[LESS INFO] 117 VIEWS | ADDED 15:45:48 01/20/10
Grand Rapids Art Museum hosted Ran Ortner, creator of "Open Water no.24". The winner of ArtPrize 2009 sat down with museum director Celeste Adams for a revealing and inspiring interview. Grand Rapids Art Museum celebrates 100 years in the arts in 2010. Find information online at www.artmuseum.org
[LESS INFO] 4569 VIEWS | ADDED 16:57:45 01/28/09
Frank Stella and Ken Tyler visited Grand Rapids Art Museum for the exhibition MOBY DICK: Frank Stella and Herman Melville. The exhibition is showing January 23 -May 3, 2009. Please visit www.artmuseumgr.org for more information.
[LESS INFO] 1768 VIEWS | ADDED 14:07:02 10/03/08
RICHARD AVEDON: LARGER THAN LIFE made possible by Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation Steelcase Inc. Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation National Endowment for the Arts A.K. Rikk’s Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett LLP Bill and Marilyn Crawford Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation John R. Hunting kantorwassink VanderWeide Family Foundation Michigan Radio 104.1 FM WOOD TV8 and additional sponsors October 3, 2008 – January 4, 2009 Richard Avedon (1923–2004), one of the most important American photographers of the modern era, traces his dynamic career from the postwar years of the late 1940s in Europe to the early 21st century. Avedon set new precedents in fashion and portrait photography with his innovative approach to the medium. He also established a reputation as one of the greatest camera portraitists of our time. After World War II, Avedon began taking photographs of street performers in Italy while doing freelance fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar , where he subsequently served as chief photographer until 1966. During his years at Harper’s, Avedon created a new kind of fashion photography that transformed models from posed mannequins into actresses. He set his models in the city streets, bistros, and urban landmarks of Paris. In the studio, he required them to move and leap like dancers. The 1957 film Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn, cast Fred Astaire as fashion photographer, Dick Avery, a character based on Avedon, who consulted on the film and designed the opening titles. In 1966 Avedon left Harper’s for Vogue and shifted his focus to portraiture, which he had begun in the late 1950s. Through the rest of his life, Avedon created powerfully engaging and unsparing portraits of actors, artists, writers, politicians, and intellectuals. His portraits are distinguished by their minimalist style. Posed in front of a sheer white background, the subject looks squarely into the camera. Avedon considered portrait photography a collaborative process. He admired his subjects and captured them in revealing moments as they paused in conversation with him. Avedon’s subjects were often larger than life personalities. His photographs of President Gerald Ford, Rose Kennedy, The Beatles, and Louis Armstrong are portraits that document the 20th century. The famous and familiar people that he photographed were distinctly un-glamorized, yet their images are monumental in presence. His subjects also included sitters such as the Napalm victims he photographed on his 1971 visit to Vietnam. Avedon’s series In the American West, 1979–84, included drifters, miners, field hands, and working people from the western United States. However anonymous these subjects were, they have the same psychological presence and dignity as Avedon’s portraits of the powerful and celebrated. Richard Avedon died suddenly in 2004 from a brain hemorrhage while shooting in San Antonio, Texas, for The New Yorker magazine. His project was titled On Democracy , befitting an American photographer who defined the stylish optimism of postwar modernism and immortalized the forthright faces of people who, in their time, were larger than life. RICHARD AVEDON: LARGER THAN LIFE is organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography for an exclusive presentation at the Grand Rapids Art Museum from October 3, 2008 through January 4, 2009. The exhibition includes over 80 photographs drawn from the collection of the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, which houses the Richard Avedon Archive.
[LESS INFO] 4216 VIEWS | ADDED 15:55:33 07/03/08
AMERICA: BLACK AND WHITE GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHY Organized by Grand Rapids Art Museum June 27–September 28, 2008 Made Possible by the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was the first African-American photographer to gain an international reputation in the twentieth century. Prior to his recognition after World War II, African-American photographers were restricted to studio portraiture in black communities. Parks opened the field for African-American photographers with his accomplishments in documentary and fashion photography. His distinguished work for Life magazine was a pivotal influence on a new generation of black photographers who recorded the events of the Civil Rights Movement. Parks was born the youngest of fifteen children in the small prairie town of Fort Scott, Kansas. When his mother died in 1927, he was sent to live with his sister in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his brother-in-law turned him out when he was still a teenager. Homeless on the winter streets of Minnesota, he survived through jobs as a dishwasher, busboy, and piano player barely managing to earn a living. He eventually got a steady job with the railroad as a dining car waiter. During one of his runs on the transcontinental train from Chicago to Seattle he picked up a magazine left by a passenger. It featured images from the Farm Security Administration of the desperate rural poverty of the Great Depression by photographers Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, and John Collier. Seeking to find his own voice, Parks purchased a camera for $7.50 in 1938. The first photographs he shot revealed a significant talent. He quickly sought opportunities to work as photographer and ways to make a living in the profession. In 1940, laid off his job, hungry and desperate, he walked into a stylish dress shop in St. Paul and told the owners he wanted to do fashion photography. They gave him a chance and displayed the photographs he took in the store window. They caught eye of Marva Louis, wife of the champion boxer, Joe Louis. She invited Parks to work in Chicago and there he won a Julian Rosenwald Fellowship and a job with the Farm Security Administration in Washington, D.C. In 1944 Parks rented a room at Harlem’s YMCA and began looking for work in New York. He took his fashion photographs to Harper’s Bazaar. They were impressed but explained that as a Hearst organization, they were restricted from hiring “Negroes.” Parks went to his friend Roy Stryker from FSA who sent him to Edward Steichen who scribbled down a name and gave it to Parks. “Go see this man at Vogue!” That afternoon Vogue magazine hired Gordon Parks. During the next four years, he traveled to the world’s fashion capitals on assignment for the magazine while continuing to work independently on other subjects that also interested him. In 1948 he was hired by Life magazine. Gordon Parks was the first African-American photographer for Life, the publication - more than any other - that elevated the art of photography in the minds of the American public. Parks' work and life as an artist during the next five decades continued to expand. His photographs of the 1960s and 70s are compelling images of America in an era of social change. He wrote books, composed music, and became one of the first African-American filmmakers to win major awards. Gordon Parks died in 2006 leaving a body of photographic works of prodigious significance. Organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the exhibition America: Black and White consists of thirty-four photographs, including rare vintage prints recently acquired by the museum. The exhibition coincides with the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" Speech of August 28, 1963, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. A rare Parks photograph of King giving the speech is in the museum’s collection and included in the exhibition.
[LESS INFO] 1074 VIEWS | ADDED 21:49:19 05/16/08
A tour of the Grand Rapid's Art Museum's green building features. GRAM is the first built green LEED Gold art museum in the world. Narrated by Educator for Older Student and Adult Programs, Megan Walker. Written by Megan Walker and Celeste Adams. Produced by Alexander Paschka.
[LESS INFO] 1060 VIEWS | ADDED 18:48:03 04/07/08
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 4, 2008 – The Grand Rapids Art Museum announced today that the Museum is returning two Italian panel paintings stolen from the Church of Saint Eustace in Campo di Giove, Abruzzo, Italy in 1902. The museum acquired the panels in 1947 without knowledge they had been stolen. The two panels formed part of a sixteen-panel altarpiece that enclosed an effigy of the saint. They were painted by the Abruzzese Master of Castelvecchio Subequo, who was active in the region in the late 14th century. The panels composed a visual sixteen-part narrative of the life of Saint Eustace, a Roman general named Placidus, who converted to Christianity when he saw the apparition of Christ in the horns of a stag while he was hunting. Placidus died a Christian martyr by order of the Emperor Hadrian (76–138 AD). Campo di Giove declared St. Eustace their patron saint because popular legend accounted that his apparition of the miraculous stag occurred in the mountains of Abruzzo and neighboring region of Lazio. Pope Clement III dedicated the church at Campo di Giove to Saint Eustace on April 7, 1188. The museum’s panels, painted in tempera and each measuring 25 x 13
[LESS INFO] 1154 VIEWS | ADDED 15:25:10 12/07/07
A Faithful Eye: Modern and Contemporary Art from The Netherlands, The ABN AMRO Collection includes thirty-five paintings, many of monumental scale, from the art collection of ABN AMRO based in Amsterdam. The exhibition explores important themes and contradictory issues in modern and contemporary Dutch art, from subjects that recall the Dutch painting traditions of portraiture and landscape to works of pure abstraction, both rational and expressive. Twenty-seven artists are represented from Karel Appel (1921-2006), a leading member of the CoBRA avant-garde movement of the late 1940s and early 1950s to Thomas Raat (b. 1979), the youngest artist in the exhibition, who has twice won the Royal Dutch Prize for Painting. Expressive portraits and figure paintings by Marlene Dumas (b. 1953) and the conceptual photographic compositions of Jan Dibbets (b. 1941) have gained international attention in the past twenty years. Well established in The Netherlands and Europe and somewhat new to U.S. audiences are works by Ger van Elk (b. 1941), Ren
[LESS INFO] 1010 VIEWS | ADDED 22:13:03 10/22/07
Fall 2007 - Ellsworth Kelly installs his iconic relief into the lobby of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the first purpose built LEED museum in the world.