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26 posts tagged Freer

Enter the Peacock: Freer's Jewel Goes Virtual

If you haven’t been to The Peacock Room in the Freer Sackler, you’re missing out. Along with the Salon Dore at The Corcoran, it’s a wonderful reminder of the kind of opulence that the well-to-do once lived with, and can be a simultaneous time capsule/respite in a hurried contemporary day. 

Now, thanks to a collaboration between Wayne State University and the Smithsonian, you can spend as long as you want virtually exploring it online, but having said that, nothing beats the real thing.

The Peacock Room will be open through December 2015, with windows open in the room every third Thursday of the month, including this Thursday, February 21, 2013, when Lee Glazer, associate curator of American art gives a demonstration from 12:15-12:30pm.

Shadow Sites: Lecture on Jananne Al-Ani at Freer Sackler Tomorrow

"Join Mitra Abbaspour, associate curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, and Carol Huh, Freer|Sackler curator of Shadow Sites, for a discussion inspired by the exhibition. Jananne Al-Ani’s landscape photography and videos, in addition to prints from the Ernst Herzfeldcollection in the F|S Archives, serve as starting points for considering the role of photographic media and archival documents in shaping histories and perceptions of the Middle East.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7pm, Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery.

Explosions at the Freer Sackler This Friday!

WHOA! Freer Sackler just announced that acclaimed Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang is detonating one of his explosion events in honor of the Freer Sackler’s 25th anniversary this coming Friday at 3pm in front of the Freer.

According to Freer “A 40-foot pine tree erupts in a shimmer of fireworks as if in a “tree lighting,” followed by a cascade of black ink-like smoke that mimics traditional Chinese brush drawings. The black tree-shaped cloud of smoke drifting through the air creates a spectral scene of two trees: one real, one imaginary.”

Watch past explosions here and if you can’t attend in-person you can watch the live-stream on the Freer’s website. I encourage you to attend if you can, as Cai is a phenomenal artist and the fact that he’s chosen to do this in D.C., on the Mall no less, is a huge coupe for the DC art scene. This is officially a big deal.

Also, Freer celebrates it’s 25th anniversary with a whole series of events that start tomorrow (Wednesday) and run through the weekend, so make sure you check their website for more details!

Your Sunday Instruction: J.J. McCracken at Freer Sackler Today

I REALLY dig J.J. McCracken’s work. I feel like I haven’t seen much of this phenomenal potter around lately, but here she is giving a lecture on A Contemporary Response to Ancient Iranian Ceramics.

What to expect? “Joined by assistant curator Alex Nagel, artist J.J. McCracken introduces her work, including Consulting Artifacts (Mold Series), with objects inspired by the abstracted, zoomorphic forms of the ancient Iranian ceramics on view in the Sackler. Explore how these vessels, and ancient art in general, resonate with contemporary art. Consider the ever-changing nature of objects and the practices of specimen-collecting, preservation, and museum display.” Yes and yes.

Sunday, September 30, 2012, 2 pm, Freer conference room, Freer Gallery of Art.

Vivienne Westwood discusses Whistler (and one of his Nocturnes) as part of the Tate short video series “This is Britain.” Did you know we have a whole room of paintings by Whistler (some of them nocturnes) at The Freer Sackler? They are lovely.

Iona Rozeal Brown & Asia After Dark This Saturday!

The Freer Sackler’s Asia Society hosts these gatherings periodically and this one sounds especially good:

"The evening features a mash-up performance of Japanese vogue dance, theater, storytelling, and hip-hop music choreographed by visual artist iona rozeal brown and performed by soloist dancer Monstah Black. Guests can create an expressive mask using Asian botanical symbols and Ashanti adinkra symbols from West Africa, make fun photo booth memories, and enjoy delicious Japanese fusion bites, specialty cocktails, dancing, and more.”

What’s better than hip-hop, creating and wearing masks, dancing and gettin’ tipsy in a museum on a Saturday night?

Your Sunday Instruction: Watch this video of the Ai Weiwei installation Perspectives at the Freer Sackler and then go see it, along with Zodiac Heads at The Hirshhorn.

DC Summer Lovin’: Art Exhibits and Soundtracks Happen So Fast

Several of you have asked “what say ye D.C. Docent, for summer art extravaganzas not to be missed?” Not really, it was only one of you that asked and your vernacular was quite plain. But it did get me thinking, it’s never too early to start surveying the summer landscape. Here are my preliminary picks, but keep in mind that several private galleries have yet to release their late summer line-ups:

  • Ai Weiwei at The Hirshhorn & Freer Sackler - Gigantism, interconnectivity, political dissidence, stone and wood translate into A Staring at the Sun kind of intensity where questioning authority, jail time and occupying something don’t seem so bad.

Your Sunday Instruction: Celebrate Another New Year in March!

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is traditionally celebrated at the Spring Equinox (March 21st) gets an early celebration this year at the Freer Sackler today, March 4th (11am-5pm).

Today’s all day activities for families include “Haft Sin table displays, ‘fire’ jumping, paper-flower arranging, Nowruz memory photo booths, chess and backgammon games, a text-messaging scavenger hunt, Persian stories by Xanthe Gresham, performances by vocalist Monika Jalili and the Nomad Dancers, and contemporary Persian dance beats by Radio Javan—along with traditional Persian food for sale by Moby Dick House of Kabob.”

Freer Sackler's Beleaguered Bento Blog?

Although recently announced as “new” the Bento blog appears to have been around since November 2011 with only 5 posts. I’m hoping that last weekend’s email from Freer Sackler “introducing” the blog in a deliberate manner means that someone has been hired to manage it on a daily basis.

Freer Sackler has such a great collection, yet often feels like one of the most overlooked of the Smithsonian’s art museums; I would love for this blog to focus on the contemporary relevance of the collection for younger and more diverse audiences.

Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York may have its newly opened Art of the Arab Lands galleries, but D.C. has the cherished Freer Sackler with a collection of Middle Eastern art that goes on and on and always surprises with its depth and breadth.

My advice to you, listen to some of the Freer’s excellent Persian music podcasts while viewing this collection, because I know you enjoy the finer things in life.

Asian Photography Symposium at The Freer Sackler

Get your research on at Imperial Exposure: Early Photography and Royal Portraits across Asia, a 2-day symposium (December 5th and 6th) which “examines imperial portraiture during the advent of photography in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.”

Every now and again it’s good to do academic art symposiums and lucky for us, Smithsonian programming generally does a good job pulling experts together.

The Freer Sackler has a couple great programs going on right now regarding Chinese photography and “The Empress Dowager” through January 2012.