Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

The Art of Observation

 
WAM Curator of Education, Ann Grimaldi, leading "Art of Observation" gallery discussion

WAM Curator of Education, Ann Grimaldi, leading "Art of Observation" gallery discussion in the exhibition "On the Path to Abstraction: Highlights of the Permanent Collection".

Curator of Education Ann Grimaldi and volunteer docent Kate Barrett lead a discussion with UNCG Teacher Education majors in Kinesiology on the “Art of Observation.” Dr. Barrett, retired UNCG professor emerita in Kinesiology (formerly Exercise and Sport Science), and Grimaldi created the program three years ago to aid students in academic areas where observation is crucial such as in gymnasiums and playing fields.

Using works of art on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, students practice an awareness of their observation habits through processes like scanning, detail recognition, organization and analysis of visual data. Knowing “how to look” and “what to look for” is an essential step in understanding what we see and for physical education teacher education students, it can be critical in assessing students’ motor skill development. Over 160 UNCG students have participated in the program to date, which has been expanded to psychiatric nursing and dietetic nutrition areas.

(Photo above shot in the permanent collection exhibition On the Path to Abstraction: Highlights of the Permanent Collection)

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Chinese Arts Delegation Visits the Weatherspoon

 
Chinese delegation visits the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Chinese delegation visits the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Photo: David Wilson, UNCG University Relations.

The Weatherspoon had a special visit (hosted at UNCG) on November 2 as a delegation of 26 Chinese provincial and municipal leaders came to the museum for a presentation.  The group – which is also visiting New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. – included mayors and top leaders from seven Chinese provinces who wanted to learn more about the cultural and performing arts and the entertainment industries in the U.S.

Link to more photos from the visit here.

This cultural delegation was organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), a national organization engaged in people-to-people diplomacy between the People’s Republic of China and other countries. It aims to further international cooperation and, among its many activities, it is entrusted by the government with promoting cultural exchange and cooperation.

The visit of these Chinese leaders was the result of an initiative undertaken by a delegation of UNCG administrators and faculty who visited the CPAFFC headquarters in Beijing in April 2012.

The UNCG symposium (“Entrepreneurship and the Arts in the U.S.”) included lectures and discussions by top artists, teachers and performers; including a presentation at the Weatherspoon Art Museum with our director Nancy Doll.

Museum Director Nancy Doll with member of the Chinese delegation.

Museum Director Nancy Doll with member of the Chinese delegation. photo: David Wilson, UNCG University Relations.

While visiting the Weatherspoon, the delegation toured several exhibitions, including On the Path to Abstraction, Art on Paper 2012: The 42nd Exhibition, and The Cone Sisters Collect.

Two special concert performances were also presented at UNCG in honor of the guests. UNCG faculty musicians presented a concert at the Recital Hall of the School of Music Theater and Dance. Performers included the Faculty Jazz Quartet, the East Wind Quintette d’Anches, the McIver String Quartet, pianist Andrew Willis on fortepiano, and singers Clara O’Brien, Nancy Walker and Donald Hartmann. Students of choreographer and dance professor Duane Cyrus also performed in the UNCG Dance Theater in the HHP building.

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Tom Burckhardt Gift

 
"Whiteout" by Tom Burckhardt

Tom Burckhardt, "Whiteout", 2006, ink and digitized image on paper, 36 x 80 in. Gift of Lysiane Luong Grooms and Red Grooms, 2012.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum is pleased to announce that it just received a gift of a work on paper by the artist, Tom Burckhardt.  Burckhardt was a Falk Visiting Artist last semester, and his solo exhibition closed on Jan. 8th.  The new acquisition, entitled Whiteout, is unlike the works that were on display.  More narrative and descriptive, but equally conceptual, it features the artist in a snow-covered, Asian-inspired landscape contemplating an easel painting and by extension, the act and purpose of painting.

The work on paper was donated by the artist Red Grooms, whose work was recently on view in Altered States & Visions and for whom Burckhardt worked for many years as a studio assistant, and his wife Lysiane Luong.

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Bellocq’s Storyville: New Orleans at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

 
E.J. Bellocq, "Girl Lying on Grass Chaise Lounge"

E.J. Bellocq, "Girl Lying on Grass Chaise Lounge", c. 1911-13, gelatin silver print, 8 x 9 7/8 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Benefactors Fund, 1973.

Although he was wealthy from a family inheritance and considered a part of the elite of New Orleans, E.J. Bellocq made his living mostly by taking photographic records of landmarks, ships and machinery for local companies.  He gained posthumous fame, however, for his personal photographs of the hidden underside of local life, notably the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ legalized red light district. Although it is possible that these images were made for commercial purposes—photographs of prostitutes were included in Blue Books, advertisements created by the city’s brothels—it seems more likely that Bellocq personally knew the women in his photographs, given their ease with the camera and their willingness to pose and sometimes even feign for it. Upon his death in 1949, Bellocq’s possessions, along with the disreputable photographs, were given to his brother, Leon, a Jesuit priest. When the photographs were discovered years later, many of the women’s faces had been scratched out. Initially it was speculated that Leon scratched the photos upon receiving them, but this is no longer believed since the damage was done in the emulsion rather than on the glass plate negatives.

The young E.J. Bellocq

Young E.J. Bellocq. photo courtesy of Tulane Special Collections.

The district of Storyville was created in 1897 when Alderman Sidney Story decided that the expansion of brothels in New Orleans needed to stop because they drove down building and family values. Knowing full well that banning prostitution would be ineffective, Story set out to regulate it. He created a thirty-five block area in which prostitution was legal, and banned it in the rest of the city. This area quickly became one of the most scandalous red-light districts in the United States, and much to the ire of Alderman Story, came to bear his name.

Storyville and Bellocq himself, have become infamous symbols of New Orleans at the turn of the century. Several movies, including the 1992 film, Storyville, and the 1978 film starring Brooke Shields and Susan Sarandon, Pretty Baby, focus on this particularly notorious and fascinating part of New Orleans’ history. This photograph by Bellocq will be on display until April 8, 2012 in the exhibition To What Purpose? Photography as Art and Documentary at Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Post written by Stephanie Krysiak, a second year History Master’s student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Thanks to Elaine Gustafson, Curator of Collections, Weatherspoon Art Museum.

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Great Depression Era Photography

 
Titus Oakley family stripping, tying, and grading tobacco in their bedroom...

Marion Post Wolcott, "Titus Oakley family stripping, tying, and grading tobacco in their bedroom...", 1939

The photograph of Titus Oakley and his family shows the necessity of a family working together to make ends meet. During the Great Depression, this was commonplace; families depended on the labor of all members to survive. Men felt responsible for supporting their families, and in the wake of the depression, were troubled by their inability to be the sole providers. Whether they could provide or not, men were still considered by society to be the head of the household. This belief is evident in through the photo of the Oakley family because Titus is the only person whose name is recorded. Even in later photographs, which focus on his wife and daughter and do not include him, his wife and daughter are not given names. They are defined in relation to him.

Marion Post Wolcott, the photographer of this piece, was hired by the Farmer Security Administration (FSA) during the Great Depression to document the lives of the rural and small town poor. From 1935 to 1944, the photographers hired by the FSA took photos, which were used to draw support for impoverished farmers. The images taken in this campaign were often published in popular magazines and are credited with creating the perception of the Great Depression held today. Wolcott took this picture, and two others, of the Oakley family working with tobacco. One is of Mrs. Oakley, barefoot, hanging the tobacco.

Mrs. Oakley

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection

Another photo of the Oakley family is of the Oakley’s eight-year old daughter stripping and tying the tobacco in their bedroom since it had become too cold for them to work outside.

Oakley Daughter

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection

These photos were taken in 1939, the year after Dr. Raymond Pearl published the first report stating that non-smokers lived longer than smokers. While this fact would be debated for many years, it marked a significant moment in the tobacco industry.

Through April 8, 2012, you can visit the Weatherspoon Art Museum to see the photo of the Oakley family (from the Weatherspoon’s collection) and try to figure out for yourself what their life was really like, in the To What Purpose? Photography as Art and Document exhibition in Gallery 6.

The Library of Congress also has over 160,000 of the FSA photos published online at the following website.

Post written by Stephanie Krysiak, a second year History Master’s student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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