Henry James and American Painting at The Morgan Library & Museum, June 9 – September 10, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

The analogy between the art of the painter and the art of the novelist is, so far as I am able to see, complete. Their inspiration is the same, their process (allowing for the different quality of the vehicle), is the same, their success is the same. They may learn from each other, they may explain and sustain each other. Their cause is the same, and the honour of one is the honour of another. — Henry James, The Art of Fiction, 1884

“Henry James (1843–1916) was fascinated by painters and sculptors. In his novels and stories, he wrote about art and artists. He used the gaze and the creation of scenes in his fiction as though he were a painter. In his travels through Italy, he visited galleries and wrote many letters about the art he saw. Numerous painters, including John La Farge, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Frank Duveneck, and Elizabeth Boott, were among his friends. The visual arts were at the very center of his life, and his relationship to painting and sculpture, and to artists, enriched his sensibility.

This exhibition—featuring paintings, drawings, sculpture and photographs by several of the artists in James’s circle, as well as a selection of his own manuscripts and letters—elucidates the connections between one of the supreme novelists of his age and the artists and works of art that nourished and inspired his fiction.” — Introductory Wall Text

Henry James and American Painting is co-curated by Declan Kiely, Robert H. Taylor Curator and Head of the Morgan’s Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts and celebrated author Colm Tóibín.

Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, June 16 through April 15, 2018

Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image, the first major exhibition on the star in the United States,  opened at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition showcases the life and influence of the actress in more than 45 objects, including correspondence, film clips and photographs. Among the images are many of Dietrich at various points in her life taken by notable photographers including Irving Penn.

Dietrich brought androgyny to the silver screen through her roles in movies such as Morocco (1930), Shanghai Express (1932) and Seven Sinners (1940). The biggest Hollywood star at a time when “talkies” were still new, Dietrich challenged strictly limited notions of femininity through her lifestyle and fashion. She once stated, “I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” Relying on her good looks, striking voice and witty intelligence, Dietrich achieved international fame during her long career.” — National Portrait Gallery

Marlene Dietrich by Joël-Heinzelmann Atelier. Photograph, 1918. Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich [Blue Angel close-up] by Unidentified Artist. Photograph, 1929-1930. Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich in “Morocco” by Eugene Robert Richee. Photograph, 1930. Photograph by Eugene Robert Richee, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich in “Morocco” by Eugene Robert Richee. Photograph, 1930. Photograph by Eugene Robert Richee, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich in “Dishonored” by Eugene Robert Richee. Photo blow-up, 1930. Photograph by Eugene Robert Richee, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich on the SS Europa, 1933, Cherbourg, France by Paul Cwojdzinski. Photograph, 1933. Photograph by Paul Cwojdzinski, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich as Shanghai Lily, in “Shanghai Express” by Don English. Photo blow-up, 1931-1932. Photograph by Don English, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich, 1940, for “Seven Sinners” [copy 2] by Unidentified Artist. Photograph (Vintage print, “strukuriert”-structured), 1940. Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich in “Seven Sinners” by John Engstead. Photograph (Vintage print, “strukuriert”-structured), 1940. Photograph by John Engstead, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich in “Seven Sinners” by John Engstead. Photograph, 1940. Photograph by John Engstead, Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich by George Hurrell. Photo blow-up, 1937. Courtesy Michael Hadley Epstein and Scott Edward Schwimer, © HurrellPhotos.com

Marlene Dietrich passionately kissing a GI as he arrives home from World War II, New York, 1945 by Irving Haberman. Photograph 1945 © Irving Haberman/IH Images, Courtesy, Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe, NM

Marlene Dietrich posing with her Jeep by Unidentified Artist. Photo blow-up, 1944. Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich with Parachutists by George Horton. Photo blow-up, March 1945. Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich kissing Edith Piaf [copy1] by Unidentified Artist. Photograph, Date unknown (new print). Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin

Marlene Dietrich by Irving Penn. Gelatin silver print, 1948. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Irving Penn © Conde Nast

Marlene Dietrich by Milton Greene. Archival inkjet, 1952 (printed 2017). Photographed by Milton H. Greene, ©2017 Joshua Greene, archiveimages.com

“Dietrich is a study of contrasts in many ways,” said Kate C. Lemay, exhibition curator and National Portrait Gallery historian. “She was known for her discipline and dedication to her craft while unapologetically breaking social barriers and embracing female independence.”

Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image was organized in cooperation with Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin.

Images courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

Jonah Bokaer Choreography at Jacob’s Pillow Doris Duke Theatre, June 21-25, 2017

Choreographer, dancer, and multimedia artist Jonah Bokaer will open Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s 85th Anniversary Season in the Doris Duke Theatre, June 21-25. This aesthetically-refined, contemporary program includes Bokaer’s newest work, Rules Of The Game, set to an original, first-time-dance score by ten-time Grammy Award winning artist Pharrell Williams, arranged and co-composed by David Campbell, with playful and surprising architectural elements by longtime collaborator and visual artist Daniel Arsham. Celia Wren of The Washington Post calls Bokaer a “daring contemporary choreographer who’s known for interdisciplinary experiments and especially for collapsing the distance between the dance and gallery/museum worlds.”

“Jonah is a masterful choreographer, equally at home in the gallery or museum as he is on the concert stage,” comments Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. “He’s highly skilled in how he thinks about the body moving through space, and how to integrate the visual. Rules Of The Game is the stunning culmination of his collaboration with Daniel Arsham. In Occupant, we’ll have the opportunity to see the brilliance of Jonah, the dancer, which is how the Pillow first came to know him as a student at our School. He was the youngest dancer to ever join the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, I wanted audiences to have the opportunity to see him interpret a very different work.”

Rules of The Game. Dancer: Albert Drake. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancer: Szabi Pataki. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Left to Right: James Koroni, Callie Lyons, Sara Procopio, Szabi Pataki, Albert Drake, Laura Gutierrez, James McGinn. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Top: Szabi Pataki. Left to Right: James McGinn, Callie Lyons, Sara Procopio. Bottom: Laura Gutierrez. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Top: James McGinn. Bottom: Albert Drake. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Top: Szabi Pataki. Left to Right: Laura Gutierrez, Sara Procopio, Callie Lyons, James McGinn. Bottom: Albert Drake. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Left to Right: James Koroni, then: Betti Rollo, Szabi Pataki, Albert Drake, Sara Procopio, James McGinn, Laura Gutierrez, Callie Lyons. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Left to Right: Betti Rollo, Szabi Pataki, Albert Drake, Callie Lyons, James McGinn, Laura Gutierrez, Sara Procopio. Front: James Koroni. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Rules of The Game. Dancers: Top: James Koroni. Left to Right: James McGinn, Sara Procopio, Szabi Pataki, Albert Drake, Callie Lyons, Betti Rollo, Laura Gutierrez. Photo © Sharen Bradford

Images courtesy Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation.

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 24 – October 9, 2017

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed features approximately 45 paintings produced between the 1880s and the 1940s, with seven on view in the United States for the first time. The exhibition unfolds in eight thematically-focused galleries that explore Munch’s long-term engagement with particular subjects that recur throughout his career—love, death, sickness, psychological turmoil and mortality, especially his own. The paintings on view, many deeply personal works from Munch’s own collection now held by the Munch Museum, as well as loans from institutions and private lenders from around the world, also demonstrate Munch’s liberated, self-assured painting style and technical abilities including bravura brushwork, innovative compositional structures, the incorporation of visceral scratches and marks on the canvas and his exceptional use of intense, vibrant color.” — SFMOMA

“When you consider that Munch felt that he didn’t really hit his stride until his 50s and that his career doesn’t map against traditional paths of art history, then the latter part of his career warrants a closer look,” said Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. “Munch’s influence can be felt in the work of many artists such as Georg Baselitz, Marlene Dumas, Katharina Grosse, Asger Jorn, Bridget Riley and particularly Jasper Johns, who became fascinated by the cross hatch patterns in Munch’s Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed.”

Edvard Munch in his winter studio, 1938; courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Ashes, 1925; oil on canvas; 54 15/16 x 78 3/4 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Eye in Eye, 1899–1900; oil on canvas; 53 9/16 x 43 5/16 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Moonlight, 1893; oil on canvas; 55 5/16 x 53 1/8 in.; The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940–43; oil on canvas; 58 7/8 x 47 7/16 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait in Hell, 1903; oil on canvas; 32 1/4 x 26 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with Cigarette, 1895; 43 ½ x 33 11/16 in.; The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with Hand Under Cheek, 1911; oil on canvas; 32 11/16 x 27 3/8 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with the Spanish Flu, 1919; oil on canvas; 59 1/16 x 51 9/16 in.; The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo

Edvard Much, Sick Mood at Sunset. Despair, 1892; oil on canvas; 36 ¼ x 26 3/8 in.; Thielska Galleriet, Stockholm

Edvard Munch, Starry Night, 1922–24; oil on canvas, 47 7/16 x 39 3/8 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, The Artist and His Model, 1919–21; oil on canvas; 47 7/16 x 78 3/4 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1925; oil on canvas; 56 5/16 x 81 7/8 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, The Sick Child, 1907; oil on canvas; 46 ¾ x 47 5/8 in.; Tate Modern, London

The exhibition is curated by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Jon-Ove Steihaug, director of exhibitions and collections at the Munch Museum, Oslo, with Caitlin Haskell, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Images courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Calder: Hypermobility at Whitney Museum of American Art, through October 16, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“Alexander Calder (1898–1976) is renowned for his radical introduction of movement into sculpture, a singular innovation yielding nearly endless possibilities. Deeply fascinated by dance and theater, he created motorized and wind-propelled artworks that execute a choreography of gentle rotations and bold, unpredictable gestures, and at times even produce percussive sounds. Although museums most commonly present his sculptures as static objects, this exhibition offers a unique opportunity to experience them as the artist intended—in motion. Calder’s striking vocabulary of diverse forms will be revealed through daily activations of the sculptures on view and an unprecedented collaboration with the Calder Foundation whereby rarely seenworks will be presented for one-time demonstrations. An expansive series of performances will also bring contemporary artists into dialogue with Calder as their practices interplay with his inventions.

Calder began experimenting with kineticism in the 1920s while living in Paris, where he developed close associations with leading European avant-garde artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Edgard Varèse, and Fernand Léger. In 1931 Calder invented the mobile, an entirely new mode of sculpture. The term was coined by Duchamp—in French, mobile is a pun that means both “motive” and “that which moves.” Designed with carefully balanced components of wire, metal, and wood, each mobile performs its own set of movements, enacting an infinite series of potential forms. Calder famously stated, “Just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions.” In tandem with his kinetic works, he also made stabiles, sculptures that while stationary nonetheless convey a heightened sense of implied movement through their multifaceted compositions.

Calder often used the term disparity to describe the independent and even contradictory nature of his works’ constituent elements as they coalesce into their complex wholes. Calder: Hypermobility draws on disparity as its organizing principle, juxtaposing contrasting works from different periods to illuminate the incredible variation and ingenuity of Calder’s art.” —  Introductory Wall Text

Calder: Hypermobility was organized by Jay Sanders, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, with Greta Hartenstein, senior curatorial assistant, and Melinda Lang, curatorial assistant.

EU: Satoshi Fujiwara at Fondazione Prada Osservatorio, June 7 – October 16, 2017

“EU is an anthological exhibition by Japanese photographer Satoshi Fujiwara (Kobe, Japan, 1984). The set up for EU is made up of assembled images, which aim to eliminate any linear narrative context. This operation was inspired by the re-elaboration of an exhibition architecture designed by Herbert Bayer for The Road to Victory: a procession of photographs of the nation at war, a show held at MoMA in New York in 1942. Portions of worn out cameras, along with different forms of human presence and surveillance, all converge in some kind of tazibao: this historical form of public information employed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution is combined with currently widespread visual association constraints, such as video editing and digital manipulation softwares. As explained by Cippini, the exhibition set-up is ‘a conglomeration of definition formats and standards which documents the inurement to image consumption, as well as the necessity to dialogue with less visible means of contemporary propaganda’.” — Fondazione Prada

Exhibition views of the exhibition EU: Satoshi Fujiwara at Fondazione Prada Osservatorio, Milan. Photos by Giulio Ghirardi. Courtesy Fondazione Prada

EU was curated by Luigi Alberto Cippini in a set-up conceived by Armature globale.

Looking Back, Moving Forward: the Bernard Museum of Judaica 20th Anniversary, Temple Emanu-El, through September 3, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“May 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of the opening of Temple Emanu-El’s Herbert & Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica. How better to celebrate two decades’ worth of acclaimed exhibitions than with a best-of retrospective. The array of exhibitions that have been produced by our museum showcase the uniqueness of our collections and add to the scholarship within the field of Jewish museums. While selected items will be brought back on loan, many of the items in the exhibition come from our own collection, which often sparked the ideas for the exhibitions. Named ‘one of the best synagogue collections in the country,’ by to the New York Times, ‘it gives a lively chronicle not only of the temple and its congregation but of the broader reach of Jewish culture as well.'” — Bernard Museum

Installation view

To Have and To Hold: Decorated Jewish Marriage Contracts

Installation view

Kabbalah: Mysticism in Jewish Life

Right: Houses of Life: Jewish Cemeteries of Europe

Culture and Costume: Depictions of Jewish Dress Across Five Centuries

Left: Traveling the Holy Land Through the Stereoscope. Right: Kabbalah: Mysticism in Jewish Life

Installation view

Installation view

Mor Kfir Dybbuk Wedding Gown, Israel, 2013. Lace and silk chiffon, embroidered and braided. Courtesy of the designer

Back: Justify Your Existence: Graphic Posters from the Moldovan Family Collection

Left: Testimonial Scroll Case Jerusalem, 1928. Silver, set with semiprecious stones.  Bernard Museum of Judaica. Bequest of Judge Irving Lehman. Right: Ze’ev Raban and Meir Gur-Arie Bible with Silver Binding Jerusalem, after 1923. Silver and ivory. Bernard Museum of Judaica. Bequest of Judge Irving Lehman

Ze’ev Raban and Meir Gur-Arie Bible with Silver Binding, Jerusalem, after 1923. Silver and ivory. Bernard Museum of Judaica. Bequest of Judge Irving Lehman

Looking Back Moving Forward was curated by Warren Kelin, Curator of The Bernard Museum of Judaica.

Hansel and Gretel, a site-specific work by Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, and Ai Weiwei at Park Avenue Armory, June 7 – August 6, 2017

“Park Avenue Armory unveils a large-scale, site-specific work it has commissioned by Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, and Ai Weiwei. The immersive, interactive installation, Hansel & Gretel, fills the Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall and extends into the first floor of the Head House, creating a world permeated by modern-day surveillance. Placing visitors in the position of the observed and the observer, the multilayered work submerges audiences in an environment where their every movement is tracked and monitored.

The artists conjure up an environment that envelops visitors and transforms them into active elements in the work. Under the eye of surveillance drones and infrared cameras, viewers navigate a disorienting terrain where every movement is recorded, broadcast, and fed back into the installation. The experience inverts the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel—instead of purposively leaving a trail to avoid getting lost, the surreptitious tracking of visitors makes it impossible to hide their location.

Visitors transition into the role of the observer when entering the Head House, where footage from the drill hall is screened in a “surveillance laboratory.” The lab simultaneously serves as a covert monitoring hub and a forum for visitors to discuss the ethics and societal impact of the growing culture of surveillance.” — Park Avenue Armory

Mockup of installation detail of Hansel & Gretel. Photo by James Ewing

Mockup of installation detail of Hansel & Gretel. Photo by James Ewing

Mockup of installation detail of Hansel & Gretel. Photo by James Ewing

Installation detail of Hansel & Gretel at Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Photo by James Ewing

Installation view of Hansel & Gretel at Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Photo by James Ewing

“This project provides a powerful lens for examining surveillance as one of the defining social phenomena of our time and provokes pressing questions about the right to privacy in a hyper-monitored world,” said Rebecca Robertson, Executive Producer and President of Park Avenue Armory. “In this work, Jacques, Pierre, and Weiwei have fostered a robust dialogue with our building to create a thought-provoking, immersive experience that explores how surveillance transforms public space into a controlled environment where individuals forfeit their anonymity.”

Hansel and Gretel was commissioned by Park Avenue Armory and co-curated by Tom Eccles and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.

This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal at The Morgan Library & Museum, June 2 – September 10, 2017

“Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) occupies a lofty place in American cultural history. He spent two years in a cabin by Walden Pond and a single night in jail, and out of those experiences grew two of this country’s most influential works: his book Walden  and the essay known as “Civil Disobedience.” But his lifelong journal—more voluminous by far than his published writings—reveals a fuller, more intimate picture of a man of wide-ranging interests and a profound commitment to living responsibly and passionately.

This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal brings together nearly one hundred items in the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the author. Marking the 200th anniversary of his birth and organized in partnership with the Concord Museum in Thoreau’s hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, the show centers on the journal he kept throughout his life and its importance in understanding the essential Thoreau. More than twenty of Thoreau’s journal notebooks are shown along with letters and manuscripts, books from his library, pressed plants from his herbarium, and important personal artifacts. Also featured are the only two photographs for which he sat during his lifetime, shown together for the first time.” — The Morgan Library & Museum

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Henry D. Thoreau’s desk. Eastern white pine, painted green, Concord, Massachusetts, ca. 1838. Concord Museum; gift of Cummings E. Davis, 1886; Th10. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Henry D. Thoreau’s earliest surviving journal notebook, open to entries from November 1837. The Morgan Library & Museum; purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Benjamin D. Maxham (1821–1889), Henry D. Thoreau, Daguerreotype, Worcester, Massachusetts, June 18, 1856. Berg Collection, New York Public Library. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

One of Henry D. Thoreau’s goose quill pens, with a note from his sister Sophia (“The pen brother Henry last wrote with”). Concord Museum; gift of Cummings E. Davis, 1886; Th10.13a. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Henry Francis Walling (1825–1888), Map of the Town of Concord, Hand-colored lithograph, Boston, 1852. Concord Museum; gift of the Cummings Davis Society (Decorative Arts Fund), 1988; Pi2139a. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

William James Hubard (1807–1862), Henry D. Thoreau, Cut paper silhouette portrait, Cambridge, 1837. The Neil and Anna Rasmussen Collection. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Alexander Jackson Davis (1803–1892), Harvard University, Hand-colored lithograph, Lithographed by William S. and John B. Pendleton; published in Cambridge by Hilliard & Brown, 1828. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, New York Public Library. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Henry D. Thoreau’s earliest surviving journal notebook, open to entries from November 1837. The Morgan Library & Museum; purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Henry D. Thoreau’s t-square, protractor, and compass, 19th century. Concord Museum; gift of Cummings E. Davis or George Tolman, before 1909; Th12, Th12c, Th13. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

One of Henry D. Thoreau’s research notebooks on North American indigenous cultures, ca. 1847–61. The Morgan Library & Museum; purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Henry D. Thoreau’s copy of Bhagavad-Gítá; or The Sacred Lay: A Colloquy between Krishna and Arjuna on Divine Matters, ed. by J. Cockburn Thomson. Hertford: Stephen Austin, 1855. Concord Museum; gift of E.H. Kittredge, 1942; Th6B. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Steel lock and key from the cell where Henry D. Thoreau spent a night in jail for tax resistance in 1846. Concord Museum; gift of Cummings E. Davis, 1886; M2081. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Henry D. Thoreau (1817–1862), First edition of Walden; or, Life in the Woods, Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. The Morgan Library & Museum; bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Henry D. Thoreau (1817–1862), Walden, Manuscript draft of the opening page, ca. 1852–54. The Morgan Library & Museum; gift of Norman H. Strouse, 1966. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Henry D.Thoreau’s journal notebook for November 9, 1858–April 7, 1859 (open to the entry for November 11, 1858). The Morgan Library & Museum; purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Edward Sidney Dunshee (1823–1907), Henry D. Thoreau, Ambrotype, New Bedford, Massachusetts, August 21, 1861. Concord Museum; gift of Mr. Walton Ricketson and Miss Anna Ricketson, 1929; Th33b. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Henry D. Thoreau’s final journal entry, dated November 3, 1861. The Morgan Library & Museum; purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Walking stick made by Henry D. Thoreau about 1853, Unidentified hardwood, possibly birch. Concord Museum; gift of Lee, Olive, and Earnest Russell, 1917; Th34. Image courtesy The Morgan Library.

Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou at China Institute Gallery, through November 12, 2017

“A rare shroud of precious stones designed to protect and glorify a king in the afterlife is on view at China Institute Gallery’s new exhibition, Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou. More than 76 objects originating from royal tombs dating from the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 8 CE) are exhibited in the U.S. for the first time. Ranging from terracotta performers to carved stone animal sculptures, the objects are extraordinary testimony to customs and beliefs surrounding life and death during the Western Han Dynasty, one of China’s golden eras.

“People during the Han Dynasty regarded death as birth and longed for immortality,” said Willow Weilan Hai, Director, China Institute Gallery. “To prepare for the afterlife, they constructed their tombs to be eternal residences. The exhibition is a rare window into the extraordinarily accomplished Han civilization through these remarkable objects of the highest artistry. We are most grateful to the Xuzhou Museum.”

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Jade pendant with s-shaped dragon, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) H. 17.1 cm (6 3/4 inches), W. 10.8 cm (4 1/4 inches), Depth 0.6 cm (1/4 inches). Excavated from the tomb of the King of Chu at Shizishan, Xuzhou in 1994 – 1995

Stone weight in the shape of a leopard, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) L. 23.2 cm (9 1/8 inches), W. 13 cm (5 1/8 inches), H. 14.5 cm (5 11/16 inches). Excavated from the tomb of the King of Chu at Shizishan, Xuzhou in 1994 – 1995

Jade zhi (wine vessel), Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) H. 11.8 cm (4 11/16 inches), Diam. (at mouth) 6.7 cm (2 11/16 inches). Excavated in 1995 from the King of Chu’s tomb at Shizishan

Jade mask, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) L. 24.5 cm (9 11/16 inches), W. 28 cm (11 1/16 inches). Excavated from the Han tomb at Houlou Mountain in Xuzhou (1993)

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Jade embedded pillow with bronze panlong (coiling dragon) frame, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) L. 37.1 cm (14 5/8 inches), W. 16 cm (6 5/16 inches), H. 11.4 cm (4 1/2 inches). Excavated from No.1 Han tomb at Houloushan, Xuzhou, in 1991

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Terracotta figurine playing a se (ancient Chinese plucked zither), Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) Figurine: H. 33 cm (13 inches), W. 26 cm (10 1/4 inches) Zither: L. 54 cm (21 5/16 inches), W. 14 cm (5 9/16 inches). Excavated from the Tomb of the Chu Prince at Tuolan Mountain in Xuzhou (2000)

Right: Earthenware dancing figurine, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) H. 45 cm (17 3/4 inches), W. 42 cm (16 9/16 inches). Excavated from the Tomb of King of Chu at Tuolanshan, Xuzhou (2000. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Jade burial suit with gold thread, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE) 4,248 pieces of jade discs, 1,576 g (about 55.6 ounces) gold thread, L. 176 cm (69 5/16 inches), W. (shoulder) 68 cm (26 3/4 inches). Excavated from the tomb of the King of Chu at Shizishan, 1994 – 1995. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Earthenware “Feiji” cavalryman figurine, Western Han (206 BCE – 8 CE), H. 59 cm (23 1/4 inches), L. 65 cm (26 9/16 inches). Excavated from the pits of the terracotta warriors at Shizishan, Xuzhou

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra

Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou is curated by Li Yinde, Director Emeritus of the Xuzhou Museum, and directed by Willow Weilan Hai, Director of China Institute Gallery. The exhibition will travel to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, from December 2017 – April 2018.

Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings at Smithsonian American Art Museum, through September 4, 2017

“Donald Sultan’s career as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker spans more than forty years. Born in 1951, Sultan rose to prominence in the 1980s, the same years he began his industrial landscape series The Disaster Paintings, on which he worked for nearly a decade. Illustrating an array of catastrophes, including forest fires, railway accidents, arsons, and industrial plants producing toxic plumes, the Disaster Paintings eternalize events that occur daily in contemporary life yet are quickly eclipsed when the next tragedy arises. Combining this subject matter with industrial materials such as tar and Masonite tiles, the works exemplify in both media and concept the vulnerability of the most progressive manufactured elements of modern culture.

In their large scale and impressive physicality, the Disaster Paintings echo the drama of their subjects. The series presents a merging of apparent opposites, bringing together the materials of minimalism with representational painting; stylistically combining figuration and abstraction; and making references to high and low culture, ranging from topical events drawn from newspaper imagery to nineteenth-century art-historical iconography.” — Introductory Wall Text

“The series speaks to the impermanence of all things. The largest cities, the biggest structures, the most powerful empires – everything dies. Man is inherently self-destructive, and whatever is built will eventually be destroyed…That’s what the works talk about: life and death.” — Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Firemen March 6 1985, 1985, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, Tompkins Collection–Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Early Morning May 20 1986, 1986, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. Private collection, New York. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, South End Feb 24 1986, 1986, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Accident July 15 1985, 1985, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Florene M. Schoenborn Gift, 1986. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Plant, May 29, 1985, 1985, latex, tar, and fabric on vinyl tile mounted on fiberboard. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution; Thomas M. Evans, Jerome L. Greene, Joseph H. Hirshhorn, and Sydney and Frances Lewis Purchase Fund, 1985. © Donald Sultan. Photography by Cathy Carver

Donald Sultan, Veracruz Nov 18 1986, 1986, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. Matthew and Iris Strauss Collection, Rancho Santa Fe, California. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Dead Plant November 1 1988, 1988, latex and tar on canvas. Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum purchase made possible by a grant from The Burnett Foundation. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Venice without Water June 12 1990, 1990, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. North Carolina Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Art Trust Fund. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Polish Landscape II Jan 5 1990 (Auschwitz), 1990, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. The Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, Gift of the Broad Art Foundation. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Double Church Nov 8 1990, 1990, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. Private collection, New York; on loan to the Butler Institute of American Art. © Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan, Yellowstone Aug 15 1990, 1990, latex and tar on tile over Masonite. Private collection, New York. © Donald Sultan

“We always think our world is completely unassailable and will last forever. But then you see that’s not necessarily the case. So many great civilizations have disappeared. It’s usually hubris and human beings who bring about the downfall of their own structures.” — Donald Sultan

Images courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum.

W​orld War I Beyond the Trenches​ at New-York Historical Society, May 26 – September 03, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“To honor the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I, the New-York Historical Society presents a special exhibition examining this monumental event through the eyes of American artists. World War I Beyond the Trenches explores how artists across generations, aesthetic sensibilities, and the political spectrum used their work to depict, memorialize, promote, or oppose the divisive conflict.

Featuring more than 55 artworks from the recent exhibition World War I and American Art organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the exhibition includes John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece Gassed, which has never before traveled to New York; Childe Hassam’s The Fourth of July, 1916, a recent gift from Chairman Emeritus Richard Gilder; and powerful works by George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Horace Pippin, and Claggett Wilson, among other American artists. The New York presentation also showcases artifacts from New-York Historical’s collection to provide greater historical context―such as World War I propaganda posters, a soldier’s illustrated letters, contemporary sheet music, uniforms and military gear, and a battlefield diorama with vintage toy soldiers.” ― New-York Historical Society

Installation view of section “Debating The War”

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Gassed, 1919. Oil on canvas, 90 ½ × 240 in.

Installation view of section “Debating The War”

Front: Installation view of section “Mobilization”

Installation view of section “Mobilization”

Left: James Montgomery Flagg. I Want You For U.S. Army, 1917 Poster, 29 x 39 ¾ in. New-York Historical Society

Front: Installation view of “Waging War”

Installation view of section “Waging War”

Installation view of section “Waging War”

Installation view

Installation view of section “Celebration and Mourning”

Installation view of section “Celebration and Mourning”

Installation view

Installation view of World War I Posters

“Americans All” Celebrating and Mourning Posters

Front: Gas mask, United States, 1917-19. Back: Infantry uniform, United States, 1918-19, Nursing Uniform, United States Army, 1917-19. Backdrop: Soldiers passing through Château Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres Salient, October 29, 1917.

Debra Priestly (b. 1961). somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918- 1919, 2014. Charcoal pencil on paper mounted on archival board, 28 x 284 x ½ in. (overall). Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Museum Purchase, 2017.4. This installation depicts 212 soldiers in a photograph from the artist’s grandmother’s collection. The images appear as a memorial to this African American unit, which included Priestly’s great uncle.

Debra Priestly (b. 1961). somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918- 1919 (detail), 2014

Debra Priestly (b. 1961). somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918- 1919 (detail), 2014

World War I Beyond the Trenches, the New-York Historical presentation, was curated by independent curator Robin Jaffee Frank, with Mike Thornton, New-York Historical’s associate curator of material culture. WWI and American Art will next travel to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee.