Exploring Transparency

Vesna Pavlovic works on a light table in the archives viewing negatives (left) and shares a glimpse of her process (right). Photos: Sarah Osborne Bender (left), Vesna Pavlovic (right)

Vesna Pavlovic works on a light table in the archives viewing negatives (left) and shares a glimpse of her process (right). Photos: Sarah Osborne Bender (left), Vesna Pavlovic (right)

Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

 

Upcoming 2014 Intersections artist Vesna Pavlovic, whose work will be on view in late May, spent last week in the museum’s library and archive, exploring not only the collection but also the space. Head librarian Karen Schneider guided her through the materials. Using installation photograph negatives from 1960s exhibitions by Alberto Giacometti and Mark Tobey, she observed the results of combining images. She also experimented with the transparency and light of our skylight from the courtyard above.

“Like it, Know it, Got it”

Photos: Sarah Osborne Bender

Duncan Phillips wrote in his books. Lists and marginalia abound in what remains of his library. In the course of cataloguing our copies of the American Art Annual, precursor to Who’s Who in American Art and the American Art Directory, I came across more of Phillips’s notes. Here in the first edition from 1899, he even created a key to his markings: “All marks indicate importance: Take notice – Know the picture – In our collection,” and subsequently put it to good use.  Having marked items he did not acquire until years later, such as Julian Alden Weir’s Roses, acquired in 1920, he must have relied on this early volume as a significant resource, going back and annotating the content. I found additional markings in the 1916 and 1922 editions.

Discovering Ralph Flint, Part II

A few days ago, I wrote about my first encounter with the undated drawing Metropolis by an artist of whom I had zero awareness, Ralph Flint. On a trip to The Phillips Collection library, I discovered through light research that Flint was a critic as well as an artist, but it wasn’t until Librarian Karen Schneider came to me with an exciting find that a portrait of Flint began to emerge.

In a thin file of ephemera related to Flint, Schneider found a letter sent directly by Flint to Duncan Phillips describing his progress on a review of the current art season for Phillips’s magazine, Art and Understanding, as well as some amusing personal anecdotes.


Letter from Ralph Flint to Duncan Phillips. Courtesy Phillips Collection Archives.

This letter, in addition to his essay in Art and Understanding, convincingly casts Flint as a writer who ran with Alfred Stieglitz’s circle and apparently was close and personable with Duncan Phillips. Continue reading “Discovering Ralph Flint, Part II” »