Monday, February 23, 2009

The Addison's New Face on the Web

Visitors to our website may have noticed it looks a bit different. We felt since we were giving the Addison's bricks and mortar face a redo, we ought to do the same with the Addison's electronic face as well.

If you haven't visited our site lately, please do. Our new look includes revised page navigation and layout to make it easier to find the information you're looking for. Our Join and Support page has a new feature spotlighting the Addison's greatest donors. Object records found on our Collection page now include exhibition history information. Our Exhibitions page includes links to pages featuring the new shows we are working on for our reopening. And, our new front page banner focuses on the Addison's future by displaying the architectural rendering of our building with its new addition...we hope to soon update it with an image of the real thing!

New features and information will be added to the website over the next few months as we count down to our reopening in Spring 2010. Certainly keep an eye on our Campaign Addison News page for regularly updated images from the job site and visit the Whistler's Britain page to learn how to participate in our Fall 2009 trip to England and Scotland.

So please, click on over to to see the latest changes at the Addison and to learn about all the changes that are yet to come.

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

Monday, February 16, 2009

Still Missing the Addison?

Still missing the Addison? Join us!!

Associate Director and Curator Susan Faxon will be hosting:

Addison Watercolors

Thursday, February 19, 2009
11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

School Room (third floor), Abbot Hall
Abbot Campus
School Street, Andover

Susan’s talk is the second of a three-part series of intimate visits with treasures from the collection hosted by the Addison’s curators. The third will be Thursday, March 19th with Allison Kemmerer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beyond the Addison: Learning from Carl Andre

Today we hear from guest poster Kit Harris, Addison Gallery intern and former Phillips Academy student, regarding her recent Addison-related adventures:

My name is Kit Harris and I graduated from Phillips Academy in 2007. Now I attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Even though I graduated two years ago, my connection with Andover has not diminished. This past summer I worked as an intern in the Registrar’s Office at the Addison.

At Hopkins, I am an Art History and International Studies double major with a minor in Museums & Societies. So, working at the Addison was the perfect choice for a summer job. In preparation for the Addison’s big move offsite while they undergo renovations, I spent the first month and a half organizing their exhibition and artist files and packing them into hundreds of boxes. When I was filing and sorting I had no idea how useful the information I was gleaning from my work would end up being.

This fall I took a class in the art history department that was called “Art After 1945”. The focus of the class was on American contemporary art. From day one of my class, when we were given a slide list of all of the works we were going to look at, many of the artists in the Addison’s collection were referenced. I was amazed to find that the Addison has works from every single major movement that we discussed in class.

It was absolutely invaluable to be able to picture in my head the works in the Addison’s collection that I had been reading about and filing papers on for the whole summer. I felt that I had a connection to the art we were learning about that no one in the class could parallel.

I think perhaps the best example of this was when we were discussing Carl Andre (a fellow Andover graduate). My professor, Kathryn Tuma, was talking about how radical his works with brick and slabs of stone are. Professor Tuma then went on to explain that the pieces of metal or brick were not connected to the ground at all. She said “If you’ve ever de-installed an Andre, then you know what I mean,” and laughed.

Clearly, she had meant for this to be a joke. But, I had actually de-installed an Andre! The Addison’s piece Secret Work (see left) had been on display when the museum closed in mid-July and I was lucky enough to be able to help the Addison's staff with the de-installation. After class, I went up to my professor to share my story and she was absolutely floored!

You can be sure that on my final exam, I didn’t even hesitate when asked to identify Carl Andre’s work or that of countless other artists so well represented by the Addison’s collection.

Kit Harris
Addison Gallery Intern

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Taking Education on the Road

Today we hear from Julie Bernson, Director of Education at the Addison Gallery, about her recent work with students in New Orleans.

I first met Benjamin Franklin Elementary School teacher Sabina Puri when she attended the Andover Bread Loaf Writing Workshop in the summer of 2006. This past December I traveled for the third time to New Orleans to work with teachers and students on a Photography & Writing Project. This time architecture was our theme as we explored the neighborhood of the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, one of only two remaining public elementary schools in the city.

The first day we explored through writing the architecture of the school from the inside and outside. The kindergarten through 3rd graders noticed many aspects of their school that they had never noticed before, such as the big house across the street, the details of the mosaic in the entry, and the various colors of the bricks on the outside of the building.

The following day, with sharpened eyes, we walked around the school and the neighborhood with cameras. Many were intrigued by seeing the house that we had seen only the roof of through the window from the front.

We saw many different styles of architecture and discussed why we liked certain details: the motorcycle in the front yard, the colorful flowers (even in December!), the double staircase to the front door, the sculptures in the garden, the paint colors and the holiday decorations.

Back at school, the students, parents, and teachers wrote and drew extraordinary things about what we had seen and experienced while exploring the neighborhood.

I saw red ornament balls on a tree. My favorite house has white columns. I liked the yellow, orange, and red leaves. Then I saw a circle shaped window. Next, I saw the McDonogh name on our school. Another thing I saw was pink, red and purple flowers. The seventh thing I saw was a door shaped window. I saw an address on the steps. The next thing I saw was a brown and black dog in a black gate. Then I saw a green plant with white dots used to make peppermints. Another thing I saw was a garlic plant that looked like a rose but it was white. I saw a house that was old that was brown and needed paint. Next, I saw green bushes with white flowers on it. Then I saw an orange and yellow plant in a garden. I saw an orange chimney at the top of a building. I saw a green fruit in the brown dirt. At our school I saw our blue and white notice board. Then I saw the brown bricks at our school. I saw the white worn out color of a note on the school building.

By Jarrell Clines, 3rd Grade, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, New Orleans, LA

Student Photographs

The students continue to write about the photographs and the experiences from that day. The images and writing will ultimately become a book with copies printed for each of the students and their families.

Posted by Julie Bernson, Director of Education