Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closures and Update

MoMA Temporarily Closes Museums and Stores in New York

MoMA announced today that it will close The Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street, MoMA PS1 in Queens, and the MoMA Design Stores on 53rd Street and in Soho, effective immediately and through March 30. MoMA will continue to monitor developments with COVID-19 and regularly reassess this temporary closure.

Glenn D. Lowry, The David Rockefeller Director of The Museum of Modern Art, said: “Nothing is more important to MoMA than the health and safety of our community. We take seriously our responsibility as a civic institution to serve the public good. With that in mind, as it is more and more challenging to predict the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have decided to temporarily close MoMA.”

MoMA has been prepared for this possibility for several weeks and made the decision in ongoing consultation with public health experts, city and state officials, peer institutions, and the Boards of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among MoMA employees. Plans are in place to continue to support employees and MoMA’s better than best practice cleaning and sanitization protocols.

MoMA plans to re-open at the first opportunity that ensures the health and safety of all visitors and employees.

All Events at Carnegie Hall from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 are Cancelled

All March events cancelled in effort to reduce spread of COVID-19

With the health and safety of its public, artists, and staff as its foremost priority, Carnegie Hall today announced that it will be closed for all public events and programming through the end of March, effective midnight tonight, in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

All events and programming at Carnegie Hall from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 have been cancelled. For a list of performances at Carnegie Hall that are affected, please see the attached list or click here. Carnegie Hall events on Thursday evening, March 12 will take place as scheduled.

Upcoming education programming presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute—whether taking place at Carnegie Hall or in off-site locations—is suspended through March 31. All free Carnegie Hall Citywide performances in venues throughout New York City are cancelled through March 31.

All other scheduled concerts and programming starting on April 1, 2020 and beyond remain on the schedule pending the reopening of Carnegie Hall. The general public is encouraged to check carnegiehall.org/events for the most up-to-date programming information.

Patrons who purchased tickets by credit card from Carnegie Hall for a performance that has been canceled will receive automatic refunds; those who purchased by cash at the Box Office may email a scan or photo of the tickets to feedback@carnegiehall.org, along with complete contact details (name, mailing address, and phone number), through June 30, 2020, for a refund. Those who purchased tickets directly from other concert presenters should contact that presenter for refund information.

Patrons who have any further questions should contact CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or email feedback@carnegiehall.org. Please note that email and call volume may be high with limited in-house staff, and tickets may be refunded on a delayed schedule. We thank you for your patience as we navigate this evolving situation together.

Asian Art Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Announce Temporary Closure Effective March 14, 2020

The Asian Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), comprising the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) collaboratively announce a temporary closure to the public effective at 5 pm PST on Friday, March 13. With their united focus on the health and safety of their visitors and staff members, the museums made this decision to align with local and federal guidelines and social distancing recommendations for the containment of the coronavirus.

The Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA will tentatively reopen to the public on Saturday, March 28, 2020, and the FAMSF museums will reopen on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The museums will individually evaluate whether the closure timeframe needs to be extended.

ASIAN ART MUSEUM

The closure of the Asian Art Museum includes the museum, its café (Sunday at the Museum) and its store. More information can be found at asianart.org.

FINE ARTS MUSEUMS (FAMSF)

Both the de Young and the Legion of Honor, including museum cafes and stores, will be closed. Please find the most up-to-date information at deyoungmuseum.org/coronavirus-response.

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (SFMOMA)

SFMOMA’s closure includes the museum, its restaurants (In Situ, Cafe 5 and Sightglass coffee bars), stores (museum and SFO store) and the Artists Gallery at Fort Mason. For the most up-to-date information including information on rescheduling a visit, go to sfmoma.org/coronavirus-update.

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‘Malangatana: Mozambique Modern’ at The Art Institute of Chicago

Born in Mozambique, Malangatana Ngwenya (1936-2011) was a painter, a poet, a revered national hero, and a pioneer of modern African art.

Malangatana Ngwenya. The Fountain of Blood (A fonte de sangue), 1961. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd H. Ellis Jr.

Opening March 21 and on view through July 5, the Art Institute of Chicago will be showcasing Malangatana: Mozambique Modern, an exhibition that brings together over 40 key paintings and drawings that highlight the years between 1959 and 1975. It was during this time that Malangatana developed a signature painting style, characterized by a dense assembly of figures on the picture plane, the phantasmagoric depiction of animals, humans and supernatural creatures, and a composite palette of bright and dark colors. Moreover, in this period Malangatana imbued his paintings and drawings with social commentary and critique of the colonial situation in Mozambique.

Malangatana: Mozambique Modern is organized by Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art; Felicia Mings, Academic Curator; and Constantine Petridis, Chair of the Department of Arts of Africa and the Americas.

In choosing the subjects of his work, Malangatana took a decidedly allegorical approach, taking inspiration from local religious practices, his own cultural background, and life under Portuguese rule. As such, many of the symbols in Malangatana’s paintings show the artist’s early exposure to Christian education and motifs that reference religious and cultural practices of the Ronga people to which he belonged.

Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago mentions: “The work of Malangatana presents an exceptional opportunity for the Art Institute to think more globally and critically about international modernisms, in both our exhibition program and the museum’s collection. Malangatana: Mozambique Modern proposes that modern art is an inherently unstable art-historical category that requires constant revision and questioning.”

Though largely self-taught, Malangatana took painting classes in the late 1950s at the Industrial School and the Núcleo de Arte da Colónia de Moçambique (Colonial Arts Center of Mozambique)—the latter a center of artistic activity in the capital Maputo (then Lourenço Marques). In this period, Malangatana became active in the artistic and cultural milieu of Maputo and found his first teachers and sponsors in artists and architects João Ayres, Augusto Cabral, and Pancho Guedes. While his first paintings show traces of the styles of European modernism he encountered in his art education and through the interaction with his mentors, Malangatana soon established his unique aesthetic, ranging from his distinct color palette to the inclusion of elements from daily life in fantastical scenes.

Malangatana’s stunning aesthetic will captivate audiences. This, paired with the social impulse of these works as well as his larger oeuvre and life, make him a truly prolific, civically engaged artist––someone that we can all learn from. He is also a figure that had a tremendous impact on Mozambican art history, so I am delighted to be part of a team that is bringing further visibility to his work,” says Felicia Mings, Academic Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The changes in Mozambique’s political history during the 1960s and 1970s significantly impacted Malangatana’s life and work. A Portuguese colony until 1975, Mozambique was among the last African countries to gain independence from colonial rule. As the quest for liberation grew with the formation of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) in 1962 and the beginning of the armed resistance against the Portuguese in 1964, a strong anticolonial sentiment and a need for new artistic and cultural forms emerged. Malangatana had touched on social and political themes in earlier work, but from the mid-1960s through the 1970s he articulated them more explicitly, while always retaining an allegorical tendency in his approach.

Constantine Petridis, Chair of the Department of Arts of Africa and the Americas states: “The vibrant paintings of Malangatana provide a window into the political and cultural milieu in which the artist established himself as a pioneering modernist. Marked by both decolonization and nationalism, Malangatana’s oeuvre compels us to revisit the prevailing Eurocentric definition of the art-historical canon.”

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Artist June Edmonds Wins Inaugural AWARE Prize at The Armory Show

$10,000 Award Recognizes Best Booth Devoted To A Woman Artist In The Fair’s Main Galleries Section

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that June Edmonds has won the inaugural AWARE Prize at The Armory Show 2020 in New York. The juried award is presented by the Paris-based nonprofit Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) and the Aware Foundation in collaboration with The Armory Show. The $10,000 prize goes to a female artist whose work is shown as a solo booth presentation within the fair’s main Galleries section.

June Edmonds (left) and Nicole Berry, Director of The Armory Show, co-presenter of the AWARE Prize. (Image provided by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles/The Armory Show 2020/Pier 94 | Booth 827/New York City)

“There are a lot of prizes today, but very few women [get them],Aware cofounder Camille Morineau says. “A few years ago we launched a French Aware Prize in Paris, and when I was invited by the Armory to walk through the fair [around then], I became conscious that there were quite a lot of women in the fair and solo booths, and this felt new, interesting and strong.”

June Edmonds at The Armory Show – Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Booth 827. (Image provided by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles/The Armory Show 2020/Pier 94 | Booth 827/New York City)

At the 2020 Armory Show, Edmonds was unanimously selected by the jurors who coalesced around the discovery of her flag paintings – a new body of work presented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles at this year’s Armory Show. “We were all flabbergasted by Edmond’s work. I think that’s what fairs are about, discovering work and having strong experiences of the art that is beyond words,” Morineau says. “I didn’t know June’s work well, and fairs are a place of surprises and a place to learn. I hope that the prize will be about sharing these surprising and strong moments with other people.

June Edmonds, Untitled Study for Flag Painting (2), 2020, acrylic on canvas, mounted on linen 20×16

June Edmonds was born 1959 in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. She received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. She also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is the recipient of a 2018 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Grant (COLA) and Exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; a California Arts Council Individual Artist Grant; Paducah Artist Residency in Kentucky; Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist residency in Taos, NM; and Dorland Mountain Community artist residency in Temecula, CA. Edmonds has exhibited at the California African American Museum, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Luckman Fine Art Gallery at CalState Los Angeles, Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles, CA; Angels Gate Art Center in San Pedro, CA; and the Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA. Edmonds has completed several works of public art with the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including an installation at the MTA Pacific Station in Long Beach, CA.. Her paintings are held in collections throughout the United States including the Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; as well as Rodney M. Miller Collection, New York, NY; and Kelly Williams Collection, New York, NY, among others.

June Edmonds, Capitol Chasm Flag (2), 2020. acrylic on canvas 74×50
Capitol Chasm Flag is named for Mary Eliza Church Terrell. Terrell was born on September 23, 1863 in Memphis and was a well-known African American activist who championed civil rights and women’s suffrage in the late 19th and 20th century. An Oberlin College graduate, Terrell was a founder and charter member of the NAACP. She said: “Surely nowhere in the world do oppression and persecution based solely on the color of the skin appear more hateful and hideous than in the capital of the United States, because the chasm between the principles upon which this Government was founded, in which it still professes to believe, and those which are daily practiced under the protection of the flag, yawn so wide and deep.
June Edmonds in studio. Courtesy of the Luis De Jesus Los Angeles Gallery.

Edmonds’s Flag Paintings explore the American flag as a malleable symbol of ideals, promises, and identity and create space for the inclusion of multivalent identities that consider race, nationality, gender, and political leanings. Each flag is associated with the narrative of an African American, past or present, a current event, or an anecdote from American history.

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Lifetime Retrospective of Jasper Johns’s Work to Open Simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia on October 28

In Fall 2020, A Lifetime Retrospective Dedicated To Jasper Johns Will Be Presented Simultaneously In New York And Philadelphia

In an unprecedented collaboration, this major exhibition is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

October 28, 2020–February 21, 2021

#JasperJohns

The most ambitious retrospective to date of the work of Jasper Johns, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be presented simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia this fall. A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in nearly a quarter century. It opens concurrently in Philadelphia and in New York on October 28, 2020. Visitors who attend the exhibition at one venue will enjoy half-price adult admission at the other when presenting their ticket. And throughout the duration of the exhibition, members of each institution will receive free admission at both venues. (Additional details will be available at whitney.org and philamuseum.org.)

Jasper Johns, Map, 1961. Oil on canvas, 78 x 123 1/4 in. (198.1 x 313.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull 277.1963 © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Filling almost 30,000 combined square feet across the two venues, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Conceived around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, this two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director © 2019 Scott Rudd scott.rudd@gmail.com @scottruddevents

Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, commented, “We are delighted to present this unique retrospective together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an important occasion for both museums, which have had connections with the artist going back decades. The Whitney has been collecting and showing Johns since the 1960s and we are thrilled to honor his ninetieth birthday in 2020, which also marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Whitney’s founding. Enigmatic, poetic, rich, and profoundly influential, Johns’s work is always ripe for reexamination.

Given the crucial place that Jasper Johns holds in the art of our time, this collaboration enables our two museums, together, to examine the artist’s vision in all its multiplicity and depth,” added Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art has long dedicated a gallery to the display of Johns’s work, which, given his admiration of Cézanne and Duchamp, richly resonates with our collection. Along with our colleagues at the Whitney, we hope to introduce a new generation of visitors in our respective cities to the exceptional achievements of this artist over the course of a career that now spans nearly seven decades.”

Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on canvas, 30 5/8 × 45 1/2 × 4 5/8 in. (77.8 × 115.6 × 11.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc., The Lauder Foundation, A. Alfred Taubman, Laura-Lee Whittier Woods, Howard Lipman, and Ed Downe in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary 80.32. Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Jasper Johns (b. Augusta, Georgia, 1930) grew up in South Carolina where he pursued an interest in art at an early age. He attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in 1948, and briefly attended Parsons School of Design. For two years he served in the army and was stationed in South Carolina and Japan. He returned to New York in 1953, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham, with whom he would famously collaborate. His work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives and solo shows, including Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Jewish Museum (1964), Jasper Johns at the Whitney (1977), Jasper Johns: Works Since 1974 at the PMA (1988–89, which traveled to the Venice Biennale, where Johns was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement), Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996–97, the last comprehensive East Coast survey), and most recently Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ at the Royal Academy, London, and The Broad, Los Angeles (2017–18). The innovative collaboration and structure of the Whitney and PMA’s retrospective distinguishes it from these previous shows and will account not only for the complexity and originality of Johns’s body of work at a new scale, but also will seek to test some of the conventional perceptions of it.

Jasper Johns, Watchman, 1964. Oil on canvas with objects (2 panels) 85 x 60 1/4 in. (215.9 x 153 cm). The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection). © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

Since the early 1950s, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has produced a radical and varied body of work distinguished by constant reinvention. In his twenties, Johns created his now-canonical Flag (1954–55), which challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism by integrating abstraction and representation through its direct, though painterly, deadpan visual power. His works have continued to pose similar paradoxes—between cognition and perception, image and object, painting and sculpture—and have explored new approaches to abstraction and figuration that have opened up perspectives for several generations of younger artists. Over the course of his career, he has tirelessly pursued an innovative body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, books, and the design of sets and costumes for the stage.

“Corpse and Mirror II,” 1974-75, by Jasper Johns. Oil and sand on canvas (4 panels), 57 5/8 x 75 1/4 in. (146.4 x 191.1 cm). Collection of the Artist. © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

The exhibition is conceived as a unified whole, comprising two autonomous parts, and is co-curated by two longtime scholars who each has a close relationship with the artist: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the PMA, and Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney. Basualdo noted, “We attempted to create an exhibition that echoes the logic of Johns’s work, and it is structured in a mimetic relation to his practice. Galleries at each venue will serve as cognates, echoes, and inversions of their counterparts at the other, allowing viewers to witness and experience the relationships between continuity and change, fragment and whole, singularity and repetition which Johns has used throughout his career to renew and transform his work.”

“Flag,” 1954-55, by Jasper Johns. Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on wood (3 panels), 41.25 X 60.75 in. (104.8 x 154.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Gift of Philip Johnson in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr. © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.
Jasper Johns, Studio, 1964. Oil and fabricated chalk on linen, two parts, with screw eye, wire, cans, and brush, 88 1/16 × 145 1/2 × 8 1/8 in. (223.7 × 369.6 × 20.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with partial funding from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art 66.1a-c © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Rothkopf said, “One of our primary aims was to revivify the incredible sense of daring and discovery at the heart of Johns’s art. He stunned the establishment as a young man but continues to astonish audiences with surprising new ideas as he nears ninety. Surveying the whole of his career, we see an artist propelled by curiosity, constantly challenging himself—and all of us.

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VMFA 2020-21 Fellowship Program Supports 26 Student and Professional Artists

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of VMFA fellowships. Twenty-six students and professional artists were selected from more than 500 applicants to receive a total of $146,000 towards professional advancements in the arts. The VMFA Fellowship Program has awarded more than $5.8 million to over 1,395 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists serve as jurors to select fellowship recipients.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is proud to support student and professional artists working across the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director and CEO. “We offer one of the largest fellowship programs of its kind in the United States and recognize this effort as a core part of our mission.”

Abigail Lucien, Sculpture, Richmond

Fellowship Recipients

VMFA awarded ten professional fellowships of $8,000 each this year. Professional fellowship recipients are:

Emma Gould, Photography, Richmond
Margaret Meehan, Sculpture, Richmond
  • Paul Finch, New & Emerging Media, Richmond;
  • Emma Gould, Photography, Richmond;
  • Sterling Hundley, Drawing, Chesterfield;
  • Sue Johnson, Mixed Media, Richmond;
  • Abigail Lucien, Sculpture, Richmond;
  • Margaret Meehan, Sculpture, Richmond;
  • David Riley, Film/Video, Richmond;
  • Dash Shaw, Drawing, Richmond;
  • Jon-Philip Sheridan, New & Emerging Media, Richmond; and
  • Susan Worsham, Photography, Richmond.
Dash Shaw, Drawing, Richmond
Sterling Hundley, Drawing, Chesterfield

Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, was the juror for the professional fellowship entries.

Undergraduate fellowships of $4,000 went to ten students this year. The recipients are:

Tatyana Bailey, Photography, Richmond
Zoe Pettit, Mixed Media, Mechanicsville
  • Tatyana Bailey, Photography, Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy (VCU), Richmond;
  • Emma Carlson, Film/Video, VCU, Des Moines, IA;
  • Nicolas Fernandez, Photography, VCU, Fredericksburg;
  • Erika Masis Laverde, Mixed Media, VCU, Glen Allen;
  • Amuri Morris, Painting, VCU, Richmond;
  • Megan O’Casey, Mixed Media, VCU, Arlington;
  • Zoe Pettit, Mixed Media, VCU, Mechanicsville;
  • Sarah N. Smith, Sculpture, VCU, Williamsburg;
  • Nadya Steare, Drawing, George Mason University (GMU), Falls Church; and;
  • Elizabeth Yoo, New & Emerging Media, VCU, Glen Allen.
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Frist Presents Immersive Installations by Internationally Acclaimed Multimedia Artist Jitish Kallat

Jitish Kallat: Return to Sender” March 13–June 28, 2020

The Frist Art Museum presents Return to Sender, an exhibition of immersive installations created by the celebrated Indian artist Jitish Kallat. The dramatic works, which engage both mind and body, are inspired by historic messages that reveal the best and worst of humanity. The exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from March 13 through June 28, 2020.

Frist Art Museum (PRNewsfoto/Frist Center for the Visual Arts)

Jitish Kallat is a Mumbai native who produces installations, paintings, photographs, and sculptures that often recall historic acts of speech. Return to Sender brings together two works based on missives: Kallat’s widely exhibited work titled Covering Letter (2012), which was selected for India’s pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), and a new project called Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) (2019). “Kallat’s explorations of the epistolary mode are well suited to our museum as our building is the former main post office of Nashville,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Trinita Kennedy. “From here countless letters have been sent and received.”

Covering Letter is a haunting interactive digital projection of a 1939 typewritten letter from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, sent just a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II. The letter is seen on a curtain of traversable dry-fog in the dark. “Gandhi makes a radical appeal for peace, anticipating the brutal bloodshed that the impending war would unleash,” says Kennedy. In the spirit of his doctrine of universal friendship, Gandhi uses the salutation “Dear Friend…” and urges Hitler to resist “reducing humanity to a savage state.” Visitors walk through the screen of descending mist, simultaneously inhabiting and dissipating the moving text. Kallat describes the letter as “a space for self-reflection; a petition from one of the greatest proponents of peace to one of the most violent individuals who ever lived. It can also be read as an open letter from the past destined to carry its message into our turbulent present, well beyond its delivery date and intended recipient.” Kennedy hopes the work will have special resonance in Nashville. “This exhibition marks the first time that Covering Letter has been exhibited in the American South, a place where Gandhi’s ideas about of nonviolent resistance were a vital part of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) commemorates and reinvokes the Golden Record, sent as time capsules aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes launched by NASA in 1977. For those expeditions, select sounds, music, and images were placed on two gold-plated phonographic records with the intent to represent life on Earth to any extraterrestrial discoverer. Currently located over 13 billion miles away from planet Earth, they are expected to continue their cosmic journey well beyond the probable extinction of our species and our planet.

Upon entering this installation, visitors will hear a chorus of humanity greeting the universe in 55 languages. There is a projection of a map indicating Earth’s position in our solar system and a large round table with over a hundred images printed on parallax lenses, which are illuminated by lights that pulsate at the rate of human breath. The images, drawn from the Golden Record, include scientific and cosmological diagrams, representations of our genetic makeup and anatomy, as well as other life forms, and architecture, often annotated with measurements. “This is an epic presentation of Earth to an unknown other,” says Kennedy. At a time when we find ourselves in a deeply divided world, Kallat foregrounds these sounds and images for a collective meditation on ourselves as united residents of a single planet.

In Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) there is also a bench shaped like the hands of the Doomsday Clock. This symbolic clock, updated annually by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, represents a hypothetical human-made global catastrophe as midnight, and the proximity of the world to apocalypse as a number of minutes or seconds to twelve. “The Golden Record’s presentation of unity and harmony among earthlings is belied by the actual state of the world,” says Kennedy. “The reality is that our planet hangs in the balance through circumstances of our own making, and the clock bench is an ominous metaphor that differs from the euphoria and optimism associated with the midnight on occasions such as New Year’s Eve.” Woven into the hour are humankind’s worst fears and greatest hopes.

This exhibition marks the first time that Kallat’s two Covering Letter installations will be shown together. Exhibited in darkened galleries and open ended in meaning, they are intended to provoke contemplations of our world and the universe.

Born in India in 1974, Kallat has exhibited his work widely across the world in contexts such as galleries, museums, and biennials. In 2017, the National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi) presented a mid-career retrospective of his work titled Here After Here, 1992–2017, curated by Catherine David. Kallat has had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other museums.

He has exhibited widely, at Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Serpentine Galleries (London), Tate Modern (London), the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (Spain), and other institutions. His work has been part of the Asian Art Biennial, the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Curitiba Biennial, the Gwangju Biennale, the Havana Biennial, the Kyiv Biennial, and the Venice Biennale, among others. Kallat also served as the curator and artistic director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s second edition, in 2014.

Public Programs

Thursday, March 12

Artist’s Perspective: Jitish Kallat

6:30 p.m., Frist Art Museum Auditorium

Free; first come, first seated

Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat will share a cross section of his work, exploring the many processes, themes, and ideas that recur throughout his wide-ranging artistic practice. Kallat’s works often engage with the ideas of time, transience, sustenance, the ecological, and the cosmological. These explorations take the form of investigative animation videos, photo-works, paintings, sculptures, and elemental drawings that participate in atmospheric phenomena such as wind and rain. In works such as Covering Letter (2012), which will be on view at the Frist, a historic moment is invoked, prompting a contemplation on our present by mediating it through the past. This artist-talk may unfold into a dialogue, as a Q&A session will follow Kallat’s lecture.

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Narrative Quilts by Artist Pauline Parker Showcased in New Milwaukee Art Museum Exhibition

The Exhibition Features Quilts And Wall Hangings By The Artist That Showcase Her Expressive And Narrative Approach To Quiltmaking.

A new exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum presents colorful quilts and wall hangings made by artist Pauline Parker (1915-2013), who used fabric and stitching as a platform for storytelling.

Opening March 20, 2020, The Quilts of Pauline Parker features more than thirty objects that showcase her expressive approach to quiltmaking, illustrating how Parker transformed a traditionally domestic craft into one that highlighted current events, historical and Biblical figures, and her own travels and experiences.

Parker’s works are a wonderful result of her training as a painter, her exquisite eye for pattern, and her ability to create beautifully cohesive compositions from disparate parts,” said Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art. “The Milwaukee Art Museum has a long and rich history of presenting quilt exhibitions, dating back to the 1930s, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by presenting the work of this talented artist.

Parker studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but her work in fabric began in Wisconsin, where she moved upon retirement. She initially worked with traditional patterns and used techniques she had learned from her mother and aunts, before expanding her subject matter, stitching more freely and exploring a less traditional approach to quiltmaking.

Many of Parker’s narrative quilts, or “fabric collages” as she termed them, resemble paintings in their construction, use of perspective and three-dimensionality. Each quilt was inspired by a personal experience, a poem or a misprinted piece of fabric, which could often lay the groundwork for a story. The artist layered fabrics and materials, including netting, buttons and shells, to build her compositions. Parker made the more than thirty fabric collages featured in the exhibition between the late 1980s and early 2000s.

The Quilts of Pauline Parker runs from March 20 through July 19, 2020, in the Bradley Family Gallery, and is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art.

The McCombe and Pfeifer Families and the Gottlob Armbrust Family Fund in Memory of Helen Louise Pfeifer is the Presenting Sponsor of this exhibition. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Garden Club is the Contributing Sponsor.

Exhibitions are made possible by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Visionaries: Debbie and Mark Attanasio, Donna and Donald Baumgartner, John and Murph Burke, Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, Joel and Caran Quadracci, Sue and Bud Selig and Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation.

Programming

Gallery Talks

  • Tues, 1:30 p.m.
  • March 24, April 28, May 12
  • With Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art
  • Free with Museum admission, free for Members

Gallery Talk with Special Guest

  • Thurs, March 19, 6:15 p.m.
  • Discover the stories behind the works in the exhibition during this in-gallery conversation with the artist’s daughter, Margaret Parker, and Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art.

Stitch 2-Gather

  • Sun, 1-4 p.m.
  • March 22, March 29, April 5
  • East End
  • Bring your sewing project to the East End to sew and socialize with (and get tips from!) the guest artist. Museum admission is not required.

New MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) Open in Boston

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) held the opening of MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), Boston’s newest, free contemporary art museum this past weekend. MAAM will offer an accessible contemporary art experience for all, partnering with emerging and established artists to bring diverse perspectives to Boston. As a teaching museum, MAAM will educate MassArt students about the professional museum field and bring inspirational and aspirational exhibitions to campus.

After extensive renovations, MAAM opened in the space formerly known as the Bakalar & Paine Galleries at the heart of MassArt‘s campus on the Avenue of the Arts. MAAM will be a kunsthalle, or non-collecting museum, showing temporary exhibitions that feature the work of emerging and established artists to bring fresh, diverse perspectives to Boston. As MassArt’s teaching museum, MAAM will be a resource for MassArt students and faculty, educating students about contemporary art, partnering with faculty to support the curriculum, and preparing students for careers in the museum field. As an extension of the College’s public mission, the Museum will also be a vital resource to the community, offering a pathway to education in the arts and free, unique educational programming to Boston-area public schools and community groups. Always free, MAAM will be open year-round to the public. (To learn more visit maam.massart.edu.)

MAAM’s inaugural exhibitions will feature the U.S. solo premiere of internationally-renowned artist Joana Vasconceles; a group exhibition titled Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art; and a site-specific installation by artist duo Ghost of a Dream.

Inaugural Exhibitions

Joana Vasconcelos: Valkyrie Mumbet (On View: February 22 – August 2, 2020)

Joana Vasconcelos: Valkyrie Mumbet

To mark the grand opening of MAAM, Vasconcelos’ new Valkyrie commission, Valkyrie Mumbet, honors a courageous American – Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman – the first woman of African descent to sue for her freedom in Massachusetts and win, starting the chain of events that helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts. The work is tailored to fit exclusively in the MAAM space, highlighting the myriad possibilities of the new gallery’s 37 foot high ceiling and 40 foot wide second level art viewing balcony. These distinctive architectural attributes will allow visitors to see the work from different vantage points – beneath the sculpture from the gallery floor, and from over 20 feet high from the balcony.

Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art (On View: February 22 – April 19, 2020)

Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art – Pixel Momo Momoland Banner

The Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art exhibition features works by a group of artists (Paloma Dawkins, Cao Fei, Tracey Fullerton, Dan Hernandez, Nyamakop, MassArt professor Juan Obando, Momo Pixel, Skawennati and Brent Watanabe) who are creating at the confluence of contemporary art and video games.

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Walker Moving Image features Women With Vision: Then and Now

From 1994-2010, the Walker Art Center presented an annual month-long screening series featuring women directors, starting with a touring program “Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC): Homegirls”, which blossomed into the Walker’s very own “Women With Vision” (WWV) festival. This March, the Walker Art Center will celebrate the legacy and influence of these groundbreaking programs that both launched and inspired so many women directors from our region.

Celebrate the legacy and influence of the Walker’s Women with Vision programs, which supported female filmmakers and sought to bring their experiences and perspectives to the forefront. Celebrated international directors screened side by side with local artists at all stages of their careers. Two past participants, Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe, guest curate and pay tribute to this era of film programming, largely helmed by Senior Curator Sheryl Mousley.

Image courtesy Walker Art Center.

My indie filmmaking career kicked off in 2002 when Sheryl Mousley selected my first indie doc Married at the Mall to screen at the Walker in the Women with Vision program. I was so honored, and I know there are so many other women in our region who came up through this program just like me. Finding those filmmakers and having a reunion as well as celebrating the up-and-coming women filmmakers of today are reasons why I wanted to guest curate this program with Kelly Nathe. We both had life-changing experiences by screening films at the Walker, and we wanted to find out what happened to the others. And with the Academy Awards leaving women off the best director list again, we thought now would be a good time to do this.” —Melody Gilbert

The four-day program includes shorts screenings, on-stage conversations, introductions of new films by emerging local directors and a celebratory reception.

Image courtesy Walker Art Center.

I have always believed that filmmaking is women’s work. When I came to the Walker in 1998, I took on the annual film program that had started in 1994 called “Women in the Director’s Chair” which had a local sidebar called “Homegirls.” I turned the program into Walker’s “Women With Vision” film festival, always keeping the local filmmakers at the center,” states Sheryl Mousley, Senior Curator, Moving Image. “After my eleven years with the festival, and only when a woman, Katherine Bigelow, in 2010 finally won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director, did I hear the shout, “We’ve won!” While ending the series on a high note, I vowed to continue showing women filmmakers at Walker throughout all our programs. I am proud to say that 25% of the Walker Dialogues are women, and the year-round cinema program continues to give voice to local filmmakers and celebrate the legacy and influence of women in international cinema. I am proud of all the Minnesota filmmakers who have shown their films at Walker. It is a wonderful history and confirmation of home-based talent.”

My very first short film, Rock-n-Roll Girlfriend, screened in the WIDC: Homegirls program back in 1995 when I was still a student, and I can’t begin to explain how much my inclusion in the program meant to me back then. It remains a badge of honor to this day! I’ve always wondered what happened to all the women who started here. Where did they end up and how did the Walker program that focused on women directors shape their careers? Melody Gilbert and I were co-chairs of Film Fatales in Minnesota, an international organization of women and non-binary directors of feature films, and we both pondered that question and decided to go on a journey together to find these women as well as celebrate the emerging filmmakers in our region.” adds Kelly Nathe

Women with Vision: Then and Now
Guest curated by Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe
Thursday–Sunday, March 12–15

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Film Fatales Presents: New MN Shorts Showcase
Post-screening conversation with Film Fatales
Thursday, March 12, 7 pm
Walker Cinema, Free

Film Fatales MN. Photo courtesy Film Fatales.

Enjoy a sampling of recent works directed by MN women and selected by Film Fatales, a national organization of women and non-binary filmmakers advocating for intersectional parity in the film industry. The evening’s screening is followed by an onstage conversation led by Film Fatales about making the leap to feature filmmaking in our region.

Alison Guessou’s Happily Married After. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.
  • Film Fatales Twin Cities Reel, 10 min
  • Santuario, Christine Delp & Pilar Timpane, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • A Winter Love, Rhiana Yazzie, 4 min. (excerpt)
  • Master Servant, Julie Anne Koehnen, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • North Side Boxing Club, Carrie Bush and Amanda Becker, 3 min.
  • Peeled, Naomi Ko, 2 min.
  • Muslim Sheroes of MN: Nimo Omar, Ariel Tilson, 4 min. (excerpt)
  • The Coyote Way, Missy Whiteman, 4 min. (trailer)
  • Oh My Stars, Cynthia Uhrich, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Happily Married After, Alison Guessou, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Little Men, Ayesha Adu, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Untitled Hmong Doc, Joua Lee Grande, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Underground, Beth Peloff, 3 min.
  • Self-Creation, Shelby Dillon, 5 min.
  • Jasmine Star, Jo Rochelle, 5 min. (excerpt)
Shelby Dillon, Self Creation, 2019. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.

Total run time: approximately 60 min.

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Frist Presents “Flag Exchange” by Renowned Social and Community Engagement Artist Mel Ziegler

The Frist Art Museum presents Mel Ziegler: Flag Exchange, an installation of fifty American flags—one from each state—suspended row after row from the ceiling. The exhibition invites consideration of the American flag as a symbol of national identity and ideals, and it will be on view in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from March 13 through June 28, 2020

Exhibition view of A Living Thing: Flag Exchange, curated by Hesse McGraw, at Federal Hall, New York, 2017. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli

Mel Ziegler (b. 1956), the Paul E. Shwab Chair of Fine Arts Professor at Vanderbilt University, is renowned as a social and community engagement artist whose work seeks to foster discourse and the sharing of ideas relating to history, politics, and society. He divides his time between Nashville and rural Nebraska, where he is the founder and executive director of the Sandhills Institute, a grassroots organization dedicated to civically engaged art, in part by connecting local ranchers and farmers with artists around the world.

During his travels across the United States, Ziegler frequently saw the American flag on display in front of schools, homes, small businesses, construction sites, or simply alongside the road. Many were in poor condition—often ragged, faded, or torn. “Mel was intrigued that these expressions of national pride were kept on view by people who either couldn’t afford to replace them or in many cases hadn’t noticed or cared whether theirs had gotten shabby,” says Frist Art Museum Chief Curator Mark Scala. “And he wondered if their owners might be willing to trade theirs for a fresh new flag.”

So, from 2011 to 2016, in what Ziegler calls “inquisitive travels,” he visited all fifty states, with a supply of American flags, and offered to replace old flags with new ones, renewing people’s outdoor displays while acquiring the materials for the exhibition.

Frist Art Museum (PRNewsfoto/Frist Center for the Visual Arts)

“Flag Exchange is simultaneously a physical installation, an expression of an idea, and a site for performance,” says Scala. “The flags themselves symbolize a nation that has survived tumult and stress.” Displayed in the gallery, the rows of flags create a dense spatial layering. “The effect is optically powerful, as the inherent beauty of the flags’ patterns is intensified through repetition and the irregularity of the damaged cloth,” says Scala.

Flag Exchange has been installed in large spaces, often surrounding or hanging behind a stage or podium. At the Frist, a stage will be part of the installation and may be used for speeches, readings, musical performances, and discussions about the relationship between people and their ideas of democracy. The overall experience is one in which the civic realm is re-imagined in an atmosphere committed to the respectful exchange of viewpoints.

The symbolism of frayed and worn flags in Flag Exchange raises questions about the capacity of the American experiment to be sustained through national triumphs and shortcomings, including our own time of extreme political divisiveness. Ziegler writes that when he started acquiring the flags, “I could have never known what the political climate in the United States might be like today. It seems rather significant and pertinent that this project should help develop open, unpartisan dialogue at a moment when it seems to be needed most.”

Throughout the process of gathering and showing the flags, Ziegler was careful to follow the dictates of the U.S. Flag Code regarding their proper handling and display. In thus demonstrating that respect for the flag should rise above partisanship, he hopes to inspire viewers to find common ground in the vision of indivisibility for which the flag stands.

In the end, it is the act of collecting the flags—the openness and vulnerability of an artist who is keenly interested in interacting with people in all corners of the country—that will inspire the trust and enthusiasm of all participants as they work to find common ground in the meaning of the flag and the promise of the nation,” says Scala.

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Statement on Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday, Feb. 11, to pass H.R. 1980. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), calls for the creation of a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum and includes cost-sharing language that is consistent with that used for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture—a 50/50 split of federal and private funds for the development and construction of a new museum. The bill must now pass through the Senate and then be signed by the President.

With full support from Congress, the Smithsonian has proven adept at creating museums that paint a more comprehensive picture of the American experience,” said Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “We remain committed to that goal, and we look forward to working with Congress and supporters nationwide to illuminate the profound impact women have had on the American story.

The Smithsonian is committed to recognizing and celebrating the stories of all Americans. If the legislation is enacted into law, the Smithsonian will use its resources and expertise to create a world-class museum dedicated to telling the stories of women’s contributions throughout American history.

In the meantime, the Smithsonian has used funds appropriated by Congress ($4 million) and privately raised funds to begin a robust program of exhibitions, public programs and research focusing on women’s contributions to American history. In 2018, the Smithsonian officially launched the American Women’s History Initiative—“Because of Her Story”—to document, research, collect and exhibit the stories of women who have helped shape America. To date the initiative has:

  • Raised nearly $10 million toward the development of exhibitions, programs, educational material and digital content across the Smithsonian
  • Hired four curators dedicated to women’s history, with five more curatorial positions pending
  • Mentored 13 paid interns through the Because of Her Story Internship Program
  • Published Smithsonian American Women, a book that offers a unique, panoramic look at women’s history through objects from the Smithsonian’s collections

Monica Obniski Appointed Curator Of Decorative Arts And Design At High Museum Of Art

The High Museum of Art today announced the appointment of Monica Obniski as its curator of decorative arts and design. Obniski currently serves as the Demmer curator of 20th- and 21st-century design at the Milwaukee Art Museum. She will join the High on March 16, 2020.

Monica Obniski Appointed Curator Of Decorative Arts And Design At High Museum Of Art. Image courtesy of The High Museum of Art/Atlanta.

Obniski will oversee the decorative arts and design department, including related exhibitions and programs, as well as its collection of more than 2,300 objects dating from the 17th century to the present. These holdings include significant international contemporary design with works by Joris Laarman Lab, Jaime Hayon, Ron Arad and nendo, as well as the renowned Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection – the most comprehensive survey of 19th- and early 20th-century American decorative arts in the southeastern United States. Other significant works are represented in the Frances and Emory Cocke Collection of English ceramics, the Marjorie Eichenlaub West Collection of Meissen ceramics and the Museum’s extensive holdings of historical decorative arts from the southeastern United States. Obniski also will lead the High’s Piazza activations, a multiyear initiative that launched in 2014 to animate the Museum’s outdoor space with site-specific commissions that engage visitors of all ages in participatory art experiences.

Monica is a forward-thinking curator with a proven track record of achievement organizing compelling exhibitions, creating new scholarship and building strong collections,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High. “These accomplishments, combined with her commitment to expanding the field and engaging diverse audiences, make her perfectly positioned to lead the continued growth of our decorative arts and design department.”

Added Kevin Tucker, the High’s chief curator, “We look forward to Monica joining the High’s team, knowing her efforts will enrich a program of true international significance and resonance with our region and communities. Considering the varied strengths of the Museum’s curatorial program, her collaborative nature, diverse expertise and interest in forging connections—including that between historical and contemporary design—makes her an exemplary choice for the position.”

Obniski earned a doctorate in art history, with specialization in architecture and design, from the University of Illinois at Chicago; a Master of Arts in history of decorative arts and design from the Bard Graduate Center; and a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago.

Beginning her career in the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Obniski then served in the American art department at the Art Institute of Chicago from 2007 to 2014, including four years as assistant curator of American decorative arts. There she collaborated on special exhibitions including “Art and Appetite” (2013) and “Apostles of Beauty” (2009), completed several gallery installations and continued to build the collection.

Obniski joined the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2015, where she oversees an expanding collection of historical and contemporary design and manages an active exhibition program, including “Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980,” organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which begins its international tour this year. Other notable exhibition projects include “Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America” (2018) with the Denver Art Museum and “Jaime Hayon: Technicolor” (2017-18), which originated at the High. She reinstalled the Milwaukee Art Museum’s modern and contemporary design galleries for its November 2015 reopening, with a presentation geared toward audience engagement through traditional methods and new technologies. She also stewarded important acquisitions to build the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection.

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Metropolitan Opera announces 23 Semifinalists in the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

  • Semifinalists move on to a closed competition on Monday, February 24 for the chance to advance to the Grand Finals
  • Finalists will then compete at the public Grand Finals Concert on the Met stage, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and conductor Bertrand de Billy, on Sunday, March 1
  • Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $15,000 and invaluable exposure in the opera world

The 23 young opera singers who have won regional auditions around the United States will compete in the semifinal round of the country’s leading vocal competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, on Monday, February 24. The closed semifinal competition, held on the Met stage before a panel of judges, will determine the select group of finalists who will advance to the final round of the competition—the Grand Finals, which is open to the public and will be held on the Met stage on Sunday, March 1.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, now in their 66th season, are a potentially career-making opportunity for aspiring opera singers, given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the program’s long tradition.

The Met National Council Auditions have been crucial in introducing many of today’s best-known stars, such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Thomas Hampson, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Eric Owens, Angela Meade, Susanna Phillips, Michael Fabiano, Latonia Moore, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nadine Sierra, Jamie Barton, and Ryan Speedo Green. The competition gained international notoriety with the release of the 2008 feature-length documentary The Audition, directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, which chronicled the 2007 National Council Auditions season and Grand Finals Concert.

This year’s semifinalists were chosen from more than 1,000 singers who participated in auditions held in 40 districts throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and who then competed in the 12 regional finals. These auditions are sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council and administered by National Council members and hundreds of volunteers from across the country.

The semifinalists, ranging in age from 23 to 30, arrive at the Met on Saturday, February 22 to rehearse for the semifinals competition on Monday, February 24. The finalists of this event will then go on to sing in the Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m., hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, who was a Grand Finals winner in the 2005 competition.

The 2020 semifinalists include ten sopranos, four mezzo-sopranos, one countertenor, three tenors, two baritones, two bass-baritones, and one bass.

The ten soprano semifinalists, along with the regions they represent in the competition and their hometowns, are:

  • Erika Baikoff (Upper Midwest Region: New York, New York);
  • Claire de Monteil (Middle Atlantic Region: Paris, France);
  • Cara Gabrielson (Northwest Region: Portland, Oregon);
  • Courtney Johnson (Eastern Region: Chesapeake, Virginia);
  • Chasiti Lashay (Western Region: Houston, Texas);
  • Jana McIntyre (Midwest Region: Santa Barbara, California);
  • Whitney Morrison (New England Region: Chicago, Illinois);
  • Alexandria Shiner (Middle Atlantic Region: Waterford, Michigan);
  • Denis Vélez (Gulf Coast Region: Mexico City, Mexico) and
  • Suzannah Waddington (Gulf Coast Region: West Palm Beach, Florida).
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National Museum of American History Names New Associate Director Benjamin Filene To Focus Curatorial Direction on Deepening Audience Engagement

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has named Benjamin Filene as its new associate director of curatorial affairs as the museum engages in a strategic-planning process focused on public history and an audience-centered approach. Filene began his appointment Feb. 3.

The museum embarked on a strategic-planning process in November 2019 to shape how it will present history and engage with diverse audiences into 2030. The plan will be designed to guide the museum through one of the country’s most significant anniversaries – the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. With the vision of becoming the most accessible, inclusive, relevant and sustainable history institution in the nation, the museum is reaching out to the public with a bilingual (English/Spanish) national public survey asking for input.

Filene joins the museum from the North Carolina Museum of History, where he served as the chief curator, responsible for shaping the museum’s exhibition program and collections development. Before that, he was the director of public history and a professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he initiated projects that brought together students and community partners to collaborate on projects designed to engage the public with historical issues that had contemporary resonance. He served as the senior exhibition developer at the Minnesota History Center, one of the nation’s largest state history museums. Filene gained a global perspective from Fulbright Fellowship work with the Helsinki City Museum and the University of Helsinki, which further developed his goals to re-envision national museums to foster collective identity.

A committed public historian, Benjamin Filene has devoted three decades to the museum field as a leading scholar, curator, exhibition developer and a professor and mentor to many,” said Anthea M. Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the museum. “He is a true believer in museums, committed to ensuring that audiences see themselves reflected in history.”

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Frist Art Museum Introduces 2020 Program and Event Enhancements New Offerings for Art After Dark and ARTLab Series

Connect @FristArtMuseum

This year the Frist Art Museum is expanding two of its public program series to enhance the visitor experience and increase learning opportunities for guests of all ages and backgrounds. The changes to Art After Dark and ARTlab are effective immediately and will continue to evolve over the course of the year.

Frist Art Museum (PRNewsfoto/Frist Center for the Visual Arts)

Art After Dark is a grouping of fun and educational offerings that takes place on the third Thursday of every month* from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests are invited to combine their viewing of current exhibitions with participation in gallery programs and activities such as Drop-In Drawing, as well as access to live music, food trucks, and cash bars. The evenings are free to members; regular admission is required for not-yet-members.

Art After Dark evenings provide a chance to enrich your visit and meet fellow art lovers,” says Frist Art Museum educator for interpretation Meagan Rust. “Every month, the programs will change and offer something new for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to exploring creative connections in the Middle Tennessee community and helping visitors engage with the exhibitions in new ways.”

Gallery talks will now be regular components of Art After Dark. Discussions will be led by Frist educators and special guests who will offer different interpretations of and perspectives on works on view and foster dialogues with visitors.

In Drop-In Drawing sessions, visitors are encouraged to study the works in the galleries or the architecture of the building as they practice with materials provided by the Frist. All skill levels are welcome, and Frist educators and volunteers are available to supply hands-on technical guidance.

On most Art After Dark Thursdays, there will be food trucks in the Turner Courtyard, and cash bars in the café and the lobby. Guests can enjoy a meal while listening to some of Nashville’s best and brightest performers from the worlds of jazz, soul, blues, Latin, country, folk, bluegrass, and classical music.

*With occasional exceptions. See dates and lineups at FristArtMuseum.org/ArtAfterDark

ARTlabs are hands-on studio sessions designed to offer a creative outlet for teens, adults, and participants of all ages. Visitors are encouraged to drop in to explore themes of current exhibitions and experiment with techniques in the company of professional artists. ARTlabs will be offered on various days throughout the year at the Frist, on select Art After Dark evenings, and at community events.

Upcoming Art After Dark and ARTLab Dates

Thursday, February 20

Teen ARTlab: Illustration and tattoo art with Elisheba Israel Mrozik

  • 4:00–6:00 p.m.
  • (for ages 13–19).
  • Free; registration not required; materials provided
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2020 Women’s History Month Programs at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York highlights the stories and artistry of Native women. The schedule of programs in March will feature scholarly talks about artworks by women, and a film that touches upon the many layers of identity navigated by Indigenous women.

Caption: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish/Cree/Shoshone, b. 1940), “Trade Canoe: Adrift”, 2015. Acrylic on canvas. Museum purchase, 2016. (26/9791)

Talks

In conjunction with “Stretching the Canvas: Eight Decades of Native Painting,” there will be two scholarly talks addressing the works of several women artists represented in the exhibition.

Marking Space: Abstraction and Place will take place Thursday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. This talk, presented by museum curator Rebecca Head Trautmann, considers the significance of landscape, place and narrative in the abstract paintings of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish/Cree/Shoshone, b. 1940), Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, b. 1935) and Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo, b. 1956).

On Thursday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m., Patricia Marroquin-Norby, the New York museum’s senior executive, will present20th Century Art and Environmental Conflicts. Highlighting the art of Tonita Peña (San Ildefonso/Cochiti Pueblo, 1893–1949) and Helen Hardin (Santa Clara Pueblo, 1943–1984), this scholarly talk examines connections between Pueblo watercolor paintings and environmental conflicts in 20th-century northern New Mexico.

Film Screening

On Saturday, March 7, the museum will screen The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019, Canada/Norway, 105 min.) from 2–5 p.m. Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/ Sámi) and Kathleen Hepburn, the film tells the story of two Indigenous women living very different lives who are briefly brought together on the streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, by desperate circumstances. The story of their encounter explores the complexities of motherhood, class, race and the ongoing legacy of colonialism. A discussion with actress Violet Nelson will follow the screening.

Panel Discussion and Workshop

The museum will host the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience for two days of programing that explore how to remember, acknowledge and contemplate the presence of Haudenosaunee women in the landscape of western New York. On Thursday, March 12, the museum will host a panel discussion at 6 p.m. titled “Rethinking the Landscape: Haudenosaunee Women.” On Friday, March 13, a daylong workshop is offered to staff and volunteers from museums and historical sites, university students and faculty, and other interested parties. More information about the workshop is available at their Eventbrite page.

Both events feature Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora Nation), director of the American Indian and Indigenous Program at Cornell University; Michelle Schenandoah (Oneida Nation), founder and CEO of Rematriation magazine; and architect Julia Watson. The events will be facilitated by Linda Norris, global networks programs director at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum’s George Gustav Heye Center is located at One Bowling Green in New York City. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu. (Follow the museum via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.)

National Air and Space Museum 2020 Trophy Awarded to Charles Elachi and the Hubble Space Telescope Team

Museum Renames Prestigious Award to Honor Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins

Honoring Astronaut Michael Collins’ legacy in aviation and space, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is renaming its trophy for the Apollo 11 command module pilot. The recognition is awarded annually for Lifetime and Current Achievements. The 2020 recipients are Charles Elachi for Lifetime Achievement and the Hubble Space Telescope Team for Current Achievement. The recipients will receive their awards March 26 at a ceremony at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

The National Air and Space Museum Trophy event is made possible through the support of Atlas Air Worldwide, BAE Systems Inc., Blue Origin, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, Jacobs, Leidos, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, National Business Aviation Association, Pratt & Whitney, Seabury Capital, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Thales.

Established in 1985, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology and their history. Trophy winners receive a miniature version of “The Web of Space,” a sculpture by artist John Safer. The renaming of the trophy recognizes Collins’ contributions to aerospace and his service to the museum as director during a critical time in its evolution.

“The Web of Space” sculpture by John Safer. A miniature version of this sculpture is given to the National Air and Space Museum’s Michael Collins Trophy winners every year.

I am deeply honored to have been made a part of the museum’s legacy recognizing the best in the aerospace industry,” said Michael Collins. “The National Air and Space Museum is a testament to thousands who helped craft it into the wonder it is today. I hope the award inspires future generations to keep reaching outward bound.

2020 Michael Collins Trophy Recipients

Elachi will receive the 2020 Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement honoring his distinguished career in the fields of remote sensing, planetary science and spaceflight-program management. After pioneering techniques in radar remote sensing for surface, ocean and atmospheric phenomena, he executed these techniques in leadership roles in various missions. He was the director for space and Earth sciences for almost 20 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), and the director of JPL for 15. Under his leadership, JPL achieved many successful planetary, earth and astronomy missions including several Mars lander, rover and orbiter missions, pioneering missions to outer planets, such as the Cassini mission to Saturn, and the Spitzer and Kepler Space Telescopes. The breadth of his expertise allowed synergy between the technical aspects of radar remote sensing and the interpretation of the acquired science data, which is now a standard approach in Earth and planetary science. Through this lifetime of success, he has also served as a significant mentor to many in industry and academia.

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum logo

As the Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 30th year in operation, the team behind Hubble will receive the 2020 Collins Trophy for Current Achievement. Hubble has changed humans’ fundamental understanding of the universe, having taken over 1.4 million observations and provided data that astronomers have used to write more than 17,000 peer-reviewed scientific publications on a broad range of topics. Through the efforts of the Hubble team since 2018, the observatory has continued to produce science unachievable with any other instrument, including studies of the first possible moon orbiting a planet outside the solar system, imaging the first known interstellar object to visit the solar system and finding water vapor on an extrasolar planet in the habitable zone. System engineers in Hubble’s control center and science operations facility have continued to find creative ways to operate the 30-year-old spacecraft to make this revolutionary science possible and ensuring its capabilities will continue for years to come.

The National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at 655 Jefferson Dr. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking before 4 p.m. at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

More information about the Michael Collins Trophy and a complete list of past winners are available at https://airandspace.si.edu/trophy-award.

Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Examines the Life and Work of Robert Blackburn and Printmaking in the United States

Tour Launches at Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City, Missouri, March 28

A new exhibition exploring the life and work of artist Robert Blackburn, whose innovation and masterful expertise with the medium helped define the overall aesthetic of the American graphics “boom,” will debut at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, March 28. “Robert Blackburn & Modern American Printmaking,” curated by Deborah Cullen, is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in cooperation with the Trust for Robert Blackburn and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts’ Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Program. The exhibition will remain on view through Aug. 2 before continuing an eight-city national tour through 2022.

Robert Blackburn, Girl in Red, 1950. 18 ¼ x 12 ½ inches, Color Lithograph. The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art.

Blackburn was a key artist in the development of printmaking in the United States. He became known as an influential teacher and master printer, engaging with avant-garde artistic ideas while promoting a new collaborative approach to a traditional medium. The exhibition traces Blackburn’s artistic evolution alongside the original prints of other iconic 20th-century American artists with whom he collaborated.

The exhibition brings together a variety of works that highlights the prolific life of an artist and a skilled technical printmaker who openly shared his knowledge with the community, providing an open graphics studio for artists of diverse social and economic backgrounds, ethnicities, styles and levels of expertise,” said Myriam Springuel, director of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations.

Blackburn was born to Jamaican immigrants Dec. 10, 1920, and raised in Harlem, New York, during the Harlem Renaissance, an unparalleled flourishing of the arts centered in New York City’s creative black community. The arts were considered crucial to the well-being of society as well as a fertile medium for activism, and these values resonated with Blackburn throughout his life and work. In 1947, he founded a printmaking workshop as a welcoming space where artists of any level could learn and create together, and it remains in operation to this day. Blackburn’s art gradually shifted from figurative work to highly colored abstraction, creating a fascinating and engaging body of work.

Robert Blackburn help forge a modernist graphic aesthetic, producing work of astonishing relevance for more than 60 years,” Cullen said. “He also directed the oldest and largest artist-run print workshop in the United States, welcoming thousands of artists from around the world.”

Robert Blackburn & Modern American Printmaking” celebrates both the artist and the democratic, diverse and creative community that he created. It features approximately 60 works, including lithographs, woodcut, intaglio and watercolors by Blackburn and the artists with whom he collaborated, including Grace Hartigan, Robert Rauschenberg, Elizabeth Catlett and Romare Bearden, among others. The exhibition is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and funding from the Smithsonian’s Provost Office.

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The Museum at FIT Announces Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style Exhibition

Now Accepting Donations for the MFIT Hip Hop Style Archive

#50yearsofhiphopstyle

The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop, and to commemorate the occasion, The Museum at FIT (MFIT) will present Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style (February–April 2023), an exhibition that examines the roots and history of hip hop fashion from inception to the present time. This exhibition will explore several themes, such as the transition of hip hop from the ‘hood to the runway; luxury and designer influence; the impact of hip hop celebrities on the fashion industry; and the growth of hip hop style as an international phenomenon. Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style is made possible by the support of The Couture Council.

FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)

For 50 years, hip hop has made its mark on U.S. culture and the world,” says Elena Romero, exhibition co-curator and assistant professor, Advertising and Marketing Communications at FIT. “It is the perfect time to exhibit, examine, and celebrate the contributions of our youth and people of color who ignited a multibillion-dollar industry, once considered a passing fad.” Romero has extensively chronicled hip hop fashion as a journalist, author, and scholar. She is the author of Free Stylin’: How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry and has been featured in several documentaries on the subject, including Fresh Dressed and The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion.

The Museum at FIT has established the Hip Hop Style Archive in preparation for our big 2023 exhibition,” says Dr. Valerie Steele, director of MFIT. “We have already acquired some important pieces—ranging from Dapper Dan to Chanel—but we are dedicated to finding much more material that will elucidate a very important cultural phenomenon.” The archive, founded in 2019 in recognition of the importance of hip hop style in the 20th and 21st centuries, is a continually growing collection within The Museum at FIT’s permanent holdings and is comprised predominantly of male and female garments, footwear, and related accessories. It includes works from a range of designers, including American sportswear and luxury designers, European luxury brands, and most significantly, works by designers of color, particularly African American and Latinx designers who helped initiate hip hop style’s international success.

MFIT is currently seeking and accepting donations of objects to continue to build the Hip Hop Style Archive and to accurately represent hip hop fashion in the upcoming Fresh, Fly and Fabulous exhibition. If you wish to donate an object, please click here to submit your information through an online form.

Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style will be supported by an advisory committee made up of experts from the fields of fashion, music, journalism, academia, and education. The exhibition will be organized and co-curated by Romero and Elizabeth Way, assistant curator of Costume at The Museum of FIT.

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New-York Historical Society Presents The Rock & Roll World Of Legendary Impresario Bill Graham

Immersive Audio Experience Featuring the Music of David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, and Other Rock & Roll Icons and a Recreation of the Fillmore East’s Famous “Joshua Light Show” Bring Visitors into the Rock & Roll World

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution On View Now Through August 23, 2020

Bill Graham between takes during the filming of “A ’60s Reunion with Bill Graham: A Night at the Fillmore,” Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, 1986 Courtesy of Ken Friedman

Bill Graham combined an ear for talent with an eye for business. A refugee from Nazi Germany and a child of the Bronx, he instinctively grasped rock & roll’s relevance and potential, swiftly becoming one of history’s most influential concert promoters.

The New-York Historical Society presents the rock & roll world of Bill Graham (1931–1991), one of the most influential concert promoters of all time. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, (opened February 14 and) now on view through August 23, 2020, explores the life and work of the legendary music impresario who worked with the biggest names in rock music—including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones—and launched the careers of countless music luminaries at his famed Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York City. Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, which debuted the exhibition in Los Angeles, this comprehensive retrospective of Graham’s life and career explores some of the 20th century’s momentous cultural transformations through the lens of rock & roll.

American singer-songwriter and poet Jim Morrison (1943-1971), lead singer of The Doors, at the Winterland Auditorium in San Francisco, December 1967.
Gelatin silver print Iconic Images/Baron Wolman

Graham started using the 5,400-seat Winterland in 1966 for shows too big for the Fillmore Auditorium. Winterland became a communal hub, and people from across the Bay Area would cruise by on Saturday nights to see what was happening. Graham sometimes sold as many as 2,000 tickets at the door.
The Grajonca Family, Berlin, ca. 1938 Gelatin silver print Collection of David and Alex Graham

Born Wolfgang Grajonca in 1931, Graham’s Russian Jewish parents immigrated to Berlin searching for a better life; the Nazis’ rise to power crushed those dreams. When Hitler became chancellor of Germany, Graham’s mother put him on a children’s transport to France, thinking this would keep him safe. He never saw her again. His mother perished on the train to Auschwitz.

Showcasing more than 300 objects—including rock memorabilia, photographs, and concert posters—the New-York Historical presentation, coordinated by Associate Curator of Exhibitions Cristian Petru Panaite, highlights Graham’s personal connections to New York. Admission to the exhibition will be via timed-entry tickets and begins with a site-specific installation of “The Joshua Light Show,” the trailblazing liquid light show conceived in 1967 by multimedia artist Joshua White that served as a psychedelic backdrop to Graham’s concert productions in New York.


Jimi Hendrix performs at Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, February 1, 1968 Gelatin silver print Iconic Images/Baron Wolman
Graham once said: “Live, Jimi Hendrix was a combination of the ultimate trickster and the ultimate technician with great emotional ability. There was nobody close to him.”
Prince and the Revolution perform at the Cow Palace, Daly City, CA, March 1, 1985 Chromogenic print Courtesy of Ken Friedman
Graham continued enchanting audiences, presenting memorable shows featuring Madonna, U2, Prince, David Bowie, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Madonna performs during her Blonde Ambition tour, Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA, May 18, 1990 Chromogenic print Courtesy of Ken Friedman

Unique to New-York Historical is a special, immersive audio experience, providing a musical tour through the exhibition with songs by rock & roll superstars the Allman Brothers, Chuck Berry, Blondie, David Bowie, Cream, the Doors, Aretha Franklin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, KISS, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Tom Petty, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Carlos Santana, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, and Neil Young, among others. Included in the four-hour soundtrack available to visitors are also mambo hits by Tito Puente that Graham loved in his early years in New York. The audio experience is generously sponsored by luxury audio brand Master & Dynamic. A playlist of featured songs is available on Spotify.

View from the audience: The Rolling Stones at Day on the Green Oakland Coliseum Stadium, Oakland, California, July 26, 1978 Gelatin silver print Iconic Iconic Images/Baron Wolman

After a long and involved courtship, Mick Jagger finally agreed to let Graham take the Rolling Stones on a nationwide tour of the U.S. in 1981. They played before three million people in 30 cities and grossed $50 million in ticket sales, making the tour the most profitable in rock & roll history.

Even though Bill Graham and the Fillmore East transformed the city’s music scene in the late 1960s, few know about Graham’s immigrant background and New York roots,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “We are proud to collaborate with our colleagues at the Skirball Cultural Center to present this exhibition in New York—Graham’s first American hometown—and to highlight his local experience. His rock & roll life was a pop-culture version of the American dream come true.”

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MoMA Appoints Clément Chéroux As the Next Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography

The Museum of Modern Art announces the appointment of Clément Chéroux as the next Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography. MoMA has exhibited and collected photography since its founding in 1929, and formally established a Department of Photography in 1940. Chéroux succeeds Quentin Bajac, who served as Chief from 2013-2018, and now directs the Jeu de Paume, Paris. Chéroux will lead a department with a renowned legacy and unparalleled collection of more than 30,000 works that continues to play an important global role in exploring photography’s diverse and powerful impacts on modern life. He will guide all aspects of the department, including its installations, acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, and loan programs. Chéroux will join MoMA in June 2020.

After an extensive and international search, we’re thrilled to welcome Clément as the new Chief Curator of Photography,” said Glenn D. Lowry, the David Rockefeller Director of MoMA. “Clément’s outstanding success and reputation as a gifted leader, curator, scholar, and collaborator is matched by his deep passion for and knowledge of the diversity of modern and contemporary photography practice.”

Clément Chéroux poses inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in San Francisco on July 21, 2016. Chéroux is the new senior curator of photography at the museum. The position oversees the Department of Photography and its renowned collection of more than 17,000 photographs — half the works of art in the entire SFMOMA collection. Photo by Frederic Neema

Chéroux is currently the Senior Curator of the Pritzker Center for Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco—one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and a thriving cultural center. At SFMOMA, he organized exhibitions including Don’t! Photography and the Art of Mistakes (2019); snap + share. Transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks (2019); Louis Stettner. Traveling light (2018); Johannes Brus (2018); The Train, RFK’s Last Journey: Paul Fusco, Rein Jelle Terpstra, Philippe Parreno (2018); Carolyn Drake, Wild Pigeon (2018); and Walker Evans (2017).

From 2007-2016, Chéroux served in the Department of Photography at the Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris—first as Curator, and then leading the department as Chief Curator from 2013-2016. He organized more than 25 exhibitions featuring the work of Walker Evans, Josef Koudelka, Jafar Panahi, Agnès Varda, Thierry Fontaine, Valérie Belin, Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edvard Munch, and many others. Chéroux has published more than 45 books and catalogues and lectured widely on the topic of photography, its history, and its modern and contemporary contexts.

Chéroux previously held positions as a freelance curator, as executive editor of the magazine Études Photographiques published by the Société française de photographie, and as a lecturer at the Universities of Paris I, Paris VIII, and Lausanne. He holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Paris I Panthéon/Sorbonne and a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (Arles).

It was a pleasure to work at SFMOMA for three years and to have the support of a fantastic Bay Area photo community. I am very excited to be part of the energy of the new MoMA and to work with the team and collection to develop great projects,” shared Chéroux.

Children’s Book Exhibition At The High To Tell Stories Of The Civil Rights Movement

This summer, the High Museum of Art will premiere “Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children’s Books” (June 20–Sept. 20, 2020), an exhibition organized in collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

The exhibition is the first of its kind to delve into the events, people and themes of the civil rights movement, both celebrated and forgotten, through one of the most compelling forms of visual expression, the children’s picture book. The more than 80 artworks on view, ranging from paintings and prints to collages and drawings, will evoke the power and continuing relevance of the era that shaped American history and continues to reverberate today.

The year 2020 marks the anniversary of several key events from the civil rights movement. Sixty-five years ago, in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Ruby Bridges integrated her New Orleans elementary school, and four black students catalyzed the sit-in movement at the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.

These actions and more are explored in the exhibition with titles by beloved children’s book authors and artists as well as talented newcomers. “Picture the Dream” will emphasize children’s roles as activists and tell important stories about the movement’s icons, including Parks, Bridges, Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the guiding aspects of our mission is a commitment to family audiences. Through our children’s book exhibitions, we aim to help adult visitors open meaningful dialogues with the children in their lives and create memories that will last a lifetime,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High. “This exhibition will spark important conversations across generations about a crucial period in our nation’s history that connects directly to our city, a birthplace of the civil rights movement.”

The exhibition will be organized into three thematic sections that explore the forces that sparked the civil rights movement, its key players and events, and stories about the reemergence of activism in contemporary America. From Brown v. Board of Education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the March on Washington and Black Lives Matter, the picture books’ topics bridge the past and present, emphasizing how historical moments and leaders continue to inspire the struggle for equal rights.

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Art Institute of Chicago Acquires Monumental Tiffany Stained Glass Window

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.

Design attributed to Agnes F. Northrop (American, 1857–1953); Tiffany Studios (American, 1902–32). Hartwell Memorial Window (Light in Heaven and Earth), 1917. Corona, New York. Leaded glass; 701 x 487.7 cm (276 x 192 in.). Restricted gift of the Antiquarian Society, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Family Foundation, and Ann and Samuel M. Mencoff; through prior gift of the George F. Harding Collection; Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowment Fund; American Art Sales Proceeds, Discretionary, and Purchase funds; Jane and Morris Weeden and Mary Swissler Oldberg funds; restricted gift of the Davee Foundation, Pam Conant, Stephanie Field Harris, the Komarek-Hyde-McQueen Foundation, and Jane Woldenberg; gifts in memory of John H. Bryan, Jr.; Wesley M. Dixon, Jr. Endowment Fund; through prior gift of the Friends of American Art Collection and Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson; restricted gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field, Roxelyn and Richard Pepper, and an anonymous donor; Goodman Endowment Fund; restricted gift of Abbie Helene Roth in memory of Sandra Gladstone Roth, Henry and Gilda Buchbinder Family in memory of John H. Bryan, Jr., Suzanne Hammond and Richard Leftwich, Maureen Tokar in memory of Edward Tokar, Bonnie and Frank X. Henke III, Erica Meyer, Joseph P. Gromacki in memory of John H. Bryan, Jr., Louise Ingersoll Tausché, Christopher and Sara Pfaff, Charles L. and Patricia A. Swisher, Kim and Andy Stephens, and Dorothy J. Vance; B. F. Ferguson Fund; Jay W. McGreevy, Dr. Julian Archie, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Puth, and Kate S. Buckingham endowment funds, 2018.121

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.

Hirshhorn Announces the First US Museum Retrospective of Pioneering Abstractionist Sam Gilliam in More Than 15 Years

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.

Photo Credit: Sam Gilliam, “Light Depth,” 1969. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Corcoran Gallery of Art. Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund), 2018.

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.”

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“Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time” Opens at the National Museum of African Art, April 11

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.

Photo Credit: Inland Niger Delta artist; Djenné, Mopti Region, Mali; Equestrian Figure; 13th-15th century C.E.; Ceramic; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, museum purchase, 86-12-2; Photograph by Franko Khoury.

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.

Exhibition Publication

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.

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The Museum Of Modern Art Acquires 56 Photographs From Gordon Parks’s Groundbreaking 1957 Series “The Atmosphere Of Crime”

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.

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, New York, New York 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 13 ¾ x 21″ (35 × 53.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

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.

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, Chicago, Illinois 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 13 ¾ x 21″ (35 x 53.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

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.

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Raiding Detectives, Chicago, Illinois 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 11 7/8 x 17 15/16″ (30.1 × 45.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

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.

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Winter/Spring Programs for Families, Kids, Teens, and Educators at the Guggenheim Museum

This season, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum offers programs for families, kids, teens, and educators in conjunction with exhibitions on view, including Countryside, The Future; The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting; and Marking Time: Process in Minimal Abstraction.

Winter/Spring Programs for Families, Kids, Teens, and Educators at the Guggenheim Museum. Image provided by the Guggenheim Museum, New York

FOR FAMILIES

Second Sunday Family Tours

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.

May 10: Art Getaway

Explore portraits in the Guggenheim’s collection.

$25 per family, free for Family Members and Cool Culture families. Includes admission and tour for two adults and up to four children. Space is limited. Registration required at guggenheim.org/familyprograms.

Stroller Tours

Tuesdays, March 10, April 14, and May 12, 3–4 pm

For families with children up to 24 months

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 strollertours@guggenheim.org.

Little Guggs

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.

$30 per family, $15 for members. Includes admission, art materials, and snacks. Registration required at guggenheim.org/familyprograms.

A Year with Children 2020

May 8–June 16

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).

Free with museum admission. For more information visit guggenheim.org/ywc2019.

Guggenheim for All: Sensory Sundays in Support of Autism Acceptance Month

Every Sunday in April 2020

1–4 pm

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.

Free. Capacity is limited, registration required. For more information visit guggenheim.org/familyprograms.

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The Mack Lecture Series Returns to the Walker Art Center this April

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.

Annie Dorsen’s Hello Hi There, 2010 Photo: W. Silveri/Steirischer Herbst

Annie Dorsen and Catherine Havasi with Simon Adler
April 8, 7 pm

Simon Adler, 2018. Photo courtesy of Simon Adler.
Catherine Havasi, 2019. Photo courtesy of Catherine Havasi.
Annie Dorsen, 2019. Courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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.

JD Samson
April 15, 7 pm

JD Samson, 2019. Courtesy of the Artist

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.

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Walker Art Center presents Faye Driscoll: Come On In, Artist’s First Solo Exhibition

If I say ‘thank you for coming,’ it implies that you are already there.” —Faye Driscoll

Faye Driscoll: Thank You For Coming: Space. Photo: Gemma Galina

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. Courtesy the artist.

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.

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Smithsonian Film Festival Celebrates Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

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 Festival will 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.

Vai looks on at her daughter Mata, filmed in Kuki Airani, one of seven Pacific Nations featured in Vai (2019). Photo courtesy of MPI Media

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 River Feb. 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 Japan Feb. 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 Quantum Feb. 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 Piugattuk Feb. 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.
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