Memories and Peto’s Old Time Card Rack

The Phillips is currently hosting the exhibition Art and Wellness: Creative Aging. The display features work from our program which encourages older adults (many of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s or related dementia), along with their families and caregivers, to make connections and access personal experiences and long-term memories through gallery conversations and hands-on art therapy. It is part of an ongoing collaboration between The Phillips Collection and Iona Senior Services.

Through the program, we looked at John Frederick Peto’s Old Time Card Rack. Memories and personal mementos played an important role during a conversation about the painting. Members of the group first noticed the “well worn” and “very old” objects in the picture. One individual said he thought the artwork seemed to be about “memories of one time or another.”

The exploration continued in the art therapy studio at Iona. Members of the group created their own containers of memories, or memory boxes. Pictures and important objects were shared and discussed. One individual, Susan, used this process to reconnect with her mother. She made the work pictured below. She said, “I wanted to honor my mom because I miss her and love her dearly…. This is my tribute to her.”

(Left) John Frederick Peto, Old Time Card Rack, 1900. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. Acquired 1939. The Phillips Collection. (Right) Susan Meyers, Momma—Earlier Days, 2013. Mixed Media.

(Left) John Frederick Peto, Old Time Card Rack, 1900. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. Acquired 1939. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. (Right) Susan Meyers, Momma—Earlier Days, 2013. Mixed Media.

Director’s Desk: Pérez Art Museum Miami

Perez Museum Miami_DK

(Left) Exterior of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (Right) Bicycle installation by artist Ai Wei Wei. Photos: Dorothy Kosinski

Earlier this month we were in Miami for the Art Basel Miami Beach fair and enjoyed our visit to the new  Pérez Art Museum Miami. These photos reveal how the  Herzog & de Meuron building addresses the waterfront and how it incorporates native plantings and gracious outdoor spaces so appropriate for the Miami climate. The bicycle installation (pictured at right above) is, of course, by Ai Wei Wei, in the same exhibition we enjoyed at the Hirshhorn earlier this  year. My Pérez museum colleagues were brave, indeed, to open even with lots of building details still being completed and with the ongoing construction of the nearby science center causing major inconveniences. I look forward to visiting again when the museum and adjacent buildings are complete. It is a huge addition to the city’s  cultural landscape.