The Phillips and Jacob Lawrence in Bosnia

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Educator Rachel Goldberg’s desk as she packs for a trip to Bosnia.

We’re excited to share that Rachel Goldberg, Head of K-12 Initiatives and Andrea Kim Neighbors, Specialist for School, Outreach, and Family Programs are leaving on a two-week artful adventure to Bosnia. In Sarajevo, Mostar, and Trebinje, we will be facilitating workshops on Prism.K12 and Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. We invite you to follow our adventures working with young students, teachers, and artists here on the blog and on Twitter @EducatorRachel and @LetsGoToMuseums.

More pictures and stories to come…

Rachel Goldberg, Head of K-12 Initiatives
Andrea Kim Neighbors, Specialist for School, Outreach, and Family Programs

5 Works In The Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the uplifting spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Marketing Intern Aysia Woods selects five works from the permanent collection that reflect the Reverend’s uniting and powerful legacy.

Lawrence_panel 43

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 43: In a few sections of the South leaders of both Black and White communities met to discuss ways of making the South a good place to live., between 1940 and 1941. Casein tempera on hardboard, 18 x 12 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1942

1) First, we have Panel 43 (1940-41) from The Migration Series of renowned artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000). Depicted in the painting are Southern leaders, black and white, meeting to discuss ways to improve Southern living conditions. This great work encourages collaboration regardless of background, just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so often encouraged.

Noland_April

Kenneth Noland, April, 1960. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1960.

2) April (1960) by Kenneth Noland (1924-2010) is a reflection of the contagious positive energy Dr. King emitted to other civil rights leaders and the entire nation. The bright yellow center was inspired by the sun, while the expanding circles imply continuous growth and life.

Bruce_Power

Edward Bruce, Power, ca. 1933. Oil on canvas, Framed: 31 1/4 in x 52 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Gift of Mrs. Edward Bruce, 1957

3) Next up is Power (1933) by Edward Bruce (1879-1943). New York City is illuminated by American pride and national unity even through the ominous clouds overhead. This sentiment of tenacity certainly resonated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s unwavering courage to unite the American people regardless of obstacles.

Eakins_Miss Amelia Van Buren

Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren, ca. 1891, Oil on canvas 45 x 32 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1927

4) I think Dr. King certainly would have enjoyed Thomas Eakins’s (1844-1916) Miss Amelia Van Buren (1891). This seemingly solemn painting portrays Van Buren, a women persevering in turning her dreams of being an artist into reality. After all, civil rights were not only about rights of blacks in America, but rights of all people.

Pippin_Domino Player

Horace Pippin, Domino Players, 1943. Oil on composition board, 12 3/4 x 22 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1943

5) Finally, Domino Players (1943) by self-taught African American painter Horace Pippin (1888-1946) depicts exactly what the remarkable Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his entire life to protect – family.

Aysia Woods, Marketing Intern

 

Migrating to MoMA: Jacob Lawrence Panel Discussion

Phillips curator Elsa Smithgall discusses Lawrence's Migration Series with panelists in the MoMA conservation studio. Photo: Liza Key Strelka

Phillips curator Elsa Smithgall discusses the MoMA panels of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series with scholars in the MoMA conservation studio. Photo: Liza Key Strelka

Last week, Curator Elsa Smithgall and I traveled to New York for a panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art on Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series in preparation for a collaborative exhibition between the Phillips and MoMA in 2015 and 2016. The exhibition will reunite the 30 panels from the Phillips’ collection with the 30 panels in MoMA’s collection, and will open at MoMA in 2015 and then travel to the Phillips in 2016.

MoMA Lawrence 1

Curators, conservators, and scholars view MoMA’s Migrations Series panels. Photo: Liza Key Strelka

The panel included 15 participants from various fields of study and expertise, including art history, philosophy, poetry and literature, American history, African-American culture, fine art, film making, music, and culinary arts. Participants spent the day discussing the continued relevance of Lawrence’s work and ways to approach the series from new viewpoints and disciplines. This discussion and subsequent meetings will shape the content and programming of each institution’s exhibition, providing a fresh, contemporary context for this seminal artwork.