Archive for Museums

At The Smithsonian: Views of African American Life * Opens 9/24/16

smithsonian-museum-african-american-2016-jpg-3The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open on September 24, 2016. The museum’s 11 massive galleries display, in total, more than 30,000 priceless artifacts according to its website.

Founding director Lonnie G. Bunch, III says, “This is not (nor was it ever intended to be) the National Museum of Discrimination…For me, the African American experience is an experience not of tragedy, but of unbelievable belief — belief in themselves, belief in an America that often didn’t believe in them”.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture


Fierce Hi Heels at the Brooklyn Museum!

brooklyn musuem killer heels 2I really thought I was raising whatever back in the day when I graduated from “kitten” or “Cuban” heels to a 2 incher. Of course, seeing women prancing around on sky high stilettos today has put me in my place. I don’t /won’t wear them, but I think 6 inch needle heels are fierce and fascinating. The folks at the Brooklyn Museum think so too evidently. They’re putting on a show: ”Killer Heels: The Art of the High Heeled Shoe” until February 15, 2015.

“Killer Heels explores fashion’s most provocative accessory. From the high platform chopines of sixteenth-century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets, the exhibition looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history and its enduring place in our popular imagination.”

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York

Gordon Parks at the Schomburg

I love the Schomburg, it always has something going on. Currently, it celebrates one of our most famous photographers and film makers with Gordon Parks: 100 Moments

This event “…celebrates a photographer who transformed the visual story of America with his ever-questioning lens, highlighting—in particular—the significance of Parks’s photographs from the early 1940s. 100 Moments focuses on Parks’s photographic practice of documenting African Americans in Harlem and Washington, D.C., during a pivotal time in U.S. history. These photographs were taken when both cities were going through significant changes—arising from post-WW II urban migration, the expansion of the black press, concern for children’s education, and entrenched segregation and economic discrimination. “

“Gordon Parks: 100 Moments” until December 1, 2012


Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, NY, NY

FYI:  The Schomburg Library was the vision of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. Of African/ Puerto Rican descent, he recognized the need to consolidate the culture, history and art of people of color. His collection was absorbed into the New York Public Library system after his death in 1938. It became a part of the “Division of Negro History” at the 135th Street Branch.

“Starry” Van Gogh Visit

I was recently able to get to the Museum of Modern Art, NYC and visit one of my favorite paintings again.

“Starry Night”, makes me smile, makes me want to get up close. I swear that the swirling stars are infused with some sort of electrical current to make them look like they are about to fling themselves off the canvas. I expect to hear a sizzle when I lean in.

I think Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) was able to recreate “night” brilliantly – no pun intended. Fortunately for us, he did a lot of paintings and so many of his landscapes show his treatment of evening light.

According to a museum catalog, he “attempted the paradoxical task of representing night by light. His procedure followed the trend set by the Impressionists of “translating” visual light effects with various color combinations. At the same time, this concern was grafted onto Van Gogh’s desire to interweave the visual and the metaphorical in order to produce fresh and deeply original works of art”.

(Just an aside – Had a conversation with my brother, an artist, speculating about what would have been the outcome if Van Gogh had taken his medication consistently, would he have “seen” things the way he did? I assume that he painted what he “saw” – exploding stars, riotous color and all. If he were sedated, would his visions have been different? I don’t know.)

Cartier – Rocks Galore!

If you like baubles, bangles and beads, (or, you’re just a rock hound) the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco will excite you with “Cartier and America”.

Cartier legion of honor

“Cartier came to fame as the “King of Jewelers” during the Belle Époque for his beautifully made diamond and platinum jewelry created for the courts of Europe and Americans of the Gilded Age.

An example of the Cartier genius is shown here – “Tutti Frutti” Necklace, 1936 Paris – made with platinum, white gold, sapphires, rubies, diamonds and emeralds. (I think this can be worn today and it would fit right in).

Cartier and America” – until May 16, 2010

Legion of Honor – Lincoln Park
34th Avenue & Clement Street, San Francisco, CA