Thursday, September 30, 2010

Your Museum Has a Library?

Laura Rhicard, who works in our Daura department, just got back from a trip to the 2010 Art Museum libraries symposium and wrote it up for us, as follows:
Your Museum Has a Library?

This question and more were some of the issues discussed at the 2010 Art Museum Libraries Symposium, held at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, MA September 23 and 24. The symposium was organized by Sidney Berger, director of the Phillips Library at the PEM, and his planning team, who secured a grant from the IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) for the event. Funding was also provided by the Kress Foundation, to which I am grateful for providing a scholarship for my attendance at the symposium.

When I arrived in Salem on Wednesday, everyone was pleased to see that the warm weather had followed me from Georgia, and I was somewhat surprised to observe that Halloween prep was already in full swing in the small New England town dedicated to all things “witchy.” Apparently Halloween is very publicly celebrated throughout the month of October in Salem, and revelers flock from far and wide to participate. It’s like Mardi Gras, just with more fake blood and Victorian frock coats.

The PEM, however, was projecting more of an Imperial China theme, with its current special exhibition of “The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City.” On view to the public for the first time, the exhibition showcases items from the Qianlong Garden, a long-forgotten 18th-century compound hidden within the Forbidden City. You can learn more about it in this video. Another highlight, the Yin Yu Tang House, dismantled and transported from southeastern China and reconstructed piece-by-piece at the PEM, adds to the museum’s extensive collection of Asian art and provides the opportunity to study the artistic and cultural heritage of rural China. I very much enjoyed touring the house, which was built during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and is the ancestral home of the Huang family. You can explore the house yourself on the PEM’s award-winning, interactive micro-site.

But I digress! The symposium, which was held in the PEM’s auditorium, consisted of two keynote addresses and six sessions presented by 15 insightful and entertaining speakers from the art museum and museum library/archives fields. The main reoccurring theme across the sessions seemed to be “collaboration,” as in, how can art museum libraries better work together with their parent institutions to support the institutional mission? Other important points I came away with were:

• Today’s art libraries (and museums) must be flexible in serving audiences the way they want to be served, not the way we think they want to be served.
• Art museum libraries must strive to find the right balance between serving internal and external museum audiences.
• By making our collection info more accessible and searchable, we can inspire greater use of our holdings by a larger audience.
• Contributions to museum exhibitions by the library and archives both broadens the audience and provides a powerful vehicle for developing closer relationships with other parts of the institution.

Two presentations I found particularly interesting were given by Michelle Elligott, museum archivist at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA), and James Forrest, web creative director for the PEM. Elligott recounted the history of MoMA’s institutional archives and provided several examples of how these archives have been very successfully integrated into exhibitions, promotions and even retail opportunities at the museum. Forrest, speaking during a session on “Data Unity in the Institution,” stressed the importance of always keeping the end user in mind and of a positive user experience as both the library and institution’s main goal. As you can see from the links I’ve provided earlier, the PEM utilizes high-quality photos, video and what Forrest referred to as “focused data sets” on its website to deliver “curated” experiences to the user.

How they are reaching out in this way ties in well with what PEM deputy director Joshua Basseches brought up in the Future Trends wrap-up session of the symposium: with the level of information accessibility today and the way in which many people are acting as their own curators (think about all the personalized iTunes libraries and playlists), museums will need to meet this demand for customization by patrons wishing to self-curate their museum experience. And this is where libraries and archives can step in to organize and provide the necessary content! The patron still may not know the museum has a library, but at least now the library is serving the museum’s mission in perhaps a more active way.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Art Museum Libraries Symposium, and I look forward to helping implement some of the ideas presented at the GMOA library when the building project is complete. As for Salem, I think a second trip is in order, seeing as I did not have time to visit the Witch Museum! (Or the New England Pirate Museum, or Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, or Dracula’s Castle Haunted House, or my personal favorite, The 40 Whacks Museum: Lizzy Borden’s Story….)

The Itinerant Museum

As a doctoral student whose research interests cut across contemporary literary and visual art practices and theories (and a poet and dabbling multi-media artist, myself), I found a recent article published online in the Art Newspaper particularly fascinating. In this excerpt of a talk he gave at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association of Art Museum Directors in Indianapolis, director and chief executive of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Maxwell Anderson, proposes a significant, perhaps even radical shift in how museums should define their mission. Once encapsulated by the quasi-holy trinity of “collect, preserve, and interpret,” Anderson claims not only that current curatorial philosophies and culture are moving away from this once hallowed directive, but that material realities are rendering it obsolete. Regarding the latter, he points out not only the economic difficulties with which many museums are faced and which increasingly limit their acquisition budgets, but the fact that art since Modernism has turned to more ephemeral materials and forms, from performance pieces to large-scale works and several-room installations that are either not possible or not practical to add to a museum’s permanent collection.

To the financial and practical reasons, Anderson adds the ethical. The history of the museum is blighted by numerous instances of the pillaging of other countries’ treasured artifacts and the exoticizing of “primitive” cultures for the spectacle-hungry gaze of the ticket-buying public. Anderson therefore proposes that museums begin to think in different terms, those of his paper’s title, to “Gather, Steward, and Converse.” Borrowing works becomes the dominant paradigm rather than buying them, and collecting and preserving is replaced by a model of stewardship that works hand in hand with the exhortation to converse, nurturing an ethic of sharing, dialoguing and respect for the artists’ original context and, where possible, intentions. The museum would become—is becoming, Anderson argues—less of an archive and treasure trove than a public forum for the presentation of artistic works and the fostering of discourse on their significance and effects. Instead of having works merely interpreted for them by the curator-scholars on high, the museum-going public more and more participates in forming the terms of its own reception of the work, further democratizing it. The digital revolution has a strong hand in this; museum websites and blogs such as this one provide forums that not only allow for, but actively solicit feedback from museum visitors. Geez, ever’body’s a critic these days!

But in all seriousness, I find this proposal cum observation not only astute and on the mark, but the direction it delineates for the future of the museum quite exciting. It doesn’t dispense with collecting completely, of course, and the anxiety it may incite in some over no longer being able to visit one’s favorite piece at one’s favorite institution is therein allayed. Acknowledging and responding effectively to the contemporary material conditions Anderson cites, however, is not only an ethical imperative, but due to the nature of much of contemporary art and our grim global economic reality, a fiscally driven inevitability, as well. I am inclined to believe Anderson when he claims that it will transform museums into “more nimble, responsive, and accountable” cultural institutions, and in my own experiences this seems indeed to be a shift already in process.

[Image of Cai Guo-Qiang's Inopportune: Stage One, 2004. Shown here installed in the atrium of the Guggenheim Mueseum, New York in 2008, photo by David Heald.]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Art Space for Children

Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership

The Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, N.Y., is transforming its Tee Riddler Miniatures Museum building into the new Art Space for Children. The expansion of the building and other changes will allow for an increase in programming.

Construction will cost between $1.5 and $2 million, with an added $1 million needed to run the space. A museum trustee, L. Ronald S. Gray, will make an 85-mile bicycle trip called “Cycling for Kids and Art” from Greenport to Roslyn Harbor. He is selling sponsorships to raise money for the renovation. He will make the trip this Saturday, October 2.

The rendering (above) “shows a modern white building with large windows and blocks of color surrounded by a plaza and amphitheatre for outdoor performances and classes.” The expansion of the building will allow for galleries, workshops, offices, a kitchen and a space for events.

Gray’s bicycle trip will end with a party on Saturday afternoon for “Beastly Feasts! A Mischievous Menagerie in Rhyme.” This exhibition is based on the writings of Robert L. Forbes and includes illustrations for his book by Ronald Searle.

While GMOA’s expansion does not include designated space for children, we will have new offerings for kids and families. Backpacks will be available for checkout at the front desk that have activities in them correlating to the permanent collection. In addition, we will have family conversation panels on the walls next to some of the works in the galleries and plan to have interactive stations that families can visit after seeing the galleries.

Past, Present and Future

Notre Dame, Paris

When asked what 500-year-old gothic cathedrals and artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology have in common, you would think not much, right? However, the application of this new(er) tool could help explain the architecture of these historic buildings. Providing a new method for studying building design, particularly that of medieval times, A.I. looks at how the pieces work together to create a well-built structure. In addition to studying architectural giants such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the computer can also generate those structures that have since turned to ruins.

The group running the study, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, is led by Stefaan Van Liefferinge, an assistant professor of medieval art and architecture in the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, as well as Don Potter and Michael Covington, two professors from the university’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Van Liefferinge says, “The aim of our project is to develop an ontology or knowledge representation for architectural history that will make it possible for us to apply methods from artificial intelligence to historic descriptions of architecture,” basically meaning computerizing the structures in order to study them in a modern context and, thus, creating relationships between many different medieval buildings.

The group hopes that the research will help students learn about different architectural styles in addition to creating software that simulates parts of or entire buildings that are now lost. Starting with a simple part of a building, like a window and its surrounding supports, the research will expand to the cathedral as a whole when more information is added to the system. The application of A.I. to architecture is new, and the group recognizes its potential to investigate much simpler building structures too, such as bungalows. According to the article, “the long histories of cathedrals, though, make them perfect as a test case for this intersection of science and art.”

This makes for an exciting future in art and technology. It could lead to the study of older paintings, tapestries and more, all the while closing the daunting time-gap between then and now.

Quotes and facts taken from an article written by Philip Lee Williams.

David Buckingham in New Orleans

Artist David Buckingham will present his first solo show, “I Speak As I Please,” in New Orleans at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery on October 2.

Buckingham, a New Orleans native living in Los Angeles, creates his sculptures using colorful, battered metal reclaimed from racecars, school buses, trucks and other discarded items found in the High Mojave Desert. His experience as a professional writer is reflected in his incorporation of phrases and movie quotes.

Buckingham also draws heavily from his memories of New Orleans. With this exhibition, according to Art Daily, he will “explore the profound effect that growing up in the city can have on both its citizens and on those whom —for various misfortunes —it has lost.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

Great Art in the Great Outdoors

Stumbling across a van Gogh on your morning constitutional may be a startling thought and a dream come true for many art lovers. If you’re one such aficionado, then you may just have to take a trip to Detroit, where the Detroit Institute of Art is celebrating its 125th anniversary with the outdoor installation of famous paintings by Vincent and such other museum ticket-selling faves as Seurat, Fuseli and Degas.

Well, okay—almost. The pieces in this commemorative public installation, DIA: Inside/Out, are actually life-size waterproof reproductions created just for the occasion. Even so, what a thrill to be walking downtown or along the Detroit RiverWalk and find a beautiful piece of art! DIA will be producing a map of all the sites, should you like to make a day of chasing down these faux masterworks. You can read more about this outdoor exhibit here and here.

Latin American Film Series

The Latin American Film Series kicks off this Wednesday, September 29 with "The Last Zapatista" (below). The film series is sponsored by GMOA, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute (LACSI), the department of Romance languages and the Athens-Clarke County Library in support of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Wednesday, September 29, 7 p.m.
"The Last Zapatista"
Discussant: Sergio Quesada, department of anthropology and LACSI curriculum coordinator
Miller Learning Center, Rm. 248

This documentary examines the legacy of Emiliano Zapata in contemporary Mexico (1996). The film is a tribute to Mexico's campesinos. It portrays their ongoing struggle for the land while also relating to the now-legendary story of the folk hero Zapata. Near-mystical beliefs about Zapata are recounted in interviews with farmers, still-living Zapata family members, and members of the Mexican government who actively try to co-opt his myth and legend.
Image and synopsis courtesy of Berkeley Media

More Films
Wednesday, October 6 - "Discovering Dominga"
Wednesday, October 13 - "Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call"
Friday–Sunday, October 22–24 - Días de Ciné: Latin American Landscapes. Films include "Araya," "Viajo porque preciso, volto porque te amo," "La nana" and "La mosca en la ceniza."

We will post more information about each film and the discussants throughout the series. Click here for the full list.

Construction Updates from Holder

Here are the construction updates from the week of September 24, 2010.

Current week - Activities/Issues:
  • Continue renovation of former café space
  • Continue installing gallery signage
  • Working on punch list items
  • Working on miscellaneous millwork items
  • Working on barrel roof coping
  • Poured concrete wall at sculpture garden fountain
  • Poured ramp at loading dock
Next week - Activities/Issues:
  • Continue working on barrel roof coping
  • Work on punch list throughout the building
  • Continue installation of remaining interior signage
  • Continue installation of skylight shades
  • Complete miscellaneous millwork items/loose FFE
  • Continue renovation of former café space
  • Continue final cleaning and touchups
  • Install handrails to newly poured ramp at loading dock

Concrete wall at fountain in sculpture garden

Ramp added at loading dock

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do Museum Apps Enhance the Experience?

The New York Times recently discussed a new trend developing for museums: iPhone apps. These features, while different from one museum to the next, explore the future possibilities of visitors’ experiences and interactions within the museum environment.

The app for the Museum of Natural History in New York City allows its users to navigate through the exhibits and even provides a Highlights Tour for visitors who are overwhelmed and need to focus their path through the museum. The navigation system also points to facilities such as restrooms, dining areas and shops.

The Museum of Modern Art’s app provides a floor map as well as a floor-by-floor listing of exhibitions, but even more helpful are the Modern Voices audio tours, which provide a more convenient option for information compared with the museum’s audio devices or the written descriptions next to the works.

While these apps are understandable developments in light of the explosion of social media and interactive technology, many museum “purists” would argue that part of the experience is getting lost in museums among the art. What do you think?

To read more about the museum app experience, check out the article.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Historic Dress Exhibition on Display in FACS Building

This week, the students of Dr. José Blanco’s TXMI 5810/7810 (“Historic Collection Management”) have opened their first historic dress exhibit. The exhibition, “Inside the Box: Assorted Chocolate Fashion,” is on display in the Barrow Hall Gallery on the second floor of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences building.

The exhibition features items from the FACS Historic Costume Collection, which includes more than 1,500 garments, accessories and textiles, dating from the 1800s to the 1990s. The pieces range from everyday children’s wear to ceremonial wedding dresses and include textiles and garments from around the world, including Japan, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Thailand.

This particular show will focus on garments and accessories from the 19th and 20th centuries, including children’s clothing. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The exhibition will be on display until November 3.

For more information, visit the FACS website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Summer's Last Kiss" Art Festival

The third annual “Summer’s Last Kiss” Art Festival will take place this weekend in Hiawassee, Ga. The festival is “a community celebration of creative expression” that includes visual and performing arts, poetry, crafts and food.

Hiawassee is located in the North Georgia mountains and is two hours from Atlanta. The festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 26. Click here or call 706.896.4966 for more information.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vatican Apostolic Library Reopened to Scholars

After three years of renovations, the frescoed halls of the Vatican Apostolic Library reopened to scholars this week on September 20. The 9 million euro ($11.5 million) renovation plan involved updating the library with state-of-the-art security measures and climate-controlled rooms for its 150,000 volumes of precious manuscripts.

The library, started in the 1450s by Pope Nicholas V, originally consisted of 350 Latin manuscripts. Today, it houses one of the world’s best collections of illuminated manuscripts.

During a recent tour of the library, officials displayed a replica of the Urbino Bible, created for the Duke of Urbino by famed 15th-century artists David and Domenico Ghirlandaio. The book is said to contain more than a kilo of gold in its illuminated pages.

The collection also includes the “Codex B”—the oldest known bible, dating from about 325 CE. The book is believed to be one of the 50 bibles originally commissioned by Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman leader.

For the 4,000 to 5,000 scholars granted access to the library each year, the reopening is welcome news. For some, it means finally completing research projects that have been on hiatus for more than three years.

For more information on the Vatican Apostolic Library, please click here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lamar Dodd School of Art Lecture: Nick Cave

Performance artist Nick Cave will speak at the Lamar Dodd School of Art tomorrow (Tuesday, September 21) at 5:30 p.m. in room S151. This event is part of the Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture series. Cave is a professor and chair of the Fashion Department of the Art Institute of Chicago; he earned his BFA in 1982 from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA in 1989 at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

He is most famous for his Soundsuits. These elaborately decorated sculptures can be displayed as art objects in a museum or worn by dancers to create sound and movement within their performances. His works incorporate a variety of materials such as metal toys, fabric, and other found objects, even dyed human hair.

Cave’s work is represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery, and he has exhibited at Studio La Citta in Verona, Italy, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Recently, Cave’s Soundsuits were featured in an eight-page spread in Vogue’s September 2010 issue.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Construction Updates from Holder

Here's the report from Holder for the week ending today, September 17, 2010.

Current week - Activities/Issues:
• Continue renovation of Figgie’s Café
• Continue installing gallery signage
• Working on punch list items
• Working on miscellaneous millwork items
• Continued barrel roof coping repairs

Next week - Activities/Issues:
• Finalize test and balance report/final sign off
• Continue w/ barrel roof coping repairs
• Work on punch list throughout the building
• Continue installation of remaining interior signage
• Continue installation of skylight shades
• Complete misc. millwork items/loose FFE
• Continue renovation of Figgie’s Café
• Continue final cleaning and touchups

Window blinds installation

Wall repainting and touch-ups

Main lobby signage installation

Concrete wall repairs at fountain in garden

Ed Welch

The world of folk art is buzzing about its latest gem: Ed Welch. He has gained attention for his visual biographical portrayals of influential African American figures. Most likely deriving from his early career as a sign maker, Welch’s works are poster-like collages painted on cardboard or wood and decorated with enamel and shiny contact paper.

An exhibition of his work is currently on display at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York City. For more information, check out this article and pictures from Flavorwire.


Todd Rivers, head prep, just went on a trip on museum business and he wrote us up a little something about his journeys. The slideshow above is a selection of the photos he took.

Last week, I accompanied our director, Bill Eiland, on a trip to several cities in Virginia and both North and South Carolina to visit Jay Robinson (an artist whose work is represented in our collection), museum donors and the newly constructed additions to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Meeting Jay Robinson was an experience. He has an air of confidence and the work schedule of someone in his late teens or early 20s. He told us some days he sleeps until 1 p.m. and paints into the wee hours of the morning. He described his recent watercolors as abstractions of elements and particles on a molecular level. They have fluid movement and intense color. He treated us to a wonderful dinner, during which he told us stories about his experiences at Cranbrook, his trips to Africa and the Belgian Congo in the 1950s, his work for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., and the tragedy of a studio fire that clamed the bulk of his early work. The evening was capped by a tour of his sketchbooks chronicling the indigenous people of Africa and Asia.

The tour of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts started with lunch in the museum’s café and a brief visit to a storage facility to see works in Morton Traylor’s “Miner Series.” The museum’s grand hall resembles old railroad terminals and boasts the two largest invisibly supported panes of glass in the United States. We discussed some of the challenges their new building poses and how taxing the additional load has been for its staff members.

Next, we traveled to Charlottesville, Va., and had a quick visit and dinner with author and art historian Paul Barolsky. Early the next morning, we drove to nearby Gordonsville to pick up a chest from the Daura family.

After loading the chest, we traveled to Raleigh, N.C., to the North Carolina Museum of Art. If you have not seen its new permanent collection addition, please make arrangements to do so. This addition, which is separate from the existing museum, sits on the rolling hills like a glass warehouse. The state-of-the-art facility is completely run by computers that automatically lower and raise the shades of the exterior window walls as the sun travels across the museum. Natural light floods the galleries through glass that triple filters for UV and minimizes lumens. We finished the day by having dinner with Anne Thomas.

On the final day, we picked up some prints by Howard Thomas and drove to Rock Hill, S.C., to view the exhibition “Edmund Lewandowski: Precisionism and Beyond” at Winthrop University Galleries so we could get a feel for the show, which will open at GMOA September 10, 2011.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

John Wilmerding Lecture

On Thursday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m., curator John Wilmerding will give the 2010 Shouky Shaheen Lecture at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art (LDSOA). He will speak about his current project, an overview of Robert Indiana, American pop artist.

"Love" by Robert Indiana

Wilmerding has a collection of American paintings and drawings from the mid-to-late 19th century. He comes from a family of collectors—his great-grandparents built a collection of works that eventually went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Wilmerding is a former visiting curator at the Met and deputy director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and is president of the board of trustees at the latter. As a curator, he has organized exhibitions on American art, including “American Light: The Luminist Movement, 1870–1875” at the National Gallery in 1980. Wilmerding is also a trustee of other museums, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

“As an art scholar, curator and collector, his work and the work of his ancestors has transformed American visual culture,” said Asen Kirin, associate director of LDSOA.

The Shouky Shaheen Lecture brings distinguished artists and scholars annually to the art school and is made possible by Doris Shaheen as a gift to her husband. The lecture is in room S151 of LDSOA on the East Campus of the University of Georgia and is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GMOA Student Association Meeting

Would you like to...
  • have fun?
  • plan events?
  • take on a leadership role?
  • strengthen your résumé?
  • build the foundation for a new student organization?
  • have an influential voice at the Georgia Museum of Art?
Join the GMOA Student Association for its first meeting!

Tomorrow, September 15, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Lamar Dodd School of Art Room N104 (north building, first floor)
Parking is available in the E07 lot after 4 p.m.
Free pizza!

Surreal College Night at the High Museum
Save money, avoid long lines and coordinate transportation to the Dalí College Night on September 25 by attending with the GMOA Student Association! If you'd like to join us, please bring $5 to the meeting.

For more information, e-mail

Monday, September 13, 2010

An Evening on William Bartram

On Friday, September 24, the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation will host “An Evening on 18th Century Naturalist William Bartram.” This event will last from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free to the public. Two new books will be featured: “The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram,” by Phillip Lee Williams, and “Bartram’s Living Legacy: The Travels and the Nature of the South,” edited by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer. Landscape artist Philip Juras provided the artwork for both books’ covers, and more of his work will be exhibited that evening in “Searching for Bartram’s Wilderness: Studies from the Field.”

Williams, Dallmeyer and Juras will all be available to speak and autograph books. For more information about this event, visit OCAF, and to learn more about the books go to

The Georgia Museum of Art has its own link to William Bartram. The naturalist’s work was highlighted most recently in the museum’s publication of papers from the Fourth Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts, “A Colorful Past,” which can be found in our online gift shop.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Construction Updates from Holder

Here are the week's construction updates from Holder on the building:

Current week - Activities/Issues:
• Continue renovation of Figgie’s Café
• Continue installing interior signage
• Working on punch list items
• Working on miscellaneous millwork items
• Continued barrel roof coping repairs

Next week - Activities/Issues:
• Finalize test and balance report/final sign off
• Continue w/ barrel roof coping repairs
• Work on punch list throughout the building
• Continue installation of interior signage
• Finish window blinds
• Continue installation of skylight shades
• Complete misc. millwork items/loose FFE
• Continue renovation of Figgie’s Café

Skylight shades installation progress

Wood paneling installed around existing gallery entrances

New gallery signs installed

Glass countertop installation on lobby reception desk

Murakami at Versailles

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s current exhibition has created uproar within the art community. His manga-style, contemporary work has been placed within the 17th century setting of the Palace of Versailles.

Many people feel that this strange juxtaposition is "degrading and disrespectful," and this controversy has sparked protests outside of the Palace gates. Murakami seems undeterred by the criticism. In fact, this response may be along the lines of what he had hoped. It is his wish that the exhibition "create in visitors a sort of shock, an aesthetic feeling," and that it is a "face-off between the baroque period and postwar Japan."

The palace director, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, said that it was his duty to allow Murakami access to the palace.

This exhibition highlights a tension between contemporary artistic expression and a respect for the past. Do directors of historic cultural sites have an obligation to the public to preserve the integrity and historical accuracy of the monuments, or do contemporary artists have a right to utilize these powerful icons as tools for commentary and creative expression?

Tell us what you think!

Check out the article and pictures of the exhibition in The Guardian, and for more information about the palace and the exhibition, visit the Chateau de Versailles site.

Affordable Art

Flavorwire had an interesting post yesterday about a new(ish) project, Edition One Hundred, designed to promote affordable art to the public. Artists create works on a theme for a virtual exhibition that are then produced in editions of, you guessed it, 100 and sold for $100 each, with 10% of the money going to a charity selected by the artist. It's a win-win-win situation that reminds us of the print-subscription services popular in the 1930s. Browse the stuff on display at their website.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Jeff Koons at the High

Contemporary art fans take note. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta will host a lecture by artist Jeff Koons on October 5. He will discuss the influence of Salvador Dalí on his own work in honor of the High’s current exhibition: “Dalí: The Late Work.”

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Symphony Hall. Tickets are $15 for non-members, $10 for members, and $5 for students with a valid I.D. Reserve tickets through the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office at 404-733-5000 and

For more information about the High’s lecture series, visit, and to learn more about Jeff Koons and his work, visit his site.

Image: Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Blue)

GMOA Student Association at the Fall Activities Fair

The GMOA Student Association generated a lot of interest at the Center for Student Organizations' fall activities fair last week (slideshow below). About 40 students at the fair were interested in membership. The GMOA Student Association plans to have its first meeting soon as well as a possible organized trip to College Night at the High Museum for the Dalí exhibition. We will keep you updated! Please contact for more information.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Construction Updates from Holder

Here are the updates from the week of September 3.

Current week - Activities/Issues:

Demolition of Figgie’s Café

Installing interior/exterior signage

Commissioning of Cistern System

Working on punch list items

Working on miscellaneous millwork items

Started barrel roof coping repairs

Next week - Activities/Issues:

Finalize test and balance report/final sign off

Continue w/ barrel roof repairs

Work on punch list throughout the building

Continue installation of interior signage

Finish window blinds

Complete misc. millwork items/loose FFE

Way Signage installation throughout building

Glass Inserts installed on Main Lobby GMOA Logo

Figgie's Café Renovation Progress

Friday, September 03, 2010

New Media

one hundred and eight from Nils Völker on Vimeo.

It's the best thing using plastic bags since "American Beauty."

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Opening reception this Friday

The opening reception for “Summer Ghosts,” an exhibition featuring the work of Sam Seawright at Trace Gallery in Athens, is this Friday. The exhibition will be on view through October 1.

Seawright was born in Toccoa, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in painting in 1982. He then went to the University of Texas at Austin to earn his MFA. Seawright’s work has been featured in exhibitions in both Georgia and New York and appeared in the 13th and 14th annual juried exhibitions at the Lyndon House Arts Center.

Trace Gallery, which is new to Athens, aims to “present an inclusive look at the art-making process with an emphasis on work that is complex, stratified, transformational, and inspired.” Trace Gallery is located in the Chase Park Warehouse.

The opening reception for “Summer Ghosts” will take place at Trace Gallery on Friday, September 3, from 8 to 10 p.m. Email or call 706.549.6877 for more information.