Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blog Addison Is One Year Old Today!

Today marks the one year anniversary of Blog Addison's launch. We have made sixty posts over the last year and will continue to update our current news and events here as we open our spring exhibitions in April and May and close temporarily to the public for our renovation and expansion in July.

To celebrate our anniversary, I thought it would be nice to post some images from our most recent celebration: the Opening Reception for our Winter Exhibitions on February 15th. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Museum Learning Center

Anyone who has visited the Addison while a school group is here or when we have an opening knows that we’re a small place. The lobby can get so crowded with visitors that you can barely move through it. Many unfortunate visitors have gotten their feet wet more than once by accidentally stepping into the Manship fountain.

The new Museum Learning Center (MLC) will add much needed square footage of public space to the museum and will provide a place where students, scholars, and visitors can study our collections up close. Part of our future expansion and renovation and planned to be adjacent to our expanded art library (see left, click for larger image), the MLC will be a versatile space easily accessible from the museum and the Elson Art Center, bringing our art closer than ever to those who study it.

The larger central space of the MLC will be able to accommodate school groups and classes coming to view objects by appointment. Built-in display fixtures installed throughout will be used to view artwork. The area is also large enough that it can accommodate audiences for lectures and films as well as visitors coming to study the material in our library or from our archives. A smaller enclosed “flex space” will serve visitors interested in meeting or viewing artwork in a quiet, more intimate space.

The Addison has always been a center of learning for American art and the new MLC will help to further that mission. We hope it will help encourage young students to get their feet wet studying art without, actually, getting their feet wet!

James M. Sousa

Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

Monday, February 11, 2008

Opening Reception This Friday!

Please join us on Friday, February 15, 5:30-7:30 pm for the opening reception to celebrate the Addison Gallery’s winter exhibitions. In the spirit of the exhibition Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury, the evening will feature California jazz music, artful martinis, and tasty hors d’oeuvres. Bring your family and friends, and come dressed in your best 1950’s attire!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Sneak Peek of Birth of the Cool

About two weeks ago, on two massive tractor trailer trucks, we received the eighty-five crates and packages containing Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury, arguably the largest show we have ever hosted here at the Addison. We have been working furiously with two representatives from the Orange County Museum of Art to unpack and install this very complex and multi-layered exhibition that will fill the entirety of our second floor.

The exhibition examines the painting, architecture, furniture design, decorative arts, film, and music that launched mid-century modernism in the United States. The Kemper Gallery will be lined with the show's abstract paintings (see above), perfectly complementing our Sol LeWitt wall drawing installed in the cove above. The surrounding galleries will feature an interactive timeline that highlights the events of the mid-twentieth century to put the show into context as well as listening stations (see right) playing music of the period surrounded by photographs and the album covers of its creators.

The exhibition will then explore mid-century architecture and decorative arts, with a gallery devoted to Pierre Koenig's Case Study Houses complete with photographs by Julius Shulman and an architectural model (see left). Other galleries will feature furniture and decorative and graphic arts as well as additional paintings of the period. There's even a vintage stereo speaker on display that has greatly interested the musicians here on staff.

With each crate we open we find our collective breaths taken away with the incredible finds within it. We can't wait to open this show to the public on February 15th and we hope to see everyone here at the reception starting at 5:30PM!

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives