The Year of the Rat is the first in the Chinese astrological cycle (as Aries is in the Western cycle), so Rat years are supposed to be times of new beginnings and fresh starts. No matter how devoutly rational one’s framework, you have to admit it would be a *great* omen if that were true in 2020!
From June 2021 to May 2022 @BarackObama and @MichelleObama portraits now at @smithsoniannpg will be on tour at @artinstitutechi @brooklynmuseum @LACMA @HighMuseumofArt @MFAH #ObamaPortraitsTour #touringexhibition #exhibitionexchange https://t.co/oWP8cuEPsy
— ICEE ICOM (@ICEE_ICOM) January 23, 2020
Speaking of pleasant omens, the official Obama portraits are going on tour. Per the Washington Post:
… The paintings of former president Barack Obama — by Kehinde Wiley — and first lady Michelle Obama — by Amy Sherald — have attracted record crowds to the National Portrait Gallery. Starting in June 2021, the portraits will travel to five cities, giving new audiences a chance to experience them.
“We’re a history museum and an art museum, and they are really great representations of both. This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, the museum that commissioned the works. “You can use these portraits as a portal to all sorts of conversations.”
The tour will begin at the Art Institute of Chicago (June 18-Aug. 15, 2021) before moving to the Brooklyn Museum (Aug. 27-Oct. 24, 2021), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Nov. 5-Jan. 2, 2022), the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (Jan. 14-March 13, 2022) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (March 25-May 30, 2022).
The cities were selected by the gallery for personal and geographical reasons. The Obamas have deep connections to Chicago, for example, and the works will be there when the former president celebrates his 60th birthday. Sherald grew up in Georgia, and Wiley was born in Los Angeles, so those stops made sense, Sajet said. Wiley’s studio is based in Brooklyn, and its museum has several of his works in its collection.
Thursday’s tour announcement coincides with the publication of “The Obama Portraits,” an illustrated book from the Smithsonian Institution and the Princeton University Press that celebrates the portraits and their influence. Wiley and Sherald are the first African American artists to be selected for the gallery’s portraits of a president or first lady, and their paintings have drawn millions to the gallery since their splashy unveiling in February 2018…
I suspect Chicago is gonna throw quite the party, come August 2021!
I haven’t seen the Obama portraits myself yet, but I’m kinda tempted by a visit to Brooklyn. Cliche as it seems, there is frequently something in original artwork that simply can’t be reproduced, even via today’s technology. I’ve been privileged to see both Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey & Black #1 (at the Clark) and an early print of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa (at the MFA) — two of the more widely reproduced / copied works of our age — and in both cases found new facets that I’d never imagined.
Strongly agree about seeing things in person, it makes the reality of them so vibrant.
The Art Institute will exhibit the portraits with no special ticket, just ordinary admission, so one might set aside a whole day and be further entranced by such as this. I’d be content just with the first two rows.
Happiness and prosperity in the New Year to all jackals. There’s a Chinese New Year tradition if my neck of the woods: handing out Mandarin oranges, to convey good wishes for prosperity in the year ahead. Sometimes you get them by the case. (Oranges look kind of golden, so they’re meant to symbolise gold.) Have any of my American friends seen this too?
@Amir Khalid: Never heard of that tradition, but oranges are always welcome. In my neck of the woods, black-eyed peas are supposed to be lucky for the New Year.
My husband’s family (Polish-Americans from Upstate NY) have a New Year’s Eve tradition where you’re supposed to hold a silver coin in your hand at midnight for prosperity in the year to come. I play along with that now…figure it can’t hurt.
Of all those the one that struck me the most to see in person was The Old Guitarist by Picasso. No idea why. Perhaps having seen prints and other reproductions I did not expect much. Seeing it in person I suddenly understood why it is so highly regarded.
The first exhibit I ever saw was Magritte at the Kunsthalle in Hamburg in 1982. The Art Institute had a Magritte exhibit a few years ago that really wowed me.
@Amir Khalid: Mandarin oranges or Satsumas are common in Seattle. There are many long term Chinese residents. Our neighborhood has three large Chinese chvrches (and the big Vietnamese temple 4 blocks away sets off WWIII every New Year at midnight).
@Amir Khalid: Selamat Tahun Baru Amir!
(Hope Google did an ok job with that ?) Have not seen the mandarins hanging up for luck, sounds festive. Plus, fireworks!
@prostratedragon: When I lived in Chicago the Art Institute was free. My starving student self loved the collection and some exhibitions were mind bogglingly great. There was a Red Grooms show that was huge and the manic humor of his city models left me reflecting on it for weeks. LACMA is the only west coast collection that gets close, sigh.
@prostratedragon: @JCJ: The Art Institute is my favorite museum in Chicago, and seeing the art in person really does change your perception of the piece. I spent hours there as a kid, my friends and I used to hop the trains downtown and go to the museum for the day when we were bored. From about age 12 on, and there was always something new to see.
The Brooklyn Museum is fantastic and has the second-largest collection among all art museums in NYC — minus the crowds — in a gloriously ornamented, monumental Beaux-Arts building by McKim, Mead & White, the same architectural firm that designed the Met. The collection is comprehensive and first-rate. Enjoy!
And of course this goes along with a view of Hopper’s Nighthawks!
@prostratedragon: The Seurat was one of my favorites because up close you couldn’t make out the forms and the colors of the dots didn’t seem to match the color you perceived from six feet away. I have no idea how he did it.
Much of the Impressionate collection was also evocative as well, the Seurat being one.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
Heh! Her internal polling must be in the crapper. Never let them see you sweat, Susie.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
It would be a powerful ticket. Joe would probably serve one term, with Kamala as the heir (of course 84 year old Wilmer will run against her in 2024).
@Dan B: You’re right, the Seurat is absolutely one that viewing live changes your entire understanding of it. Reading about his technique doesn’t convey how amazing it is that he was able to envision and produce that picture on such a huge canvas with dots of paint.
@David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch: Wilmer isn’t likely to live longer than another four years, much less be in shape to run a campaign. Not that he’s “running” it now, to hear him be constantly surprised by what his minions do in his name.
Happy New year to you too.
Good Morning, Everyone ???
I can’t wait to see them ??
If you visit DC you can see them now! Just a reminder.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
@prostratedragon: I was so pleased to see The High Museum was on the list. I’m so excited!
A few years ago there was a special exhibit about the Seurat showing some of the preparation that led up to the finished work. This included paintings of individual characters seen in the final work and also showed how he used a grid. It showed where you can see some of the lines from the grid in the final product. To put all that together is amazing.
@David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch:
Because of course he would.
Gong shi fa tsai!
If you find yourself in Brooklyn and have extra time on your hands, a visit to the Museum of the Moving Image is neat-o. Large Jim Henson exhibit., free admission Fridays from 4 – 8 p.m.
(There’s also New York City’s only Welsh pub – whose name escapes me – just a stone’s throw away. Nothing fancy, more like a cozy neighborhood tavern; the menu and specials are moderately interesting – aside from the tater tots which I’d recommend skipping.)
Common practice among Buddhists here.
Seeing Picasso’s Guernica up close and personal in Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofia was amazing. The scale of it alone was astonishing to me. I had some idea of its dimensions and the power of the images beforehand, but walking into that room and being confronted with it… It’s just hard to put into words that feeling I had when I first saw it.
I’d spent very little time in art museums before my first trip to Europe in summer 1980, but I made up for that in those 5 weeks. Three rooms in particular:
(Dang – talk about magnificent mementos from a mostly misspent life…)
ETA: Concur w/ Karen S. re Guernica, which I saw in 1994 in Madrid. A very pale echo of which can be found in Richard Eberhart’s poem “The Fury of Aerial Bombardment.”
@NotMax: Snowdonia if anyone is still reading this thread, I looked it up
Thanks. Or in Welsh, diolch.
I really don’t like President Obama’s official portraits portrait but I LOVE Michelle’s.
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
Yes!!! Went to Vienna on my first trip to Europe, with my mother, when I was 25. That room blew me away – I was already suffering from cultural overload and then to get a glimpse, from the parallel corridor gallery, of Hunters in the Snow, and then to walk in and see every major Breughel painting I remembered from art history classes, right there … it was genuinely breathtaking. I was looking as fast and as hard as I could, fearing it was too good to be true and would all vanish if I turned my back. My mom finally dragged me out with the promise of Cellini’s salt cellar just down the way.
@JCJ: Not to mention Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George.