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U.S.A. - AMHERST- MASSACHUSETTS - Days of Their Lives? Fact and Fiction in 19th-century Genre Painting


Jean-François Millet

Peasant Woman Raking, ca. 1855-1860

The term “genre” (which literally means “type”) has come to signify one category of art: scenes of everyday life. This installation of paintings from the Mead’s collection focuses on American, British, and French genre paintings from the nineteenth century. Once castigated as ignoble because of its lower-class subject matter, genre painting came to be regarded as timely, imbued with feeling, and potentially heroic. Because genre paintings derived their subjects from everyday life but embellished them, they are perhaps best understood as imagined alternatives to the real conditions of industrialized capitalism, rather than as documents of lived existence.

Mead Art Museum    13.12.2011 - 03.07.2012

Website & source : Mead Art Museum
Website : Amherts
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U.S.A. - ALLENTOWN-PENNSYLVANIA - Gothic to Goth: Embracing the Dark Side


Photo of Kambriel taken by Tina Dolin courtesy of Kambriel.com. Featured design: Moiré Midnight Bustle ensemble.

It might be said that death, art, and fashion went hand in hand in America in the nineteenth century. The death of George Washington in 1799 spurred an outpouring of public mourning that found expression in a new genre of art that encompassed memorial paintings, prints, public monuments, mourning kerchiefs, ceramics, and, not least, needlework. Mourning art was considered a beautiful and appropriate—even sophisticated and fashionable—art form rather than a frivolous or morbid fascination with death. It encouraged an interweaving of religious, social, and aesthetic ideas drawn from the neoclassical ideal of the “heroic death,” as well as the burgeoning Romantic Movement. As literature with macabre gothic overtones gained popularity, emotional expressions of sentimentality, melancholy, and even horror and terror became commonplace.

The presentation of grief and sorrow became an art in itself in the Victorian era (1837 – 1901) as England’s Queen Victoria brought the expression of mourning to its zenith following the death of her husband, Prince Albert in 1861. On both sides of the Atlantic, elaborate mourning outfits became de rigeur, along with codified rituals for their wearing. As the American public rapidly assimilated both the social mores and fashionable tastes of mourning, the late nineteenth century became widely known for its prominence of elaborate and ostentatious mourning fashion. Almost a hundred years later, the silhouettes and styles of Victorian mourning wear made a vigorous reappearance with the emergence of the Goth subculture in the late 1970s, although now with a vocabulary of nonconformity and self-expression rather than the moral obligations of earlier years.

Gothic to Goth offers an overview of the nineteenth-century cult of mourning in American art and fashion and indicates how that trend translated into contemporary Goth fashion, a genre now embraced by mainstream couture as well as by the rock subculture of the twentieth century. Included in the exhibition are representative examples of mourning art such as needle pictures, paintings, and post-mortem daguerreotype portraits; mourning jewelry and other accessories; two late Victorian mourning outfits; and examples of contemporary Goth fashion inspired by the mourning excesses of the earlier century. Objects from the museum’s own collections are supplemented by loans from the Everhart Museum, Burns Archive, Lackawanna Historical Society, Sigal Museum, Drexel Historic Costume Collection, the designer Kambriel, Heavy Red Couture Noir and custom jewelry designer and manufacturer Atelier Gothique

 Allentown Art Museum     29.01.2012 - 29.04.2012

Website & source : Allentown  Art Museum

Website : City of Allentown

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U.S.A. - ALBANY-NEW YORK - Material Occupation

Caetano de Almeida

The artists represented in Material Occupation challenge the idea that abstraction is a rarified concept that bears little relation to everyday experience. Using familiar patterns, structures, designs, and systems, these artists explore the cultural associations inherent in prosaic materials. Traditional art-making gestures are replaced by actions equated with manual labor, such as staining, pasting, bleaching, mending, stretching, taping, daubing, recycling, and tearing. Drawing on a wide range of materials and references, these artists apply a keen eye and a steady hand as they transform house paint, thread, old and newly woven fabric, industrial tape, and other ordinary materials into poetic abstract forms. The decorative, the contemplative, and the marginalized thus take precedence in work that proposes an alternative relationship to Modernist abstraction.

Artists include, Caetano de Almeida, Sarah Crowner, Josh Faught, Elana Herzog, Marietta Hoferer, Sam Moyer, Anja Schwörer, and Melissa Thorne.

Curator: Corinna Ripps Schaming, Associate Director/Curator, University Art Museum.

Material Occupation will be documented in a fully-illustrated catalogue with essays by Michelle Grabner and Corinna Ripps Schaming.

University Art Museum at Albany     07.02.2012 - 07.04.2012

Website : University Art Museum

Website : City of Albany

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U.S.A. - ABINGDON-VERGINIA - Hazel Larsen Archer: Black Mountain College Photographer


When Hazel Larsen arrived at Black Mountain College for the 1944 Summer Institute, the college was host to gifted artists in many disciplines. Under the influence of her mentor Josef Albers, the young photographer developed a visual aesthetic power and sensitivity. She stayed at the college for nine years, first as a student and then as a faculty member. Full of insight and beauty, Hazel Larsen Archer’s Black Mountain College photographs provide an invaluable record of time, place and a group of people that changed our culture.

William King Museum    18.11.2011 - 08.04.2012

Website & source :William King Museum
Website : Abingdon
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