This past Wednesday I had the privilege of attending a special program at the Italian Embassy called “Verdi: Uncensored”. It featured a presentation by renowned musicologist, University of Chicago Professor Emeritus, Philip Gossett and performances by several Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists. The program was introduced by Kenneth Feinberg (best known as the administrator of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund), former President of the Washington National Opera (and owner of over 9,000 opera recordings!). The program revealed many original scores that scholars have unearthed, showing how intrusive church, court, and police censors had been over decades, sometimes totally distorting meaning and logic in the operas. Bravo to the National Endowment for the Humanities for supporting this scholarship for some thirty years! I learned a lot about Verdi and I had reason to reflect on the importance of free expression and the insidious impact of censorship on artistic expression.
This week, we’ve been busily installing Pakistani Voices: In Conversation with the Migration Series—an exhibition featuring artwork created during the workshops I facilitated in Pakistan last spring. The exhibition runs from October 1 through December 31, 2013.
Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach and Family Programs
Marsden Hartley inscribed this work for his friend Rockwell Kent in 1912, who later gifted it to Duncan Phillips. Phillips wrote to Kent, “The Hartley is so fine a picture that I hesitate to accept it but the reason you give is a good one, namely that in our Gallery many people will enjoy it to the artist’s benefit and to our mutual satisfaction.” It was one of Phillips’s favorite works. You can find it on view now in the Dining Room.