Staff Show 2014: Ashley Meadows

In this series, we profile participants in the 2014 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show

Ashley Meadows, They have been around for at least 565 million years, and probably far longer. And they haven't needed to change their body form or lifestyle in all that time... because they work. 2013, embroidery on cotton

Ashley Meadows, They have been around for at least 565 million years, and probably far longer. And they haven’t needed to change their body form or lifestyle in all that time… because they work. 2013, embroidery on cotton

Ashley took a few moments to give us some insight about her role at The Phillips Collection and her piece in the Staff Show. When not stitching, Ashley Meadows is a museum educator who splits her time between leading tours at The Phillips Collection, cyber navigating at ARTLAB+ at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and creating art+science workshops at the National Museum of Natural History.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?  Are there any unique/interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?

I am just one member of the excellent School Programs Educator team! We design, write, and lead arts-integrated lessons both in the galleries and in DC public schools. We create unique tours for groups visiting the Phillips just once and for our Art Links partner schools. If you’re in the museum on a weekday morning, you’ll likely see (and hear) us moving through the museum with groups of students from Pre-K to high school.

What is your favorite work in the collection?

The Open Window by Pierre Bonnard is one of my favorites because I also live with a little, trouble-making black cat.

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?

The Sant stairs have the best wooden treads and acoustics for boot heels I’ve ever encountered.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2014 Staff Show (and/or your work in general)?

This jellyfish is just one in a series of six completed early this year. I became interested in jellyfish because they have been successfully going with the flow for hundreds of millions of years and are quite powerful, especially in large numbers. Each jellyfish is reduced from its shapely form to a linear drawing and the colors are fictional. Each jellyfish requires about fifteen to twenty hours of stitching.

The 2014 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show will be on view December 16, 2014 through January 19, 2015. The show features artwork from Phillips Collection staff.

A Centennial Feast for Julia Child

Asked to describe her ideal last meal, Julia Child (whose 100th birthday would have been today) imagined a joyfully decadent menu building from caviar, Russian vodka sauce, and oysters with Pouilly-Fuisse wine to pommes anna and fresh asparagus. Dessert might include ripe pears and green tea or sorbet with walnut cake. Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child (1997) also lists among the heroic foody’s go-to comfort food red meat and gin. Many an artist has also turned to food and flavors for inspiration and happiness. In honor of Julia Child, we present some of the most delectable food moments in The Phillips Collection .

Congenial Spirits: Nudes 100 Years Apart

Duncan Phillips once explained “I bring together congenial spirits among the artists from different parts of the world and from different periods of time.” Phillips’s curatorial philosophy is a hallmark of The Phillips Collection and gives visitors the opportunity to see artworks from different time periods, originating from different countries, created by different artists displayed together under one roof.  Displaying artworks in this way allows visitors to discover new relationships between familiar artworks.

(left) Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, The Small Bather, 1826. Oil on canvas, 12 7/8 x 9 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1948.(right) Pierre Bonnard, Nude in an Interior, c. 1935. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1952.

(left) Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, The Small Bather, 1826. Oil on canvas, 12 7/8 x 9 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1948.(right) Pierre Bonnard, Nude in an Interior, c. 1935. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1952.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s The Small Bather (1826) and Pierre Bonnard’s Nude in an Interior (c. 1935) provided such a point of departure for one of my recent tours of special exhibition Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard. As I did visitors on my tour, I invite you to consider the relationship between these two artworks, and ask yourself the following set of questions:

What do you see in each work of art?
What is the subject?
How would you describe the style of each painting?

Next, consider additional question:

What are some similarities and differences in both the style and subject of these two artworks?

And finally, ask yourself:

How might the invention of the camera inspire some of the differences between the two artworks?

I encourage you to share your observations in the comment section below.  You can read some responses I received on my tour after the jump. Continue reading “Congenial Spirits: Nudes 100 Years Apart” »