The Art Institute of Chicago announced this week the acquisition of an extraordinary memorial window, attributed to Agnes F. Northrop and made by Tiffany Studios in 1917. Originally commissioned for the Central Baptist Church (now known as Community Church of Providence) as the gift of Mary L. Hartwell in memory of her husband, Frederick W. Hartwell, the window is a pinnacle achievement in the medium of stained glass.
Art Institute President and Eloise W. Martin Director James Rondeau shared: “It is with great pride we welcome this transformative work of art into the collection, an object that demonstrates the highest level of achievement in American glass production and exemplifies our ongoing commitment to excellence. Tiffany Studios became synonymous with radiant materials and technical brilliance, and this monumental work of stained glass by the firm is an unparalleled example of beauty, ingenuity, and universality. Prominently installed in our galleries, with the rich architectural history of Chicago as a stunning backdrop, this singular work will certainly inspire visitors and undoubtedly has the power to become one of the museum’s icons.”
The design of the window is attributed to Agnes F. Northrop, the firm’s leading landscape window designer. At twenty-three feet high by sixteen feet wide, and made up of 48 different panels, the scene depicts a distant view of Mount Chocorua, one of the most beloved peaks of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Numerous landscape painters including Thomas Cole and John F. Kensett memorialized the mountain as a powerful symbol of the American landscape. In its scale, intricacy of design, and complexity of glasswork, it is one of the largest and most ambitious landscape window projects ever undertaken by Tiffany Studios.
This majestic window had been housed in the sanctuary of the Community Church of Providence. Speaking on behalf of the church, Pastor Evan Howard noted: “Our congregation decided to find a new home for the window where it could be experienced by a broad public audience that includes scholars, artists, and visitors from around the world. The church approached a number of different museums and ultimately selected the Art Institute of Chicago as the ideal institution to care for and display the window.” Added Pastor Howard, “We are extremely pleased that this exceptional work of art has entered such a renowned collection.”
Sarah Kelly Oehler, Field–McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art stated: “Landscape windows are rare within the overall production of Tiffany Studios, and the opportunity to acquire such a superlative example of Tiffany glass is one that will likely never be repeated. The Art Institute has a strong commitment to collecting the work of women artists, and we are especially thrilled to showcase Agnes Northrop, whose vision truly shaped the aesthetic of Tiffany Studios. This acquisition positions the museum as a leading institution for visitors to experience the artistry and vitality of stained glass as it joins other works in the medium, especially the iconic America Windows by Marc Chagall. We are thrilled to be the stewards of this remarkable and deeply resonant work of art for future generations.”
The window is currently undergoing conservation treatment at the Art Institute of Chicago. It will be installed this fall in the Henry Crown Gallery at the top of the Woman’s Board Grand Staircase. Located near the Michigan Avenue entrance, it will welcome visitors as they begin their journey through the museum.
Expansive Exhibition Will Trace Gilliam’s Six-Decade Career
The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will present the first American museum retrospective of Sam Gilliam in more than 15 years opening in spring 2022. This groundbreaking exhibition will encompass Gilliam’s six-decade-long practice, from his early explorations of the ideas of the Washington Color School and his now-iconic “Drape” compositions to key examples of his most recent work.
One of America’s most influential living artists, Gilliam (b. 1933) is best known for abandoning the traditional stretcher apparatus to transform painting into a medium that bridged painting, sculpture and architecture and thus stands among the earliest examples of installation art. This major exhibition will span the full arc of Gilliam’s career, bringing attention to key moments in his innovative practice through a selection of paintings, sculptures and works on paper drawn from the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection and public and private collections. Among the exhibition’s highlights will be Gilliam’s “Light Depth” (1969), one of his most important “Drape” paintings, which was commissioned by Walter Hopps for an exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and gifted to the Hirshhorn upon the Corcoran collection’s dispersal. This retrospective will be organized by Evelyn C. Hankins, senior curator at the Hirshhorn, with the full cooperation of the artist.
“We are honored to present a Sam Gilliam retrospective,” said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. “This overdue in-depth survey builds on our museum’s mission: to showcase the most important local, national and international artists of our time. Gilliam’s influence spans these three realms. There is no more fitting place to celebrate his contribution to our understanding of abstraction than on the National Mall in his chosen hometown of Washington, D.C., at the national museum of modern art.”
Exhibition Features Major Loans From Museums in Mali, Morocco and Nigeria and Is on View in Washington for the First Time
“Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa” opens at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art April 11 and runs until Nov. 29. The first major exhibition to explore global medieval Saharan Africa, “Caravans” features over 300 works primarily from the eighth–16th centuries A.D. from across the Saharan region of West Africa as well as its diverse peripheries and sites of exchange—from England and Italy to Iran and China, as well as Nigeria and Ghana.
Developed at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University by its Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs Kathleen Bickford Berzock, the exhibition includes unprecedented loans from national museums and institutions in Morocco, Mali and Nigeria, the result of nearly a decade of collaborative research and planning with partners on the African continent.
“The exhibition is a landmark opportunity to reconsider our understanding of world history,” said Kevin D. Dumouchelle, curator at the National Museum of African Art and coordinator of the exhibition in Washington. “Gold from West Africa was the engine that drove the movement of things, people and ideas across Africa, Europe and the Middle East in an interconnected medieval world. As the incredible works in this exhibition show, it is not possible to understand the emergence of the early modern world without this West African story. Africa’s history truly is a world history.”
“Caravans of Gold” draws on recent archaeological discoveries, including rare fragments from major medieval African trading centers like Sijilmasa in Morocco and Gao and Tadmekka in Mali. Built in close collaboration with partner institutions in Africa, the exhibition displays only archaeological works from African museum collections or those in U.S. public collections legally exported from their country of origin. These “fragments in time” are seen alongside works of art that invite audiences to imagine them as they once were. The exhibition features works in a variety of media—terracotta, copper alloy, ivory, glass, leather, textiles (including fragments of Africa’s oldest), paper and parchment, and of course gold—that together tell the story of medieval Saharan West Africa, beginning with the spread of Islam in the eighth century A.D. and receding with the arrival of Europeans along the continent’s Atlantic Coast at the end of the 15th century. During this era, the Sahara Desert supported routes that connected to global networks of exchange. As these networks spread, so too did cultural practices, fostering the broad circulation of distinctive Saharan aesthetic and intellectual traditions connected to Islam.
The exhibition also includes significant works that illustrate the global interconnection of far-flung regions in the medieval period: from French sculptures of Mary and the infant Jesus carved in African ivory, to Italian altar pieces adorned with African gold, to world-famous sculptural works from sites in Nigeria, including Igbo-Ukwu and Ife, that remain marvels of technical sophistication and use European-sourced metals and trade-goods.
“‘Caravans of Gold’ is the starting point for a new understanding of the medieval past and for seeing the present in a new light,” Berzock said. “The legacy of medieval trans-Saharan exchange has largely been omitted from Western historical narratives and art histories, and certainly from the way that Africa is presented in art museums. ‘Caravans of Gold’ has been conceived to shine a light on Africa’s pivotal role in world history through the tangible materials that remain. We are honored to join with our colleagues in Mali, Morocco and Nigeria, as well as at the National Museum of African Art, in order to share this world-shaping story.”
HI Smartphone Application
Visitors to the exhibition can engage further with the artworks on their smartphones using the Smithsonian-developed, web-based HI application. Visitors can scan an interactive map to discover an added layer of digital content, including videos, images and key facts connecting the site and its histories and networks of exchange with art works featured in the exhibition. The HI application does not require download, and it can be accessed at www.hi.si.edu.
Educational and Public Programs
Public programs will accompany the exhibition to engage the museum’s diverse audiences K–12 to adult. The exhibition’s curator will conduct a “first look” public tour of exhibition highlights Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. Visitors should meet at the museum’s visitor desk on the Pavilion level at 2 p.m.
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time, edited by Berzock and co-published by the Block Museum of Art and Princeton University Press. Shortlisted for The Alice Award, the publication draws on the latest discoveries and research to construct a compelling and interdisciplinary look at medieval trans-Saharan exchange and its legacy. In the lavishly illustrated volume, 21 international contributors present case studies that form a rich portrayal of a distant time. Topics include descriptions of key medieval cities around the Sahara; networks of exchange that contributed to the circulation of gold, copper and ivory and their associated art forms; and medieval glass bead production in West Africa’s forest region.
A Selection from the Acquisition will be Featured in a Gallery Titled Gordon Parks and the Atmosphere of Crime in the Museum’s Spring Collection Rotation in May 2020
The Museum of Modern Art has acquired 56 prints from American artist Gordon Parks’s series of color photographs made in 1957 for a Life magazine photo essay titled “The Atmosphere of Crime.” The Museum and The Gordon Parks Foundation collaborated closely on the selection of 55 modern color prints that MoMA purchased from the Foundation, and the Foundation has also given the Museum a rare vintage gelatin silver print (a companion to a print Parks himself gave the Museum in 1993). A generous selection of these prints will go on view in May 2020 as part of the first seasonal rotation of the Museum’s newly expanded and re-envisioned collection galleries. The collection installation Gordon Parks and the Atmosphere of Crime will be located on the fourth floor, with Parks’s work as an anchor for exploring representations of criminality in photography, with a particular focus on work made in the United States.
One of the preeminent photographers of the mid-20th century, Gordon Parks (1912–2006) left behind a body of work that documents American life and culture from the early 1940s to the 2000s. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas, Parks worked as a youth in St. Paul, Minnesota, before discovering photography in 1937. He would come to view it as his “weapon of choice” for attacking issues including race relations, poverty, urban life, and injustice. After working for the US government’s Farm Security Administration in the early 1940s, Parks found success as a fashion photographer and a regular contributor to Ebony, Fortune, Glamour, and Vogue before he was hired as the first African American staff photographer at Life magazine in 1948.
In 1957, Life assigned Parks to photograph for the first in a series of articles addressing the perceived rise of crime in the US. With reporter Henry Suydam, Parks traversed the streets of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, producing a range of evocative color images, 12 of which were featured in the debut article, “The Atmosphere of Crime,” on September 9, 1957. Parks’s empathetic, probing views of crime scenes, police precincts, hospitals, morgues, and prisons do not name or identify “the criminal,” but instead give shape to the ground against which poverty, addiction, and race become criminalized. Shot using available light, Parks’s atmospheric photographs capture mysterious nocturnal activity unfolding on street corners and silhouetted figures with raised hands in the murky haze of a tenement hallway.
A robust selection from this acquisition will anchor a display within a fourth-floor collection gallery, titled Gordon Parks and the Atmosphere of Crime. Using Parks’s work as a point of departure, the installation will draw from a range of other works in the Museum’s collection, offering varied representations of crime and criminality. Since the 1940s, the Museum has collected and exhibited photographs of crime as represented in newspapers and tabloids, exemplified by the dramatic, flash-lit work of Weegee, complemented by 19th-century precedents such as mug shots, whose purported objectivity was expected to facilitate the identification of criminals, as well as acquisitions across media that point to subsequent investigations and more contemporary concerns.
Sundays, February 9, March 8, April 12, and May 10, 10:30 am–12 pm
For families with children ages 5 and up
Explore the museum with an interactive, family-friendly tour that includes creative, hands-on gallery activities. Each tour is organized around a single theme and highlights artworks on view from the permanent collection and special exhibitions.
February 9: KISS: Keep It Simple, Silly
See what happens when artists put limits on themselves.
March 8: Color Fields
Investigate different ways artists use color in their work.
April 12: Is It Art?
Visit artworks that stretch our ideas of what art can be.
Enjoy a stroller-friendly tour designed for small children and their caregivers. Led by museum educators, this interactive exploration of current exhibitions includes touchable objects, art-making, and adult conversation.
$25 per stroller, free for Family Members and Cool Culture families. Includes tour plus museum admission for one stroller (single strollers and front baby carriers only) and up to four adults. Registration required; for more information, visit guggenheim.org/familyprograms or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sundays, February 23, March 29, April 26, and May 24, 11 am–12 pm
Wednesdays, February 5, March 4, April 1, and May 6, 11 am–12 pm
For families with children ages 2–4
In this program designed for young art lovers and their caregivers, participants explore works of art on view and then create their own art in the studio. Each program includes a short story, a trip to the galleries, and art-making activities.
Learning Through Art (LTA), the Guggenheim’s pioneering arts education program, presents A Year with Children 2020.This annual presentation showcases select artworks by students in grades two through six from twelve public schools that participated in the LTA program during the 2019–20 school year. More than one hundred creative and imaginative works, including collages, drawings, found objects, installations, paintings, and prints, will be on display. Participating from the Bronx is PS 86 (Kingsbridge Heights); from Brooklyn, PS 8 (Brooklyn Heights), PS 9 (Prospect Heights), and PS 188 (Coney Island); from Manhattan, PS 28 (Washington Heights), PS 38 (East Harlem), and PS 145 (Harlem); from Queens, PS 219 (Flushing), PS 130 (Bayside), PS 144 (Forest Hills), and PS 317 (Rockaway Park); and from Staten Island, PS 48 (Grasmere).
Guggenheim for All: Sensory Sundays in Support of Autism Acceptance Month
Every Sunday in April 2020
Stop by the special sensory-friendly Open Studio during the month of April. Participate in art-making activities connected to the exhibitions on view and relax in the nearby sensory room. Direct access to the Studio Art Lab will be available via the ramp at 88th Street and 5th Avenue.
Free with museum admission. Through the Guggenheim for All initiative, the museum is able to offer reduced admission for families of children with autism. To request, please visit their website.
Guggenheim for All: Art for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum, Sunday, March 8, 11 am–1 pm
For families with children ages 6 and up.
In this drop-in program designed for children on the autism spectrum and their families, explore works of art in sensory-friendly experiences in the galleries and create your own art in the studio.
Mack Lecture Series April 8–29, 7 pm$15 ($12 Walker members, students, and seniors)Walker Cinema
Hear directly from explorers of our culture and contemporary moment during the Mack Lecture Series. Throughout the month of April, artists, writers, and other great thinkers at the forefront of diverse fields share their vision on topics ranging from artificial intelligence in performance art to gender politics and gonzo journalism.
Writer-director Annie Dorsen tries “to make perceptible how ideas change over time: where they come from, how they influence and are influenced by politics and culture, and how they take root in the body, physically and emotionally.” For this conversation, she explores the intersection of algorithms and live performance with artificial intelligence researcher and computational linguist Catherine Havasi, moderated by Simon Adler, a producer for WNYC’s Radiolab.
Annie Dorsen’s performance work Yesterday Tomorrow, takes place in the Walker’s McGuire Theater March 27–28.
Genderqueer political activist, visual artist, and musician JD Samson is perhaps best known as leader of the band MEN and one-third of the electronic-feminist-punk band Le Tigre. As a self-defined “gender outlaw,” she will investigate the precarious masculinity of the butch/masculine-of-center body, play with traditional concepts of ownership and destruction, and break down the charged heteronormative history of queer sex dynamics.
“If I say ‘thank you for coming,’ it implies that you are already there.” —Faye Driscoll
One of dance/performance’s most astonishing experimental voices, Faye Driscoll wraps up her Walker-supported trilogy—Thank You For Coming—with a moving requiem on art, the body, loss, and human connectivity. Space builds on and diverges from Driscoll’s earlier works, beloved by audiences across the country, with “an exhilaratingly personal culmination of the series” (Artforum). The intimate new performance piece, presented within an immersive installation on the McGuire stage, is informed by art-historical imagery and emerges as a collaborative creation between the artist, her astute design collaborators, and the audience. Contains mature content.
Through an alchemy of bodies and voices, objects and live sound, choreographer Faye Driscoll (US, b. 1975) conjures worlds that are, like ourselves, alive and forever changeable. The artist poses performance as one of the last secular social spaces, where the vulnerability, necessity, and complexities of our everyday relationships are heightened and made palpable. Driscoll’s projects draw on our shared power to question and shape the structures that govern our behavior. Characterizing her work as “dances that are mistaken for plays,” she creates sets designed to break apart; musical scores made from the performers’ stomps and vocalizations; and props that are worn, used, and reused.
Faye Driscoll is a Bessie Award-winning performance maker who has been hailed as a “startlingly original talent” (Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times) and “a postmillenium postmodern wild woman” (Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice). Her work has been presented nationally at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, MCA/Chicago and BAM/Brooklyn Academy of Music and internationally at La Biennale di Venezia, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Melbourne Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and Centro de Arte Experimental (Universidad Nacional de San Martín) in Buenos Aires. Driscoll has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital award, a NEFA National Dance Project Award,MAP Fund Grant, a French-US Exchange in Dance Grant, Jerome Foundation Grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a US Artists Doris Duke Fellowship and she is the recipient of the 2018 Jacob’s PIllow Dance Award. She recently choreographed for Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men on Broadway and for Madeline’s Madeline, a film by Josephine Decker.
Fifth Annual Mother Tongue Film Festival Runs Feb. 20–23
The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Initiative will host a film festival that showcases films from around the world. Centered around the United Nation’s International Mother Language Day Feb. 21, the fifth annual Mother Tongue Film Festivalwill offer visitors the opportunity to see 21 films featuring 28 languages from 22 regions and hear from filmmakers who explore the power of language to connect the past, present and future. The four-day festival runs Feb. 20–23.
Recovering Voices is an initiative of the Smithsonian founded in response to the global crisis of cultural knowledge and language loss. It works with communities and other institutions to address issues of Indigenous language and knowledge diversity and sustainability. Recovering Voices is a collaboration between staff at the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
“The Mother Tongue Film Festival provides a forum for conversations about linguistic and cultural diversity,” said Joshua Bell, curator of globalization at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and director of the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Program. “It gives the public an opportunity to talk with directors, producers and scholars who devote their lives to documenting the human experience.”
Screenings will take place at multiple locations across the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C. A complete schedule of screenings, including times and locations, is available on the festival’s website. Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before each show. All screenings are free and open to the public, with weekend programming for families.
The festival kicks off with an opening reception Thursday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Festival highlights include:
A performance by Uptown Boyz, a local intertribal drum group, before the screening of Restless RiverFeb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the National Museum of the American Indian’s Potomac Atrium. The film is set at the end of World War II and follows a young Inuk woman as she comes to terms with motherhood after being assaulted by a soldier. It is based on Gabrielle Roy’s 1970 short novel Windflower (La Riviere Sans Repos). This film contains a scene of sexual violence that some viewers may find disturbing.
The world premiere of Felicia: The Life of an Octopus Fisherwoman Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in the National Museum of Natural History’s Q?rius Theater. Felicia is one of the thousands of Malagasy fishermen and women on the Velondriake archipelago whose way of life is increasingly threatened by poverty and political marginalization. As an orphan and later as a mother, she turns to the sea as a means for sustenance, even when migration and commercial trawling threaten small-scale fishing operations. Like many other women in Madagascar, she embodies a steadfast willingness to keep moving forward in the face of major challenges.
The North American premiere of Ainu—Indigenous People of JapanFeb. 22 at noon in the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium. The film tells the stories of four elders from the declining Ainu population in Japan. It sheds light on their traditions, both past and present, and the efforts to keep the culture and language alive in Japan. A Q&A with the director will follow the screening.
Age-appropriate viewers can enjoy Québec beer courtesy of the Québec Governmental Office during a late-night screening of Blood QuantumFeb. 22 at 8 p.m. in New York University Washington, D.C.’s Abramson Family Auditorium. The dead come back to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague. The local tribal law enforcement officer must protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend, apocalyptic refugees and the drunken reserve riff raff from the hordes of walking corpses infesting the streets of Red Crow. This film contains strong bloody violence and may not be suitable for younger audiences.
A screening of One Day in the Life of Noah PiugattukFeb. 23 at 3 p.m. in Georgetown University’s ICC Auditorium. The film is set in April 1961 as the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in the Canadian Arctic. In Kapuivik, north of Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team as his ancestors did. When an agent of the Canadian government arrives, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens the prospect of momentous change, revealing Inuit-settler relationships humorously and tragically lost in translation. The events playing out in this film are depicted at the same rate as the characters experienced them in real life.
February, March Public Programming Begins With Discussion on Interim Director Spencer Crew’s Latest Book “Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History”
“Proud Shoes: The Story Of An American Family” Exhibition Opens In Family History Center
A discussion with Spencer Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, on his new book Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American Historywill lead the winter programming at the museum. Crew will join in conversation with Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz College about the newly released biography, detailing the life of America’s first black Supreme Court justice and his cultural and historic significance. Several programs will celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month, including a musical performance and discussion on African American women in jazz, an interactive program on food accessibility and a discussion about African American women’s contributions in World War I at home and abroad. All programs held in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater will stream live on the museum’s Ustream channel at ustream.tv
Historically Speaking: Thurgood Marshall—A Conversation Between Spencer Crew and Paul Finkelman
Spencer Crew, interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will discuss his recently published biography of America’s first black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, with moderator Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz college and a specialist on American constitutional and legal history. Crew’s latest publication, Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History, chronicles the justice’s legendary career as a civil rights litigator and founder of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion, courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
Three captivating series, personally curated by renowned singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and speaker Rhiannon Giddens, early music explorer, viola da gamba virtuoso, and conductor Jordi Savall, and acclaimed conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin invite audiences to gain deeper insights into musical viewpoints of leading artists of our time
Debs Composer’s Chair: Andrew Norman
Celebrated American composer Andrew Norman leads season-long residency with nine performances, including orchestral, chamber, and new music concerts, and exciting new works commissioned by Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala
2020-2021 season launches on October 7 with festive Opening Night Gala concert featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, joined by pianist Lang Lang and soprano Liv Redpath
Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, announced Carnegie Hall’s 2020–2021 season consisting of more than 170 concerts as well as wide-ranging education and community programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The upcoming season includes performances by many of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles representing classical, world, jazz, and pop music, with events presented on Carnegie Hall’s three stages, in the Hall’sResnick Education Wing, and throughout New York City.
Programming highlights include a citywide Carnegie Hall festival—Voices of Hope: Artists in Times of Oppression—from March–May 2021; three exciting Perspectives series curated by singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens; conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and early music explorer, conductor, and viola da gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall; and the appointment of celebrated American composer Andrew Norman to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair.
“As we consider the remarkable range of experiences in Carnegie Hall’s 2020-2021 season, we are reminded of the amazing power that music can have in our lives—its ability to not only elevate us, but to play a role in enabling us to look at issues with fresh eyes, illuminating new perspectives, and helping us to feel connected with one another,” said Gillinson. “Our Voices of Hope festival promises to be a special journey, inviting audiences to explore the inspiring role that artists have played in some of the darkest chapters of our shared history—capturing stories or a moment in time and expressing hope, courage, and resistance in the face of the unimaginable. Our four curated series are in the hands of some of the most creative artists working today, each challenging us to explore through music, with programming that brings their unique viewpoints to the forefront. With so many concerts spanning musical genres performed by the world’s finest artists and ensembles, it promises to be a season rich with new discoveries.”
2020–2021 Carnegie Hall Season Overview Carnegie Hall’s 130th season launches on Wednesday, October 7 with an Opening Night Gala performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, marking the orchestra’s first appearances at Carnegie Hall in 30 years. The celebratory program includes John Adams’s Tromba Lontana, Grieg’s Piano Concerto featuring Lang Lang along with selections from Grieg’s Peer Gynt with soprano Liv Redpath. Following Opening Night, the orchestra returns to the Hall for two consecutive evenings of concerts, performing premieres of works by Andrew Norman and Gabriela Smith, plus music by Ginastera and Mahler.
From March-May 2021, Carnegie Hall presents Voices of Hope: Artists in Times of Oppression, a citywide festival spotlighting the resilience of artists throughout history and the life-affirming power of music and the arts during times of oppression and tyranny. With 16 concerts at Carnegie Hall crossing musical genres and thought-provoking events at more than 40 prestigious partner organizations, the festival kicks off at Carnegie Hall on March 12 with Rhiannon Giddens and Friends: Songs of Our Native Daughters, where Giddens and her group of black female banjo players, Our Native Daughters, draw from historical sources to reimagine our collective past, shining a new light on African American women’s stories of struggle, resistance, and hope. The festival extends across New York City over three months with exhibitions, performances, talks, film screenings, and more, further exploring how the arts have been used as a tool for activism, resistance, solidarity, and hope.
Through June 7, 2020, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a selection of rare and noteworthy examples of American fine and decorative arts drawn from the collection of the late H. Richard Dietrich, Jr. (1938-2007). A Collector’s Vision: Highlights from the Dietrich American Foundation tells the story of a collector whose foundation has long shared Americana and rare books and manuscripts through an extensive loan program to institutions around the county.
Long-term loans to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including many objects in the exhibition, began in 1966 and continue to this day. “This partnership has certainly supported our museum– but, more importantly, we hope it has helped foster an appreciation for American art and its history even more widely,” says Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Among the 55 objects on view in A Collector’s Vision are a delicate watercolor miniature of George Washington painted by James Peale and enshrined in a small gold case with a lock of Washington’s hair in the back; a signed Daniel Goddard bureau table from Newport; a quilt with squares depicting the life of President James Buchanan; Pennsylvania German frakturs and furniture; Chinese Export porcelain; and prints and watercolors.
A centerpiece is the re-creation of part of the Dietrich family’s living room in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, which includes a Paul Revere teapot, a John Singleton Copley portrait of John Bee Holmes; and a bombe desk attributed to Nathaniel Gould.
January 29–March 29, 2020, The Met Breuer, Floor 5
In 1954, at the age of 17, the architect Michael A. Rubenstein bought his first work of art—a painting by the American artist John Hartell (1902–1995)—and it marked the beginning of a lifelong passion for collecting. Today the collection spans two centuries and consists mostly of drawings and watercolors, of which 160 are promised gifts to The Met from Rubenstein and his late wife, Juliet van Vliet Rubenstein. On view at The Met Breuer now through March 29, 2020, From Géricault to Rockburne: Selections from the Michael and Juliet Rubenstein Gift will highlight some 50 works, ranging from a drawing by the French artist Théodore Géricault from about 1818—the earliest work in the show—to a 2019 mixed-media work on paper by Rubenstein’s friend and artist Dorothea Rockburne.
The gift is part of The Met’s 2020 Collections Initiative celebrating The Museum’s 150th anniversary.
“We are thrilled and grateful to receive this tremendous gift from Michael Rubenstein, which he assembled with his late wife, Juliet,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “It is a remarkable act of generosity that will greatly strengthen The Met’s holdings of drawings, paintings, and watercolors from the 19th and 20th centuries.”
In developing an informed and discerning eye as a collector, Mr. Rubenstein visited galleries and museums—including frequent visits to The Met that started in his childhood—attended auctions, and befriended artists. “The Rubensteins’ collection is not just the gathering over many decades of works by artists they loved,” commented Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met, “but its significance is also a testament to their passion for connoisseurship and the desire to live surrounded by art.”
The exhibition will feature drawings, paintings, and watercolors by European and American modern and contemporary artists—both widely and lesser known—including Eve Aschheim (b. 1958), Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947), Philip Guston (1913–1980), Franz Kline (1910–1962), and Anne Ryan (1889–1954). The works on view, all acquired over the 65-year period from 1954 to 2019, represent Rubenstein’s wide-ranging taste, as they vary in style and subject matter, ranging from the abstract, geometric, and linear to the lyrical and figural.
From Géricault to Rockburne: Selections from the Michael and Juliet Rubenstein Gift is organized by Sabine Rewald, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator for Modern Art in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 2020, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding with a dynamic range of exhibitions, programs, and public events. Highlights of the year will include the exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020, on view March 30–August 2; the opening of the newly renovated and reimagined galleries devoted to British decorative arts and design in March; the display of new gifts throughout the Museum; a three-day-long celebration in June; and a story-collecting initiative. More information is available at www.metmuseum.org/150.
Carnegie Hall today announced that pianist Alexandre Kantorow, recent gold medal and Grand Prix winner at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, will step in for pianist Murray Perahia, appearing in recital on Wednesday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Mr. Perahia regretfully had to withdraw from his upcoming recital due to medical reasons. Mr. Kantorow will perform works by Brahms, Liszt, Fauré, and Stravinsky. The complete updated program information is below.
In an official statement, Mr. Perahia said, “To my North American fans, it is with regret that I have to cancel my upcoming recitals for medical reasons. I hope to be able to return before too long and thank you for your continued support.“
At 22 years old, Alexandre Kantorow is the first French pianist to win the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition as well as the Grand Prix, awarded only three times before in the competition’s history. Already hailed by critics as the “young tsar of the piano” (Classica) and “Liszt reincarnate” (Fanfare), he has received numerous other awards and is already being invited at the highest level worldwide.
Even before the competition, Mr. Kantorow had already been attracting attention. He began his career at an early stage and at 16 made his debut at La Folle Journée festival in Nantes. Since then he has played with many of the world’s major orchestras, including regularly the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, and highlights in this and future seasons include the Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and tours with the Orchestre National de Toulouse, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.
In recital he appears at major concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in their Master Pianists series, Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie de Paris, BOZAR in Brussels, Stockholm Konserthus and at the most prestigious festivals including La Roque d’Anthéron, Piano aux Jacobins, Verbier Festival and Klavierfest Ruhr.
He records exclusively with BIS, to great critical acclaim, and his most recent recording of Saint-Saëns has received Diapason d’Or and Choc Classica of the year. His à la Russe recital recording won numerous awards and distinctions including Choc de l’Année (Classica), Diapason découverte (Diapason), Supersonic (Pizzicato) and CD des Doppelmonats (PianoNews). For BIS he has also recorded Liszt concerti, with a forthcoming recital including rhapsodies by Brahms, Bartók and Liszt.
Alexandre Kantorow is a laureate of the Safran Foundation and Banque Populaire, and in 2019 was named ‘Musical Revelation of the Year’ by the Professional Critics Association.
Born in France and of French-British heritage, he has studied with Pierre-Alain Volondat, Igor Lazko, Franck Braley and Rena Shereshevskaya.
Wednesday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m., Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Alexandre Kantorow, Piano
JOHANNES BRAHMS Rhapsody in B Minor, Op. 79, No. 1
FRANZ LISZT Transcendental Etude No. 12 in B Minor, “Chasse-Neige”
GABRIEL FAURÉ Nocturne No. 6 in D-flat Major, Op. 63
IGOR STRAVINSKY Three Movements from The Firebird (arr. Agosti)
JOHANNES BRAHMS Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5
Tickets, priced at $40–$131, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.
For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.
In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
Expand your understanding of graphic design with the Insights Design Lecture Series, presenting five leading designers from around the world. Dive into the thinking behind their work, then hang out after the lectures to meet the speakers, grab a drink, and chat with your fellow design lovers. This year’s lineup features branding expert Leland Maschmeyer, LA multidisciplinarian Daniel DeSure, hyper-aesthete Hassan Rahim, magazine expert Veronica Ditting, and a special, bonus lecture from design ethicist Ruben Pater.
Directly following each lecture, meet the speakers, grab a drink, and chat with fellow design lovers in the Walker’s Main Lobby or in Esker Grove.
Watch Anywhere: Insights Viewing Parties
If you can’t make it here in person this year, consider having an Insights Viewing Party with and watch the livestream on walkerart.org. Send in your comments and questions for the speakers via Twitter (#InsightsDesign).
Future-oriented designer and creative director Leland Maschmeyer unearths captivating stories hidden within the most unlikely contexts. As co-founder of design agency Collins, Maschmeyer helped reimagine brands such as Spotify, Airbnb, and Facebook. He joined Chobani in 2016 to oversee the creation of its new in-house design team, which was named Ad Age’s 2019 In-house Agency of the Year. As the company’s Chief Creative Officer, Maschmeyer invests the socially-conscious yogurt brand with folklore magic, meticulous mistakes, and design-centric packaging.
Daniel DeSure, Commonwealth Projects/Total Luxury Spa, March 10, 7 pm
Can a juice bar rejuvenate bodies, minds, and communities? Can T-shirts create the future? With an emphasis on his local community and an expansive collaborative network, Daniel DeSure has created a multidisciplinary practice that skirts the worlds of art, fashion, design, and film. His many projects include founding the creative studio Commonwealth Projects, with clients such as Rimowa, Sonos, Nike, Olafur Eliasson, and Sundance, as well as Total Luxury Spa, a ridiculously hip fashion line dedicated to serving LA’s Crenshaw neighborhood.
Special Guests Brittany Howard, Manu Dibango, Baaba Maal, and Yemi Alade Announced for Daughter of Independence Concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Saturday, March 14
Celebratory Program Marks Kidjo’s 60th Birthday an the Anniversary of Independence for Benin and 16 other West African Nations
On the heels of winning her fourth Grammy Award, Angélique Kidjo concludes her Perspectives series with Daughter of Independence on Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage. The concert marks both her 60th birthday and the anniversary of independence of her native Benin in addition to sixteen other West African nations. For this momentous occasion, Kidjo is joined by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes), legendary Cameroonian singer Manu Dibango, Senegalese singer and guitarist Baaba Maal, and Nigerian Afropop singer-songwriter Yemi Alade, to celebrate her remarkable musical career. Major support for the Angélique Kidjo Perspectives series has been provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.
“When I look back at 60 years of independence for my country, I feel that my life and career have been shaped in many ways by the postcolonial history of West Africa: I consider myself a true daughter of African independence,” says Kidjo. “I hope the audience leaves the March performance understanding that it doesn’t matter where you come from; it doesn’t matter your skin color or which language you speak. Music reduces it all to the fundamental element that speaks to us all as human beings.”
Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 8:00 PM
Angélique Kidjo, Daughter Of Independence, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
With special guests
About the Artists
Angélique Kidjo’s performances over the past two decades have thrilled audiences and left an indelible mark on the history of Carnegie Hall. In 2014, she closed Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU festival with a tribute to singer Miriam Makeba that inspired concertgoers—including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu—to rise to their feet and sing along. In 2017, Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne joined Kidjo on stage for her cover of the band’s hit “Once in a Lifetime” before she led a conga line that made its way throughout Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The upcoming series is sure to give audiences more unforgettable moments with performances featuring outstanding guest artists joining together to celebrate one of music’s most vibrant voices.
Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today. A creative force with 14 albums to her name, Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva.” The BBC has included her in its list of the continents’ 50 most iconic figures, and, in 2011, The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes magazine has ranked Angélique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award.
January 30–May 10, 2020, The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 1, Gallery 199
From the first millennium, Africa’s western Sahel—a vast area on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, spanning what is today Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger—was the birthplace of a succession of influential states fueled by regional and global trade networks. On view now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara will be the first exhibition of its kind to trace the cultural legacy of the region, including the legendary empires of Ghana (300–1200), Mali (1230–1600), Songhay (1464–1591), and Segu (1640–1861). The exhibition will bring together some 200 works that were created in parallel to these developments, including spectacular sculptures in wood, stone, fired clay, and bronze; gold and cast metal artifacts; woven and dyed textiles; and illuminated manuscripts.
“This exhibition will celebrate the extraordinary—though relatively unfamiliar—cultural traditions of the western Sahel,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “We’re deeply grateful to our colleagues around the world, especially in the Sahel, for lending the works of art that will bring this fascinating history to life. These highly innovative creations are sure to inspire a greater understanding of the Sahel’s complex history, and the pivotal events that unfolded in this global crossroads. Given the pressing matters confronting the region today, it’s especially important to reflect on its legacy of creative dynamism with our audiences.”
The exhibition will bring into focus such transformative moments as the development of urbanism, the rise and fall of political dynasties, and the arrival of Islam. Highlights will include loans from the region’s national collections that will travel to the United States for the first time, such as a magnificent ancient terracotta equestrian figure (3rd through 11th century) excavated at the site of Bura in 1985, from the Institut de Recherches en Sciences Humaines, Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, Niger; a rare 12th-century gold pectoral from Rao that is a Senegalese national treasure from the collection of the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar; and the Timbuktu manuscripts from the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library in Mali.
“Although the material artifacts created in the Sahel we will be presenting constitute our most immediate connection to its past, they have largely remained isolated and detached from the region’s history and succession of legendary states,” said Alisa LaGamma, Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Curator in Charge of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. “What is today southcentral Mali is renowned for its traditions of wood sculpture produced by Dogon and Bamana masters. This exhibition seeks to anchor those more fully in what has been an ever-changing cultural landscape and situate them in relation to a more expansive array of its artistic landmarks. The immersive experience of this presentation will take you on a journey that underscores a many-layered past. A sense of continuity in the visualization of ideals of power and leadership will be embodied in a cavalcade of equestrian figures produced by regional artists over the course of the last millennium, led by the commanding Bura example from present-day Niger showcasing a breathtaking amount of detail down to the figure’s adornment of stacked bracelets and chokers and his mount’s harness.”
“There is so much focus on the challenges that the Sahel faces today: increasing desertification owing to climate change, security threats from extremists, and perilous desert and ocean crossings to Europe faced by migrants,” said Mamadou Diouf, Leitner Family Professor of African History at Columbia University, and a key curatorial advisor to the exhibition. “This presentation provides an opportunity to wonder at the Sahel’s legacy of creative ingenuity and resilience going back millennia.”
The exhibition’s opening gallery will dramatically juxtapose ancient sculptural creations, from the monumental to the miniature. An eighth-century three-ton megalith in the form of a lyre, originally from what is today the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wanar—now a fixture of downtown Dakar in Senegal, just outside the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire Cheikh Anta Diop (IFAN Ch. A. Diop)—will be seen in relation to a nearly three-inch female torso known as the Venus of Thiaroye (pre-2000 B.C.), also in the IFAN Ch. A. Diop collection.
The exhibition will afford a broad survey of the region’s visual arts in relation to major historical events and architectural monuments across the western Sahel. Among the compelling works assembled are two terracotta sculptural representations created in Mali’s Inland Niger Delta dating from the 12th to the 14th century: a corpulent reclining figure of a male potentate excavated at Jenne-jeno that is a centerpiece of the Musée National du Mali, Bamako, and, from The Menil Collection in Houston, a kneeling female figure in a posture of intense devotion. A procession of 14 mounted warriors will extend the length of the exhibition—led by Niger’s iconic third-century Bura terracotta equestrian, unearthed in a necropolis, and culminating in a rider carved by a 19th-century Bamana master from Mali as a communal allegory of power. The adoption of Islam in the Sahel in the 11th century as well as the impact of global trade across the region will be illustrated through precious documents, including an illuminated portolan map on vellum from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, produced in 1413 by the Majorcan cartographer Mecia de Viladestes.
In Collaboration With The Denver Art Museum, Rhythm and Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americaswill feature nearly 80 artworks
Denver’s Latin American Art Museum, Museo de las Americas (Museo), located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in creating its new exhibition, Rhythm and Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americas. The presentation will explore music of the ancient Americas through about 80 artworks that date from 1000 BCE to 1530 CE. Rhythm and Ritual will be on view at Museo from Thursday, March 26, 2020 to Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, with an opening event taking place on March 26, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Museo.
“As a community museum, it is important that our programming brings awareness to the history and present issues of the Latino community,” said Claudia Moran, Executive Director of Museo. “We are very excited to present Rhythm and Ritual, which is a unique exhibition that takes an in-depth look into the ancient civilizations’ relationship with music. Museo is deeply thankful to the Denver Art Museum for their colossal efforts to showcase their exceptional collection in our galleries, underlining their commitment to Latino culture.”
Works on view in Rhythm and Ritual will analyze the context in which music was performed throughout the ancient Americas, celebrate the lasting legacy of ancient music today, and invite visitors to play music on a limited selection of 3-D printed replicas of the musical instruments on display. The exhibition will feature works on loan from the DAM as well as a commissioned mural by local artist David Ocelotl Garcia and a video by Brazilian-born artist Clarissa Tossin.
The exhibition is co-organized by Museo and the DAM, and is curated by Jared Katz, Mayer Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow for Art of the Ancient Americas at the DAM.
“Museo de las Americas is a vital pillar in our cultural community, and we’re always thrilled when we have the opportunity to partner with them,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “This is also an ideal opportunity for us to showcase works from the Denver Art Museum’s ancient Americas collection while the Martin Building is under renovation.”
The exhibition also will take a closer look at the rich and multi-sensory cultural experiences encountered by people living throughout the ancient Americas by exploring how sound and music impacted their daily and ceremonial lives. Additionally, Rhythm and Ritual will take a deeper dive into related subjects such as music from geographic regions that include Costa Rica, Ecuador, the ancient Andes, and the ancient Maya area.
“At times, the past can appear to be static, as the objects are seemingly condemned to sit in silence,” Katz said. “In reality, each object has a rich life history. Rhythm and Ritual seeks to celebrate the life history of these instruments by populating people’s perception of the past with sound and music, helping museum visitors better understand the lived experiences of ancient people, while simultaneously creating a connection to culture and music that endures today.”
Exhibition curator Katz is currently the Mayer Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow for Art of the Ancient Americas at the DAM. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology, with a focus on Mesoamerican Archaeology from the University of California, Riverside. He specializes in the study of ancient Mesoamerican music and digital archaeological methodologies. Katz has published numerous articles on the topic, and has held research positions at institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin’s Mesoamerican research center in Guatemala and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Museum.
Amongst his other positions, he has held a University of California Public Scholars Fellowship, a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship, and a University of California Chancellors Distinguished Fellowship.
Free Admission to Civics Exhibitions for College Students Through 2020
As election year 2020 begins, the New-York Historical Society is launching a series of special exhibitions that address the cornerstones of citizenship and American democracy. Starting on Presidents’ Day Weekend, visitors to Meet the Presidents will discover how the role of the president has evolved since George Washington with a re-creation of the White House Oval Office and a new gallery devoted to the powers of the presidency. Opening on the eve of Women’s History Month, Women March marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment with an immersive celebration of 200 years of women’s political and social activism. Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic explores the important roles state constitutions have played in the history of our country, while The People Count: The Census in the Making of America documents the critical role played by the U.S. Census in the 19th century—just in time for the 2020 Census.
To encourage first-time voters to learn about our nation’s history and civic as they get ready to vote in the presidential election, New-York Historical Society offers free admission to the exhibitions above to college students with ID through 2020, an initiative supported, in part, by The History Channel. This special program allows college students to access New-York Historical’s roster of upcoming exhibitions that explore the pillars of American democracy as they prepare to vote, most of them for the first time.
“The year 2020 is a momentous time for both the past and future of American politics, as the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, coincides with both a presidential election and a census year,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “This suite of complementary exhibitions showcases the ideas and infrastructure behind our American institutions that establish and protect our fundamental rights to make our voices heard and opinions count. We hope that all visitors will come away with a wider understanding of the important role each citizen plays in our democracy.”
Meet the Presidents, February 14 – ongoing
Opening on Presidents’ Day Weekend, a special permanent gallery on New-York Historical’s fourth floor features a detailed re-creation of the White House Oval Office, where presidents have exercised their powers, duties, and responsibilities since 1909. Visitors to New-York Historical can explore the Oval Office, hear audio recordings of presidential musings, and even sit behind a version of the President’s Resolute Desk for a photo op.
Presidents can furnish the Oval Office to suit their own tastes, and this re-creation evokes the decor of President Ronald Reagan’s second term, widely considered a classic interpretation of Oval Office design. The Resolute Desk, which has been used by almost every president, was presented by Queen Victoria of England in friendship to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. The original was made from timbers from the British Arctic explorer ship H.M.S. Resolute, which was trapped in the ice, recovered by an American whaling ship, and returned to England. Other elements reminiscent of the Reagan-era on view include a famous jar of jelly beans, an inspirational plaque reading “It can be done,” and artist Frederic Remington’s Bronco Buster bronze sculpture of a rugged cowboy fighting to stay on a rearing horse.
The Suzanne Peck and Brian Friedman Meet the Presidents Gallery traces, through artwork and objects, the evolution of the presidency and executive branch and how presidents have interpreted and fulfilled their leadership role. Highlights include the actual Bible used during George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and a student scrapbook from 1962 chronicling JFK’s leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Meet the Presidents is curated by Marci Reaven, vice president of history exhibits, and Lily Wong, assistant curator.
Women March, February 28 – August 30
For as long as there has been a United States, women have organized to shape the nation’s politics and secure their rights as citizens. Their collective action has taken many forms, from abolitionist petitions to industry-wide garment strikes to massive marches for an Equal Rights Amendment. Women March celebrates the centennial of the 19th Amendment—which granted women the right to vote in 1920—as it explores the efforts of a diverse array of women to expand American democracy in the centuries before and after the suffrage victory. On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, Women March is curated by Valerie Paley, the director of the Center for Women’s History and New-York Historical senior vice president and chief historian, with the Center for Women’s History curatorial team. The immersive exhibition features imagery and video footage of women’s collective action over time, drawing visitors into a visceral engagement with the struggles that have endured into the 21st century.
INDIgenesis: GEN 3, A Showcase of Indigenous Filmmakers and Storytellers, March 19–28
Presented over two weeks, the series INDIgenesis: GEN 3, guest curated by Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo Nations), opens with an evening of expanded cinema and includes several shorts programs in the Walker Cinema and Bentson Mediatheque, an afternoon of virtual reality, and a closing-night feature film.
The ongoing showcase of works by Native filmmakers and artists is rooted in Indigenous principles that consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. GEN 3 connects perspectives and stories from the past, present, and future to convey Indigenous truths, teachings, and values.
“Indigenous artists use the creative process of filmmaking for revitalization and narrative sovereignty,” says Whiteman. “Our stories tell us where we came from, re-create our truths, affirm our languages and culture, and inspire us to imagine our Indigenous future. We come from the stars. How far will we take this medium?”
Throughout the program, join conversations with artists and community members centered on themes of Indigenous Futurism, revitalization, and artistic creation.
Opening Night: Remembering the Future Expanded Cinema Screening/Performance Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm Free, Walker Cinema
Combining film, a live score, hoop dancing, hip-hop, and spoken word, a collective of Indigenous artists led by curator Missy Whiteman creates an immersive environment that transcends time and place. Guided by ancestral knowledge systems, traditional stories, and contemporary forms of expression, the expanded cinema program features performances by DJ AO (Hopi/Mdewakatonwan Dakota), Sacramento Knoxx (Ojibwe/Chicano), Lumhe “Micco” Sampson (Mvskoke Creek/Seneca), and Michael Wilson (Ojibwe). Archival found footage and Whiteman’s sci-fi docu-narrative The Coyote Way: Going Back Home(2016), filmed in the community of Little Earth in South Minneapolis, illuminate the space.
Indigenous Lens: Our RealityShort films by multiple directors Friday, March 20, 7 pm, $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors), Walker Cinema
This evening of short films showcases a collection of contemporary stories about what it means to be Indigenous today, portraying identity and adaptability in a colonialist system. The program spans a spectrum of themes, including two-spirit transgender love, coming of age, reflections on friends and fathers, “indigenizing” pop art, and creative investigations into acts of repatriation. Digital video, 85 mins
Copresented with Hud Oberly (Comanche/Osage/Caddo), Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute (in attendance).
Lore Directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)
Images of friends and landscapes are fragmented and reassembled as a voice tells stories, composing elements of nostalgia in terms of lore. 2019, 10 min. View excerpt.
Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition Directed by New Red Order: Adam Khalil (Ojibway), Zack Khalil (Ojibway), Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Bayley Sweitzer
The latest video by the public secret society known as the New Red Order is an incendiary indictment of the norms of European settler colonialism. Examining institutionalized racism through a mix of 3D photographic scans and vivid dramatizations, this work questions the contemporary act of disposing historical artifacts as quick fixes, proposing the political potential of adding rather than removing. 2019, 7 min. View excerpt.
Mino Bimaadiziwin Directed by Shane McSauby (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
A trans Anishinaabe man meets a young Anishinaabe woman who pushes him to reconnect with their culture. 2017, 10 min. View excerpt.
The Moon and the Night Directed by Erin Lau (Kanaka Maoli)
Set in rural Hawaii, a Native Hawaiian teenage girl must confront her father after he enters her beloved pet in a dogfight. 2018, 19 min. View excerpt.
Shinaab II Directed by Lyle Michell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
A young man seeks to honor the memory of his late father in a film that looks at Ojibwe ideas surrounding death and mourning. 2019, 6 min.
Viva Diva Directed by Daniel Flores (Yaqui)
This road trip movie follows Rozene and Diva as they make their way down to Guadalajara for their gender affirmation surgeries. 2017, 15 min. View excerpt.
Dig It If You Can Directed by Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town)
An insightful portrait of the self-taught artist and designer Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa), whose satirical manipulations of pop culture for an Indigenous audience are gaining a passionate, mass following as he realizes his youthful dreams. 2016, 18 min. View excerpt.
Bringing together over 55 paintings and sculptures, The Art Institute of Chicago presents El Greco: Ambition and Defiance from March 7 to June 21, 2020. The first major exhibition in over 15 years devoted to Doménikos Theotokópoulos, known widely as El Greco, Ambition and Defianceforegrounds the artist’s personality to chart the development of his distinctive style, offering a new view of his prescient aesthetic. The exhibition is organized by the Art Institute with the Réunion des musées nationaux–Grand Palais, Paris and the Musée du Louvre.
Remaining true to El Greco’s character, Ambition and Defiance provides a window into the personal aspirations and struggles that drove his artistic trajectory. Born in Crete, El Greco trained as a traditional Byzantine icon painter before moving in 1567 to Venice, where he became an avid follower of artists such as Titian and Tintoretto. Mastering but personalizing the techniques of Venetian Renaissance painting, he later sought patronage within the papal circle in Rome, but his ambitions would ultimately be undermined by his outspoken criticism of Michelangelo. El Greco received no commissions from the church during the six years he spent in Rome from 1570 to 1576, building his reputation instead on the basis of occasional commissions for portraits and small-scale devotional paintings.
Ambition and Defiance tracks the intersections of El Greco’s professional savvy, rebellious spirit, and artistic reinvention, culminating in the proto-modern style he developed in Toledo, where he settled in 1577. There, El Greco quickly earned a major commission for the altarpiece of the Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo, anchored by the monumental masterpiece The Assumption of the Virgin (1577-79), a work acquired by the Art Institute in 1906 at the behest of Mary Cassatt. When a dispute over the price El Greco demanded for another major commission for Toledo Cathedral led to litigation and a fallout with this powerful institution, he embarked on a career as a portraitist of the local intelligentsia. El Greco’s aesthetic continued to transform, becoming otherworldly and deeply expressive, marked by dramatic, bold color, radical foreshortening, and elongated forms. Its distinctly modern tenor appealed to artists at the turn of the twentieth century, when El Greco’s oeuvre was rediscovered and championed by the avant-garde.
The Museum of Modern Art will host the Armory Party, a benefit event with live music and DJs celebrating the opening of the Armory Show and Armory Arts Week, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The Armory Show is New York’s premier art fair and a definitive cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th- and 21st-century artworks. The evening reception, along with the daytime Early Access Preview at Piers 90 and 94, benefits MoMA’s exhibition programming.
The Armory Show returns in March 2020, marking its 26th year as New York’s leading fair for modern and contemporary art, and definitive cultural destination in the heart of Manhattan. Staged on Piers 90 and 94, the Armory Show features presentations by nearly 180 leading international galleries, sitespecific commissions and dynamic public programs. Since its founding in 1994, the Armory Show has served as a nexus for the art world, inspiring dialogue, discovery and patronage in the visual arts.
The relationship between the Armory Show and MoMA dates back to 2001, the year in which the fair dedicated its opening day to the Museum and in which the Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Acquisition Fund at The Museum of Modern Art was founded. The Armory Party at MoMA was also first held in 2001 and continues to be a much-anticipated annual art event, reflective of the deep partnership between both institutions and their shared commitment to Armory Arts Week.
The 2020 Armory Party will feature an open bar, a live musical performance by Orville Peck, and DJ sets by Kitty Cash,Hank, and Mona. The event will run from 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and features access to the second-floor Collection Galleries, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, and Haegue Yang: Handles.Party ticket purchase also includes select access to the Armory Show at Piers 90 and 94. VIP tickets feature a designated bar and lounge, early party access at 8:00 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres until 9:00 p.m., and exclusive access to Neri Oxman: Material Ecology.
Orville Peck will perform a live set in the Museum’s Agnes Gund Garden Lobby. Described as country music’s newest outlaw, Peck performs in handmade, fringed masks—which obscure all but his ice-blue eyes and belie his deeply personal lyrics—and ornate Nudie suits that recall the golden age of country music. Since the March 2019 release of his self-produced debut album, Pony, on Sub Pop Records, the enigmatic singer-songwriter has been featured on NPR and in Billboard, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone,the Los Angeles Times, Uncut, the Fader, the Bluegrass Situation, and Vogue. The record draws from country music’s rich traditions, while Peck’s unique and haunting baritone weaves through 12 original songs.
This year’s event is hosted by the Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.
Salman Toor’s first solo museum exhibition will be presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art from March 20 to July 5, 2020. Primarily making intimate oil-on-panel works, Toor expands the tradition of figurative painting by melding sketch-like immediacy with disarming detail to create affecting views of young, queer Brown men living between New York City and South Asia. Salman Toor: How Will I Know is part of the Whitney’s emerging artists program, which most recently included solo shows by Kevin Beasley and Eckhaus Latta, and will be on view in the first-floor John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery, which is accessible to the public free-of-charge. This exhibition is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator, and Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.
“Over the past few years the field of figurative painting has been reimagined once again, this time by artists frankly depicting lives and cultures that were all too often overlooked,” said Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “Salman Toor is one of the most exciting of these young talents, conjuring beautiful stories across his canvases with a sensitive and elegant touch.”
Considering the figures he paints to be imaginary versions of himself and his friends, Toor portrays his subjects with empathy to counter the judgments he feels are often imposed on them by the outside world. Allusions to art history—notably classical European and modern Indian painting—feature throughout the artist’s work, endowing his narratives, which are drawn from experience, with elements of fantasy. Recurring color palettes, notably muted greens used to evoke a nocturnal atmosphere, heighten the emotion and drama of Toor’s compositions. In these dreamy vignettes, characters dance in cramped apartments, binge-watch period dramas, play with puppies, and style their friends’ hair. Meanwhile, another group of works, more somber in tone, highlights moments of nostalgia and alienation. One painting depicts a morose family dinner; in a series of works, forlorn men stand with their personal belongings on display for the scrutiny of immigration officers. Rich in personal detail and situated within a queer diasporic community, Toor’s paintings evocatively consider how vulnerability appears in public and private life.
Open 365 days a year, the VMFA shares its growing collection of African American art all year long. During Black History Month 2020, it’s great time to visit the collection and join the ongoing celebration of African American art, history, and culture.
TALK Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, VMFA, in conversation with Nell Draper-Winston Thu, Jan 30 | 6:30–7:30 pm, $8 (VMFA members $5), Leslie Cheek Theater
VMFA’s Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, curator of Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop, will provide an overview of the exhibition, which features photography by members of the Kamoinge Workshop, an artist collective founded in New York City in 1963. Nell Draper-Winston, sister of photographer Louis Draper, will join Dr. Eckhardt in conversation to discuss her brother’s photographs and his roots in Richmond.
OPEN STUDIO PLUS PERFORMANCE Grandma’s Hands Sun, Feb 2 | 1–4 pm, Free, no tickets required. Art Education Center. Performances in the Atrium 2 pm & 3 pm
Join others as they encounter generational lessons from two sisters with remarkable stories to share from the perspective of the African American South. Through song, stories, and signed poetry, we will learn how women have made an impact on culture through practices passed down from family matriarchs.
RVA Community Makers Art Activity Sun, Feb 2 | 1–4 pm, Free, no tickets required. Art Education Center
During Open Studio Plus Performance, celebrate family with Richmond artist Hamilton Glass and local African American photographers.
Take your digital family portraits onsite at VMFA to become part of a mixed-media public art collaboration. Glass will guide attendees in hands-on participation. You can also capture fun memories in the Family Portrait Photo Booth.
Extending the meaning of family to community, the project also brings together six local photographers—Regina Boone, Courtney Jones, Brian Palmer, Sandra Sellars, Ayasha Sledge, and James Wallace— who will create portraits of six selected community leaders.
FIRST FRIDAY Spirituals, Fri, Feb 7 | 6–8 pm, Free, no tickets required. Atrium
Welcome sopranos Lisa Edwards Burrs and Olletta Cheatham to the First Friday series with an evening of Spirituals. Lisa and Olletta will sing many powerful songs of the genre and explore their resonating impact on history.
DANCE PARTY VMFA After Hours: VMFA Is for Lovers Sat, Feb 15 | 7–11:30 pm, $45/person ($35 VMFA members). Museum wide
Join host Kelli Lemon for a night of art, music, dancing, and love after dark. Catch DJ Lonnie B on the spin in the Marble Hall. Enjoy Legacy Band performing live music in the Atrium. Experience the exhibitions Edward Hopper and the American Hotel and Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop.
All galleries will be open during this event to give you access to our diverse collections of art from around the world.
LIVE JAZZ, Dominion Energy Jazz Café: Jazz Around the Museum. Thu, Feb 13 | 6–9 pm, Free, no tickets required. Marble Hall
Back by popular demand! Who says a Jazz band can’t party, get down, and get funky? Led by saxophonist Robert “Bo” Bohannon, Klaxton Brown combines the old with the new, and will rock you steady all night long. Prepare to get Klaxtonized!
Tour To Include Chicago, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston Starting June 2021
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced a five-city tour next year of the portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, that will launch during the summer of 2021. Next year, in mid-May 2021, the Obama portraits, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, will temporarily go off view from the museum’s exhibitions for tour preparation.
The tour will commence in Chicago, June 18, 2021, and will continue, with the works traveling across the country, through May 30, 2022. This is one of several initiatives being set by the Portrait Gallery to engage communities nationwide throughout the next four years. The artworks are expected to reach millions of people who may not be able to visit Washington, D.C.
“We view the country as our community,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “Since the unveiling of these two portraits of the Obamas, the Portrait Gallery has experienced a record number of visitors, not only to view these works in person, but to be part of the communal experience of a particular moment in time. This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people in the beauty of dialogue and shared experience.”
The paintings were commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and revealed in a special unveiling ceremony Feb. 12, 2018, in the presence of President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, and the artists. Wiley and Sherald are the first African American artists to have been selected for the National Portrait Gallery’s official portraits of a President or First Lady.
In addition to the paintings, the tour will include an audio-visual element, Portrait Gallery-led teacher workshops and curatorial presentations in each location. In anticipation of the tour, the Portrait Gallery is also publishing a book in partnership with Princeton University Press. The Obama Portraits will be released Feb. 11.
With the Obama portraits, the National Portrait Gallery continues its more than 45-year legacy of touring exhibitions. American presidents, in particular, have been the subject of several Portrait Gallery exhibitions. The exhibition “Theodore Roosevelt: Icon of the American Century” (1998 to 2000) traveled to several cities as did “Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery” (2000 to 2005). The museum’s acclaimed “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart toured to seven venues in “George Washington: A National Treasure” (2002 to 2004). The National Portrait Gallery’s collection includes more than 1,600 portraits of U.S. presidents and is the nation’s only complete collection of U.S. presidents accessible to the public.
Tour venues include:
Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago—June 18, 2021–Aug. 15, 2021
Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn, New York—Aug. 27, 2021–Oct. 24, 2021
Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles—Nov. 5, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
High Art Museum; Atlanta—Jan. 14, 2022–March 13, 2022
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Houston—March 25, 2022–May 30, 2022
Oscar® Winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek Return to the Oscars® Stage
Cynthia Erivo, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz And Randy Newman To Perform Nominated Original Songs
With Special Appearances By Eímear Noone And Questlove
Oscar® winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek (Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting actress, and Best Actor in 2019) will present at the 92nd Oscars®, show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain announced today. All return to the Oscars stage after winning last year in their respective acting categories.
“We love the tradition of having the previous year’s Oscar-winning actors on stage to celebrate the achievements of their peers and are thrilled to welcome back these four great talents,” said Howell Taylor and Allain.
Cynthia Erivo, Oscar® winner Elton John, Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz and Oscar winner Randy Newman will perform this year’s nominated songs at the 92nd Oscars® ceremony.
“We’re excited to have an incredible group of nominees and performers who will deliver one-of-a-kind music moments you will only see on the Oscars,” said Howell Taylor and Allain.
This year’s Original Song nominees and performers are as follows (in alphabetical order by song title):
Gift represents the largest single donation of photographs in VMFA’s history; VMFA will take over the administration of the Aaron Siskind Fellowship Prize.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been given an extraordinary gift of more than 8,000 photographs by Aaron Siskind (1903–1991) from the Aaron Siskind Foundation in New York. Established by the artist in 1984, the foundation’s mission has been to preserve and protect Siskind’s artistic legacy, as well as to foster knowledge and appreciation for photography through research, publications, exhibitions and an annual fellowship prize for individual artists. The foundation recently decided to dissolve its operations and transfer the collection to an American art museum that would be willing to administer the annual fellowship prize and care for, interpret, and display the foundation’s core collection of Siskind’s photographs. VMFA was awarded this major gift thanks to the museum’s demonstrated commitment to photography and its outstanding fellowship program. The transfer of the collection to VMFA took place on January 1, 2020.
“After a thorough search of the major art institutions across the country, the Aaron Siskind Foundation was delighted to find that the visionary leadership, ambitious plans for the future, and commitment to carrying on Aaron Siskind’s legacy made VMFA the ideal choice as the new and permanent home for the collection and administration of the Siskind Prize,” says Victor Schrager, President of the Aaron Siskind Foundation.
“With this remarkable donation from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts owns what Siskind and his colleagues considered to be the finest prints of every important work he ever made,” says VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “Comparable to the key sets of Paul Strand’s photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., this gift also allows VMFA to become an important center for the study and appreciation of Siskind’s life and work, as well as photography in general.”
The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Siskind was born and raised in New York City and graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1926. Three years later, Siskind received a large-format view camera as a wedding gift when he married Sidonie Glatter. He took his first photographs with this camera on their honeymoon in Bermuda in 1930. Siskind later joined the Film and Photo League in New York. Inspired by the social documentary photography that he saw at the Film and Photo League, Siskind spent the next decade working as a street photographer, most notably producing his acclaimed Harlem Document series. In the early 1940s, he shifted to more abstract and symbolic work, often based on found objects.
Siskind supported himself by teaching in the New York public school system until 1949, when he resigned and briefly tried to earn his living as a freelance photographer. Unable to do so, Siskind moved to Chicago at the invitation of fellow photographer Harry Callahan, whom he met in the summer of 1950 at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, where they both taught photography. Siskind went on to teach photography at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago from 1951 to 1970. By the 1950s, his work had become widely associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement thanks to his acclaimed photographs of the walls of buildings, whose flat, variegated surfaces enlivened by peeling paint or the remnants of torn posters provided a visual counterpart to the work of Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and other painters of the New York School. Siskind’s photographs were shown alongside the paintings of these artists in a series of exhibitions at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York between 1947 and 1951. At a time when photography rarely achieved equality with painting as a fine art, Siskind’s success in the broader New York art scene signaled an important advancement for the medium.
Mutualities, the multidisciplinary artist Cauleen Smith’s first solo show in New York, will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art on February 17. The exhibition includes two films, Sojourner (2018) and Pilgrim (2017), shown in two installation environments newly created for the Whitney, along with a group of new drawings, collectively titled Firespitters (2020).
Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “We’re delighted to welcome Cauleen Smith back to the Whitney. With their exquisite atmosphere and construction, Sojourner and Pilgrim offer lyrical views of important figures and sites in Black history, and also look toward a shared future. The show builds a beautiful bridge between the other pillars of our spring exhibition program, pointing to the political concerns of Vida Americana and the spiritual uplift of Agnes Pelton.”
Smith (b. 1967)—whose banners were prominently featured at the Museum in the 2017 Whitney Biennial—draws on poetry, science fiction, non-Western cosmologies, and experimental film to create works that reflect on memory and Afro-diasporic histories.
Cauleen Smith is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon Black radical thought, structural film, poetry, and science fiction. Born in Riverside, California in 1967, she grew up in Sacramento, and earned a B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. At UCLA, she studied with the L.A. Rebellion filmmakers, a group of graduate students who started a Black Cinema movement at the university in the mid-1960s. She has made over 40 films, and her first feature length film, Drylongso (1998), premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival before circulating with acclaim to other film festivals. She has had exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, ICA Philadelphia, MASS MoCA, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the New Museum, New York, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and the Kitchen, New York, and was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2007), the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Artist Award (2012), the Washington Park Arts Incubator, Arts and Public Life Residency (2013), and the Rauschenberg Residency (2015). She has taught at various universities over the span of the last two decades, and is a Faculty member of Cal Arts School of Art in Los Angeles.
Chrissie Iles, the Whitney’s Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, who has organized the show with Clémence White, senior curatorial assistant, commented, “We are proud to bring together Cauleen Smith’s films, installations, and drawings in an exhibition that articulates an ethics of care, engagement, and generosity. Each element of the show is experienced through another—books written and chosen by poets invited by the artist appear in delicate gouaches; a film tracing a pilgrimage to spiritual sites is bathed in the colored light of the installation surrounding it. The Museum’s recognition of Smith’s long and deeply engaged practice is underlined by our recent acquisition of both films, Sojourner and Pilgrim, which join her banners already in the Whitney’s collection.”
Unfolding across several important sites in Black spiritual and cultural history, the two films in the exhibition weave together writings by women from different eras, including Shaker visionary Rebecca Cox Jackson, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, the Black feminist Combahee River Collective of the 1970s, and experimental-jazz composer and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane, whose music also forms the soundtrack for both films. This gathering of voices enacts a shared Black female subjectivity, the collective strength of which is expressed in Smith’s poetic use of the camera and light as improvisational instruments to reveal how invention, creativity, and generosity can be resources for transformation and regeneration. By placing the title of this exhibition in the plural, Smith draws a connection between the two films while pointing to the idea that what is held in common is never singular.
In Sojourner, a group of women walk in procession through sites including Dockweiler State Beach and Watts Towers in Los Angeles. The women carry translucent orange banners, each emblazoned with part of a text by the jazz composer and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane (1937–2007). Watts Towers, a cluster of seventeen sculptural spires, served as a symbol of hope and regeneration after surviving the 1965 Watts Rebellion unscathed. Smith locates a similar spirit in assemblage artist Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Desert Art Museum in Joshua Tree, California. The women end their procession there, listening to readings of the Black feminist Combahee River Collective, Sojourner Truth (1797–1833), and Alice Coltrane. Their collective voices, echoed in contemporary footage of the Chicago-based activist coalition R3 (Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild.), fuse spirituality and activism into a potent articulation of self-realization and resistance. The actions unfold not only within different sites within the film itself, but in an immersive kaleidoscopic environment of light and seating in the Museum that interconnects the film with a more expansive sense of place and collective presence.
Pilgrim traces the artist’s pilgrimage to three sites: Alice Coltrane’s Turiyasangitananda Vedantic Center in Agoura, California; Watts Towers in Los Angeles; and the Black spiritual activist Rebecca Cox Jackson’s (1795–1871) Watervliet Shaker community in upstate New York. Smith vividly evokes the creative atmosphere of each place, allowing the camera to slowly explore the ashram’s interior and Coltrane’s musical instruments, and using the soft grain and subtle color of Super 8 film to infuse the footage of Watts Towers and the flowers in the Shaker garden with an emotional intimacy. Jackson’s advocacy of racial and gender equality, her fight against the patriarchy of organized religion, and her awareness of the African roots of her faith resonate with Coltrane’s own hybrid, transnational spiritual and musical language. Both women’s challenges to accepted authority are, like the enduring independent spirit of Watts Towers, grounded in a sense of place, community, and generosity that are also hallmarks of Smith’s own transformative work.
The screenings of Smith’s films in High Line Art’s presentation of Signals from Here, organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator, will take place from dusk until the park closes, on the High Line at 14th Street. The program includes Three Songs About Liberation (2017), Crow Requiem (2015), Lessons in Semaphore (2015), H-E-L-L-O (2014), and Songs for Earth and Folk (2013).
Screening and Conversation with Cauleen Smith and Michael Gillespie Friday, March 27, 6:30 pm
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Whitney will present a rare screening of Passing Through (1977, 105 min) by LA Rebellion filmmaker Larry Clark, preceded by one of Cauleen Smith’s films. Following the screening, Smith will be in conversation with film scholar Michael Boyce Gillespie, Associate Professor of Film in the Department of Media and Communication Arts and the Black Studies Program at the City College of New York, City University of New York.
Tickets required. ($10 adults; $8 members, students, seniors, and visitors with a disability).
Cauleen Smith: Mutualities is part of the Whitney’s emerging artists program, sponsored by Nordstrom. Generous support is provided by The Rosenkranz Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Artists Council.
Brian Clarke: The Art of Light, March 21–August 23, 2020
From March 21 through August 23, 2020, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will present a major exhibition of works by celebrated architectural artist and painter Brian Clarke (b. 1953, United Kingdom). The first museum exhibition in the U.S. of Clarke’s stained-glass screens, compositions in lead, and related drawings on paper, Brian Clarke: The Art of Light showcases the most considerable artistic and technical breakthrough in the thousand-year history of stained glass.
More than twenty stained-glass screens form the centerpiece of the exhibition. Begun in 2015, these works are described by Clarke as “the expression of ideas that started forming in my mind in the 80s. They possess a cinematic drama that, until now, we haven’t had the technology to express.” Produced using advances developed with and for them, the works dispense with the dividing lead support that has been a necessary component of stained glass through most of its existence. Merging the traditional techniques of glassblowing with the artist’s decades of exploration of the medium of glass, the screens are Clarke’s major independent work of the past four years.
“Brian joins a long and illustrious history of extraordinary glass artists that MAD has championed over the decades and this exhibition will reveal the technological innovation that is integral to Brian’s sublime artistry,” said Chris Scoates, MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. “There is palpable excitement in the art world today for the creative breakthroughs currently happening in media such as glass and I am extremely excited to share what will be an unforgettable encounter with the union of art and design in contemporary stained glass.”
Consistently, Clarke has pushed the boundaries of stained glass, both in terms of technology and its poetic potential, in tandem with his investigations in painting. His practice in architectural and autonomous stained glass has led to successive innovation and invention in the fabrication of the medium and, through the production of leadless stained glass and the creation of sculptural works made primarily or wholly of lead, he has radically stretched the limits of what stained glass can do and express.
Brian Clarke (b. 1953, Oldham, Lancashire, England) is the world’s most widely recognized stained-glass artist. His meteoric rise to prominence in the late 70s—buoyed by the energy of the Punk movement—was as a painter and polemicist championing the integration of art and architecture. Described by Andy Warhol as “the most glamorous artist to come out of England since the sixties,” Clarke lived and worked in New York in the 80s and 90s, where he produced some of the most significant developments in his work. Clarke’s commitment to total art has developed into a Renaissance engagement with multiple media, from painting, sculpture, ceramics, mosaic and tapestry to sets for opera, the ballet, and stadia. His reputation is based on installations and individual works, ranging from intimate to monumental in scale, for hundreds of projects worldwide. Practicing in sacred and secular spaces, he has collaborated on projects and proposals with Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Arata Isozaki, Oscar Niemeyer, Renzo Piano, Future Systems, and other leading figures of Modern and contemporary architecture. Clarke’s work is represented in international public and private collections including the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Bavarian State Painting Collections, and the Sezon Museum of Modern Art, and has been the subject of exhibitions at international museums including the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Munich Stadtmuseum; the Centre International du Vitrail, Chartres; the Corning Museum of Glass, USA; the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt,Germany; and Vitromusée, Romont. He lives and works in London.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner Curates Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series Featuring His Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique Performing A Complete Beethoven Symphony Cycle on Period Instruments in Five Concerts, February 19-24
Winter Concerts Are Part of Carnegie Hall’s Beethoven Celebration in Honor of the 250th Anniversary of the Composer’s Birth
This February, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Artistic Director and Conductor of the internationally acclaimed period instrument ensemble Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR), curates a five-concert Perspectivesseries at Carnegie Hall, featuring a complete Beethoven symphony cycle performed as part of Carnegie Hall’s season-long celebration of the 250th anniversary year of Beethoven’s birth.
The five New York City concerts by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique are part of Carnegie Hall’s season-long Beethoven Celebration featuring more than 35 events highlighting the immensity of the composer’s transformative impact on music, performed by a remarkable line-up of internationally renowned musicians.
Grounded in Maestro Gardiner’s exacting study of Beethoven’s original manuscripts, the symphonies will be performed as the composer would have experienced them, played on period instruments, including valveless brass, woodwinds without additional keys and levers, gut strings, and hide-covered timpani struck with hard sticks.
A key figure both in the early music revival and as a pioneer of historically informed performances, Maestro Gardiner kicks off the ORR’s five-concert series on Wednesday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m. with selections from Beethoven’s rarely heard ballet score, The Creatures of Prometheus; the concert aria, “Ah! perfido;” excerpts from Leonore; and the composer’s Symphony No. 1; Soprano Lucy Crowe joins the orchestra as soloist. On Thursday, February 20 at 8:00 p.m., the orchestra performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” The series continues Friday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m. with symphonies Nos. 4 and 5. On Sunday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m., the program includes Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral” and Symphony No. 7. For the series’ final concert on Monday, February 24 at 8:00 p.m. the ORR’s Beethoven cycle culminates with the symphonies Nos. 8 and 9, with the orchestra joined by soprano Lucy Crowe, contralto Jess Dandy, tenor Ed Lyon, and bass Tareq Nazmi, alongside The Monteverdi Choir. As a prelude to the cycle, Maestro Gardiner will be joined by distinguished Beethoven scholar William Kinderman for a discussion in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall to illuminate Sir John Eliot’s approach to these symphonic masterworks (Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m.). In addition to the public discussion with Sir John Eliot on February 18, Carnegie Hall Debs Composer’s Chair Jörg Widmann will present a talk later this spring (Mar. 29, WRH), enabling audiences to gain greater insights into Beethoven’s music.
The ORR’s final February 24 concert will be heard by listeners around the world as part of the ninth annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast 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. Produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and co-hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and Clemency Burton-Hill, select Carnegie Hall Livebroadcasts featured throughout the season include special digital access to the broadcast team, from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.
When asked to reflect on thirty years of music making with the ORR and his upcoming Beethoven symphony performances, Sir John Eliot Gardiner said “When we started the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique 30 years ago, our mission statement included trying to recover the world of Beethoven’s sound. Our aim was to provide bold new perspectives on the glorious orchestral works of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the ensemble’s inception, we have used our time together productively and creatively to explore fresh approaches to this much-loved music, some of it familiar but also some of it neglected or undervalued. Through the use and mastery of period instruments, the ORR musicians bring out the subtle and pervasive differences in the palette of sounds that composers as different as Beethoven, Berlioz, Schumann, Debussy, and Verdi were committed to revealing. Time and again, the players have shown vision and tenacity in demonstrating the techniques and sounds required to recapture the true essence of this music. Every time we embark on a fresh project together, I am amazed and touched by the way the players seem willing to put their necks on the block in order to bring this music back to intoxicating life once again.”
The Carnegie Hall performances are part of Maestro Gardiner and the ORR’s Beethoven 250, a yearlong celebration of the composer’s milestone anniversary, and are also part of the ORR’s 30th anniversary season. The orchestra’s transatlantic tour, February 9-June 27, also includes engagements and complete symphony cycles at Chicago’s Harris Theater, London’s Barbican Hall, and Barcelona’s Palau de la Música.
SIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER ON THE BEETHOVEN SYMPHONIES
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 7:00 PM, Weill Recital Hall
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Speaker
with William Kinderman, Moderator
Robin Michael, Principal Cello
Anneke Scott, Principal Horn
BEETHOVEN’S SYMPHONIES AND THE EMPIRE OF THE MIND
Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s groundbreaking interpretations of Beethoven’s music have cast this magnificent body of work in a new light. Joined by distinguished Beethoven scholar William Kinderman and ORR principals Robin Michael and Anneke Scott for this illuminating discussion, Gardiner shares his insights about his approach to this immortal music. Tickets: $25
ORCHESTRE RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE ET ROMANTIQUE
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 8:00 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Artistic Director and Conductor
Lucy Crowe, Soprano
Overture, Introduction, and Act I from The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
“Ah! perfido,” Op. 65
Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
Leonore Overture No. 1, Op. 138
“Ach, brich noch nicht, du mattes Herz!” – “Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern” from Act II of Leonore, Op. 72
With approximately 200 works by sixty U.S. and Mexican artists, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will reveal the profound impact of Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera—on the style, subject matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925 and 1945.
Organized by curator Barbara Haskell, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant, Vida Americana will be on view at the Whitney from February 17 through May 17. During a special event held today in the Museum’s lobby, Museum visitors were greeted with a surprise celebration at noon, complete with free ticket giveaways and an Instagram-worthy photo opportunity.
At the event, Haskell highlighted the murals and easel paintings that will be on loan from Mexico, Japan, Argentina, and the United Kingdom for the exhibition. These include works that are rarely exhibited in the United States, including Rivera’s 1932 studies for his destroyed and infamous Rockefeller Center mural, Man at the Crossroads, on loan from the Museo Anahuacalli in Mexico City; María Izquierdo’s My Nieces (1940) and Siqueiros’s Proletarian Mother (1929), on loan from the Museo Nacional de Arte; and two paintings by Japanese-born artist Eitarō Ishigaki, on loan from Japan’s Museum of Modern Art in Wakayama.
Guerrero then discussed the Museum’s ongoing initiative to improve access for Spanish-speaking visitors.
For Vida Americana, a number of resources will be available in both English and Spanish, including all exhibition texts, the mobile guide, exhibition tours, and a Family Guide that will feature texts and in-gallery activities. The guide is available free of charge to all families who visit the Whitney as well as to elementary school-aged students who visit the Museum. The Museum also announced programs being organized by its education department on the occasion of the exhibition, including a full-day symposium featuring artists, curators, educators, and scholars presenting new perspectives on the role of Mexican Muralism in the United States. Other programming highlights include Tours for Immigrant Families, Teen Night, and a Community Partnership Mural Project with The Door and artist Sophia Dawson. Additional details and the full lineup of programs can be viewed below.
By presenting the art of the Mexican muralists alongside that of their American contemporaries, Vida Americana reveals the influence of Mexican art, particularly on those looking for inspiration and models beyond European modernism and the School of Paris, during the interwar period. Works by both well-known and underrecognized American artists will be exhibited, including those by Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Marion Greenwood, William Gropper, Philip Guston, Eitarō Ishigaki, Jacob Lawrence, Harold Lehman, Fletcher Martin, Jackson Pollock, Ben Shahn, Thelma Johnson Streat, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff. In addition to Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros, other key Mexican artists included in the exhibition include Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Frida Kahlo, Mardonio Magaña, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and Rufino Tamayo. Tickets for Vida Americana are now available at whitney.org.
COMMUNITY AND ACCESS PROGRAMS
Tours for Immigrant Families, Feb 1, March 7, April 4, May 2, 2020
Bring your family to the Museum for a free tour and fun activities! We welcome immigrant families who speak any language and level of English. Spanish-speaking staff will be on the tour and two-trip MetroCards will be provided.
Immigrant Justice Night, April 29, 2020, 6–8 pm
Jointly organized with community partners, the Whitney will host its third Immigrant Justice Night. Join the museum for an evening of resource-sharing and artmaking dedicated to immigrant and undocumented communities. Youth, families, teachers, and community members are invited to connect with NYC immigrant justice organizations, participate in a “know your rights” training and explore Vida Americana. Spanish and English language guided tours of the exhibition will be offered throughout the evening.