1.8.15   Chrysler Museum Weekly

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Sundays With Bouguereau Shines Light on a Time-Honored Tradition

For as long as there have been art museums there have been artists honing their craft by copying the great masters. That's why we start off the week, and a New Year, by highlighting a blog that reveals a great deal about this process.

We need to emphasize while sketching is encouraged in our galleries, special advanced permission is required to work with wet media in the galleries and that strict regulations apply. Ken Garcia, shown above, has met the requirements and two of the works highlighted at The Master Apprentice come from the Chrysler collection.

As Garcia writes on the blog, he tries to envision what must have gone through the painter's mind when "each brushstroke is a note to its great symphony." His illustration of the process is as impressive as the final result. Take a peek.

Garcia's copy of Orestes Pursued by the Furies by Adolphe-William Bouguereau is entered in a weekend "fabulous forgery" competition sponsored by a commercial gallery in Virginia Beach. For more on the artist, see his website.



A Packed Evening For Educators in Addition to Our Normal Flaming Fun

Click to enlargeOur next Third Thursday is packed—a welcome tour for new Members, a gathering for educators, an exhibition of local attractions complete with performances, and of course, the normal flaming fun at the Glass Studio.

On Jan. 15 in Huber Court, we open the doors at 5 p.m. to educators and others with a cash bar to enjoy—and for any education professionals who'd like to sit down and have dinner in Wisteria instead, we'd love to offer you a complimentary appetizer with the purchase of your entree. It's our way of showing our appreciation for all you do in our community.

And speaking of our community, our Educator Open House will feature display tables lots of local attractions and businesses. See offerings from Nauticus, Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Young Audiences of Virginia, Barnes & Noble, Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Arts Festival, Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk Botanical Garden, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Zoo from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The evening culminates with performances by members of the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Stage Company, the Virginia Symphony, as well as two performances by the Young Audiences of Virginia, a group promoting arts in education.

At the Glass Studio, Suzanne Peck will be the lead glass artist in a performance she's calling Radiant Intensity, a series of experiments that combines hot glass and projected thermal imagery. Music at the Studio will be by Joe Hamm with 3 a.m.

The evening is free to Members and educators with ID and $5 for all others. The Glass Studio is prone to filling to capacity, so plan on arriving early to snare a seat. The expert-led tour for new Members will begin at 6:30 p.m.

DETAILED ABOVE: Frank Stella, Manteneia II, acrylic on canvas, 1968. © Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Click detail to see full image enlarged.

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Beautiful Visit—and Mystery Solved

The Chrysler Museum of Art hosted a family reunion of sorts recently as business woman and community leader Nancy Chandler stopped by to view a recent acquisition by the Museum. The painting in question is a portrait by Jay Milder. The subject of that portrait just happens to be her sister, Jean Outland Chrysler.

"The portrait captured her beautifully. You can really tell that she's thinking something, and her mind is in motion. You can really see it in her eyes," Mrs. Chandler said.

While Chief Curator Jeff Harrison was showing her the painting, she explained a mystery: the meaning of the pendant on Jean's necklace, the traditionally unlucky number 13.

"She married Walter [Chrysler] on Jan, 13," Mrs. Chandler said, "And it was her lucky number forever after."

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In the Far Corners of Our Museum

We have a full slate of special exhibitions on view, but today we highlight four not-to-be-overlooked gems.

ONE: Take, as detailed above, a 1983 chalk-on-black-paper Keith Haring work, Untitled. Haring got his start as a street artist, scrawling works on unused ad space in New York City subways, and wound up an important American artist. This piece, on loan from a friend of the Museum, can be found in Gallery 226, upstairs near the rear spiral staircase with the Chrysler Chandelier.

TWO: In the far corner of our glass wing you'll find a stellar collection of cameo-engraved glass. If you enter through the main glass door, the one with the TV monitor, walk to the back until you can go no further, then start meandering to the left. Of particular note there in Gallery 116 are two side-by-side works by George and Thomas Woodall, The Attack and The Intruders. The illusion of depth carved in such a shallow surface is truly remarkable.

THREE: Fractured Lens exhibition, is our room devoted to Art Nouveau. It contains four witty works by Emile Galle, including Brown Seated Cat, an 1889 faience piece, that's shown at right. In terms of traffic flow, it's easy to pass by Gallery 220, so make a point not to.

FOUR: Our final hidden gem is technically Gallery 231, but it's essentially display cases built along a wheelchair ramp if you're leaving our Modern and Contemporary galleries, or our Large Oval Galley at the top of the Fine Staircase on the second floor. The display cases are packed with ceramics by Pablo Picasso and are a true joy to behold. If you go up the main stairs of Huber Court, go left, take the first right, then the first left, you'll see works such as this.



Valentines Top Glass Studio Offerings

hot glass hearts.

For those who have cast something or blown something at the Studio, this is a slightly different process as you'll work the glass on a pipe in the hot shop, but the final product is a solid object. It's an activity suitable for anyone 10 years and up, and it's a reminder that Valentine's Day will be here before you know it.

Also on the calendar:

• Our stained glass workshops are sold out for January and February, but space is available for our class in March.

• We've started a new way to introduce youngsters of all ages to flameworking. Come make marbles—no experience required. Spaces are available at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22. You can sign up here.

• There are a couple of ways to try your hand at glass fusing. There's a teaser class at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, and a weekend workshop that gets underway on Saturday, Jan. 24. For details, click here.

Museum Members enjoy significant discounts on Glass Studio classes and workshops, and for more information on membership, click here.

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Something You've Probably Never Seen Before—a Special Guest Library

A library so ambitious it needs a name with more wow than just library. That's the story with tomorrow's opening of the Slover Library in downtown Norfolk. The city's newest landmark will offer everything from technological wizardry to digitized genealogy. The six-story architectural statement is also the new home of the Sargeant Memorial Collection of historical photographs, and in honor of the opening, we turn to the Slover archive for today's Throwback Thursday.

The 1939 photo shown above is a Daniel Chester French sculpture, Spirit of Life, at the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Science. It's one of eight working models French did for a memorial to Spencer Trask, the man who made famous the healing springs (and drinking water) of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

French worked with architect Henry Bacon on that memorial, and while you may not have seen that one, you might be familiar with another French-Bacon collaboration: The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Slover Library and a weekend full of opening events and programs, click here.

"Spirit of Life" at Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, a photograph taken for the Norfolk Ledger Dispatch on Sept. 28, 1939. © Norfolk Public Library (Va.), Sargeant Memorial Collection. EDITORS NOTE: The sculpture is still on display today, in Gallery 218.

  Click to read the story from Vice


This Might Be Our Most Time-Consuming Link Collection Yet

We start this week with a link page that can keep you busy for hours. The list of the most important art essays of the year includes the destined-to-be-a-classic rebranding of Modern Art as Zombie Formalism. The essay collection also includes two works from outside the mainstream arts press. From, there's The Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art, and from, The Slaves of Happiness Island.

In other news of note:

• Art sales have more than doubled in the last six years. According to "The headline number is not so much a comment on the art market as it is on global wealth." The $16 billion story is here.

• Since we have a major exhibition of work by Thomas Cole currently on display, we offer from the magazine Antiques a long article about his hat. That's right, his hat.

• Next month we're opening a big exhibition on The Art of Video Games. With that in mind, here's a story on how the Smithsonian Institution got a 1982 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Atari 2600 game cartridge for its collection. Should we mention it was dug up from a New Mexico landfill?

• It's that time of year again: Virginia Living magazine is surveying the best of the commonwealth. If you'd like to cast a vote, including, maybe, one for us in the museums category, click here.

• Why would someone want to cover 42 miles of the Arkansas River with silver cloth? Because that someone is Christo, and his Over The River project has cleared a major hurdle.

• And finally, a suggestion from a loyal reader. The image of the artist as a solitary genius is being replaced by the artist as a creative entrepreneur. The Atlantic Monthly is wondering if this is the end of art as we have known it.



It's National Bubble Bath Day!

offbeat holiday with a work currently on view in Gallery 216, The Bath, by a Swiss painter named Charles Gleyre.

Orphaned at an early age, eight or nine, he grew up to be a celibate and a loner. As a painter found success in the famous Salons of Paris, only to stop entering the competition. As a teacher, he once took over a studio for a friend and had as students Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. They all wanted to paint outdoors; his emphasis was on anatomy and craft. He could, and did, spend years on a single canvas.

The Bath was painted for John Taylor Johnston, a well-known New York art collector and the first president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After first seeing the work, he wrote that he was delighted with "a remarkable picture of great power and sweetness."

The renowned 19th-century art critic Earl Shinn (who wrote under the pseudonym of Edward Strahan) put it this way: "The picture, in its blond perfection and ivory translucence, gives rather the idea of statuary than of painting. ... It is such an achieved bit of perfection as a teacher leaves but once or twice in his career."

DETAILED ABOVE: Charles Gleyre, The Bath, oil on canvas, 1868. Click detail to see full image enlarged.




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