Happy Anniversary, MOMA!

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On this day in 1929, nine days after the stock market crashed, the The Museum of Modern Art in New York City opened its doors. The Museum contains an extensive permanent collection, including French impressionist paintings, modern photography and sculpture. Current exhibits include "New Photography" and Monet's Water Lilies series. So if you're planning a trip to New York this coming holiday season, put MOMA on your list of hot spots.

The Lens of Impressionism @ the UMMA

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The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850–1874 opens at the UMMA October 10, 2009.

This exhibition (as well as the accompanying catalog) is a captivating exploration of the impetus of early Impressionism along the coast of Normandy. The invention of the camera and the development of early fine art photography will be seen as the specific catalysts that brought about a new approach to painting.

Paintings, photographs, and drawings by some of the most treasured artists in the Western canon—Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet among them—as well as pioneering photographers such as Gustave Le Gray and Henri Le Secq will be showcased.

"Inspired by the scenic Normandy coast of France, these works—including representations of beach scenes, seascapes, fishing villages, resorts, and the region’s pastoral beauty—will be brought together with archival materials related to early tourism and regional expressions of French nationalism from popular culture for an innovative examination of the impact of the then-new medium of photography on ideas of image making, the recording of passing time, the capacities of painting, and the rise of Impressionism itself. "

Organized by UMMA, the exhibition will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art after closing in Ann Arbor on January 3, 2010. Check program schedule for docent-led tours.

The Obamas' White House Collection

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As reported by the BBC, President and Mrs.Obama have decorated their private rooms and the Oval Office with a range of modern and abstract art, adding to the extensive permanent White House art collection.

Among them are new pieces by contemporary African-American and Native American artists, as well as established artists such as Josef Albers, Richard Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko, and Edward Ruscha. Lesser-known artists such as Alma Thomas (photo), an African-American abstract painter of the 1960s and 1970s and Glenn Ligon are also chosen. (The complete list). A significant number of the library's collection of books on these artists are gifts from the Ladies Library Association.

One New York art dealer described the Obamas' choices as "highly sophisticated". The curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery, where many of the items are on loan from, said it was "great art to live with".

Secrets of the Library: Art Prints

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Every so often, we'll feature some "Secrets of the Library," resources available here at AADL that you may not know about. Today's secret: Art Prints! Did you know that we have hundreds of framed Art Prints from a wide variety of artists for you to borrow to redecorate your home or office? You can take Art Prints home for eight weeks. The best way to see what we have is to check out our inventory on the second or third floors of the Downtown branch, but you can also browse the catalog 'By Format' if you know the title of a specific work. Even some of the pieces on our walls are available for checkout!

(Un)Natural History: The Museum Unveiled

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The exhibition (Un)Natural History: The Museum Unveiled on view now through December 6, 2009 @ UMMA, features Richard Barnes's series of photographs Animal Logic (catalog on order) that examines the role the museum plays in our understanding of ourselves through the acts of collecting, preservation, and display. Images from this large body of work include photographs of the collections from the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Comparative Anatomy in Paris, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the California Academy of Science. (Un)Natural History focuses primarily on the natural history museum and by extension collecting institutions in general, providing a kind of behind-the-scenes look at museum practice and display.

This exhibition coincides with the University of Michigan LSA Theme Semester Meaningful Objects: Museums and the Academy.

Friday Art Group at Center for Independent Living

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Join the Center of Independent Living every week as they exercise creativity in the Friday Art Group. Art sessions begin at 1 pm and generally end at 3 pm. Participants choose which project to do each week. Past projects have included trinket boxes, mosaics, decorating ceramic plates before firing, and jewelry. Bring your creativity, music to share and, if you like, a snack. Projects generally take between two and four weeks to complete. The program is free, but please call if you plan on coming so there will be more supplies on hand. The art comes to life at the Ann Arbor CIL, 3941 Research Park Drive, Ann Arbor. For more information, contact Sue Probert at (734) 971-0277 x34 orsuep@aacil.org. The group now meets in the Gathering Place or kitchen in the CIL.

Free Pottery Class for People with Disabilities

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The University of Michigan School of Art and Design and the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living are jointly offering a class on working with clay for people with disabilities September 21 through December 7. Classes take place Mondays from 2 to 4 pm at the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. The classes are free, and no tools or prior experience is necessary. Space is limited to 20 people who must make a firm commitment. To join, contact Carolyn Grawi at cgrawi@aacil.org or 734-971-0277 x. 16.

Stationary Structures Against A Changing Landscape: Paintings by Amy Gieschen-Thill

On display at Malletts Creek Branch, July 31- August 30

Amy Gieschen-Thill is a photo-representational landscape and figurative painter who has studied fine art with a focus on painting at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and the Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids.

Teen Graffiti Art Contest Entries Now on Display

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All of the entries in the 7th Annual Teen Graffiti Art Contest are now on display at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room and Third Floor Exhibit Area through August 30. You can also check out all of the entries in our online gallery from both this year and last year's contests.

During the 2009 Art Fair, teens from across the area gathered in the Downtown Library’s parking lot to try their hand at the art of Graffiti. Each artist was given a 4' x 4' canvas and a variety of colors of spray paint. Come see the end result, on display through the end of the summer.

Herb and Dorothy

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Sold out instantly at the upcoming The Traverse City Film Festival, HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means.

In the early 1960s, Herb and Dorothy Vogel quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists with Herb's salary, and living on Dorothy's paycheck alone. Their collecting was guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. They proved themselves curatorial visionaries; most of those they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists including Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Lynda Benglis, Pat Steir, Robert Barry, Lucio Pozzi, and Lawrence Weiner.

In 1992, the Vogels decided to move their entire collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. largely as a gift to the institution.

Today Herb and Dorothy still live in the same apartment in New York with 19 turtles, lots of fish, and one cat and the new art they've acquired.

Now - you have a chance to see this award-winning docu-drama FREE!!!! The University of Michigan Museum of Art (525 South State Street), as part of its Art Fair Week programs will be screening this film on July 15 to July 17 (Wed. to Friday) nightly at 7 p.m., and Saturday, July 18, at 3 pm.

In 2008 the University of Michigan Museum of Art was selected to receive a gift of fifty works of art from Herb and Dorothy Vogel. The gifts are part of a national gifts program entitled "The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States."

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