’ new Valkyrie commission, Valkyrie Mumbet, honors a courageous American – Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman – the first woman of African descent to sue for her freedom in Massachusetts and win, starting the chain of events that helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts. The work is tailored to fit exclusively in the MAAM space, highlighting the myriad possibilities of the new gallery’s 37 foot high ceiling and 40 foot wide second level art viewing balcony. These distinctive architectural attributes will allow visitors to see the work from different vantage points – beneath the sculpture from the gallery floor, and from over 20 feet high from the balcony.
Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art (On View: February 22 – April 19, 2020)
The Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art exhibition features works by a group of artists (Paloma Dawkins, Cao Fei, Tracey Fullerton, Dan Hernandez, Nyamakop, MassArt professor Juan Obando, Momo Pixel, Skawennati and Brent Watanabe) who are creating at the confluence of contemporary art and video games.
From 1994-2010, the Walker Art Center presented an annual month-long screening series featuring women directors, starting with a touring program “Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC): Homegirls”, which blossomed into the Walker’s very own “Women With Vision” (WWV) festival. This March, the Walker Art Center will celebrate the legacy and influence of these groundbreaking programs that both launched and inspired so many women directors from our region.
Celebrate the legacy and influence of the Walker’s Women with Vision programs, which supported female filmmakers and sought to bring their experiences and perspectives to the forefront. Celebrated international directors screened side by side with local artists at all stages of their careers. Two past participants, Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe, guest curate and pay tribute to this era of film programming, largely helmed by Senior Curator Sheryl Mousley.
“My indie filmmaking career kicked off in 2002 when Sheryl Mousley selected my first indie doc Married at the Mall to screen at the Walker in the Women with Vision program. I was so honored, and I know there are so many other women in our region who came up through this program just like me. Finding those filmmakers and having a reunion as well as celebrating the up-and-coming women filmmakers of today are reasons why I wanted to guest curate this program with Kelly Nathe. We both had life-changing experiences by screening films at the Walker, and we wanted to find out what happened to the others. And with the Academy Awards leaving women off the best director list again, we thought now would be a good time to do this.” —Melody Gilbert
The four-day program includes shorts screenings, on-stage conversations, introductions of new films by emerging local directors and a celebratory reception.
“I have always believed that filmmaking is women’s work. When I came to the Walker in 1998, I took on the annual film program that had started in 1994 called “Women in the Director’s Chair” which had a local sidebar called “Homegirls.” I turned the program into Walker’s “Women With Vision” film festival, always keeping the local filmmakers at the center,” states Sheryl Mousley, Senior Curator, Moving Image. “After my eleven years with the festival, and only when a woman, Katherine Bigelow, in 2010 finally won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director, did I hear the shout, “We’ve won!” While ending the series on a high note, I vowed to continue showing women filmmakers at Walker throughout all our programs. I am proud to say that 25% of the Walker Dialogues are women, and the year-round cinema program continues to give voice to local filmmakers and celebrate the legacy and influence of women in international cinema. I am proud of all the Minnesota filmmakers who have shown their films at Walker. It is a wonderful history and confirmation of home-based talent.”
“My very first short film, Rock-n-Roll Girlfriend, screened in the WIDC: Homegirls program back in 1995 when I was still a student, and I can’t begin to explain how much my inclusion in the program meant to me back then. It remains a badge of honor to this day! I’ve always wondered what happened to all the women who started here. Where did they end up and how did the Walker program that focused on women directors shape their careers? Melody Gilbert and I were co-chairs of Film Fatales in Minnesota, an international organization of women and non-binary directors of feature films, and we both pondered that question and decided to go on a journey together to find these women as well as celebrate the emerging filmmakers in our region.” adds Kelly Nathe
Enjoy a sampling of recent works directed by MN women and selected by Film Fatales, a national organization of women and non-binary filmmakers advocating for intersectional parity in the film industry. The evening’s screening is followed by an onstage conversation led by Film Fatales about making the leap to feature filmmaking in our region.
Film Fatales Twin Cities Reel, 10 min
Santuario, Christine Delp & Pilar Timpane, 3 min. (excerpt)
A Winter Love, Rhiana Yazzie, 4 min. (excerpt)
Master Servant, Julie Anne Koehnen, 3 min. (excerpt)
North Side Boxing Club, Carrie Bush and Amanda Becker, 3 min.
Peeled, Naomi Ko, 2 min.
Muslim Sheroes of MN: Nimo Omar, Ariel Tilson, 4 min. (excerpt)
The Coyote Way, Missy Whiteman, 4 min. (trailer)
Oh My Stars, Cynthia Uhrich, 3 min. (excerpt)
Happily Married After, Alison Guessou, 3 min. (excerpt)
Little Men, Ayesha Adu, 3 min. (excerpt)
Untitled Hmong Doc, Joua Lee Grande, 3 min. (excerpt)
The Frist Art Museum presents Mel Ziegler: Flag Exchange, an installation of fifty American flags—one from each state—suspended row after row from the ceiling. The exhibition invites consideration of the American flag as a symbol of national identity and ideals, and it will be on view in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from March 13 through June 28, 2020.
Mel Ziegler (b. 1956), the Paul E. Shwab Chair of Fine Arts Professor at Vanderbilt University, is renowned as a social and community engagement artist whose work seeks to foster discourse and the sharing of ideas relating to history, politics, and society. He divides his time between Nashville and rural Nebraska, where he is the founder and executive director of the Sandhills Institute, a grassroots organization dedicated to civically engaged art, in part by connecting local ranchers and farmers with artists around the world.
During his travels across the United States, Ziegler frequently saw the American flag on display in front of schools, homes, small businesses, construction sites, or simply alongside the road. Many were in poor condition—often ragged, faded, or torn. “Mel was intrigued that these expressions of national pride were kept on view by people who either couldn’t afford to replace them or in many cases hadn’t noticed or cared whether theirs had gotten shabby,” says Frist Art Museum Chief Curator Mark Scala. “And he wondered if their owners might be willing to trade theirs for a fresh new flag.”
So, from 2011 to 2016, in what Ziegler calls “inquisitive travels,” he visited all fifty states, with a supply of American flags, and offered to replace old flags with new ones, renewing people’s outdoor displays while acquiring the materials for the exhibition.
“Flag Exchange is simultaneously a physical installation, an expression of an idea, and a site for performance,” says Scala. “The flags themselves symbolize a nation that has survived tumult and stress.” Displayed in the gallery, the rows of flags create a dense spatial layering. “The effect is optically powerful, as the inherent beauty of the flags’ patterns is intensified through repetition and the irregularity of the damaged cloth,” says Scala.
Flag Exchange has been installed in large spaces, often surrounding or hanging behind a stage or podium. At the Frist, a stage will be part of the installation and may be used for speeches, readings, musical performances, and discussions about the relationship between people and their ideas of democracy. The overall experience is one in which the civic realm is re-imagined in an atmosphere committed to the respectful exchange of viewpoints.
The symbolism of frayed and worn flags in Flag Exchange raises questions about the capacity of the American experiment to be sustained through national triumphs and shortcomings, including our own time of extreme political divisiveness. Ziegler writes that when he started acquiring the flags, “I could have never known what the political climate in the United States might be like today. It seems rather significant and pertinent that this project should help develop open, unpartisan dialogue at a moment when it seems to be needed most.”
Throughout the process of gathering and showing the flags, Ziegler was careful to follow the dictates of the U.S. Flag Code regarding their proper handling and display. In thus demonstrating that respect for the flag should rise above partisanship, he hopes to inspire viewers to find common ground in the vision of indivisibility for which the flag stands.
“In the end, it is the act of collecting the flags—the openness and vulnerability of an artist who is keenly interested in interacting with people in all corners of the country—that will inspire the trust and enthusiasm of all participants as they work to find common ground in the meaning of the flag and the promise of the nation,” says Scala.
The House of Representatives voted Tuesday, Feb. 11, to pass H.R. 1980. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), calls for the creation of a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum and includes cost-sharing language that is consistent with that used for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture—a 50/50 split of federal and private funds for the development and construction of a new museum. The bill must now pass through the Senate and then be signed by the President.
“With full support from Congress, the Smithsonian has proven adept at creating museums that paint a more comprehensive picture of the American experience,” said Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “We remain committed to that goal, and we look forward to working with Congress and supporters nationwide to illuminate the profound impact women have had on the American story.”
The Smithsonian is committed to recognizing and celebrating the stories of all Americans. If the legislation is enacted into law, the Smithsonian will use its resources and expertise to create a world-class museum dedicated to telling the stories of women’s contributions throughout American history.
In the meantime, the Smithsonian has used funds appropriated by Congress ($4 million) and privately raised funds to begin a robust program of exhibitions, public programs and research focusing on women’s contributions to American history. In 2018, the Smithsonian officially launched the American Women’s History Initiative—“Because of Her Story”—to document, research, collect and exhibit the stories of women who have helped shape America. To date the initiative has:
Raised nearly $10 million toward the development of exhibitions, programs, educational material and digital content across the Smithsonian
Hired four curators dedicated to women’s history, with five more curatorial positions pending
Mentored 13 paid interns through the Because of Her Story Internship Program
Published Smithsonian American Women, a book that offers a unique, panoramic look at women’s history through objects from the Smithsonian’s collections
The High Museum of Art today announced the appointment of Monica Obniski as its curator of decorative arts and design. Obniski currently serves as the Demmer curator of 20th- and 21st-century design at the Milwaukee Art Museum. She will join the High on March 16, 2020.
Obniski will oversee the decorative arts and design department, including related exhibitions and programs, as well as its collection of more than 2,300 objects dating from the 17th century to the present. These holdings include significant international contemporary design with works by Joris Laarman Lab, Jaime Hayon, Ron Arad and nendo, as well as the renowned Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection – the most comprehensive survey of 19th- and early 20th-century American decorative arts in the southeastern United States. Other significant works are represented in the Frances and Emory Cocke Collection of English ceramics, the Marjorie Eichenlaub West Collection of Meissen ceramics and the Museum’s extensive holdings of historical decorative arts from the southeastern United States. Obniski also will lead the High’s Piazza activations, a multiyear initiative that launched in 2014 to animate the Museum’s outdoor space with site-specific commissions that engage visitors of all ages in participatory art experiences.
“Monica is a forward-thinking curator with a proven track record of achievement organizing compelling exhibitions, creating new scholarship and building strong collections,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High. “These accomplishments, combined with her commitment to expanding the field and engaging diverse audiences, make her perfectly positioned to lead the continued growth of our decorative arts and design department.”
Added Kevin Tucker, the High’s chief curator, “We look forward to Monica joining the High’s team, knowing her efforts will enrich a program of true international significance and resonance with our region and communities. Considering the varied strengths of the Museum’s curatorial program, her collaborative nature, diverse expertise and interest in forging connections—including that between historical and contemporary design—makes her an exemplary choice for the position.”
Obniski earned a doctorate in art history, with specialization in architecture and design, from the University of Illinois at Chicago; a Master of Arts in history of decorative arts and design from the Bard Graduate Center; and a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago.
Beginning her career in the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Obniski then served in the American art department at the Art Institute of Chicago from 2007 to 2014, including four years as assistant curator of American decorative arts. There she collaborated on special exhibitions including “Art and Appetite” (2013) and “Apostles of Beauty” (2009), completed several gallery installations and continued to build the collection.
Obniski joined the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2015, where she oversees an expanding collection of historical and contemporary design and manages an active exhibition program, including “Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980,” organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which begins its international tour this year. Other notable exhibition projects include “Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America” (2018) with the Denver Art Museum and “Jaime Hayon: Technicolor” (2017-18), which originated at the High. She reinstalled the Milwaukee Art Museum’s modern and contemporary design galleries for its November 2015 reopening, with a presentation geared toward audience engagement through traditional methods and new technologies. She also stewarded important acquisitions to build the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection.
Semifinalists move on to a closed competition on Monday, February 24 for the chance to advance to the Grand Finals
Finalists will then compete at the public Grand Finals Concert on the Met stage, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and conductor Bertrand de Billy, on Sunday, March 1
Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $15,000 and invaluable exposure in the opera world
The 23 young opera singers who have won regional auditions around the United States will compete in the semifinal round of the country’s leading vocal competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, on Monday, February 24. The closed semifinal competition, held on the Met stage before a panel of judges, will determine the select group of finalists who will advance to the final round of the competition—the Grand Finals, which is open to the public and will be held on the Met stage on Sunday, March 1.
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, now in their 66th season, are a potentially career-making opportunity for aspiring opera singers, given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the program’s long tradition.
The Met National Council Auditions have been crucial in introducing many of today’s best-known stars, such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Thomas Hampson, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Eric Owens, Angela Meade, Susanna Phillips, Michael Fabiano, Latonia Moore, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nadine Sierra, Jamie Barton, and Ryan Speedo Green. The competition gained international notoriety with the release of the 2008 feature-length documentary The Audition, directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, which chronicled the 2007 National Council Auditions season and Grand Finals Concert.
This year’s semifinalists were chosen from more than 1,000 singers who participated in auditions held in 40 districts throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and who then competed in the 12 regional finals. These auditions are sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council and administered by National Council members and hundreds of volunteers from across the country.
The semifinalists, ranging in age from 23 to 30, arrive at the Met on Saturday, February 22 to rehearse for the semifinals competition on Monday, February 24. The finalists of this event will then go on to sing in the Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m., hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, who was a Grand Finals winner in the 2005 competition.
The 2020 semifinalists include ten sopranos, four mezzo-sopranos, one countertenor, three tenors, two baritones, two bass-baritones, and one bass.
The ten soprano semifinalists, along with the regions they represent in the competition and their hometowns, are:
Erika Baikoff (Upper Midwest Region: New York, New York);
Claire de Monteil (Middle Atlantic Region: Paris, France);
Cara Gabrielson (Northwest Region: Portland, Oregon);
Courtney Johnson (Eastern Region: Chesapeake, Virginia);
Chasiti Lashay (Western Region: Houston, Texas);
Jana McIntyre (Midwest Region: Santa Barbara, California);
Whitney Morrison (New England Region: Chicago, Illinois);
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has named Benjamin Filene as its new associate director of curatorial affairs as the museum engages in a strategic-planning process focused on public history and an audience-centered approach. Filene began his appointment Feb. 3.
The museum embarked on a strategic-planning process in November 2019 to shape how it will present history and engage with diverse audiences into 2030. The plan will be designed to guide the museum through one of the country’s most significant anniversaries – the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. With the vision of becoming the most accessible, inclusive, relevant and sustainable history institution in the nation, the museum is reaching out to the public with a bilingual (English/Spanish) national public survey asking for input.
Filene joins the museum from the North Carolina Museum of History, where he served as the chief curator, responsible for shaping the museum’s exhibition program and collections development. Before that, he was the director of public history and a professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he initiated projects that brought together students and community partners to collaborate on projects designed to engage the public with historical issues that had contemporary resonance. He served as the senior exhibition developer at the Minnesota History Center, one of the nation’s largest state history museums. Filene gained a global perspective from Fulbright Fellowship work with the Helsinki City Museum and the University of Helsinki, which further developed his goals to re-envision national museums to foster collective identity.
“A committed public historian, Benjamin Filene has devoted three decades to the museum field as a leading scholar, curator, exhibition developer and a professor and mentor to many,” said Anthea M. Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the museum. “He is a true believer in museums, committed to ensuring that audiences see themselves reflected in history.”
This year the Frist Art Museum is expanding two of its public program series to enhance the visitor experience and increase learning opportunities for guests of all ages and backgrounds. The changes to Art After Dark and ARTlab are effective immediately and will continue to evolve over the course of the year.
Art After Dark is a grouping of fun and educational offerings that takes place on the third Thursday of every month* from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests are invited to combine their viewing of current exhibitions with participation in gallery programs and activities such as Drop-In Drawing, as well as access to live music, food trucks, and cash bars. The evenings are free to members; regular admission is required for not-yet-members.
“Art After Dark evenings provide a chance to enrich your visit and meet fellow art lovers,” says Frist Art Museum educator for interpretation Meagan Rust. “Every month, the programs will change and offer something new for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to exploring creative connections in the Middle Tennessee community and helping visitors engage with the exhibitions in new ways.”
Gallery talks will now be regular components of Art After Dark. Discussions will be led by Frist educators and special guests who will offer different interpretations of and perspectives on works on view and foster dialogues with visitors.
In Drop-In Drawing sessions, visitors are encouraged to study the works in the galleries or the architecture of the building as they practice with materials provided by the Frist. All skill levels are welcome, and Frist educators and volunteers are available to supply hands-on technical guidance.
On most Art After Dark Thursdays, there will be food trucks in the Turner Courtyard, and cash bars in the café and the lobby. Guests can enjoy a meal while listening to some of Nashville’s best and brightest performers from the worlds of jazz, soul, blues, Latin, country, folk, bluegrass, and classical music.
ARTlabs are hands-on studio sessions designed to offer a creative outlet for teens, adults, and participants of all ages. Visitors are encouraged to drop in to explore themes of current exhibitions and experiment with techniques in the company of professional artists. ARTlabs will be offered on various days throughout the year at the Frist, on select Art After Dark evenings, and at community events.
Upcoming Art After Dark and ARTLab Dates
Thursday, February 20
Teen ARTlab: Illustration and tattoo art with Elisheba Israel Mrozik
(for ages 13–19).
Free; registration not required; materials provided
In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York highlights the stories and artistry of Native women. The schedule of programs in March will feature scholarly talks about artworks by women, and a film that touches upon the many layers of identity navigated by Indigenous women.
Marking Space: Abstraction and Place will take place Thursday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. This talk, presented by museum curator Rebecca Head Trautmann, considers the significance of landscape, place and narrative in the abstract paintings of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish/Cree/Shoshone, b. 1940), Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, b. 1935) and Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo, b. 1956).
On Thursday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m., Patricia Marroquin-Norby, the New York museum’s senior executive, will present20th Century Art and Environmental Conflicts. Highlighting the art of Tonita Peña (San Ildefonso/Cochiti Pueblo, 1893–1949) and Helen Hardin (Santa Clara Pueblo, 1943–1984), this scholarly talk examines connections between Pueblo watercolor paintings and environmental conflicts in 20th-century northern New Mexico.
On Saturday, March 7, the museum will screen The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019, Canada/Norway, 105 min.) from 2–5 p.m. Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/ Sámi) and Kathleen Hepburn, the film tells the story of two Indigenous women living very different lives who are briefly brought together on the streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, by desperate circumstances. The story of their encounter explores the complexities of motherhood, class, race and the ongoing legacy of colonialism. A discussion with actress Violet Nelson will follow the screening.
Panel Discussion and Workshop
The museum will host the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience for two days of programing that explore how to remember, acknowledge and contemplate the presence of Haudenosaunee women in the landscape of western New York. On Thursday, March 12, the museum will host a panel discussion at 6 p.m. titled “Rethinking the Landscape: Haudenosaunee Women.” On Friday, March 13, a daylong workshop is offered to staff and volunteers from museums and historical sites, university students and faculty, and other interested parties. More information about the workshop is available at their Eventbrite page.
Both events feature Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora Nation), director of the American Indian and Indigenous Program at Cornell University; Michelle Schenandoah (Oneida Nation), founder and CEO of Rematriationmagazine; and architect Julia Watson. The events will be facilitated by Linda Norris, global networks programs director at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum’s George Gustav Heye Center is located at One Bowling Green in New York City. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu. (Follow the museum via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.)