The value of outside scholars for cultural institutions
Scholar Robert Duff discusses a framed burial mantle with Senior Curator Wendy Blazier of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
Robert Duff has spent much of his life in South America
collecting native textiles, ceramics and stone bowls. His scholarly acumen in
regards to all things Pre-Columbian comes from his many years as a collector
and exporter of South American artifacts. It is our great pleasure to welcome
him to the Museum as an expert volunteer.
Examining 19 of our Pre-Columbian textiles, Duff
identified the culture, place and time period for many of our pieces. He
explained things like, why a particular entity is depicted as wearing ear plugs,
or how a Chimu feather mosaic band fragment is woven.
The process takes time, as Boca Raton Museum of Art Senior Curator Wendy Blazier
discusses the merits of each piece with Mr. Duff. It is not uncommon for
museums to look to experts, leaders in their respective fields, for insight
into the collection.
The Museum is a guardian of knowledge and culture as well as
a repository for artifacts. We welcome
outside scholars with critical insight in regards to their chosen subject of
We will be showing about 40 amazing donations gifted to the Museum by
collectors from all over the world in the upcoming African, Oceanic, and Meso-American Treasures: Selections from the
Permanent Collection. The exhibition opens November 17 and remains on view
through January 10, 2010, here at the Museum.
Not all of the pieces that Mr. Duff is researching appear in
African, Oceanic and Meso-American
Treasures, but if you visit us you will still get to see a remarkable
cross-section of the gifts we have received over the years from these wonderful
If you were one of the political junkies who clamored to
know what was on President Obama's summer reading list (or even someone who yawned at Obama's relatively "safe" choices) you might
be interested to learn about the aesthetic proclivities of the Commander-in-Chief
and the First Lady.
The Obamas - like every first family - were given the
opportunity to do some redecorating in the private chambers of the White House.
This includes the authority to choose new works of art to display in quarters
that are off-limits to the general public, such as the living areas and offices.
Being in-control of the highest office of the land comes
with some interesting perks; the Obamas have access to a tantalizing range of
deeply important works of art. According to the Huffington Post, "the Obamas
have borrowed dozens of works from various Washington museums and galleries,
being sure to use only items that weren't already on display."
What's on Obama's "art list"? The Huffington piece says that the Obamas' selections include
far more modern and abstract pieces than seen in previous administrations, as
well as pieces by contemporary African American and Native American artists. These
replace the traditional landscapes and portraits that have dominated the White
House walls for generations.
You can find a slideshow of some of their choices here and even vote on your favorite piece. Do you agree with New York art dealer
Richard Feigen who deemed the Obamas' list "highly sophisticated"? Or
do you think they got it all wrong?
(L-R) Museum Educator Annette Seitles and docent-trainees Dr. Carol Weissman and Leslye Gellert look on while Registrar Martin Hanahan shows them our flat file cabinets.
Docent-trainees Linda Schottland, Dr. Carol Weiessman, Leslye Gellert, and Museum Educator Annette Seitles view a Divination Tray from Africa in our art storage room.
Above are photographs of a recent tour that Museum Registrar, Martin Hanahan, gave to our new docent-trainees. Becoming a docent allows one to see behind-the-scenes and day-to-day activities within the museum. Boca Raton Museum of Art staff are very excited about the 2009 docent class. Currently, the docent-candidates are undergoing rigorous training, learning the museum's collections.
To become a docent, one must become a member of the Museum. Docents and members receive the same perks, such as 10% off in the Museum Store, free entry to movies and lectures, the membership magazine, and invitations to openings throughout the year. Besides becoming a member, the only prerequisite is a love of art. Of course, background in the fine arts, art history, teaching, or public speaking can be beneficial as well.
Docent candidates must complete six months of training before they may give tours to the public. Claire Clum, Curator of Education, and Annette Seitles, Museum Educator, teach a course comparable to college-level seminar in order to adequately educate the docents. They talk about the BRMoA collection specifically and also situate the works within broader movements and styles. They teach how to utilize the Socratic method, the correct vocabulary when speaking about visual art, age-appropriate topics, and so on. This period of study and practice builds a knowledgeable staff of docent-trainees, ready to ameliorate our guests' experience.
While the docents are trained in every aspect of our collection, they have the freedom to construct their own tours of the museum, based around a theme of their choosing. The themes can be anything, such as formal elements like the color red, to historical periods like the Abstract Expressionist movement, to theory, like Poststructuralism. If you see a docent in the halls who is not giving a tour, feel free to approach them for an interesting conversation on any number of topics.
If you are interested in becoming a docent, you can contact the Museum Educator Claire Clum. If you have the available time, becoming a docent can add a new dimension to your understanding and outlook of the world.
As a postscript to the entry on the National Arts Journalism
Summit, I would like to offer you the opportunity to watch it all streaming
LIVE via our website. You can tune in
Friday, October 2, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM PDT (Noon to 4:00 PM EST) to see the ten projects from across that nation that will be
presented as new, sustainable models for arts journalism.
Note: If you experience technical difficulties using the above posted link, you may also try this link or this.
Last week, Erica Landau, a music blogger for Broward-Palm Beach New Times posed a familiar, but hefty, question to her readers: Elvis or Beatles? As Landau said, it's a decades-old argument and both sides give compelling arguments.
Landau used the two exhibitions - which both include important and iconic images of the two biggest icons in rock history - to ask her readers "who was the most popular artist," the most influential, etc. If the comments are any indication, the readers recognize the cultural significance of photographer Alfred Wertheimer (American, 1929- ), but music-wise, they tended to side with the Fab Four above the King.
Record sales could be considered an objective signifier of "importance," but these don't offer a clear-cut winner, as the numbers are subject to some limitations, including any number of bias and statistical flaws. For the sake of argument, both The Beatles and Elvis are considered in the top three best-selling artists of all time (Michael Jackson is No. 3) with claimed worldwide sales of one billion units.
An examination of "who was more influential" is entirely subjective. Ask any well-versed music nerd to name the most influential musician of all time and they will probably be able to construct a convincing case for his or her own choice.
I say, why choose? The exhibitions don't need to compete, Give Peace a Chance starts next week and concludes later this month and Elvis at 21 opens April 20, 2010, leaving plenty of time to see both. Upload some Beatles AND Elvis tunes to your iPod - or, break out those records, if you want to do it right - and make time to see both exhibitions.
But, simply for the sake of snark, one could say that this is the first time that The Beatles have arrived on the scene before Elvis.
ALFRED WERTHEIMER (American, 1929-), Going Home, digital pigment print on watercolor paper by master printer David Adamson, 37 x 42 inches. All rights, including copyrights, are the sole property of Al Wertheimer/Govinda Gallery. Elvis at 21, an exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Govinda Gallery, is sponsored nationally by The History Channel.
CVV2 is a security measure for credit cards. Since a CVV2 number is listed on your credit card, but is not stored anywhere, the only way to know the correct CVV2 number for your credit card is to physically have possession of the card itself. All VISA, Discover, MasterCard and American Express cards made in America in the past 5 years or so have a CVV2 number. However Diners Club does not use a security code.
How to find your CVV2 number:
On a VISA, Discover or MasterCard, please turn your card over and look in the signature strip. You will find (either the entire 16-digit string of your card number, OR just the last 4 digits), followed by a space, followed by a 3-digit number. That 3-digit number is your CVV2 number.(See below)
VISA, Discover & MasterCard
On American Express Cards, the CVV2 number is a 4-digit number that appears above the end of your card number. (See below)