The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna at UMMA

This past weekend The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna opened at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site, its temporary home while the museum is under renovations.

“English landscape photographer Michael Kenna first toured the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1992 and returned to the site over a number of years. The resulting photographs capture the smoky atmosphere, the dramatic structures, and the bold silhouettes that give this early twentieth-century technical marvel at the center of modern American industry its character.”

Kenna is not the first photographer to take an interest in the Rouge Plant. While Charles Sheeler’s famous Rouge Plant images were admittedly Kenna’s inspiration, others like Diego Rivera have taken a more painterly approach to this subject in his mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Check time/date for scheduled docent guided tours of the exhibition and read up on Michael Kenna in the library's collection.

Americans in Paris

After a very successful run at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the blockbuster exhibition Americans in Paris, 1860-1900 will open tomorrow (Oct. 24th) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City.

You will most likely recognize the works of many of the 37 artists represented but I can guarantee that the crowd will huddle around Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) - the highly controversial painting, and not just within the high society in which the artist John Singer Sargent traveled.

I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto is a fictional biography of Virginie Avegno Gautreau, the exquisite beauty with the waxy white skin, so splendidly depicted, in a rather suggestive black gown.

To get behind the scandal (Strap? No strap?) fueled by this highly problematic but much sought-after commission, check out Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.

And thanks to the generous gift of the Ladies Library Association, the catalog of the Exhibition, by Kathleen Adler will soon be available.

AADL celebrates the Royal Shakespeare Company's Michigan Residency with several upcoming events

rscrsc

AADL is proud to present several events this week connected with the Royal Shakespeare Company's Michigan residency. On Thursday, October 26, Shakespeare Goes to the Movies; on Friday, October 27, professors from UM's Department of Classical Studies will take you back to the classical world in which Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar are set; on Monday, October 30, take a look behind the scenes at the making of the RSC Residency with panelists from UMS and the RSC's education and production departments. And now through November 11, you can see the actual costumes worn by Kenneth Branagh and Vivien Leigh in the Downtown Library lobby.

Annie Get Your Camera

It’s hard to shake a stick without running into a photograph taken by Annie Leibovitz lately. Famous for her Rolling Stone photographs of the 70’s and 80’s, she most recently made headlines for snapping the coveted first pics of little Suri Cruise and family. Now she’s released a new book. A photographer’s life 1990-2005 draws not only on her evocative images of the rich and famous, but also exhibits work from her private, personal life—her friends, family, and in particular, the late Susan Sontag.

Some of these photographs are also featured in the DIA’s exhibit, on display through January: Annie Leibovitz: American Music, which chronicles her role as a photographer of American Roots musicians and those who’ve been influenced by the movement. See images up close and in personal of B.B. King, Pete Seeger, The White Stripes, and many others.

New exhibition at the UM Museum of Art

Don't miss the new exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art: Mary Lucier: The Plains of Sweet Regret. Lucier's multimedia works capture the essence of life on the Plains and the Prairies; they include video installations, surround sound, and rescued objects. The exhibition runs from September 30 to November 19 at the museum's temporary exhibition space. For hours, directions, and other information, visit the museum web site.

Munch Masterpieces Found by Police

Scream

Police believe they have recovered The Scream and Madonna, two modern masterpieces, by artist Edvard Munch stolen from the Munch Museum in August, 2004. Both paintings were in better-than-expected condition, police said at a news conference.

“The pictures came into our hands this afternoon after a successful police action,” said Iver Stensrud, head of the police investigation. “All that remains is an expert examination to confirm with 100 percent certainty, that these are the original paintings. We believe these are the originals,” Stensrud said. Read the rest of the AP story Police recover stolen Munch masterpieces.

Artful Reading

May Ray, Ernst, Duchamp = DADA? Yes, but not quite the whole story.
Daughters of DADA at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art is currently showcasing the works of 6 DADA women artists, and “adds a crucial chapter to the current DADA exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art”, writes Holland Cotter, art reviewer of the New York Times.

Perhaps the most outrageous and original among them is the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. With her tin-can bra and shaved head, she treated her body as a living work of art, causing historians today to recognize her preeminence as America’s first performance artist.

Holy Skirts by Rene Steinke is a vivid imagining of Elsa’s story – from her days in Berlin’s seedy burlesques, her many marriages and affairs, to her life among the bohemia of Greenwich Village. Intelligent and sensual, this highy readable novel is a finalist of the 2005 National Book Award.

Learn the art of book design

Are you interested in learning a new hobby this summer? Do you love books? If you said "yes!" to both questions then check out our books on the art of book design and bookbinding! Consider taking a book or paper art class at Hollander's School of Book and Paper Arts in historic Kerrytown. Try making your own journal or scrapbook and filling it with summertime observations and thoughts, for a truly handcrafted summer.

Fresh Air Picks from the week of May 29th, 2006

Joseph R. Gannascoli, known until recently as mob captain Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, has tried his hand at writing. Check out his new crime novel, A Meal to Die For, about a mobster and gourmet chef who has to prepare a feast for a boss who is about to be sent to jail. While you're at it, check out the first five seasons of The Sopranos on DVD: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Listen to Gannascoli talk about his new book on Fresh Air here.

Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker died last week at the age of 64. Check out The Best of Desmond Dekker, or hear his 1969 hit "Israelites" on one of several compilations: Rhythm and Blues Beat (Volume 2, 1964-1969), Caribbean Playground, and The Best of and the Rest of: Greatest Original Reggae Hits. Rock historian Ed Ward remembers Dekker on Fresh Air - listen here.

David Douglas Duncan is best known for his war photography, but he was also a frequent photographer of Picasso. Check out Viva Picasso or Duncan's photographic autobiography Photo Nomad, which includes seven decades of photos. Hear an interview with Duncan from July 2, 1990 here.

Furnace Glass Blowing with Annette Baron

Annette Baron
Annette Baron

Thursday, June 8, 7:00 - 8:30 pm Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Come learn how local artist and instructor Annette Baron transforms molten glass into works of art. Ms. Baron's talk will cover the process of furnace glass blowing, how she built Baron Glassworks in Ypsilanti, and outstanding examples of her students work. And don't miss the exhibit of her astonishingly beautiful glass art now on display in the Downtown Library's lower level display cases.

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