Posted in September, 2010

Student News

Summer 2010 – Nicki Stein

The Edward Gorey House exterior

This summer I worked as an intern and docent at the Edward Gorey House, a small museum dedicated to the life and work of the somewhat eccentric, wholly fascinating author and illustrator, Edward Gorey. My love of Gorey’s bizarre, sometimes nonsensical stories and blackly comedic, seemingly anachronistic illustrations, have only been enhanced by the small strange details I’ve learned about his life through docenting and conversing with the directors of the museum. His undying and life long love of cats, his penchant for memorizing his favorite soap operas line by line, as well as his insatiable interest in literature from all corners of the world. I got to know the people who knew Edward in his lifetime as well. The director of the museum, Rick Jones, was a close friend of Edward’s and was actually sitting in the room with him when, in the year 2000, Edward Gorey threw his head back laughing, promptly had a heart attack and passed away.

Working in a small museum environment has been extremely rewarding to me, as I have been able to work so closely with the wonderful people who run the museum, and have such close contact with the artworks as well as with the Gorey enthusiasts who come from all over the world to see the place where he spent so time cross-hatching and inventing story after story. I was even able to aid in organizing the Gorey House’s annual children’s event, “Fantastagorey: A Children’s Day Celebration.” Introducing a new generation of fans to Gorey’s work and legacy was a joy in and of itself.

Ombledrum, The Edward Gorey House Cat

Working in this museum I feel I’ve gained more than just internship experience. I’ve gained close insight into the life of a man whose work I have long admired. It’s not often that one gets to so intimately observe the life and work of a favorite artist. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at the Edward Gorey House, which has allowed me to explore the world of museum work while simultaneously exploring the strange universe once inhabited by Edward Gorey himself.

Student News

Summer 2010 – Clare Conniff

Clare and the other students with family and friends of the program's director.

My Summer 2010 plans fell into my lap in the form of a mass e-mail from a professor. After quickly filling out some applications and emailing the director of Sinergie, an art restoration program based in the Puglia region of Italy, I found myself spending the month of June in Altamura, a small city near Bari, Italy. I have been interested in art restoration for several years, but I had written it off as something I would have to wait until grad school to do.   Instead, in Altamura I found myself working hands-on with extremely damaged canvases and wooden statues that were 300-400 years old. Tonio, the program director, gave us instructions and demonstrations and then allowed us to not only try the work by ourselves but to do the vast majority of it on our own. In addition to the education in restoration techniques, I and the other students working with the program also found ourselves immersed in the culture of Southern Italy. We stayed in a 40-room villa in the countryside that, although sometimes quiet at night, was a hub of activity. Everyday we encountered Tonio’s friends and family, children and adults taking English courses, and farm workers employed by the villa’s owner who wanted to see our work and interact with us. All in all, I have never had a more productive, educational, and fun summer.

Student News

Summer 2010 – Nicolette Cook

During this summer I had two internships, one working with Gwen Spicer, a textile conservator in Delmar, NY and the other working with Hallie Halpern, a painting conservator in East Chatham. With Gwen I was able to work on a late 18th – early 19th Century 13 Star Whiskey Rebellion Flag, a 1863-64 silk flag gifted to the 4th Colored Regiment of the United States from the Colored Ladies of Baltimore, a 1940s handmade satin wedding dress, a 20th C wool coverlet, as well as construct mannequins for settler and Native American replica costumes. With Hallie I assisted her with cleaning and consolidating a large Chinese propaganda oil painting on canvas from the 1960s showing Mao Zedong climbing a hill surrounded by men of the working class. Both internships were interesting, informative and taught me a great deal about how private conservators work.  I will definitely be working with them again in the near future.

Faculty News

Summer 2010 – Prof. Patricia Karetzky

Prof. Patricia Karetzky and husband Monroe in Bejing artist Hou Guanbin's studio

During the summer I gave two talks: “Uses of the Past in Contemporary Chinese Art,” at Xiamen University Fujian in June  and “The Use of Hanzi in Contemporary Chinese Art”  at the Seventh International Conference  on Hanzi Calligraphy Education, Capital Normal University, in Beijing on June 29.  I also published an article Cui Xiuwen, Walking on Broken Glass for the Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (vol. 9 no. 3:18-33).

Faculty News

Summer 2010- Prof. Laurie Dahlberg

Count Olympe Aguado, c. 1852

I spent my summer on three areas of work.  First, I did some legwork on my latest project, a study of the 19th-century amateur as the driving force behind the discovery and evolution of photography.  I’m intrigued by the fact that amateurism itself has an evolution that is laid bare in the history of photography.  Early in the century, the Amateur with a capital “A” was a revered individual in Europe, respected for the serious scholarly contributions he made to science and the humanities, in such fields as astronomy, archaeology, history, and by 1839, photography.  But by 1890, thanks to the American entrepreneur/industrialist George Eastman, photography was opened to a new class of small “a” amateurs.  Scientific expertise and received ideas of taste and art were no longer a prerequisite, and amateurism in photography became associated with snapshooters, shutterbugs, camera fiends, and Americans, in short, caricatures of middlebrow aspirations.   I’ll be giving a talk on this new material in October, at Concordia University in Montreal.

I also had some writing deadlines pending, including an article celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Victor Regnault, one of the major figures in early French photography.  Co-written with Sébastien Poncet, a French historian of science, the article is being offered to an international journal of science for non-specialists.  A book review of The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast will appear next month in, and a review of the exhibition Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980 is forthcoming in the Winter 2010 issue of Aperture.

All work and no play…so I also worked while playing, restoring my chicken coop from an obscure piece of topiary to a functional building.

Man About Town

Tom’s Picks

Jim Toia, Pewter Ant Colonies Submerged, 2010

“Christian Marclay:  Festival”:  sounds and art works by a pioneer of turntable music.  See and hear Marcel Duchamp talk! (on film).  Ends September 26, but if you’re there by September 19 definitely check out the sleeper show of the summer on the 2nd floor: “Off the Wall:  Thirty Performance Actions,” featuring documentation in various media of performance pieces ranging from Old Masters Acconci and Nauman to the present.  Ends Sept. 19; Part 2 opens September 30:  Whitney Museum of American Art.

Greater New York at PS1 in Queens.  Works by around 70 young New York artists; see what’s happening–plus some of what has already happened and what will happen.  Includes film programming by Bard’s Ed Halter.

Bard alum Jim Toia’s (’85) 6th exhibition at Kim Foster Gallery in Chelsea opens Thursday, September 9 from 6-8, and runs through October 16.   Speaking of Bard alums, check out pieces by Shannon Ebner (’93) and Walead Beshty (’99) on campus, in the fabulous At Home/Not At Home show currently at the CCS!

Faculty News

Summer 2010:  Prof. Susan Aberth

I attended the 5th International Symposium on Surrealism held June 18-20 at The Edward James Foundation, West Dean College located in Chichester, West Sussex (England).  Titled “Surrealism Laid Bare,” this year’s conference was supported by the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies and the Tate Museum’s project Surrealism and Non-Normative Sexuality.  “Querying Surrealism/Queering Surrealism” was the uniting focus of the two-day event, which was held in conjunction with an exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery  Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Kati Horna.  I opened the event with a talk titled “Leonora Carrington’s Bestiality,” held at Pallant House on June 18th.  After the conference I spent five days in Paris doing research on the Cuban surrealist painter Agustin Fernandez.

« Newer Entries