Fabulous Fiction Firsts #110

According to a New York Times article, it took a citywide fund-raising effort for The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to raise the $68 million needed to keep a Thomas Eakins masterpiece - The Gross Clinic in the city. "The painting is widely considered to be among the greatest convases in American art".

Though Eakins' fame is "almost entirely posthumous and he was little known and admired in his native city" during his life time, but in Lawrence Goldstone's debut The Anatomy of Deception, Eakins is front and center in this highly readable, intriguing and historically well-researched forensic thriller. Also depicted are the real-life characters such as William Osler (the Father of Modern Medicine), famed surgeon William Stewart Halsted and the vibrant social scene of Philadelphia 1889.

Historical mystery readers, especially those of Caleb Carr and Matthew Pearl will find much to like here.

Umbororo Crossing

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Did you happen to miss the large, hooved mammals casually walking down State Street last Friday evening? Don't fret. You can still catch a glimpse of them as they continue their stroll in front of City Hall (100 N. Fifth Ave.) between East Ann St. and East Huron St. from April 19 - 27. These wonderful sculptures are the work of University of Michigan MFA candidate Elshafei Mohamed and are based on experiences with the Umbororo nomads of the Sudan.

Sancho's Scene: Weekday Events at the Dude

Kathryn Olson ImageKathryn Olson Image

There’s a lot going on this week at the Duderstadt Center on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Remarkably multitalented School of Music graduate student, Kathryn Olson, will demonstrate her musical skill on the saxophone at a recital on April 10 at 8pm. She'll be playing original compositions as well as music by Thelonious Monk and others, as well as exhibiting her video and still photography in the center’s Video and Performance Studio. Her origami will also be on display (!) and the event will feature other talented performers, too.

This week also marks the opening of the third annual rEVOLUTION : Making Art for Change exhibit in the Duderstadt Center Gallery. A reception will take place on Friday, April 11 from 7-10pm to celebrate the exhibit, a collaboration between the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and SAFEhouse.

Jean Nouvel – the 2008 Pritzker Prize Winner

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French architect Jean Nouvel snatched this year’s top honor in architecture. The prize which includes a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion, is to be presented on June 2nd at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

The Pritzker Prize “honors annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

Nouvel, respected for his inquisitive and agile mind, takes great risks in each of his strikingly distinctive projects, expanding the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.

Examples of Nouvel’s works include 40 Mercer (SoHo), a luxury residence; Abgar Tower in Barcelona; the Guthrie Theater (photo at left); and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

William Christenberry Photographs: 1961-2005

WIlliam ChristenberryWIlliam Christenberry

William Christenberry Photographs: 1961-2005 is the coming attraction at the UMMA off/Site.

The exhibition is a retrospective of nearly half-century of Christenberry’s work exploring the American South. From the early Brownie photographs to his recent large-format camera work, they are poetic documentation of Southern vernacular architecture, signage, and landscape, “capturing moments of quiet beauty in a sometimes rustic terrain”.

On Sunday, April 6th, at 3 p.m. William Christenberry will speak at the Rackham Amphitheater (915 East Washington) on his work and life in the American South.

William Christenberry runs from April 5th to June 1st, 2008.

Sancho's Scene: Prisoner Art Show Opens Tonight!

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Catch the annual Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) show opening this evening from 5:30-8pm in the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. The art show, the largest of its kind in the country, features work from more than 40 prisons throughout Michigan, demonstrating the creativity, talent and vitality of over 200 incarcerated individuals. Tonight’s opening features talks by former prisoners who will speak about what the PCAP program has meant to them. Additionally, PCAP will premiere a documentary soon to be featured on PBS called "Acts of Art: The Prison Creative Arts Project," at the Chesborough Auditorium at 4pm on April 6. If you miss tonight’s festivities, not to worry: the show will be on display through April 9.

Online collections from the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

Notre Dame detail
Notre Dame (Cathedral). Portal: “The Last Judgment” in North transept.; 1211-1427. Click image for larger view.

Whether you're looking for a local map from 1923 or the plan for the Piazza Del Campidoglio, searching for detail from a great work of art or architecture, consider browsing AAEL's Lantern Slide Collection, which includes thousands of digital images created from lantern slides showing architecture, cities, and landscapes from the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The AAEL also boasts a growing collection of Artists' Books in the form of art objects or art objects in the form of books. (The books require careful handling, so many are housed in the Special Collections Room and available by appointment.)

Get Noticed!

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Looking to increase your visibility as an artist or an organization? AADL is currently accepting applications to exhibit at the Downtown Library from June 1 to July 20 in the Multi Purpose Room and 3rd Floor exhibition areas. AADL is always a busy place, and the summer is particularly exciting. Your work could be on display as thousands of children and their families sign up for our annual Summer Reading Game in June and would remain on display through the Art Fairs in late July. For more information, and to download an application to exhibit, visit our Exhibits page. The next application deadline is March 31st.

The Case of the Missing Mural

A Leonardo da Vinci mural not seen for 500 years and an engineer on a quest to find it, spurred on by the inscription Cerca trova, or "Search, you shall find." Sounds like the makings of a great mystery! Listen to the story of da Vinci’s mural, The Battle of Anghiari, on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Need to do some art investigation of your own? Check out the Grove Dictionary of Art database to find artist biographies and images of their work.

Aging with Attitude

Friday, March 7, 6:00-9:00 pm is the opening reception for an art exhibit, Aging With Attitude, that challanges and and expands the perceptions of aging. It's at the Slusser Gallery, UM School of Art and Design, North Campus, and is sponsored by Blueprint for Aging. The show presents artists of all ages and media exploring our individual and collective responses to growing older, reflecting the diversity of aging as an experience, a concept, and a cultural phenomenon. It even includes local elementary school students exploring the theme "Me, When I am Old." The exhibit runs through March 28. Among AADL's large collection of art materials, is a fine volume on the idea of old age in world art entitled A History of Old Age, edited by Pat Thane.

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