Hi library fans,
Yesterday was the first installation day for Nature Bound: Illustrated Botanical Books, an exhibition featuring a who's who list of great illustrated botanical works from the collections of the Amon Carter and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas research libraries. You all have probably learned from reading the various Amon Carter blogs that exhibition planning starts months, even years, before an exhibition opens to the public, so yesterday's install of the first book/case was reason for cheering. I must say, as co-curator for the exhibition, I feel like this is going to be a handsome and informative one, so mark your calendars for opening day, January 29. Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots of the day's activities. Forgive the quality of these, but it's best I could do with my mobile phone.
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!
2011 is just around the corner! Remember this week is your last chance to see the Carter's exhibition American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White before it travels to the Art Institute of Chicago and Colby College Museum of Art. And if you can't visit us before the New Year, you can also see a full listing of the Carter's 2011 exhibitions here.
Albert Abramovitz (1879-1963), New Year's Eve, wood engraving, ca. 1934
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?