On January 21, 1961, the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art opened its doors to the public for the first time. The museum was a gift to the people of Fort Worth, a place to see and learn about great works of art. Amon G. Carter made clear that this museum would always be free and open to the public, a policy we still follow today.
Do you remember your first visit to the Amon Carter? Did any exhibits offer special meaning to you? Share your memories with us this year as we look back at our history and look forward to our future. Join the conversation here on our blog, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and help us celebrate.
Alice Vanderbilt Shepard is the subject of a lovely painting by John Singer Sargent, whose birthday we remember today. Sargent was a renowned artist in great demand when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of Alice's mother, Margaret Louise Vanderbilt Shepard. Apparently Sargent was so taken by Alice that he asked to paint her, one of the few subjects of his own choosing.
By the way, the portrait of Alice's mother is just down the road at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Recently we received thank you letters and cards from elementary students who had visited the museum on a gallery teacher-led tour. We were so enamored with these heart-felt notes and hand-drawn pictures that we wanted to share them with you. We’ll put up a couple each week, so be sure to come back soon!
Thanks to the Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts (MIDEA) for posting a blog entry about our mobi tour for the special exhibition American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White. Drop by the museum before January 3 to check out our free iPod touch device and hear the exhibition's curators discuss works in the show. You can also listen to the tour on your own smart phone or computer.
This week marked the last tour with fifth graders from the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. Around 1,600 students and their teachers came to the museum this fall to learn about “Artists as Explorers” and discuss how artists explored the country, different media, and a variety of subjects.
Gallery Teacher Erin Long remarked that, “We were able to have intellectual and creative conversations in the galleries with these 5th graders because teachers spent time in the classrooms and art rooms preparing students for their museum visit.” Betony Latham, gallery teacher, likened HEB ISD tours to a “laboratory for other tours because we can experiment with different artworks and sketching activities to see if they might work for other groups.” Based on the experiences with HEB ISD students at the Amon Carter, all of the gallery teachers agreed that they can see how much this district values the arts.
Students typically spent ninety minutes in the galleries with Gallery Teachers who led conversations about a variety of works. Opportunities to sketch and write about the art were integrated into the museum experience. One work of art that was a big hit with students was the abstract painting, Figure, by Morton Schamberg.
Morton Schamberg (1881–1918), Figure, oil on canvas, 1913
Now it’s your turn. Schamberg used cool colors to represent the background and warm colors to represent his subjects. Looking at Figure, can you tell what subject the artist is exploring through abstraction?
If you are a fan of prints plan on attending our Gallery Talk this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Shirley Reece-Hughes, Assistant Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, will start off in the gallery and introduce Leon Polk Smith and the work he did at the Tamarind Institute in the 1960’s. Jodie Utter, Conservator of Works on Paper, will then talk about the process of lithography in general.
Today is the 178th anniversary of Louisa May Alcott's birth. As well as being the author of one of my favorite books, (actually I can't decide between Little Women or Eight Cousins) Louisa was active in the arts community in New England. Daniel Chester French ( 1851-1931) was a family friend and accomplished sculptor. His neoclassical style really captured the spirit of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
Daniel Chester French. Benediction, bronze, 1922, Purchase with funds provided by the Council of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
This bronze was cast at the Roman Bronze Works, the first American foundry to specialize in the lost-wax casting method. The business records of the Roman Bronze Works are now a part of the library archives collection.
Who doesn't love a good parade?
Erwin E. Smith, [Red Cross float with nurses in Bonham parade, Will Evans' party for Fannin County, July 10-12, 1923], 1923, Nitrate negative, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of Mary Alice Pettis.
Erwin E. Smith, Man, woman in roadster float with rooster cutout mounted on hood, Bonham parade, Will Evans' party for Fannin County, July 10-12, 1923], 1923, Nitrate negative, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of Mary Alice Pettis.
Erwin E. Smith, HEN, SOW, COW - BOYS CLUB [Float in Bonham parade, Will Evans' party for Fannin County, July 10-12, 1923], 1923, Nitrate negative, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of Mary Alice Pettis.
I am thankful for my family, both at home and my work family.
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), A Family Group - Noatak, 1930, photogravure, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor.
Bror Utter (1913-1993), Posada Gaudi, 1967, Etching and aquatint, ©1967 Bror Utter, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of Earl G. Wade.
I'm thankful for my friends, both two-legged and four-legged.
Peggy Bacon (1895-1987), A Few Ideas, 1927, drypoint, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.
Nell Dorr (1893-1988), Bethany Holding Chicken, 1942-1943, Gelatin silver print, mounted on Masonite, © 1990 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of the Estate of Nell Dorr.