Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Museum Shop

With the holidays just around the corner, we thought we’d focus some attention on our Museum Shop, a perfect place to find unique and beautiful gifts.

Though the Addison has been around for more than 80 years, the Museum Shop was a part of the Addison’s recent renovation and expansion project, and has been open just since September 2010. The Museum Shop carries primarily works by American artisans and craftspeople in keeping with the Addison’s mission of collecting American art. When choosing what to sell in the Shop, we look for high-quality items that are not found in other shops in the area, finding new things at craft shows and working with vendors who can create one-of-a-kind items specifically for the Shop. Since the Shop’s opening, the most popular items have been jewelry and scarves, as well as Addison mugs, note cards, and postcards.

Also available in the Shop are many custom-made items inspired by works from the Addison’s collection, including iPhone covers, notepads, and limited-edition bags made from the vinyl exhibition banners which once hung from the Addison’s portico. And in addition to the ever-popular jewelry and scarves, we are carrying a selection of housewares and holiday ornaments from artisans from New England and around the country. For book lovers, we offer catalogues and publications relating to our collection as well as our exhibitions, including the catalogue for the spectacular American Vanguards: Graham, Davis, Gorky, de Kooning and Their Circle 1927–1942, on view at the Addison through December 30.

We’re always looking for ideas from our fans, visitors, and vendors for new items and artisans that might be a good fit for the Museum Shop. If you have suggestions, please contact us at We hope you’ll stop by soon! And remember, Friends of the Addison and Phillips Academy faculty, staff, and students receive a 10 percent discount on shop merchandise.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monumental banners across Phillips Academy campus highlight exhibition

Six members of the Innu community, along with artists Wendy Ewald and Eric Gottesman, visited Phillips Academy during the week of October 8, 2012, where they met with a variety Phillips Academy classes with subjects ranging from English to Biology to and Art, and with classes from schools in the local communities. The Innu community members also participated in a series of evening programs, including film screenings and readings. Their visit came as part of the exhibition Pekupatikut Innuat Akunikana/Pictures Woke the People Up: An Innu Project with Wendy Ewald and Eric Gottesman. Their weeklong residency culminated in a public reception at the Addison Gallery of American Art on Saturday, October 13 and included a student led tour of the banner sites on campus.

The project was inspired by Ewald’s 1969 voyage to Sheshatshiu, Labrador, where she first met members of the Innu community, who were adapting to life on a reserve after being forcibly settled several years earlier. The eighteen-year-old Ewald taught the Innu children to document their experiences through photography.

In 2007, concerned by the persistent challenges facing the Innu, Ewald returned to Labrador with fellow photographer Gottesman. They reconnected with many of her former protégées and embarked on a new photographic project with three Innu high school students to create an updated portrait of the community originally depicted in the 1969 photographs. Later, the artists worked with the entire community to create a series of large-scale banners based on the 1969 and 2007 photographs and installed them throughout their community.
The installation of 10 banners at Phillips Academy aims to echo the installation in Labrador and to provoke conversation here about how communities respond to change and challenges, and how they define their identities both internally and to the world at large.

The exhibition can be seen at the Addison Gallery until January 13, 2013. Generous support for Pekupatikut Innuat Akunikana / Pictures Woke the People Up: An Innu Project with Wendy Ewald and Eric Gottesman has been provided by the Abbot Academy Association, which was founded in 1973 to foster and promote the legacy and spirit of Abbot Academy in the campus and in the programs of Phillips Academy, and by the Poss Family Foundation.

Posted by:
Rebecca Hayes
Curator of Education

Monday, July 16, 2012

Greetings from the Addison Gallery's new Curator of Education

Greetings from the Addison Gallery of American Art’s new Curator of Education Rebecca Hayes

It’s wonderful to be back at the Addison Gallery of American Art after 16 years! After starting my career in museum education at the Addison in 1995, I went on to work at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the American Folk Art Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York. I’m thrilled to return to my native Merrimack Valley and to a museum that has been deeply committed to education since its founding 80 years ago.

The Addison’s incredible collection and innovative exhibitions make the museum a unique part of Phillips Academy, the local community, and the larger world. Our mission as a teaching museum and commitment to sharing the collection with as broad an audience as possible is what inspired my career in museum education. It has been a rewarding experience for me to reconnect with former colleagues and friends in the community, and heartening to see that our local partnerships from 16 years ago continue to flourish as new ones develop. I am looking forward to an exciting year of programs and collaborations with the Phillips Academy community and educators, students, and members of our local community organizations.

The opportunity to work at the Addison is particularly exciting to me because of the museum’s commitment to sustained collaborations with our partner schools. For example, this past year the Addison Gallery collaborated with first grade teacher Mary Guererro and her students at the Henry K. Oliver School in Lawrence to conduct a yearlong investigation exploring the question “What can art be?” Students reflected on what type of objects and mediums can be considered art based on both their aesthetic and functional qualities. Students visited the Addison to examine and discuss a variety of artworks such as an Alexander Calder mobile, Hudson River School paintings, the seascapes of John Marin, drawings and writings by Elizabeth Enders, and the sculptures by Dale Chihuly on the Addison’s green roof.

Students also created artwork twining colorful yarn around sticks collected in their local landscape (attached to written memories), painted rocks with fantastic shades of color, and designed their own elaborate mobiles. Each week during the months of May and June, students traveled to a new location in their community to curate and install their artwork in a temporary exhibition. Students used their day books to create detailed maps for each of their journeys from the school to exhibition sites and wrote about curating their artwork in each new location. Exhibition sites included the Lawrence Public Library, the steps of the Lawrence Heritage State Park, the basketball court across from the Oliver School, and the grounds at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA where students explored the whimsical sculptures of artist Gary Webb. The project culminated with a book detailing students’ artwork and writing and created collaboratively by Mary Guerrero and the Addison’s Kait Ziskin, Education Fellow for School and Community Collaborations.

Posted by:
Rebecca Hayes
Curator of Education

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Visual Culture: Discovering the Addison

“How are expectations thrust upon you? Do you feel the urge to compete with and impress your peers, parents, and society as a whole? Or do you reject the norms, following what you believe is right even though you face the consequences of exclusion and scrutiny?”

These questions are asked by the exhibition Pressure Points, curated by the Phillips Academy Art 300 Class, Visual Culture: Discovering the Addison, co-taught by art department faculty and museum staff. Students enrolled in the spring Art 300 course explore the development and nature of the Addison’s collection and exhibitions, meet with the museum’s curators, educators, and preparators, and read and write about cultural institutions and artists, as they come to understand the power of selecting, arranging, and interpreting artworks. Through Art 300, students become aware of and involved in many facets of museum work that are not usually visible to the public.
Starting from a list of pre-selected works from the Addison collection, students researched, wrote, and applied information and ideas gained from conversations with the curators and from readings and in-class discussions to curate an exhibition in the Museum Learning Center.
Current Addison exhibitions Making a Presence: F. Holland Day in Artistic Photography and In Character: Artists’ Role Play in Photography and Video explore the creation and projection of personas, characters, and identity in art and the ways in which our identities are influenced by gender, family, cultural, or societal roles. Complementing these themes, the Art 300 exhibition Pressure Points asks viewers to consider the pressures created by societal, familial, aesthetic, and gender expectations, and the ways in which striving for these ideals impacts one’s ability to find oneself and form an identity.

Pressure Points will be on view in the Addison’s Museum Learning Center from May 31 through July 31, 2012.

All are invited to a gallery talk followed by an opening reception on May 30, from 6:00-7:30pm.

Pressure Points was curated by the Phillips Academy Art 300 Class, Visual Culture: Discovering the Addison: Terrence Arjoon, Lucy Frey, Gregory Hosono, Helen Leahy, Emily Samson, Mary Samson, Kristen Overly, Mikaela Rabb, and Zoe Roschach.

- Posted by:
Jamie Kaplowitz, Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist

Friday, March 16, 2012

Community Collaborations

The Addison Education department has a deep commitment to the “reading” of artworks. At the basis of much of what we do with classes is the belief that images, just like written texts, tell a story and communicate an idea. The department has been delving further into that idea in preparation and research for the spring exhibitions. Making a Presence: F. Holland Day in Artistic Photography, In Character: Artists’ Role Play in Photography And Video, and Life Lines: Elizabeth Enders all deal with aspects of literature and the written word. Day’s role as a publisher and noted bibliophile, as well as the cultural and literary references that bubble up in In Character only further solidify the theme of images as visual text, used to communicate ideas and philosophies. Enders’ artwork addresses more abstract themes that relate to the written word through mark-making and gestural lines. Therefore, it’s only natural, or so we think, that the Addison Gallery of American Art has teamed up with the Memorial Hall Library for two collaborations.

March marks Memorial Hall Library’s Genealogy month. As part of Genealogy month programming, on March 13th, residents of Andover joined together in the Addison’s Museum Learning Center to discuss some portraits that help unravel the mystery of the Addison Gallery’s namesakes as well as critically analyze their own family portraits. Participants were asked to bring family portraits and photographs while the Addison contributed portraits of the Addison family along with a range of family portraits from the permanent collection. The evening began with sharing from the education department on how curators and scholars have “read” the Addison’s portraiture to find out more about the Addison family and the connection between the painted ancestors and the woman for whom the gallery was named. After learning how scholars read portraits to define characteristics and people, the group worked together to investigate traits and characteristics of sitters in the other family portraits. Finally participants shared and spoke about the photographs and portraits they brought along using some of the techniques practiced with the educator.

The Addison education department is also hosting an event in collaboration with the Memorial Hall Library’s AndoverReads program. Inspired by Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, the Addison will be inviting community members to investigate artworks in the permanent collection that incorporate interesting uses of color. The narrator in The Book Thief often alludes to color as a way to describe an emotion, feeling, or to describe people and landscapes. Join us on April 25th for a participatory discussion in the Museum Learning Center. For more information or to RSVP (space is limited) please refer to the Memorial Hall Library event calendar.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Year Celebrated with Music

Happy New Year from the Addison education team. A new year means new programs, new exhibitions, and new parties. The year kicked off with an exciting event organized by and for Phillips Academy students. As the museum bid farewell to the fall exhibitions, The Courant (Phillips Academy’s literary magazine) hosted a semi-formal issue launch featuring writers and performers from the student community and the galleries were filled with the experimental sounds of Tristan Perich and Lesley Flanigan.

Apsara Iyer, a Phillips Academy senior, came to the Addison education team in the fall with the intention to collaborate on a social and cultural event specifically planned for students and co-hosted by the The Courant. Coinciding with the publishing of this season’s Courant, and fashioned after book and magazine launches of years gone by, the backdrop of elaborate food and dress would provide just the right amount of sparkle and pizzazz to make the Fete Du Courant an extra special party and provide yet another way for students to interact with the museum beyond their classes.

Held on January 13th, the evening began with a series of readings from Courant contributors followed by questions from the audience in the Addison’s Museum Learning Center. Out in the galleries, DJs flooded the museum with a wide variety of music to set the tone of the party and students posed in the library “photobooth” displaying their copies of the new issue (which itself was appropriately adorned with a bow-tie). To cap off a wonderful evening full of arts of all kind, three students performed acoustic guitar sets in the brand new Open Windows exhibition. The education department looks forward to more student-organized events that connect with and celebrate the museum’s exhibitions and mission.

Music seems to be a theme in the galleries this month. On January 25th, the same gallery that hosted three Phillips Academy students again became a music venue for the works of Tristan Perich and Lesley Flanigan. Perich, a former Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence and PA student from the class of 2000, presented his composition Dual Synthesis for harpsichord (performed by Oberlin College student Daniel Walden) and 4-channel 1-bit electronics. Flanigan was joined by four PA students for Amplifications, a haunting five-part harmony augmented by the handmade wooden speakers Flanigan uses to create feedback and looping. Video from both performances is forthcoming, please check back!

It has been wonderful warming up the museum with music these past few weeks as New England finally gets a bit of the winter chill it is so well known for. The education department looks forward to filling up the new exhibitions with students and teachers in the coming weeks and months to explore the winter exhibitions John Marin: Modernism at Midcentury, Land, Sea, and Sky: Contemporary Art in Maine, The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues and a salon-style hanging of works from the permanent collection. Hope to see you in the galleries soon!

Posted by: Katherine Ziskin, Education Fellow for School & Community Collaborations

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Explorations of The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues to Continue Through the Winter Season

Groups from on and off campus, including students, teachers, and many public visitors, have integrated the Addison’s exhibition The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues into explorations, conversations, projects, and curricula throughout the fall, and we’re excited to announce that these collaborations will continue as the exhibition will remain on view through April 15, 2012!

Just as The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues explores the varying perspectives, both historical and contemporary, that compose the evolving narrative of this seminal event, the connections made by various groups compose a larger picture about the possible impact of these explorations on curriculum and historical thinking.

Phillips Academy US History classes explored images by such artists as Alexander Gardner and Winslow Homer as primary source documents and researched themes illuminated in the exhibition. Digging deep into topics such as race relations to the impact of technology on the making of Civil War images, students led their own tours of the exhibition for their peers. (Image credit: Alexander Gardner, Abraham Lincoln in 1863, albumen print, gift of Peter Schrager (PA 1945), Addison Gallery of American Art)

Phillips Academy English classes explored questions of which historical events are commemorated, how, and from whose perspective. Journalism classes connected the roots of photojournalism present in the Civil War photographs and newspapers with the current state of media images and ethics. A philosophy and religious studies class used the work of contemporary artists Kara Walker and Glenn Ligon to spark conversations about oppression and resistance. (Image credit: Kara Walker, Exodus of Confederates from Atlanta, from Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), 2005, offset lithograph with screenprint, purchased as the gift of Katherine and Stephen C. Sherrill (PA 1971), Addison Gallery of American Art)

Middle and high school history classes from public schools in the Merrimack Valley and Boston have joined us to explore The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues and the related Addison fall exhibition, RFK Funeral Train Rediscovered: Photographs by Paul Fusco to discuss what images can reveal about United States history. One high school’s literature, visual art, and history classes visited concurrently and discussed the subjectivity of recorded history and how we construct our interpretations of these documentations, thereby constructing our own understandings of history.

Teachers and adult groups have also explored and contextualized this exhibition, including a public gallery talk led by Assistant Curator Jaime DeSimone and Phillips Academy Instructor in History and Social Science Christopher Jones. Teachers from the local community and beyond participated in workshops in which they were asked to draw inspiration from the fall exhibitions in designing a commemoration to honor a local, national, or historic event while considering the impact and implications of asking students to participate in history.

We look forward to continuing these conversations and starting many more as The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues continues and as the new winter exhibitions open in late January.

Posted by:
Jamie Kaplowitz,
Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist