Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall Opening Reception

Just posting a quick reminder to all our blog readers that the opening reception for the Addison Gallery's fall exhibitions is this Friday, September 28th, from 5:30 to 7:30PM. Be sure to check out the Exhibitions page on our website to see what will be hanging on the walls and our Public Programs page for a complete list of our fall events.

We hope to see you here Friday night!

James Sousa

Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

Looking Forward to What Lies Ahead

A few postings back, Addison blogger James Sousa mentioned that he soon would be introducing a new blogger from the Education Department. As the new Education Fellow at the Addison, I can reasonably conclude that he was referring to me. I’ve taken matters into my own hands (actually, Mr. Sousa asked if I would) and am happy to introduce myself. If you have checked out the Education link on our website recently, then you’ve noticed that to get in touch with the Education Department, you are encouraged to contact Amy Freedberg. Well, that’s me.

I started here at the Addison at the beginning of this month. Until this fall, I had been teaching 6th grade English and Spanish at the Glen Urquhart School in Beverly. Before teaching, I studied art history as an undergraduate at Yale and worked at the Yale University Art Gallery. Museum education (my two loves – art and education – combined!) has always interested me, and signing on to be the new Education Fellow was an easy decision. It was made even easier by my familiarity with the Addison; as a PA alum (’99), I have known for years what a remarkable museum this is.

These first three weeks have been exciting — and busy! The new Curriculum Packet that I’ve been writing is nearly complete. Director of Education Julie Bernson and I are cooking up all kinds of ideas for educational programs this fall. We’re charging ahead with our plans for Educators’ Evening (Oct. 4th) and a Teacher Workshop (Oct. 17th). School groups have begun scheduling visits, and artist-in-residence Angela Lorenz is working with a number of PA classes. With four incredible shows on view, we are sure to be very busy this season! While I remain skeptical that anything could be as fast-paced as classroom teaching, everything I have heard about the Addison Education Department has me wondering if this job might come close. In any case, I am looking forward to all that lies ahead!

Amy Freedberg
Education Fellow

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Recent Acquisitions on View!

What does a shopping cart, plaster, rope, and twigs have in common? Well artist Charles Long used them to create We Wait a Long Time To See You, To Beat You in 2005 (see right). In the wall text for Out of the Ordinary, one of the five shows in The Discerning Eye, curator Allison Kemmerer wrote “Long loaded the plaster and papier mache sculpture onto a shopping cart and sent both cart and sculpture into the river where it remained for several days.” Removed from the water and now dry, Long’s construction is just one of the recent acquisitions that is currently on view at the Addison.

Other recent acquisitions include a painting by Jennifer Bartlett and numerous woodcut and relief prints by Arthur Wesley Dow. In her recent body of work, Bartlett uses dreams and overheard conversations as sources for her imagery. Standing in front of Sad, a gigantic oil painting (96 x 96 inches!), one can get lost in its frenzied layers of paint until you pull back and recognize the two trees in the foreground and the distant forest.

Switching scale and medium, the Addison also recently acquired a large body of work by Arthur Wesley Dow. Raised in Ipswich, Dow’s prints capture the marshes, meadows, the shanties and bridges found in his beloved hometown. It is remarkable to see how Dow experimented with different techniques and mediums to capture the idyllic scenes. For example, in Ipswich Days: Arthur Wesley Dow and his Hometown one can trace Ipswich Shanties from its early stage as a woodblock to its final color woodcut, the latter which is now part of the Addison’s permanent collection (see left). This exact image recurs in a gelatin silver print taken by the artist as well as an oil painting. The Addison is grateful to the Ipswich Historical Society and Museums, who kindly lent objects to this exhibition and thus made this comparison possible.

The aforementioned objects are on view for the first time at the Addison and we invite you to stop by to take a look at them in person.

Jaime DeSimone
Charles H. Sawyer Curatorial Fellow

Friday, September 14, 2007

At the Addison and Beyond...

At the Addison, the galleries are still reverberating with the sounds of hammering as we work to complete the installation of Ipswich Days: Arthur Wesley Dow and his Hometown (see left). Most of the artwork is here and already hung on the walls. The show opens next Saturday, September 22nd. Also opening will be Angela Lorenz: The Artist's Book as Volume of Knowledge. Angela Lorenz has been on campus here at Phillips and will be laying out her show over the next few days.

As those shows come together, you can see Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey that features photographs and personal narratives by Phillips Academy alums Omar Siddiqi, Marieke Sterling, Kevin Hatcher, Charles Thornton, Christopher Pohlmeyer, Mgbechi Erondu, Terrance Rubin, Catherine Castillo, and Amy Tsao alongside those of students from Lawrence High School, New York, Chicago, Florida, Detroit, and San Francisco. And, as I've written before, The Discerning Eye: Five Perspectives of the Addison Collection, is filled with treasures, many rarely-seen, from our permanent collection.

I spent last week in Columbus, Ohio, to assist the extremely friendly and efficient staff of the Wexner Center of the Arts (see right) with the unpacking and installation of William Wegman: Funney/Strange at its fifth and final venue. The Wexner, with its large, modern, angular galleries, should prove to be a very dynamic installation. The show opens to the public September 20th.

The opening reception for all our fall shows here at the Addison will be September 28th from 5:30-7:30. It is free and open to all so we hope to see you here!

James Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives