Friday, May 29, 2009

Camerae Obscurae

Kanye West just highlighted the camera obscura work of photographer Marja Pirilä on his blog, linking to a post of her images at Icononology, which are eerie, calm and beautiful. But they rang a bell in our memory to a couple of years ago, when the Georgia Museum of Art was one of several venues for the Southern Circuit, a tour of independent filmmakers. Directors would present their film(s) in the museum's auditorium and then stay for a Q&A after the screening. It was a wonderful program to be involved with, and part of it included evaluating a number of films ahead of time, films we couldn't be sure we would receive but that, if they were good, someone participating in the program would. One such film, which GMOA didn't end up showing but was excellent, was a documentary about photographer Abelardo Morrell (you can watch it on his website), who also takes pictures of camera obscura room projections, like the one below.

Googling also turned up the work of Charles Schwartz. Who else out there is doing this kind of work? There's something about being inside a camera that produces magical results.

Art Around Athens

So, of course, tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. is the annual meeting of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art, which we're holding in the large auditorium of the new Lamar Dodd School of Art (on the ground floor, near the main entrance). It's free, everyone is invited (not just Friends) and there will be refreshments, as well as the presentation of the M. Smith Griffith Volunteer of the Year Award, a.k.a., the Smitty. We strongly encourage you to come to that, but there's plenty else going on around town tonight and the rest of the weekend, all of it free.

At Ciné, Erin McIntosh and Stacy Isenbarger, both recent MFA graduates from Lamar Dodd, have an opening reception for their exhibition from 7 to 9 p.m.

Starting a little bit earlier is the opening reception at the Healing Arts Centre for an exhibition of paintings by Scott Pridgen of the band Dubconscious, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

Then, Sunday, at the Lyndon House Arts Center from 2 to 4 p.m., is the opening reception for Light After Dark, an exhibition featuring dream-like landscapes by photographers Karekin and Ginger Goekjian.

Also, Sunday, at ATHICA, from 3 to 6 p.m., is the closing day for the exhibition Crafting Romance, featuring a raffle, presentations, a panel discussion with artists and a reception. Speakers include Josh Barnett, the founder of GayInAthens, and featured artist Vadis Turner from Brooklyn, N.Y. Jyl Inov of "Flagpole" magazine's "Reality Check" column will also take questions live via cell phone.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where's GMOA on the Move?

Hey, Friends, where's GMOA on the Move this time? Guess in the comments and win a museum catalogue!

In the News

Reading Art Daily this morning, we saw that Derrick Cartwright, director of the San Diego Museum of Art, was just hired as director of the Seattle Art Museum. We worked with Cartwright on the exhibition Everett Gee Jackson/San Diego Modern, 1920-1955, which was organized by San Diego and on display at the Georgia Museum of Art last summer from July to September. He joined us for a few days, and we all enjoyed his company very much. We congratulate him on his new job, although we're sure San Diego will be sad to lose him.

Our director also passed along this article about the closing of the Rose Museum, a sad saga that continues. What we find frustrating is the kind of debate set up at the conclusion of the article:

Barbara and Edmund Tavernier, in from Switzerland to watch their son, Greg, graduate, had opposing feelings about the Rose.

After walking through, they stood on the front steps and debated the merits of the museum.

"I frankly believe it makes no difference whether you have these paintings or not," said Edmund. "This is very static, from what I see. I'd rather see a place that has signs of life."

"You're wrong," said Barbara. "It's a shame, whether you like the paintings or not. It's part of our 20th-century culture. If the university has to raise money, it's a question of what the alternatives are."

That's when Greg piped in.

"And if the alternative to selling these pieces would be to improve the quality of teaching, I think it's worth it."

It's a false dichotomy and one we should make sure to label as such whenever it appears. Promotion of this kind of either/or infighting among areas of the university is a way to distract attention from the bad decisions being made.

Save the Date...

We're waiting on these postcards from the printer that encourage you to save January 29 and 30, 2010 (which may seem very far away but is just around the corner), for the fifth annual Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts: "Neighboring Voices: The Decorative Culture of Our Southern Cousins." This time we'll focus on states surrounding Georgia. The symposium will be a little shorter than in years past, but we are thrilled to be able to hold it on its regular schedule, and the publication of papers from the fourth symposium will be available by then for purchase. So look for your postcard some time after July 1 and let us know if you need to change your address by calling 706.542.4662 or emailing bpwade at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

AAMC: A Report

May 18th and 19, associate curator Deirdre Conneely and curatorial assistant Jenny Gunn attended the eighth annual meeting of the Association of Art Museum Curators in New York City. The annual meeting encourages curators of all experience levels to network and discuss timely issues pertinent to the field. Gunn had received a travel fellowship from AAMC to attend, a grant that Conneely had received the previous year.

The first day’s sessions were held at the Museum of Modern Art and included topics such as collaborative curating and exhibition planning. The panel on collaborative curating featured members of FRAME (French Regional Art Museums) such as curators from the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Musées des Beaux Arts in Lille and Rouen. One of the more interesting panels was entitled “The Curator and the Art Market” and featured prominent speakers such as Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, and Lisa Dennison, chair of Sothebys. During this session, there was a lively discussion featuring not only museum curators but also gallery dealers and auction house representatives. Focal points of the discussion included the influence of scholarly work on the art market and also the question of whether or not museums should lend to gallery exhibitions.

Later that day, Gunn attended a mentoring session for junior curators with Jordana Pomeroy, chief curator of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, while Conneely enjoyed visiting with Catherine Smith from the El Paso Museum of Art whom she had previously befriended at the seventh annual meeting, in Los Angeles. That evening, there was a reception at the American Folk Art Museum where Gunn, Conneely, and Smith enjoyed a friendly and informative conversation with Brooke Anderson, director and curator of the Contemporary Center and the Henry Darger Study Center.

The second day’s sessions were held at the Jewish Museum and included topics such as negotiation and the exhibition catalogue. The session on negotiation featured presenter Daniel Aames from Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., who is also associate professor of Leadership and Ethics at Columbia University. The meeting ended with a visit to the newly renovated Charles Engelhard Court and period rooms of the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Curators could also visit the retrospective exhibition of Francis Bacon, which was organized in conjunction with the Tate Gallery, London, and opened at the Met that evening.

Athens in the News

Even though "Kiplinger's" doesn't mention the Georgia Museum of Art in its summary, the magazine did select Athens as #5 in its 2009 list of best cities in the United States. Here's the page devoted specifically to Athens, and there's a video you can watch, too, that highlights UGA, Weaver D's, AthFest and more. If you want a more eclectic tour, we suggest you poke around on Flickr for photos labeled or tagged "Athens, GA." We're so proud of our town every time it achieves an honor like this one, and we couldn't be happier located anywhere else.

A Story About a Cover

The cover for this week's New Yorker has an interesting back story. Drawn by artist Jorge Colombo, the cover was composed on the artist’s iPhone, with an application called Brushes. In an article in the New York Times and an article in the New Yorker itself, the artist comments on how he enjoys the anonymity offered by the digitized canvas, as opposed to pencil and paper, when working outside.

Also at the New Yorker, a video recorded by the Brushes application shows the creation of the piece from start to finish.

Sneak Peek

This is the first draft of the cover for the exhibition catalogue that will accompany Lord Love You: Works by R.A. Miller from the Mullis Collection. The inside is just as lovely, but you'll have to wait to see that until the books are printed, delivered and retailed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Family Day Photos

It's been such a busy day around here after the long holiday weekend that we've hardly had time to blog today. Family Day: Sunny Sunflowers at the Botanical Garden was a huge success, though, with more than 150 in attendance, and here are some of the photos we took. Again, we have really appreciated the generosity of the Botanical Garden in allowing us the use of their space, and we hope you'll all join us there for The Art of: Flowers on Thursday, June 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. Call 706.542.0830 to RSVP.

In the News

Yesterday, in honor of Memorial Day, the New York Times had an article about a World War II P.O.W. turned artist named Ben Steele. As a private in the Army Air Corps, Steele fought in the battle for the peninsula of Bataan in the Philippine Islands and fell captive to the Japanese. Private Steele and his fellow soldiers were then forced to march to a prison camp in what is now known as the Bataan Death March.

While in a P.O.W. hospital suffering from several diseases, Steele began using burned sticks to make scratches on the floors, which soon turned into well-developed sketches. Eventually Steele completed nearly 50 sketches that documented his experiences in the hospital and in battle; however, all of his sketches were lost when U.S. forces sank a ship that contained the hidden collection.

Private Steele returned to the U.S. after the war and immediately began recreating his lost sketches in order to remember and commemorate the other American P.O.W.s. Steele also went on to become a professor of art at Montana State University and today is one of the last remaining veterans who participated in the Bataan Death March. Some of his images appear here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Art Around Athens

Our friends at the Lyndon House Arts Center have an exhibition opening this weekend, with a free reception on Saturday, May 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. Works by members of the Athens/Atlanta area Dogwood Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America featuring needlework of many types will be on display at the Lyndon House from Saturday through July 18. Mary Jessica Hammes has an article with more details in the Athens Banner-Herald.

And, of course, don't forget our Family Day at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia the same day. The times don't overlap, so you can even squeeze in a nap in between.

In the News

Another blog you should bookmark, especially if you're interested in all kinds of art and culture, not just visual arts, is the New York Times' ArtsBeat, which updates multiple times a day on art, film, gossip, music and much more. About a month ago, they asked how the poor economy was affecting artists and got hundreds of responses in the comments, which produced some surprising overall trends, summarized in this article. Freed from the constraints that come with fiscal arrangements, art is flowering in some places, and many of the responses were optimistic. The Times also put together a slideshow of some of the respondents with excerpts from their statements.

We also enjoyed this article a few days ago about how acquisitions work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art during its Collectors Committee weekend. Curators lobby for works, and then patrons vote on what to buy with their pooled funds. It's hard to say whether this is more democratic or oligarchic, but it's an interestingly open way to go about accessions.

Blue Tin Studio

Local artists Erin McIntosh and Sarah Seabolt are opening Blue Tin Art Studio in the Big City Bread building (393 N. Finley St.) this June. The studio will offer classes, special workshops and monthly gallery events. Register for summer classes by June 10. Erin, who just received her MFA from the Lamar Dodd School of Art, is also working with us this summer on the Art Adventures program, which will focus on folk art in conjunction with the upcoming Lord Love You exhibition.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Art on Wheels: A Few Photos

We have professional photographs on the way, but these staff-taken photos give some hint of how much fun the event was. Thanks to all of you who came or contributed.

Support for the Arts from High Places

Michelle Obama cut the ribbon yesterday at the reopening of the Met's Charles Engelhart Court, and she delivered some remarks on the importance of the arts that were extremely welcome:

"The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it," she said at the museum. "Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation."

"The president and I want to ensure that all children have access to great works of art," she told a crowd that included students from four New York City public schools that focus on the arts. "We want all children who believe in their talent to see a way to create a future for themselves in the arts community, either as a hobby or as a profession."


"My husband and I believe strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation's leaders for tomorrow..."
The Obamas in fact had their first date at a museum, a fact that comes up in the body of the story. The First Lady also reminded everyone that "Arts and cultural activities contribute more than $160 billion to our economy every year."

[photo from Gothamist]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Second Life GMOA Gets More Like Real-Life GMOA

One of our major projects during the past spring semester at UGA, in which public relations interns Lauren Coppage, Orian Edelman and Caitlin Neglia were very involved, was the creation and recording of scripts for various paintings in the Second Life version of the museum. The idea was that visitors to the Second Life GMOA would be able to walk up to an image and see instructions on how to play a 30-second audio clip giving more information about the painting and/or the artist. Well, the interns did a fabulous job, working with our curators to produce text, then recording it, and our buddies over at the Center for Teaching and Learning have just gotten all the clips up live. We encourage you to revisit (or visit for the first time) the Second Life GMOA (instructions are here) and click around to hear all the clips. If you're having trouble hearing anything, check your "preferences" to make sure you have "play streaming music when available" checked.

Friends Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art will be held Friday, May 29, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lamar Dodd School of Art in the large auditorium on the ground floor. You're welcome to park in the museum's parking lot (your last opportunity before the construction fence goes up June 1 or thereabouts). Refreshments will be served, and the meeting itself will feature the presentation of the Smitty, the M. Smith Griffith Volunteer of the Year Award, which is commemorated with a statue created by Jack Kehoe. We have some ideas as to who might win, but we're not telling. The meeting as a whole has the theme of "Friends Past, Present and Future" and there will be scrapbooks and reminiscing as well as business. No RSVP is necessary, but if you need more information, please call 706.542.0830. Click on the invitation above for a bigger view.

Family Day: Sunny Sunflowers

Our next Family Day, "Sunny Sunflowers," will be held this coming weekend, Saturday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, which is also cosponsoring the event. Families will make paintings of sunflowers inspired by the flowers in the gardens and by works from the museum's permanent collection that feature sunflowers.

We want to thank the Botanical Garden for generously providing us with their space for this event and many, many others. We certainly wouldn't be able to have nearly as many GMOA on the Move events if not for their participation.

Go ahead and mark your calendars, too, for the next Family Day event, "Silly Sunvisors" at AthFest, June 27 and 28. The KidsFest part of AthFest is between Lumpkin and Hull Streets on Washington Street downtown, and GMOA will be there the whole day both days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

International Museum Day

Did you know that today is International Museum Day? The theme in 2009 is "Museums and Tourism," something the public relations department at the museum is very involved with. Do you consider museums a vital part of tourism? When you visit another town, do you look ahead of time to see what museums are there? Have you ever gone somewhere just to visit a museum? What more can we be doing to promote cultural tourism?

The Art of: Flowers

Hey, y'all, we've just finished up the invitations for our next "Art of" event, The Art of: Flowers, which will be held Thursday, June 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Stroll through one of Georgia's prized attractions on curator-led tours of the Flower and Heritage Gardens at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. A reception will follow. Co-sponsored by the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. $5 Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art, $10 non-members. Call 706.542.0830 to RSVP.

Click on the invitation above for a bigger version and mark your calendars for The Art of: Cinema on July 21 at Ciné.

Where's GMOA on the Move?

The last one finally got guessed, so here's a new mystery picture. Where's GMOA on the Move? Guess in the comments below and win a prize.

IPPY Update

Following up on the museum's status as a semifinalist in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection, it turns out we've won a silver medal in the category of "Fine Arts." Here's the article at the IPPY website. We are incredibly proud of all the contributors to this book, from authors to sponsors to designer and printer, and we could not be happier to have received this recognition.

Marigold Festival

Following up on that earlier post that featured the installation of Doug Makemson's sculptures in Winterville, sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Art, for that town's Marigold Festival, here is a slideshow of photos taken at the festival this past weekend by Lanora Pierce, including many of the sculptures and the public interacting with them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In the News

Two separate staff members passed on articles from two different sources about the Art Institute of Chicago's new Modern Wing, designed by Renzo Piano, that just opened. The New York Times covers it here, noting that this makes the Art Institute the second largest art museum in the United States, and adding two slideshows, one of art on display in the new wing (complete with an elegant, referential shot of a gallery of paintings by Gerhard Richter with a blurred visitor in the front who could easily be in one of Richter's paintings) and one of images of the building itself. The Art Newspaper also covers the opening of the wing.


No one has guessed the most recent "Where's GMOA on the Move?" yet.

Here's a hint: it's downtown, and it's funky. It starts with a J.

Wrong guesses are okay too! Right guesses win a prize: a free GMOA catalogue.

GMOA in the News

The Athens Banner-Herald has a great article by Chris Starrs today on Art on Wheels. Thanks for the press, ABH!

Young Dawgs Program

So our two wonderful Young Dawgs from the Classic City Performance Learning Center finished up their semester, which meant they each had to do a Powerpoint presentation on what they learned. We took pictures, we applauded, and we were extremely proud! We'll have a new high school student this summer, and we're really looking forward to it. The program is a great effort, and hearing everyone's presentations, not just our students, was genuinely inspiring.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Doug Makemson

Preparator Lanora Pierce has been helping with the Marigold Festival, to be held this weekend in Winterville, Georgia. Specifically, she assisted festival planners and sculptor Doug Makemson with the installation of three of his large animal sculptures, which the museum is sponsoring. Makemson had an exhibition on the grounds of the museum a few years ago, and we very much enjoyed his playful yet fierce creations. Pierce took photos of the installation this afternoon, and the slideshow of her photographs is below. We hope you can make it to the Marigold Festival in the early part of the day before you come to Art on Wheels in the evening.

Art and Technology: David Hockney

Not only is David Hockney creating digital art with a tablet, but he's taken, of late, to painting with his finger on his iPhone. From his early work with photo collage to his use of Quantel Paintbox, an early graphics program, in the mid-1980s to his thesis that the Old Masters used camera obscuras to capture complex perspectival images, Hockney's career is shot through with technology, and while his newest foray into it is certainly cool, it's not really a departure.

Art on Wheels: Auction Donors and Sponsors

If you haven't RSVPed for Art on Wheels yet, to be held this Saturday, May 16, at 7 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia (map below), we're still accepting a few stragglers, so let us know if you want to come.

The following list of sponsors and auction donors may give you some idea of what to expect, and we anticipate the event will be a good time for all and a success for fundraising.

Amber Dreams
T.K. Anderson Jewelers
Thomas Arvid
Blue Ridge Grill
Mary John Branch
Beverly Bremer
Elaine and Samuel Carleton
O.C. Carlisle
Faye Chambers
John Cheng
Cukier Art
Martha Randolph Daura
DePalma's Italian Café
Todd Emily
Mary Erlanger
Carol Ferony
R.C. Fulwiler
Peggy Galis
Stewart Harnell, Cinema Concepts
Peter Hooten
Paul Christopher James
Beth Johnston and Dottie Blitch
Karg Art Glass
Cindy Karp and John Morrison
Suzanne King
Jefferson Lewis
Lindsey's Culinary Market
Main Street Salon
Masada Leather & Outdoor
Judy and Vince Masters
Mercedes-Benz of Athens Berkeley and Dan Minor
Patrick Mizelle
Don and Susan Myers
Betty and Ed Myrtle
Lindsey Payne and Jane Payne
Steve Penley
Pamela Prokasy
Ron Putnam
R.E.M./Athens LLC
John Russell
Bill Sargent
Irene and Billy Smith
Karla Staley
Sunrise Golf Course
Tiger Mountain Vineyard
Stephanie Jones Ungashick
Winestyles of Atlanta
Erica Zap

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The financial benefit of arts and cultural institutions

The American Association of Museums' (AAM) Washington Newswire is a great way to keep up with current museum issues. A recent issue discussed the House Education and Labor Committee hearing held March 26, 2009, on the impact of the economic downturn on the arts and music industries. Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) had some inspiring (and concrete!) remarks on the financial benefit to the U.S. economy of these institutions, which are archived here as a pdf. Miller said:
The non-profit arts and culture industries inject over $166 billion into our economy each year, according to a recent study by the Americans for the Arts. These sectors support 5.7 million jobs and over $104 billion in household income.

In many places, like my home state of California, for example, the arts and music industries are vital engines for local economies – making up a large share of revenue and providing many employment opportunities.

Spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations provide work for more than just artists, curators, and musicians - they also directly support builders, plumbers, accountants, printers, and an array of other occupations.

Workers in these fields are bearing a disproportionate brunt of this economic tsunami. According to research conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts, unemployment in the arts rose at a higher rate than the overall workforce in 2008.

In fact, the unemployment rate for artists is double that of other professional workers. In the last quarter of 2008, the unemployment rate for artists grew by 64 percent – for a total of 129,000 displaced workers.

. . .

Without the contributions and influence of the arts, our economy suffers greatly. Families suffer from layoffs, lost income and purchasing power.

When we talk about arts and music, we’re not just talking about artists and musicians. We’re also talking about museums and galleries, symphonies and orchestras, community theatres and other non profits that shape our neighborhoods, towns and cities.

This industry helps attract audiences, spurs local business development and stimulates
learning in classrooms. Research shows that when students are exposed to arts and music, they perform better in other subjects.

Printing News

We recently received the following article in an email from Four Colour Print Group, a company with whom the museum has done printing business for years. It gives a nice overview of some environmental concerns with regard to printing.

FSC vs. recycled paper: What is best choice for environment?

Nearly all printers, publishers, and consumers support the idea of making books more environmentally friendly. One hotly debated topic is the question of whether recycled paper is really more environmentally friendly than virgin paper. The complex answer depends on the kind of paper and the purpose for which it's used. Newsprint, packing cartons, and brown bags fall into a different category than the coated white paper used to print a full color book.

While saving trees comes first to mind when thinking about recycling paper, there are other factors to be considered: energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste generation (including the sludge from de-inking), and utilization of valuable human labor. Economists suggest that the higher price of recycled paper is evidence that more of the world's scarce resources are being consumed. Others counter that the full environmental impacts aren't figured into paper prices, i.e. the current market price does not reflect all the long term costs.

Already, over 50% of all paper made in the USA is recovered for recycling. But contrary to popular belief, the key environmental benefit lies not in saving trees, which are truly a renewable resource. Rather, reduction in the amount of solid waste destined for landfills and conservation of energy used in obtaining paper fiber matter more.

Interestingly, whereas virgin paper manufacturing depends primarily on greenhouse gas neutral hydro and biofuel (wood-waste) energy sources, the collection, transportation, cleansing, and processing of recycled paper relies heavily on fossil fuel consumption leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, there is far more solid waste generated by recycling (ink, fillers, degraded fibers, and contaminants) than the virgin process, which utilizes 100% of the entire tree and reuses 95% of the pulping chemicals.

While adding recycled fiber to low grade paper products makes economic and environmental good sense, it would be a mistake to assume that higher levels of PCW to every product will necessarily benefit the environment. In fact, the National Energy Education Development Project ( found there are no savings in net energy consumption for recycled vs. virgin paper.

In particular, high-quality coated white paper suffers a steep diminishing marginal return from employing recycled fiber, to the point where using virgin fiber is indeed the more environmentally friendly choice. Good policy lies in protecting our old growth forests and avoiding clear cutting of trees. In forests where we do take selective cuts, we must plant new seedlings for all the trees harvested and let the sun, rain, & soil do their job. But how can we assure this happens?

The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) was created in 1993 to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. Products carrying the FSC label are independently certified to assure consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. To assure the chain-of-custody of FSC fiber in books from forest to store, loggers, paper makers, and printers are required to undergo a rigorous certification process. A similar organization, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) also provides certification of responsible logging practices.

Customers of Four Colour Print Group will be happy to know that both our printing partners in China and Korea are among a select few who have been FSC certified, and the Sappi paper we use when printing books in the USA is SFI certified. The supply of FSC/SFI paper (including softcover artboard and hardcover caseboard) is growing quickly, and available at only slightly higher prices. For illustrated book publishers wishing to demonstrate concern for the environment (while keeping print costs low), please specify FSC/SFI certified paper. Your printer will provide the appropriate logo for you to proudly display on your book cover.
The museum has not gone the FSC route yet on any of its printed products, but it's certainly something we have been considering, and while we have not found an affordable recycled sheet that matches the color reproduction quality of a virgin sheet, we're trying to move in that direction as well. We do print our newsletter and many of our other materials on Mohawk Via, which is produced using windpower, something Mohawk is very proud of, and we have a meeting today with our local Mohawk sales rep, at which we may learn more.

Welcome, Lynn!

Art Daily posted our release about new hire Lynn Boland yesterday. Boland is the brand-new Pierre Daura Curator of European Art. As soon as he's done with all the paperwork he has to fill out, we're going to corner him for an interview to be posted here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stealing the Mona Lisa

The 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, a crime supposedly solved a little over two years after the heist, is garnering renewed interest in the form of two recent books. The New York Times reviews R. A. Scotti’s “Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa,” while over at Vanity Fair an excerpt from Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler’s “The Crimes of Paris: A True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection” covers much of the same ground. Both books trace the sensational snatching of the painting, with interesting digressions and anecdotes about the Parisian art scene at the turn of the century. In the end, however, the crime remains somewhat of a mystery, as the only person convicted for it, Vincenzo Perugia, gave wildly varying accounts of the heist, leading many to suspect that he was covering up a much larger forgery scheme surrounding the painting.

Also in relation to the smiling lady, an article at the Art Newspaper details another close escape by the painting, this time from a malfunctioning sprinkler. In 1963, the Mona Lisa made its first trip into the United States, coming to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and narrowly avoided disaster from a sprinkler that showered the masterpiece for a few hours one night—an incident the museum discreetly did not mention to the public at the time.

More News from AAM: ICOM

What else happened at AAM? Our director, William U. Eiland, passed along the following note about his activities there:
I have been elected to the board of ICOM-USA, which is in a period of transition to what appears to be more independence from AAM but without cutting any ties. The meeting of the board that I intended was primarily about administrative matters, including meeting the new secretariat general, who is French and who has an office in Paris. The next meeting for university affiliates of ICOM is in Berkeley this fall and the next general meeting in Shanghai in 2010, I think.
ICOM is the International Council of Museums, and was founded in 1946. A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, it is dedicated to the improvement and advancement of the world's museums and the museum profession as well as the preservation of cultural heritage. ICOM has more than 21,000 members in 140 countries working through national and international committees and affiliated and regional organizations and embraces museums of every size and discipline in every corner of the world. Eiland has been heavily involved in many professional organizations of the kind and is recognized as a leader in the field. We congratulate him on his election and know that ICOM-USA could not have a better board member!

Web Redesign

As part of our expansion and renovation, the museum is working on a rebranding as well, which will involve a redesign of our website, so we've been paying attention to what others in the field are doing, and you may already have noticed some changes, such as a greater emphasis on new media and a simplification of some pages. A few weeks ago, we noticed that the Montclair Art Museum had won an award of excellence from Graphic Design USA for its site, and over the weekend, the Guggenheim announced its receipt of a Webby for best cultural institution website. What would you like to see added to our website? Removed? Changed? What works and what doesn't?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wave Field

The New York Times covers Maya Lin's latest and largest Wave Field, at Storm King, with a review, a slideshow, and a great but short video in which Lin discusses some of her other current projects (puzzles, trash sculptures made from children's toys and bottlecaps, smaller wave fields from cut-up FedEx boxes).

In the Collection and Art in the News

Art Daily tells us that the Asheville Art Museum is opening an exhibition titled Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan tonight. Buchanan is not only a southern artists but, since 1977, a Georgia-based artist, and the Georgia Museum of Art has one of her paintings, Jamestown, pictured above, which was last on display in February and March 2008 for the exhibition "I am in the garden . . . ": African American Art from the Collections. Buchanan's work tends to focus on architecture and color, and her website is well-maintained, with good links to things like an interview with Buchanan on the radio.

Art Around Athens

Tonight, from 7 to 9 p.m., is a reception for the third (and final?) round of BFA students at the Lamar Dodd School of Art: Interior Design, Ceramics, Fabrics, and Jewelry/Metals.

At the same time is an opening reception at the Monroe Art Guild for Project 365, an exhibition featuring photography by Stephanie Roberts, which will run through June 25.

And, slightly earlier, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., another opening reception at the Oconee County Library for Home and Away: Fine Art Photography from the Athens/Oconee Area and the World, an exhibition featuring work by Sally Ross.

On Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m. at Don Byram Art in Commerce, there's an opening reception for the 2009 juried exhibition of the Athens Photography Guild.

And on Sunday, May 10, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., is the opening reception for Mikalsen Returns, an exhibition of flower photographs by Ted Mikalsen at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Initially trained at the Southeastern Center for Photographic Arts, Mikalsen was first inspired by urban landscapes, graffiti, and neon lights. Mikalsen hopes his "photographs of flowers have in a modest way revealed and preserved the intimate form and beauty of their subjects." The exhibition will be up through Sunday, May 31 in the Visitor Center.

Just because it's the summer and UGA activities quiet down doesn't mean the rest of the area has little going on.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Where's GMOA on the Move?

Where's GMOA on the Move? Guess right in the comments below and win a prize (staff members ineligible).


The Tate Online has a remarkable sort of video magazine, Bloomberg TateShots, which is updated monthly with new short videos that focus on modern and contemporary art in the Tate's collection and can be watched online or downloaded, video-podcast-style. Issue 21 includes a short film narrated by Christopher Eccleston (the current Doctor Who) adapted from a short-story response to a work of art by Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, a curator's tour of the Tate's Rodchenko and Popova exhibition, a conversation with an art forger about artist Glenn Brown and three more pieces, all about 4 or 5 minutes long. Previous issues, including a visit to the studio of Jeff Koons, are archived here.

Lord Love You press kit sticker

Press kits for Lord Love You: Works by R.A. Miller from the Mullis Collection, which opens August 8 at the Lyndon House Arts Center (click here to go to the press room on our website, which has the press release and images for the media), have been going out, adorned with this adorable sticker that should give some hint of what the exhibition catalogue will look like.

Remember that we are inviting the public to submit images of their own R.A. Millers to along with any stories they might have about the paintings. Once we have some submissions, we'll post a Flickr photo gallery that we'll keep adding to as long as the exhibition remains up.

Art on Wheels

So what if you don't care about cars? Why should you come to Art on Wheels (May 16), the Collectors' benefit event? Well, other than the opportunity to help out the museum, the items being donated for the silent auction are really special. Not only is there a painting by Pierre Daura, donated by his daughter, Martha Randolph Daura, but we will also have a work by Lamar Dodd, a work contributed by Steve Penley and a selection of designer shoes and handbags by the likes of Manolo Blahnik and Chanel. You only have a few more days to get your RSVPs in.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


We've been meaning to link The Bigger Picture, the Smithsonian's photography blog, ever since reading about it a few weeks ago in Art Daily. The blog serves as an ongoing discussion about photography, with the resources of the Smithsonian's amazing collection as a big part of it, but what we like is how accessible and down-to-earth it feels. It's easy for museums to talk too much, and most art blogs talk too little, just posting pretty or intriguing images, but The Bigger Picture hits a great middle ground, and its interests are marvelously catholic, much like the institution itself.

Curated magazine's blog, maintained by editor Nick Schonberger, is worth a bookmark as well, with extensive archives and well-tagged posts on a wealth of topics from visual culture.

Art Around Athens

Sarah Freeman over at the Georgia Club just told us about this exhibition of watercolors by Juan Carlos Camacho that will be opening there in the Village Hall tomorrow (Thursday, May 7) from 6 to 8 p.m. The release says, "An accomplished watercolor artist, Juan Carlos is also a licensed architect. His paintings are well known throughout Costa Rica, and are found in many personal and corporate art collections. His award winning watercolors are exhibited widely in galleries and museums and we look forward to you joining us to experience some of his beautiful creations." Admission to the opening reception is complimentary and 10 percent of the proceeds (from sales?) will be donated to the Georgia Club Foundation and the Lamar Dodd School of Art Latin America Studies Abroad program.

In the News

The Turner Prize is always a great deal of fun to watch, as nominated artists lobby and the entire UK weighs in on the matter. This year's nominees are Enrico David, a surrealist who creates paintings, drawings and sculptures; Roger Hiorns, a site-specific artist (work pictured above); Lucy Skaer, who creates drawings, sculptures and films from found photographs; and Richard Wright, who creates wall paintings in unexpected locations. BBC News has a nice slideshow of some of their previous works. The prize is given to an artist under 50 and has attracted its fair share of controversy in previous years, with past nominees including Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin. All nominees participate in an exhibition at the Tate Britain late in the year, but the prize is given for work executed in the previous year. Say what you will about the prize often being given to controversial and/or conceptual art, the media attention it attracts is greater than anything comparable.

On a more inspirational note, the New York Times ran this story about Ross Bleckner, the painter named to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations who will pursue art therapy with child abductees and child soldiers in the Gulu district of northern Uganda.

AAM 2009

Tricia Miller, our head registrar, was kind enough to share with us the photographs that she took while attending the American Association of Museums (AAM) annual meeting in Philadelphia a few days ago, and you'll find a slideshow of them below.

Tricia says, "the Perelman building is a historic building acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art that is newly renovated with an addition on the back designed by Gluckman Mayner [the design architects on the GMOA expansion and renovation]. So it was great to see another museum project completed by our design architects. Richard Gluckman gave a great tour of the building on Thursday. He is in the first picture labeled Perelman Building. You can see their addition in photos 3-6. Most of the others are of the main building at the PMA and some of my favorite works shown inside."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ahee Let the Dawg Out

Our good friend John Ahee is featured on the UGA homepage today under the "Discover UGA" heading for having contributed a painted bulldog to the Athens-Oconee Junior Woman's Club program We Let the Dawgs Out, Athens' equivalent of Cow Parade. Ahee's contribution is titled "AnAtomic Dawg" and is painted with anatomically correct bone and muscle structure. It can be found in the student lobby at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and was paid for by contributions from the Class of 2009 and a gift from Nestle Purina.


The New York Times has a great article on the renovation and reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Charles Engelhart Court in its American Wing, due to reopen on May 19. The amount of art (sculptures) in the court has been dramatically increased, decorative arts objects and American jewelry have been incorporated in cases, interiors have been reordered to create a narrative and both fiber optic lighting and touch screens have been installed, although the latter have been designed to make visitors continue to look at the art itself rather than just at the screen, which is a touch we particularly like. The accompanying slideshow illustrates many of the points the article makes.

Technology and Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago just opened the exhibition Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson at the beginning of this month, and they've created a stand-alone website for it, which is kind of a trend in the museum world. The site not only gives background on the exhibition and the artist (Eliasson is a Danish/Icelandic artist who works primarily in light and water, as with the waterfalls he installed around New York last year) and a downloadable gallery guide, but also supplies images, videos and an audio tour.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's online presence for Jean Shin: Common Threads is less extensive but still contains some interesting applications of new media, such as the Flickr group devoted to Shin's installation of her work, which deals with extremes of size and discarded materials reincorporated into new constructions.

David Hockney doesn't wait for museums and galleries to push forward technologically but instead does so himself. His latest project is limited-edition prints that he's drawn on his computer in Photoshop using a graphics tablet.

And, of course, Dia Art Foundation continues to put art online, with its newest project, by artist Dorit Margreiter, to launch May 19.

Art in Action

What's most fun about this video is not its documentation of the creation of a work of art (although that is fun to watch), but its capturing of the way the public then interacted with that work of art.

(For more on public art, check out this NYT article on drive-by art in L.A.)

Art of Automobiles

Sure, the High Museum of Art will open its exhibition The Allure of the Automobile in March 2010, but if you can't wait for your cars, be sure to RSVP for Art on Wheels, the Collectors benefit event to be held May 16.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Art of: Scenic Design Postponed

Please note that The Art of: Scenic Design is postponed until further notice. We may reschedule it for the fall. Once again, our thoughts and condolences are with Town and Gown. These events have been horrifying, and we want them to know they have our full support.

New Media

On Thursday, April 30, the Department of Communications (that is, PR and Publications) at the Georgia Museum of Art attended a "Lunch and Learn" session organized by the Webmaster Developers Group on the UGA Campus that focused on Nxtbook Media, a digital publishing service that creates embeddable, emailable, archivable Flash versions of publications from PDFs. Nxtbook is a snazzier version of Issuu, which we've been using already, as with our newsletter below.

Issuu doesn't have as many features as Nxtbook, but it's free, at least for the moment, and it's allowing us to put up more publications online. We've embedded the newsletter on
our homepage, and we'd like to keep pushing forward into digital publishing. It's not the approach we'd like to take for our catalogues, but for smaller brochures, newsletters, and possibly out-of-print books, we'd like to keep making use of it. Let us know if there's anything else you'd like us to use Issuu for and if you've enjoyed what we've posted so far.

Art Around Athens

Not only are the BFA students displaying their work at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, but other art students are putting up installation work. Lanora Pierce, one of our preparators, passed along the following information:
"Site-Specific Art on Campus and Downtown"

Students from Professor Imi Hwangbo's installation art class will present several site-specific artworks next week. These temporary installations are designed for specific sites on campus or downtown, and will be up for a short time: catch them while you can.

*Paula Reynaldi: "Contours"
Location: Walkways behind Main Library by Leconte Hall
North Campus
Dates: Until Sunday, May 3

*Daniel Osborne: Video Installation
Location: Bulldog Laundromat and Cleaners
798 Baxter St.
Dates: Tuesday, May 5 from 12 - 9pm

*Crisha Yantis:
Location: On the roof of the Ceramics Department clay room. This is located at the back of the old Lamar Dodd Building on Jackson Street next to north end of the cemetary. This installation can be viewed from the sidewalk coming down from the library (Jackson Street) walking towards Thomas Street. It can also be viewed from the staircase up to the old Printmaking department.
Dates: May 3-May 7
If it weren't raining right now, we're sure we could walk out on our back balcony and see Yantis's work. Maybe it'll clear up later in the day and we can take some pictures.


The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection is a semifinalist for an Independent Publisher Book Award, or IPPY, in the category of "Fine Art." The winners in each category should be announced this week, but even an honorable mention is a worthy achievement. The IPPYs were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market.

Designed as a parallel exhibition to Coming Home: American Paintings, 1930-1950, from the Schoen Collection, which the Georgia Museum of Art organized with the Mobile Museum of Art in 2003, The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection contains works by many of the same artists as its predecessor and addresses much of the same subject matter, from portrayals of the plight of the American farm worker to the development of industry and the growth of the urban environment. This exhibition catalogue includes 153 prints and drawings, all illustrated full page, in color, and each discussed in a brief essay on the facing page. Historian Harry Katz provides an introduction, and contributing authors include William U. Eiland, Paul Manoguerra, Gail Kallins, Carol Nathanson, Stephen Goldfarb and Lynn Barstis Williams. This exhibition and exhibition catalogue are of benefit not only to those who appreciate American art created between the two World Wars, but also to the average history buff, and they demonstrate the admirable diversity of Jason Schoen's collection of works on paper, which includes significant contributions from women and African American artists. The book retails for $55 and can be purchased from the online Museum Shop.