Archive for March, 2010

Art to Go at Mt. Zion Elementary

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Each Thursday during the school year, Teaching Artist and Museum Educator Martha Criscuolo leads Art to Go at Mt. Zion Elementary School on Johns Island. During the program she instructs students in grades 1-5 on a variety of art projects. These particular photos are from a paper mache project with 4th and 5th grade students. The project was included in a lesson on folk art based on the Ancestry and Innovation exhibition hosted by the Gibbes this past summer. In addition to classroom sessions, students visit the Gibbes as part of the Art to Go experience.

 To find out more about Art to Go, click here or contact Rebecca Williams at (843) 722-2706 x41 or rcwilliams@gibbesmuseum.org. IMG_1971

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Behind-the-Scenes: Collections Intern Project

This fall, Laura Reece, an Art History/Arts Management major at the College of Charleston, completed a semester-long internship with the Gibbes. Over the course of twelve weeks, Laura worked with me (the Collections Manager) on a variety of projects including cataloging and photographing new acquisitions, entering information in the collections database, conducting research on artists and assisting with installation of the exhibitions, Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutousssamy-Ashe and Brian Rutenberg: Tidesong

Laura Reece hanging labels in the Daufuskie Island exhibition

Laura Reece hanging labels in the Daufuskie Island exhibition

Laura also worked on what has been a multi-year, multi-intern project involving the Gibbes collection of cased photographs. The collection contains over 100 examples of early photography including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. These kinds of photographs were usually enclosed in miniature cases made of wood with tooled leather covers.  Cases protected the images from light, moisture, and abrasion and allowed the photographs to be easily and safely transported. Over the last three years, interns have diligently worked to better preserve and document these exceedingly rare photographs. Previous interns meticulously cataloged each item and entered the information into the collection database.  Each piece has been photographed and attempts have been made to identify the original photographer. For her part, Laura was asked to create custom flap enclosures (made of archival board) for each photograph.  Prior to this project, photographs were stored loose in archival boxes.  This storage method was not ideal as cases tended to shift each time a box was moved.  Cases also needed to be opened to see the image which required frequent handling and stress on already fragile objects.

Previous storage method for cased photographs

Previous storage method for cased photographs

Laura was given a general template for making the storage enclosures.  However, cased photographs come in many sizes which necessitated creative thinking and a little math!

Laura Reece measuring archival board

Laura Reece measuring archival board

Once the custom housings were complete, each photograph was stored safely within the flap enclosure.  Laura added the catalog number and an image to the front of each box for easy identification.

Flap enclosure

Flap enclosure

Flap enclosure, final product

Flap enclosure, final product

Enclosures were stored flat in wide archival boxes to prevent shifting and eliminate the need for stacking.
 

Cased photographs in their new storage container

Cased photographs in their new storage container

The end result is extremely satisfying to a Type-A Collections Manager such as me. The photographs are secure, organized, and can be easily identified with little handling. If we pay attention to how an object is handled, displayed, and stored, it truly can mean the difference between preserving it for many years or for only a short time. I am hopeful that our Gibbes interns have added many years to the preservation of this unique collection.

Mt. Pleasant Art Festival

This Saturday, the Gibbes participated in the Mt. Pleasant Art Festival at the Towne Centre. It was a fun-filled day of visual art activities and special performances including hula hoopers, jugglers, and a ballet group. The event was well attended and the weather was perfect!

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Several Spots Available for Upcoming Classes

To register, contact Rebecca Williams at 843.722.2706 x41 or rcwilliams@gibbesmuseum.org ASAP! 

 

Portrait Painting Workshop with Robert Maniscalco
March 15-19, 2010, 10:00am-1:00pm
$325 for members, $350 for non-members

Working from a live model, the focus of this 5 day course will be value-based painting and drawing methods to create expressive, professional level portraits. Students will paint two finished portraits over the day sessions along with several drawing and painting exercises. Taught in the artist’s studio at 5 Penn Ave, Charleston, SC. 

 

Charleston Photo Tour with the Gibbes
March 20 (rain date is April 10)

Session I: 9am-12pm or Session II: 1pm-4pm
$55 for members, $65 for non-members

This 3 hour private walking tour on the first day of spring will teach you how to better operate your camera and how to compose a photograph to best enhance its impact. Joyce Aungst, your licensed tour guide, will show you hidden alleyways and superb photo spots of magnificent Charleston while reviewing the history of significant landmarks. The class will explore photographing window reflections, shadows cast by iron gates, flowers, architectural details, antebellum mansions, and more!

Christo Event on April 13

This event is now sold out!  For over forty years, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have collaborated on large-scale art projects using fabric in both urban and rural environments. This memorable evening will begin with Christo’s presentation focusing on the artists’ previous and upcoming temporary works of art, followed by an open question and answer session and book signing.  The event will take place at Memminger Auditorium (56 Beaufain Street) and tickets are $25 for members, $35 for non-members, and $15 for students.  For more information and to purchase tickets call (843) 722-2706, ext. 22.

Christo: The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1996, Collage in two parts, pencil, fabric, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, and aerial photograph, © Christo 1996

Christo: The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1996, Collage in two parts, pencil, fabric, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, and aerial photograph, © Christo 1996

See this work by Christo in the upcoming Gibbes exhibition Modern Masters from the Ferguson Collection, on view April 30 – August 22, 2010.

Opera Performance on March 7

Join us on Sunday, March 7 at 3pm for the Charleston Chamber Opera’s presentation of Whistler’s Women – Songs on a Life Well Traveled. The beautiful Gibbes rotunda will be the setting for Soprano Patrice Tiedemann, Mezzo Soprano Lara Wilson, and Baritone Paul Soper as they explore the life and loves of James Whistler with a clever mix of art song, opera, and theatrical flair. Enjoy gorgeous melodies from Debussy, Saint-Saens, Mahler, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others, as the singers portray Whistler and his women in song and verse. The hour-long program is interwoven with narration by actress Terry Bell-Aby, with piano accompaniment by musical director Steven Morris. 

Tickets at $10 for members, $20 for non-members, and advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.  Sorry folks, this event has sold out!

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