[I was out at the Free Library last night for Kay Healy's talk about her work and to see her new installation in the first floor Home Page Cafe. Kay's project is a story project. She collects stories from people about objects that they have lost and what they feel about those objects. Peter Crimmins did interviews with the participants and you can hear the stories here.] I collected some Live Comments at the opening. The audio is brief (under 2 minutes). Give a listen! Want to comment on a show? Look for me tonight at First Friday events in ... More » »
News Florcy Morriset received a pivotal award last week when she was honored by Haitian Roundtable. Haitian American to Watch in the United States., indeed – it’s phenomenal to see Florcy’s work with Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia and Vivant Art Collection get some extremely visible love. Nathaniel Popkin’s resistance to the rather unimaginative design for the Museum of the American Revolution has a couple of fronts going: he recently wrote about it in the Inquirer, and in the spirit of fun this week, he wrote “A Declaration of Architectural Independence” to drum up support from Philadelphians, and to show the Art Commission that there could and ... More » »
News Through the Heritage Philadelphia Program (HPP), the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has awarded $766,325 to six local organizations, including two first-time grantees; the winners include the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, for their effort to revitalize the John Coltrane House in North Philadelphia, and the Mural Arts Program, for Structure and Surface, a community-based public art initiative about the history of Philadelphia’s fallen textile industry. The full list of grantees and descriptions of their projects is on the HPP site. The Brandywine River Museum is offering exclusive “Andrew Wyeth Experience Tours” on selected days in April and May. The studio where Wyeth worked, which has undergone ... More » »
News Philadelphia sculptor Winifred Lutz’s outdoor installation at the Abington Art Center opens September 8, 2012, in which she’ll uncover an abandoned 2000-square foot pool and cabana site in the Center’s Sculpture Park. Funded by the NEA, the unveiling of the pool is accompanied by an exhibition of Lutz’s work. Lutz had a previous outdoor installation in Abington’s woods. The exhibition runs September through November. The ICA presents the “Happiness Modules,” a participatory lunchtime program led by professors Cassie Mogilner, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Wharton, and David Comberg, Lecturer, Design, Fine Arts. The two will guide participants in an examination ... More » »
Today’s your last chance to do a truly civic feel-good thing–bid in a silent auction on a photo or print to help support the Free Library’s Prints and Pictures Collection.
I can never get too much of Michael Taylor, the energetic curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Apparently, the Free Library has the same idea. So they invited him to take a walk down the Parkway to speak for their summer talk series–Become a Philadelphia Insider: Leaders of key Philly Institutions provide an inside view of how they work. Here’s the info on Michael’s talk: July 21 Mounting A Blockbuster Art Exhibit The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Michael Taylor, explains how such a show is selected ... More » »
Poets make great art critics. As metaphor-makers themselves they respond to the metaphorical realm of visual art in a direct way and can often write eloquently about it.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and the new book Outliers Each year the Free Library author events turn up some nuggets. The talks, which Steve and I attend with our buddies Ed and Ann are like entertainment for the academic set–standup with footnotes. We’ve seen John Updike (post), Atul Gawande, Kazuo Ishiguro (post), Norman Mailer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Louise Erdrich, Calvin Trillin and many more. Best is when the authors are great extemporaneous speakers, as some are. John Updike, Calvin Trillin and, of course, Norman Mailer are (or were, RIP John and Norman) in that group. So is Malcolm ... More » »
Maurice Sendak preliminary design for cover of Where the Wild Things Are (1963), courtesy Rosenbach Museum and Library, © Maurice Sendak I love illustrated books; they’re one of the ancillary pleasures of being around small children. Art historians have lots of books with pictures but they’re not the same. By luck or intention, two exhibitions currently in Philadelphia present a wonderful range of illustrated books for children. Maurice Sendak, illustration from Where the Wild Things Are (1963) © Maurice Sendak The Rosenbach Museum and Library has drawn on it’s archive of the artist’s work to present the major retrospective exhibition, ... More » »
Karen Lightner at her desk Museums are not the only permanent collections of art in town. I was reminded of this while I was talking to Karen Lightner, who heads the Print and Pictures Collection at the Free Library. I stopped in to talk with her while I was looking at the Continuum: Photography in Philadelphia, which Lightner curated. The exhibit is an annual show mounted each year to coordinate with the Robert F. Looney Memorial Event. Looney was curator of prints and photographs at the library from 1963 to 1986, and his wise choices are part of the reason ... More » »