Friday, July 29, 2011

GMOA in the News

Our press release about Holder Construction's Build Georgia Award for its work on the GMOA expansion and renovation project was picked up by the Athens Banner-Herald and Athens Patch.

Here's the full release, if you missed it:
JULY 14, 2011
Athens, Ga.– Georgia Museum of Art (GMOA) contractor Holder Construction Company recently received a 2011 Build Georgia Award for its work on the museum’s $20 million expansion project.

Build Georgia, a branch of the Association of General Contractors (AGC), honors the achievements of Georgia’s construction firms for their performance on some of the state’s most notable projects.

Each year, a panel of industry professionals selects construction projects to receive the Build Georgia Award.

The key judging criteria for the 2011 Build Georgia Award included: exceptional project safety performance, meeting the challenge of a difficult job, innovation in construction techniques and materials, excellence in project management and scheduling and excellence in client service.

Holder Construction Company was also awarded First Place in the Best Sustainable Building Practices division. The expansion of GMOA includes 16,000 square feet in new galleries, an outdoor sculpture garden, an expanded lobby, additional storage space and study centers.

GMOA reopened in January 2011 with nine days of festivities. The celebration included multiple ribbon-cutting ceremonies, a black-tie gala, UGA Student Night, Family Day and more.

“The success of our expansion and renovation project is in large part due to the commitment and dedication of the team members,” said Annelies Mondi, deputy director of GMOA. “Holder was key in making sure our project was on schedule, in budget and met the museum’s goals and expectations.”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last few days for "Stone and Steel"

If you haven't yet seen our exhibition "Stone and Steel: Small Works by Beverly Pepper," or if you have seen it and keep meaning to come back, you only have a few more days. The exhibition consists of small-scale sculptures in stone, Corten steel and other materials by the famed female sculptor, whose "Ascension" now stands at the entrance to the museum. The galleries in which it appears make use of natural light to bring out the sensory nature of the media. "Stone and Steel" has been sponsored by Helen C. Griffith, Mr. D. Jack Sawyer Jr. and Dr. William E. Torres, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. It closes Sunday, July 31.

Opening next in those galleries is "Introduction to the Centers," a two-part exhibition designed to introduce the public to the museum's four Study Centers in the Humanities, a crucial part of our mission that is nonetheless difficult to explain in a few words. Come join us in a few weeks to find out more about the Study Centers.

Marsden Hartley

In advance of tonight's film:

Artists' Biographies Film Series Concludes Tonight

Our three-part film series of documentaries on artists whose work appears in our collection finishes up tonight at 7 p.m. with "Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet," a film by Michael Maglaras of 217 Films. The director will be in attendance to do a Q&A, and chief curator and curator of American art Paul Manoguerra will introduce the film. Click here to watch the trailer. Films are screened in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium and are sponsored by the UGA Parents & Families Association. Stay tuned for more information coming soon about our annual Latin American Film Series, scheduled for the fall.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"The Art of Disegno" gallery talk

If you missed the wonderful talk by Randy Coleman and Giuliano Ceseri in the galleries of the exhibition "The Art of Disegno: Italian Prints and Drawings from the Georgia Museum of Art," which was held July 12, 2011, you're in luck. Pierre Daura Curator Lynn Boland filmed the whole talk, and we've been uploading it to Vimeo. Unfortunately, we have a 500 MB limit per week, so it's broken into three parts, and we have two of the three uploaded so far and embedded below. Check back with us next week for the exciting conclusion.

Georgia Museum of Art "The Art of Disegno" gallery talk, part 1 of 3 from Georgia Museum of Art on Vimeo.

"The Art of Disegno" is up through Aug. 7 at GMOA, so if you haven't seen it yet (or if you'd like to see it again), you still have time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Senior Outreach Program 2011

This year's Senior Outreach Program, organized by Diane Barret, focused on portraits. Seniors from Greene County, Athens-Clarke County and Winterville visited GMOA to look at the portraits in the galleries, then created their own collage self-portraits based on what they learned. Diane sent along these photos of some of the seniors with their work.

GMOA in the News

In case you missed it, this painting by Lamar Dodd, in the exhibition we have on view currently, made the cover of Athens' alternative newsweekly Flagpole this week, along with a nice review of the show by Caroline Barratt.

Also, the press release about "Hot Metal and Cool Paper: The Black Art of Making Books," an exhibition that opens Aug. 27 at GMOA, went out through UGA's news service last week.

GMOA Lunch & Learn

This past Thursday, July 21, GMOA held a Lunch & Learn for UGA faculty to come eat cookies and learn about how to use the permanent collection in their classes. Attendees included Sujata Iyengar and Richard Menke from the English department, Claiborne Glover from biochemistry and molecular biology, Jim Woglom from art education and several folks from the UGA libraries. Larry Forte put together this brief slideshow of pictures from the afternoon. We'll be holding more of these in the future, so remember that there were cookies.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stieglitz and O'Keeffe

He was a photographer. She was an up-and-coming painter. A 24-year age difference separated the two, but that was no matter for Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe. From the 1915 to 1946, the pair exchanged more than 25,000 letters, often two or three a day and up to 40 pages long. This correspondence is a testament to their relationship, and just recently the first volume of those letters was published. My Faraway One, edited by Sarah Greenough, is more than 700 pages and depicts the ups and downs of their modern-day artistic romance. For O’Keeffe, what began as an infatuation soon turned into a deep love. She wrote, “I’m getting to like you so tremendously that it sometimes scares me,” even in the early stages of their relationship, nearly a year after they first met. Stieglitz should receive some of the credit for O’Keeffe’s fame, for he was the one who first exhibited her work. In 1918, he wrote, “your letter—it’s beautiful—it’s full of passion—the Woman’s Soul—Crying for Completeness—Heart Rending—Like your work—heartrendingly beautiful.” So if you’re looking for a good read head down to your local library and take a look at My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Traveling Snapshots

Our director's on the road at the moment, as he often is, and he sent us this iPhone photo of himself with artist Joyce Wellman. Click around her website to see her wide-ranging work.

Qatar: The dark horse of contemporary art

What country do you think is the biggest buyer in the contemporary art market? The United States? England? Perhaps even France? You could continue this guessing game for more than an hour and we are certain you would not have come up with the correct answer: Qatar. The small oil-rich country of Qatar is located in the Middle East and has a population hovering around 1.5 million, thus proving, without a doubt, that you don’t have to be big to be important. Over the past six years it is believed that Qatar has been behind most major sales and commissions of modern art. Just recently, Edward Dolman, the chair of Christie’s auction house of New York, was announced as an executive director in the office of the Sheikh. Dolman will join the board of trustees of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), who oversee many of the cultural initiatives of the country. Dolman stated, “Qatar is looking to deliver a series of exciting cultural projects in time for the World Cup in 2022.” The list of purchases and planned exhibitions to take place in Qatar is astounding. The country is planning a Jeff Koons exhibition and recently was part of a $310 million deal involving the purchase of 11 Rothkos. Other major acquisitions include works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst and William Hoare—quite the major accomplishment for a state that only technically became an independent country in the fall of 1971.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer 2012 Olympic Games

London is abuzz, and no, we’re not talking about William and Kate news. Just recently, Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), announced the 12 British artists who were chosen to design the official posters for the London Olympic Games 2012 and the Paralympic Games. The games will run for 12 weeks and take place from June 21 to Sept. 9, 2012. Fine artists had the upper hand over graphic artists when it came to making posters for something so momentous. As Michael Craig-Martin, one of the chosen artists, so deftly put it, “artists always bring something different, because you are bringing a personal language to it.” The goal of the committee was to have a set of posters that would display and celebrate the deep cultural history that London possesses. With a little less than a year left before the big event, these artists will certainly have a lot of work cut out for them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Day photos

If you missed our last Family Day ("The Kress Collection"), then check out the slideshow above. It was great fun for everyone there, and the kids made amazing picture frames with hand-tooled details. Thanks to our intern Mary Bowden Green for taking these pics, and mark your calendar for the next Family Day ("Abstract Adventures"), scheduled for Aug. 13.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't Try This at Home

Hoboken, N.J.: home of baseball, Frank Sinatra . . . and Mark Lugo. “Who on earth is Mark Lugo?” you ask. Why, the man allegedly responsible for at least eight thefts of priceless art by masters like Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso. The striking aspect to this string of burglaries was that there was no elaborate planning involved. No late-night Oceans 11, rappel-from-the-ceiling-type maneuvers. Lugo, age 30, simply walked into galleries, lifted the priceless canvases off the walls and walked out with frame in hand. How is that even possible? William Ledford, managing partner of the William Bennet Gallery in Soho, stated, “we’ve got a Picasso installation downstairs and he sort of went right to the middle of it and basically just lifted the piece off the wall. Soho is such a retail-centric area, and everybody’s got shopping bags. Our best guesstimate is that he kind of just stuffed it in a shopping bag and off he went.” Police who raided Lugo’s home said that the works were prominently displayed around his home and he may not have even been planning on selling them. A drawing by Picasso was simply hanging on his dining room wall. All we can say is that thank goodness these works were found, and that hopefully this will lead to tighter security, and of course . . . don’t try this at home and certainly not at GMOA.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Details of clouds in paintings on display in the permanent collection wing: (clockwise from top left) Robert Gordy, George Cooke, Childe Hassam, Georgia O'Keeffe, Thomas Doughty, and William Bradford.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What do Athens artist Chris Hubbard and Alexander Calder have in common?

The Heaven and Hell Car at AthFest in Athens, GA 2011

If you were at AthFest a few weeks ago, you might have seen this car, along with a display of some of its owner’s other works of art. Or you might have seen it parked, unassumingly, in a space downtown any day of the week. If you aren’t in the area, you may have seen it on art blogs or in newspapers because this car has definitely made its rounds around the United States. Chris Hubbard’s Heaven and Hell Car is an excellent example of this self-taught artist’s experimentation with found objects and material art. The Kentucky native, now an Athens, Ga., resident, has no formal training in art since grade school and left his 20-year career as a microbiologist and environmental consultant to be “born again” as an artist. Hubbard took on the Heaven and Hell car project to participate in the art-car scene. He describes this work (the car he still uses daily, with 318,000 miles on it) as “a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek expression of the good vs. bad dichotomy of self, other people, and life in general.” Many of the stylistic elements shown on the car are influenced by his deep appreciation of “outsider/visionary artists” from the south such as R.A. Miller (some of his pieces can be seen in the permanent collection at GMOA), Howard Finster, and Edgar Tolson.

Hubbard with his art-car in 2000

But what about Hubbard’s connection with Alexander Calder? In 1975, Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and racing driver from France was searching for a link between art and cars. He asked his friend Alexander Calder to paint a BMW 3.0 CSL that Poulain would race in the 1976 Le Mans endurance race. Poulain’s car was meant to “create a symbiosis between the world of art and the world of motorsport.” When Calder’s work was met at the speedway and in the art world with enormous enthusiasm, BMW decided to create a whole line of works on wheels called theArt Car Collection. Other contributors include Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons (the latest artist to enter a work into the collection), and many more. Calder’s original car was recently shown at the Bechtler Museum of Modern art in Charlotte, N.C. in anticipation of the release of Koons’ car. To see all of the works on wheels, visit the collection’s website.

Alexander Calder's Art Car

Jeff Koons with his Art Car

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gallery Talk tonight

In case you missed seeing it elsewhere, there's a wonderful gallery talk scheduled for 5:30 p.m. tonight at GMOA. Robert Randolf Coleman, of Notre Dame, and collector Giuliano Ceseri will speak about GMOA's exhibition "The Art of Disegno." Randy served as co-curator of the exhibition, which was last on display at the Snite Museum of Art on Notre Dame's campus, and co-wrote the accompanying hardcover exhibition catalogue. Ceseri owns many of the works in the exhibition (16th- to 18th-century Italian prints and drawings), which are on long-term loan to the museum. In addition to collecting works of this era and many others, he is also a self-taught expert on period frames, many of which appear on the works in the exhibition. The museum's galleries are not normally open to the public on Tuesdays, but tonight is an exception, and we hope you'll join us.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Museum Barbie

Lynn Boland, our Pierre Daura Curator of European Art, directed our attention yesterday to the fact that Mattel has just come out with "Museum Barbie." No, she's not a jumpsuited preparator, a fundraising director or an exhausted public relations coordinator. Instead, her ensembles are inspired by Van Gogh's "Starry Night," Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch I" (pictured above and by far the most successful of the three) and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." You can view all three here. Boland pointed out that it's a real shame the Van Gogh Barbie still has both her ears and, indeed, she does look awfully chipper.

Pilfering Picasso

Le Guennec (left), Picasso (right)
photo courtesy

How would you like to own a work by Picasso? How about 271 works?

For retired electrician Pierre Le Guennec, 71, and his wife Danielle, 61, that was a reality. Impossible, you say?

The couple has been accused of “concealing,” the French legal term for possession of stolen goods. The goods include lithographs, notebooks, collages, sketches, prints and 7 cubist masterpieces never before seen by the general public. However, Le Guennec claims that Picasso along with his wife Jacqueline gifted them to him as a thank you for the alarm system he installed on their estate. Huh? Makes you wonder what you would get if you ever picked up a pencil for Picasso. I mean if he got 271 works of art for good electrical work, I could at least get two sketches for a good deed, right? But I digress.

The 271 works, estimated to be worth over $102 million, were stashed––wait for it––in his dusty garage for over 40 years. How did he get caught? Le Guennec went to have the works authenticated at Picasso’s estate and as you could imagine this came as a major surprise to the people there. Especially Claude Picasso, son of the late artist, who was less than amused at the electrician’s claim that they were gifts. Claude explained that even though his father was a generous man (obviously), he made it a habit to date, dedicate and sign his works because he knew some of the recipients might try to sell them.

The fate of the electrician in possession of the art collection Musée Picasso would kill for is still unknown. If convicted, he and his wife could face up to ten years in prison. On the other hand, 40 years have passed since Picasso allegedly gifted the works to Le Guennec, and with the two star witnesses, Mr. and Mrs. Pablo Picasso, deceased, it could be more complicated than lawyers think.

Oh, and for the concerned art lovers out there, the 271 works are safe and sound in the French capital. GMOA’s Picasso, a work on paper, is currently resting in the vaults but will be on view again in January or February 2012. You can read more about it in the museum’s catalogue of prints and drawings, “Tracing Vision: Modern Drawings from the Georgia Museum of Art,” available in the Museum Shop or on our website.

or pictures of the discovered Picasso works click here.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Kress Project entries arriving

The press release has gone out. The website is live. The media is picking up the story. And now we're starting to get entries submitted for the Kress Project! Check out the "view entries" section of the site here to get a closer look at the above and at the other entries that are coming in.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Art Thoughtz

If you haven't been privy yet to the art-philosophical musings of Mr. Hennessy Youngman, consider yourself introduced. The video above (which--warning--contains some mild profanity) is titled "How to Make an Art" and includes his thoughts on Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. For more of his videos, check out his YouTube channel.

Friday, July 01, 2011

New Study Files for the Henry D. Green Center

Georgia Rocking Chair

The Georgia Museum of Art has acquired new reference files for the Henry D. Green Center for the Study of the Decorative Arts. The Curry/Griffin chair collection is an eclectic collection of more than 100 Georgia chairs, some of which exhibit Franco-German influences. This collection, photographed by our curator of decorative arts, Dale L. Couch, is a valuable reference for comparing other chairs from the South and looking for similarities in like objects. It is also a great research aid for students and scholars. The Henry D. Green Library has approximately 1,000 volumes related to decorative arts, architecture and Georgia history and has more than 1,000 objects in its study files. These photographs are a fabulous and rich addition. So if you’re wondering if that antique chair in your house has as rich a history as these, then come on over to our study center and do some research of your own! The photographs will be available to study next week.

Physics and Pollock, which sends out a weekly email of all things science and technology, posted something yesterday that incorporates both its usual concerns and fine art. Two scientists, "A mathematician at Harvard University and a physicist-art historian [?!] at Boston College," have been studying the way Jackson Pollock created his drip paintings and posit that the artist's use of physics was particularly impressive. Make sure to click on their links to read more.