Public Art Installation By Derek Fordjour Debuts This Fall at The Whitney

Half Mast, a new work by Derek Fordjour (b. 1974, Memphis, TN) will be the eighth work in the ongoing series of public art installations on the façade of 95 Horatio Street, located directly across from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the High Line. The installation marks the artist’s first museum solo exhibition.

Derek Fordjour (b. 1974), Half Mast, 2018. Collection of the artist; courtesy Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Derek Fordjour (b. 1974), Half Mast, 2018. Collection of the artist; courtesy Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Half Mast is organized by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art. The series has featured works by Alex Katz (2014), Michele Abeles (2015), Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2015–2016), Torbjørn Rødland (2016-2017), Puppies Puppies (2017), Do Ho Suh (2017-18), and Christine Sun Kim (2018).

Fordjour works primarily in the realm of portrait painting to create vibrant scenes that subtly address subjects of systemic inequality, race, and aspiration, particularly in the context of American identity. Half Mast, a 2018 painting reproduced as a 17 x 29-foot vinyl print, will be unveiled this fall on the southwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets.

Half Mast considers the recent national conversation around gun violence, speaking in particular to the surge of school shootings and to the everyday atrocities impacting Black and Brown communities in the United States. The piece offers a portrait of this complex moment in U.S. history by presenting many figures that are part of this conversation in one compressed, shared space. Seen in the crowd are law enforcement officials and civilians, including students, as well as absent figures, bodies marked with targets, and teddy bears and balloons reminiscent of street-side memorials.

Printed brightly in Fordjour’s signature graphic style, Half Mast retains a disquietingly buoyant quality while reflecting on loss and the abuse of power. In Half Mast and other work, the artist draws on the language of games, sports, and the carnivalesque, layering the canvas with humble materials—such as newspaper, oil pastels, and charcoal. His palette and use of pattern allude to Americana and Pop Art as well as the visual culture of his Ghanaian heritage.

The work speaks to the sense of unease and gross neglect that colors much of contemporary life in the United States and serves as a public acknowledgment of loss. Yet the meaning of Derek’s image can also flip. Half Mast alludes to possibilities of a civic movement or celebration and is a reminder of the power of individuals to resist and shape their everyday conditions,” says Allie Tepper, the curatorial project assistant organizing the installation.

Fordjour’s practice frequently engages with the use of public space, and Half Mast is one of two current commissions of major public work. The artist is also the recipient of a 2018 MTA Commission for a permanent installation at the 145th Street subway station in Harlem.

Derek Fordjour has exhibited in numerous venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Sugarhill Children’s Museum, and the Taubman Museum. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Harvard University and an MFA in Painting at Hunter College. He currently serves as a Core Critic at the Yale University School of Art. Fordjour is the recipient of a 2018 MTA Commission for the entire 145th Street subway station in Harlem. He was awarded a 2018 Deutsche Bank NYFA Fellowship and was a 2017-18 artist-in-residence at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York. He will present a solo exhibition at Night Gallery in Los Angeles in winter 2019.

Derek Fordjour: Half Mast is part of Outside the Box programming, which is supported by a generous endowment from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation.

Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present Celebrated Film Trilogy and New Performance by Artist Yael Bartana

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will premiere Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!, a new site-specific public performance by acclaimed Israeli-born artist Yael Bartana. Scheduled to take place on September 22, 2018 (through to January 1, 2019) at the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, this performance will be presented as part of a solo exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the artist’s provocative film trilogy, And Europe Will Be Stunned (2007-2011). Marking its Philadelphia debut, this trilogy will be an immersive installation in the Joan Spain Gallery of the Museum’s Perelman Building.

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Portrait of Yael Bartana. Photo by Birgit Kaulfuss. Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Born in 1970 in Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, Yael Bartana lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. In her films, installations, and photographs, Bartana investigates the ideas of homeland, return, and belonging, often in ceremonies, memorials, public rituals, and actions that are intended to reaffirm and question collective identities and ideas of the nation or the state.

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Image from “Zamach (Assassination),” 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Taking the complex history of Jewish-Polish identity as its point of departure, And Europe Will Be Stunned addresses the themes of nationhood, memory, and belonging that are integral to Bartana’s work. It first debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2011, where Bartana represented Poland. Shortly thereafter, the trilogy was jointly acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Employing a visual vocabulary reminiscent of Stalinist and Zionist propaganda of the early 20th century, And Europe Will be Stunned chronicles the radical program of a fictional political movement called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP). Created by Bartana, together with Polish activist Sławomir Sierakowski, the JRMiP advocates for the return of over three million Jews to their forgotten Polish homeland. Informed by the histories of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the Palestinian right of return, the trilogy uses the real and the imagined to speak to global complexities about identity and self-determination in an increasingly unstable world.

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Still from “Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower),” 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Beyond the walls of the Philadelphia Museum, Bartana will realize Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! as a means of extending the themes of the artist’s trilogy into the birthplace of American democracy – Philadelphia. Bartana’s performance is a call to action, aiming to make visible the systems of violence and displacement that have been perpetuated through weapons, both literal and symbolic. As the title suggests, the performance will bury these weapons, rendering them useless, as they are incorporated into a choreographed funeral—a living monument—that will include a staged procession and a collective eulogy about war and survival. The movements of the performers are inspired by those of Israeli artist and dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), specifically evoking Eshkol’s 1953 memorial assembly performed in remembrance to the Holocaust. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bartana’s new performance will deepen the artist’s investigations into the construction of memory and the aesthetics of national identity.

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Still from “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

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Creepy Crawlers Alive!

Annenberg Space for Photography Showcases Creepy, Crawly, Fluffy, Fierce, Mini, Mammoth, Wild and Weird Animals in the National Geographic Photo Ark Exhibit Opening October 2018

Exhibition Features Photographer Joel Sartore’s Work to Document Every Animal Species Under Human Care

The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles’ premier destination for photography, announced its next exhibition opening in Fall 2018. The National Geographic Photo Ark—a vibrantly photographed, animal-centric show—will run from Oct. 13, 2018, through Jan. 13, 2019.

The Photo Ark is National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore‘s ambitious project to shoot studio-quality portraits of every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, including mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians, and even insects. His goal is to inspire people not only to care but also to help protect animals from extinction before it’s too late.

National Geographic Spingbok Mantis

A springbok mantis (Miomantis caffra) at the Auckland Zoo, Auckland, New Zealand © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark

This traveling exhibition at Annenberg Space for Photography marks the first time these extraordinary images will be shown in a space dedicated solely to the art of photography. Highlighting hundreds of species with Sartore’s stunning, large-format prints, visitors will come eye-to-eye with a selection of the more than 8,000 species Sartore has photographed in dozens of countries for the Photo Ark to date.

Some of the exhibition’s interactive components include a documentary film providing a behind-the-scenes look at Sartore’s project, its mission and conservation efforts; interactive animal-related games; a studio where guests can be photographed with their favorite animal as a backdrop; and a gallery devoted to California’s indigenous species. Annenberg Space for Photography will also offer a full slate of programming, including field trips, workshops, and its acclaimed Iris Nights lecture series that will appeal to animal and photography fans alike.

National Geographic Chameleon

A veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, Salina, Kansas © Photo by Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark

Photo Ark gives visitors the opportunity to experience the animal kingdom up close and personal,” said Annenberg Foundation Chairman, President, and CEO Wallis Annenberg. “The powerful close-up images Joel has captured grab viewers and don’t let go. His brilliant photography connects us to creatures we may know little about and inspires us to want to take action to protect them.”

In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, this project is a platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations, such as the Annenberg Foundation, working to support animal welfare and conservation efforts.

The beauty of the National Geographic Photo Ark is that it allows audiences around the world to look creatures of all shapes and sizes in the eyes and gain a better understanding and appreciation of the planet’s biodiversity,” said Kathryn Keane, Vice President of Public Experiences at the National Geographic Society. “We are thrilled to be working with Annenberg Space for Photography to highlight the power of photography to make an impact. Continue reading

Nashville’s Frist Art Museum Announces 2019 Schedule of Exhibitions

Lineup Features French and British Masterpieces from the Mellon Collection; Photography by Dorothea Lange; Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Gelman Collection; A Survey of Surrealism; Native Women Artists; Eric Carle; and More

The Frist Art Museum has announced its 2019 schedule of exhibitions. In the Ingram Gallery, the year begins with the companion shows Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and, both intriguing looks into the Mellons’ remarkable collecting strategies.  will showcase celebrated works from one of the most significant private holdings of twentieth-century Mexican art. Hearts of Our People: Native women artists is the first comprehensive exhibition exclusively devoted to Native women artists.Frist-Art-Museum

In the Upper-Level Galleries, Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing examines the photographer’s work through the lens of social and political activism, presenting arresting images from the Great Depression, Japanese internment camps, and other work through the 1950s. Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s features works by Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Dorothea Tanning and more, and explores the powerful and unsettling images that were created in response to the threat of war and Fascist rule. Eric Carle’s Picture Books: Celebrating 50 Years of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” presents nearly 100 original artworks, spanning five decades of the beloved illustrator’s picture-book career.

In the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery, the Frist presents Claudio Parmiggiani: Dematerialization, the first museum exhibition in the United States by the revered Italian artist. The Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOSidentical twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo—will transform the gallery into a vibrant, immersive installation. The year will conclude with an exhibition of new sculptures by New York-based artist Diana Al-Hadid.

n the Conte Community Arts Gallery, the Frist presents the community-focused exhibitions Young Tennessee Artists; Connect/Disconnect: Growth in the “It” City; and Nashville Walls.

The Frist Art Museum’s 2019 Schedule of Exhibitions (Dates subject to change)

Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890). The Wheat Field behind St. Paul’s Hospital, St. Rémy, 1889. Oil on canvas, 9 1/2 x 12 3/4 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 83.26. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Katherine Wetze. 

February 1–May 5, 2019, Ingram Gallery

Offering more than seventy works by masters such as Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau, and Vincent van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of French 19th- and early 20th-century art to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. With its core of Impressionist paintings, the collection also comprises masterpieces from every important school of French art—from Romanticism through the School of Paris. These works represent more than 150 years of French art and exemplify the Mellons’ personal vision and highly original collecting strategies, which provide a context for understanding this unique collection of French art. Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine ArtsClaude Monet. Field of Poppies, Giverny, 1885. Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 85.499. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Katherine Wetzel

A Sporting Vision: The Paul Mellon Collection of British Sporting Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

February 1–May 5, 2019, Ingram Gallery

With representative masterpieces of the genre—including works by Sir Francis Grant, John Frederick Herring, Benjamin Marshall, George Morland, and George Stubbs—this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s gift of British sporting art to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and marks an opportunity to view the entire breadth of this outstanding and comprehensive collection. It also proposes a fresh look at sporting art within wider social and artistic contexts, including the scientific and industrial revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries, the transformation of the British countryside, the evolutionary history of the horse and other animals, and society’s changing habits and customs. Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Claudio Parmiggiani: Dematerialization

February 1–May 5, 2019, Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

Italian artist Claudio Parmiggiani (b. 1943) resists classification. Though associated with the Arte Povera movement and conceptualism of the 1960s and ’70s, he works somewhere in between. His art evokes universal themes of time, absence, memory, and silence while drawing on classical references as well as the subtle quietude of paintings by Giorgio Morandi. Parmiggiani’s signature process of “Delocazione” (displacement) was originally inspired by the silhouettes of dust left behind after objects were removed. For more than forty years, Parmiggiani has created his own version of this effect by stoking the flames from controlled combustions, filling rooms with smoke and capturing the outlines of objects in the resulting soot. Mirroring the technical process of photograms, these haunting images record the paradoxical presence of objects now absent. This will be the artist’s first museum exhibition in the United States.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing

March 15–May 27, 2019, Upper-Level Galleries

Collection of the Oakland Museum of California

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936. Gelatin silver print. © The Dorothea Lange Collection, the Oakland Museum of California, City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor

Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) is recognized as one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century, and her insightful and compassionate work has exerted a profound influence on the development of modern documentary photography. With hardship and human suffering as a consistent theme throughout her career, Lange created arresting portraits with the aim of sparking reform. This is the first exhibition to examine her work through the lens of social and political activism, presenting iconic photographs from the Great Depression, the grim conditions of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II, and inequity in our judicial system in the 1950s. The exhibition encompasses 300 objects, including 130 vintage and modern photographs, proof sheets, letters, a video, and other personal memorabilia. Organized by the Oakland Museum of California.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Susie Tompkins Buell Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and Peter Rossi/Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Connect/Disconnect: Growth in the “It” City

Conte Community Arts Gallery, March 22–August 4, 2019

Inspired by a 2017 Tennessean article about how Nashville has been growing at a rate of one hundred people per day, Connect/Disconnect is a community exhibition that will feature photographs by Davidson County residents of diverse ages and backgrounds, showing how the population boom has affected them and the lives of the people around them. The exhibition seeks to explore the rising connectivity between neighborhoods and communities, and the potential for disconnection between people and socioeconomic classes as Nashville adapts to record growth. Its themes may include the new atmosphere of entrepreneurship and creativity, the impact of transit and housing on current and new residents, and the ongoing effects of recent and historical events. Continue reading

“Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls and the Feminine Ideal” at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls and the Feminine Ideal, (November 11, 2018 – March 3, 2019, Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor) an exhibition starring four extraordinary dolls and their extravagant wardrobes. Known as Miss Fanchon, Miss G. Townsend, Miss French Mary, and Marie Antoinette, they were made in France in the 1860s and 1870s. The ultimate toys for privileged girls of this period, these dolls reflected the world of adult fashion, being fully equipped with miniature versions of the myriad garments, accessories, and other personal possessions of a well-to-do Victorian lady. As models of womanhood, these fashion dolls represented Victorian culture, when most believed that the aim of a girl’s life was to marry and raise children, and women were exhorted to dress well, follow the strictures of contemporary etiquette, and excel in their proper sphere of domestic and social duties.

The dolls, which measure between 18 to 22 inches in height and have painted bisque heads, leather bodies, and hair wigs, come with tiny accouterments that are notable for their number, detail, and variety. Miss Fanchon’s trunk, for example, contains over 150 objects, including eighteen dresses, and her gloves, which measure just over two inches tall, have all the features of full-size gloves, including gussets, points, and button closures.

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Three doll dresses from Miss Fanchon’s wardrobe, late 1860s-1870s, possibly France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-9a—c, 14a,b,3.

The dolls are furnished with dresses for every occasion, from housework to fancy social events, as well as undergarments (chemises, drawers, petticoats, corsets, hoop skirts, bustles, and even tiny dress shields), outerwear, and accessories including bonnets, hair ornaments, jewelry, fans, and footwear.

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Miss Fanchon’s Gloves, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-109a,b. Doll’s Handbag, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Mrs. William Hill Steeble and Martha B. Newkirk in memory of their mother, Mrs. I. Roberts Newkirk, 1977-189-4aa.

In addition to personal care items such as a toothbrushes, combs, and mirrors, two dolls are provided with clothes hangers (not yet common in full-size households), while the plethora of other objects includes tiny books, visiting cards, a photo album, sewing kit, sheet music, writing set, alarm clock, newspaper, opera glasses, and even roller skates.

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Doll’s Sewing Equipment, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Edward Starr, Jr., 1976-58- 9Ah1-7 and Gift of Mrs. William Hill Steeble and Martha B. Newkirk in memory of their mother, Mrs. I. Roberts Newkirk, 1977-189-4y.

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Coming Soon: “Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs” at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an inside look at the tough and unsentimental world of boxing—including Philadelphia’s Blue Horizon gym—through the photographs of Larry Fink. Widely recognized as one of this country’s greatest photographers, in Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs (August 11, 2018–January 1, 2019, Levy Gallery, Perelman Building) Fink captures the subculture of boxing through its champions and challengers, its ambition-fueled gyms and rowdy rings and overheated atmospheres of locker rooms, as well as the many fascinating people—among them coaches, trainers, mothers, fathers, girlfriends, and spectators—who populate this world. This focused exhibition of about 80 gelatin silver prints celebrates a promised gift of the only complete set of Fink’s boxing photographs, including many that have never been published.

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“Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 1992,” by Larry Fink (Promised gift of the Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC) © Larry Fink. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

(This exhibition of photographs by Larry Fink is drawn from the promised gift of 250 works to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Anthony T. Podesta.)

Acknowledged by Sports Illustrated as the “last great boxing venue in the country,” the Blue Horizon was located at 1314 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia. From November 1961 when it opened until its close in June 2010, it was the site of many famous international, regional, and local fights, including some fictional fights that appeared in the movie Rocky V (1990). The building still stands today.

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“Champs Gym, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 1993” by Larry Fink (Promised gift of the Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC) © Larry Fink. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

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“Castlehill, Allentown, Pennsylvania, June 1993,” by Larry Fink (Promised gift of the Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC) © Larry Fink. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

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“Mike Tyson and Jimmy Jacobs, New Paltz, New York, February 1986,” by Larry Fink (Promised gift of the Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC) © Larry Fink. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Fink’s fascination with boxing was borne out of an assignment in 1986 to photograph sportsman Jimmy Jacobs, who was also the manager of the world heavyweight champion at the time. Firing at maximum shutter speed, Fink learned how to move quickly and easily around the boxers, capturing fleeting moments of the agony, glory, shock, and satisfaction involved in amateur and professional bouts. He would continue to document boxers, gyms, and matches around the country through 2004. The works selected for display are from the artist’s intensive eighteen-year study. Continue reading

Chronicling California’s Storied Baseball History, “California at Bat” Opens July 29 at The California Museum

 

The exhibition includes more than 200 rarely-seen artifacts from Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax & others revealing California’s legacy in America’s game

The California Museum announced, “California at Bat: America’s Pastime in the Golden State” will open on Sun., July 29, 2018. The all-new exhibit chronicles California’s baseball history from the Gold Rush to present, revealing its legacy of all-stars and the contributions of female, African American and other players who broke barriers to broaden its enduring appeal. Featuring more than 200 rarely-seen artifacts, highlights include uniforms, equipment and ephemera from Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and others, along with objects from Pacific Coast League teams and from Edmonds Field, home of the Sacramento Solons until 1960.

California Museum-DiMaggioBrothers

Two of the brothers DiMaggio, Joe, left, of the New York Yankees, and Dominic, right, of the Boston Red Sox, get together with Boston’s star outfielder Ted Williams here, before meeting at Yankee Stadium in the New Yorker’s first home game of 1942.

We are thrilled to present ‘California at Bat,'” said California Museum Executive Director Amanda Meeker. “Although the major leagues didn’t arrive until the 1950s, Californians have enjoyed baseball for 160 years. This exhibit offers an unprecedented opportunity to view artifacts representing the sweep of California baseball from 19th-century town ball to the legends of baseball’s Golden Age and the heroes of the modern era.

Curated by the California Museum, “California at Bat” was developed in collaboration with Stephen Wong, author of three Smithsonian Books, including “Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game’s Greatest Heroes and Moments” (2016). A renowned baseball historian and collector, Wong contributed expertise and more than 80 artifacts from his personal collection illustrating many of baseball’s most famous players. Highlights include:

  • New York Yankees rookie uniform game worn by Joe DiMaggio (1914-2000) in 1936, the only season of he wore number 9. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, DiMaggio is best known for his 56-game hitting streak in 1941, a standing record in 2018.
  • Boston Red Sox home uniform game worn by Ted Williams (1918-2002) in 1950, the season his career nearly ended after breaking his arm in the All-Star game. The San Diego native was the last player to bat over .400 in a season (.406 in 1941).
  • San Francisco Giants home jersey game worn by Willie Mays (b. 1931) in 1965, the season he led the NL with 52 home runs and won his second NL MVP Award. Considered the game’s greatest all-around player, Mays has lived in California since moving with the Giants in 1958.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers road jersey game worn by Sandy Koufax (b. 1935) in 1966, the last year of his MLB career and the year he won a third Cy Young Award. A resident of California since moving with the Dodgers in 1958, Koufax is also remembered for sitting out Game 1 of the 1965 World Series when it fell on Yom Kippur, and for pitching baseball’s eighth perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965.

“As a native Californian who is deeply passionate about baseball and the history of the game, I’m proud and honored to have been a part of ‘California at Bat,‘” said Wong. “I’m delighted to share my collection with members of the public in this extraordinary new installation revealing the state’s significant contributions to baseball. Continue reading