Monday, October 23, 2006

Birmingham Museum of Art 2007 Exhibitions

Alabama Folk Pottery
October 1 – January 7, 2007

Don’t miss Alabama Folk Pottery as the state kicks off its celebration of The Year of Alabama Arts! Alabama Folk Pottery traces the evolution of the Alabama pottery tradition from the early historic period through the mid-twentieth century. The exhibition follows the early potters as they migrated into the state and established pottery regions in Alabama, covers the importance of kinship in forming distinct pottery characteristics, and highlights the artistry and craftsmanship evident in the works. More than 70 examples of 19th- and 20th-century Alabama Pottery make up this stunning exhibition.

The exhibition Alabama Folk Pottery and its programs have been made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support for programs comes from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. The Birmingham News and Portico magazine are the generous print sponsors of this exhibition. General exhibition support is provided by the City of Birmingham and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.

Weird World of Wonders: Baroque Prints from Northern Europe
December 3, 2006 – February 24, 2007

Seventeenth-century Northern Europeans had an intense curiosity about the world. The development of collections of “art and wonders” reflected this interest. These collections were carefully organized, three-dimensional encyclopedias of paintings and sculptures, astronomical instruments, shells and mineral samples, and exotic stuffed animals. Such prints were equally encyclopedic in the range of their subject matter, and they were available to a broad, international market. In their day, these prints performed a function roughly analogous to that of the worldwide web, collecting and organizing information, making it available and understandable to laypeople thirsty for knowledge. For example, the print illustrated here depicts clove harvesting; it is about the exotic world behind what people see at the market and put in their food. This exhibition will introduce visitors to the weird wonders of the Baroque world and will reveal the foundations of the framework that we still use to understand the world around us.

WallCeilingFloor: Works by William Anastasi, Donald Judd and Fred Sandback
January 28-March 4, 2007

WallCeilingFloor is a study of three important conceptual and minimalist artists: William Anastasi, Donald Judd and Fred Sandback. The exhibition responds to the context of approximately 20 works, transforming the walls, ceilings and floors of two of the Museum’s galleries, as well as the “open” spaces these physical limits define and enclose. The exhibition includes the first installation of two recently-acquired works by Fred Sandback; on-site installations by William Anastasi of a number of works conceived in the 1960’s; and the installation of a work by Donald Judd not previously shown in a museum setting.

Benny Andrews: Works from the Miles College Collection
February 4-May 20, 2007

The Birmingham Museum of Art presents Benny Andrews: Works from the Miles College Collection on February 4 through May 20, 2007. The exhibition features fifteen paintings, drawings, and collages given as a gift by the artist to Miles College, a historically black college located in Fairfield, Alabama, on the occasion of the premiere of the opera, Sky Sash So Blue. The opera, composed by a Miles College faculty member, is based on a children's book by the same title that Andrews illustrated. Andrews, a nationally recognized artist who grew up the son of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, is best known for his slightly abstracted, figurative subjects presented in narrative contexts. His poignant works, which include animated scenes of humor, satire, pain and joy, evoke a sense of recognition of the universal human experience.

Anxious Objects: Willie Cole’s Favorite Brands
April 1 – May 27, 2007

The exhibition is the first retrospective of this New Jersey-born and -based artist who reuses and liberates throwaway artifacts such as ironing boards, blowdryers, and high-heeled shoes, transforming them into powerful works of art. Cole frequently takes his found “western” objects and “Africanizes” or ritualizes them, creating potent global artistic hybrids. His iconic and often emotionally anxious objects connect capitalist materialism and the brands and branding of everyday life with aesthetics, enduring religious belief systems, and human pathos.

Black & White City Paper is the generous print sponsor of this exhibition. General exhibition support is provided by the City of Birmingham and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.

77 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy by Poets, Monks, and Scholars, 1568-1868
June 10 – August 12, 2007

The exhibition examines the remarkably creative flowering of the art of writing during Japan’s early modern period beginning in the mid-16th century. During the three ensuing centuries, text ranging from thorny Zen conundrums to gossamer haiku poems were written with verve, energy, and creativity, displaying how deeply calligraphy had penetrated into the social fabric of Japan. Borrowing from private and public collections across the United States, the exhibition features 77 works including a pair of six-panel screens, hanging scrolls, handscrolls, framed fan paintings, albums, tanzaku (poem cards), and ceramics. The exhibition is unique in that it visually expresses the mind of historically important Japanese poets, scholars and monks.

Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption
October 14, 2007 – January 27, 2008

This groundbreaking exhibition will, for the first time, tell the intriguing stories of the final days of Pompeii and the nearby resort cities of Herculaneum, Oplontis and Terzigno following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August of 79 AD. Excavations dating back to 1780 through current day have produced more than 500 objects, many of which have never been on tour outside of Italy, that allow the Museum to reconstruct final moments of the citizens and the magnificence of these vibrant cities.

The exhibition features body casts and skeletons, in the context in which they were found, crouching as the ash and pyroclastic surges engulfed the streets and buildings. In the attempted escape, victims clutch their most precious objects including exquisitely designed jewelry, ancient coins and the tools of their trade. The exhibition also features life-size marble statues, vibrantly painted monumental frescoes, mosaics, and powerful bronzes depicting subjects from Greek mythology and Roman politics that were found in the villas of the wealthy residents.

The exhibition is organized by the Ministero per I Beni e le Attivita Culturali, Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei. The Birmingham Museum of Art is one of only three U.S. venues to receive this internationally traveling exhibition including the Houston Museum of Fine Art and The Field Museum, Chicago.

Attached Images:
From Alabama Folk Pottery:
Alkaline-glazed double face jar (EX2.2006.73)
Artist/Shop: Jerry Brown (b. 1943)
Origin: Hamilton/Brown’s Pottery
Date: 2006
16.5 X 14.5 X 12. 5

From Anxious Objects: Willie Cole’s Favorite Brands:
G.E. Mask and Scarification, 1998
2 panels, sandblasted glass with wood
14 x 23 x 2 ¼ in. /35.5 x 58.4 x 6.3 cm.
Collection of Catherine Woodard and Nelson Blitz, Jr.

From Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption:
Testa di Amazzone
Ercolano, Villa dei Papiri (nuovo scavo)
Testa di Amazzone, metà del I secolo d.C. circa
Marmo bianco
Marble Head, broken at the base, is one of the best Roman versions of a type of Amazon of the Classical period called ‘Sciarra,’ attributed to the sculptor Kresilas or to Polyclitus. SAP 80499. Mid-first century A.D.

[From the Birmingham Museum of Art e-newsletter]

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