Vermeer: Master of Light

Master of Light, Color and Perspective

VERMEER: MASTER OF LIGHT: THE MUSIC LESSON, Part 2   

http://www.artbabble.org/video/ngadc/vermeer-master-light-music-lesson-part-2

Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the secrets of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This segment uses computer technology to deconstruct The Music Lesson and demonstrate to the viewer how Vermeer has painstakingly placed every object in the painting to achieve his desired result.

Copyright © 2012 Indianapolis Museum of Art. All rights reserved

Nathalie Miebach at the NAA!

The local Newburyport chapter of Storm Surge hosted Nathalie Miebach at the NAA yesterday afternoon.  I was present in my role as ED at the NAA,  I had no idea what I was in for.  As you know from following this blog, here at the NAA we are interested in and passionate about the connection among art and other disciplines.  Well, here you have it.  It is genius and magic, and not.  I leave it for you to decide.

Quick view of how Nathalie thinks about and creates her work ...

Arts and Education

Guggenheim Study Suggests Arts Education Benefits Literacy Skills 

In an era of widespread cuts in public-school art programs, the question has become increasingly relevant: does learning about paintings and sculpture help children become better students in other areas?

A study to be released today by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum suggests that it does, citing improvements in a range of literacy skills among students who took part in a program in which the Guggenheim sends artists into schools. The study, now in its second year, interviewed hundreds of New York City third graders, some of whom had participated in the Guggenheim program, called Learning Through Art, and others who did not.

The study found that students in the program performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills — including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning — than did students who were not in the program. The children were assessed as they discussed a passage in a children’s book, Cynthia Kadohata’s “Kira-Kira,” and a painting by Arshile Gorky, “The Artist and His Mother.”

The results of the study, which are to be presented today and tomorrow at a conference at the Guggenheim, are likely to stimulate debate at a time when the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind has led schools to increase class time spent on math and reading significantly, often at the expense of other subjects, including art.

Yet the study also found that the program did not help improve students’ scores on the city’s standardized English language arts test, a result that the study’s creators said they could not fully explain. They suggested that the disparity might be related to the fact that the standardized test is written while the study’s interviews were oral.

“We purposely chose to have students talk to us instead of writing because we thought they would show language skills, not purely reading and writing skills,” said Johanna Jones, a senior associate with Randi Korn and Associates, a museum research company conducting the study over three years with a $640,000 grant from the federal Department of Education.

Ms. Jones said that the study, which graded students’ responses as they talked about the painting and the passage from the book, found essentially the same results during the 2005-6 school year as it did during the 2004-5 school year. “We really held our breath waiting for this year’s results, and they turned out to almost exactly the same — which means that last year’s don’t seem to have been an anomaly,” she said. “That’s a big deal in this world.”

While it is unknown exactly how learning about art helps literacy skills, she said, “the hypothesis is that the use of both talking about art and using inquiry to help students tease apart the meaning of paintings helps them learn how to tease apart the meanings of texts, too. They apply those skills to reading.”

The categories of literacy and critical thinking skills were devised by the research company with the help of a group of advisers from Columbia UniversityNew York University and the city’s Department of Education, among other institutions.

The Guggenheim program, originally called Learning to Read Through the Arts, was created by a museum trustee in 1970, when New York schools were cutting art and music programs. Since it began, it has involved more than 130,000 students in dozens of public schools. The museum dispatches artists who spend one day a week at schools over a 10- or 20-week period helping students and teachers learn about and make art. Groups of students are also taken to the Guggenheim to see exhibitions.

Officials at the Guggenheim said they hoped the study would give ammunition to educators in schools and museums around the country who are seeking more money and classroom time for arts education.

“Basically, this study is a major contribution to the field of art and museum education,” said Kim Kanatani, the Guggenheim’s director of education. “We think it confirms what we as museum education professionals have intuitively known but haven’t ever had the resources to prove.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/27/books/27gugg.html?_r=0

 

 

The Brain and Art

What the Brain Can Tell Us About Art

                                                                                                 Jonathan Rosen

                                                                                                 Jonathan Rosen

Two years ago President Obama unveiled a breathtakingly ambitious initiative to map the human brain, the ultimate goal of which is to understand the workings of the human mind in biological terms.

 Many of the insights that have brought us to this point arose from the merger over the past 50 years of cognitive psychology, the science of mind, and neuroscience, the science of the brain. The discipline that has emerged now seeks to understand the human mind as a set of functions carried out by the brain.

 This new approach to the science of mind not only promises to offer a deeper understanding of what makes us who we are, but also opens dialogues with other areas of study — conversations that may help make science part of our common cultural experience.

 Consider what we can learn about the mind by examining how we view figurative art. In a recently published book, Erick Kandel tried to explore this question by focusing on portraiture, because we are now beginning to understand how our brains respond to the facial expressions and bodily postures of others. 

The portraiture that flourished in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century is a good place to start. Not only does this modernist school hold a prominent place in the history of art, it consists of just three major artists — Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele — which makes it easier to study in depth.

 As a group, these artists sought to depict the unconscious, instinctual strivings of the people in their portraits, but each painter developed a distinctive way of using facial expressions and hand and body gestures to communicate those mental processes.” Read the rest of the article by Eric Kandel here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/opinion/sunday/what-the-brain-can-tell-us-about-art.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Note: For the first time in its history, the MFA will exhibit a painting by Gustav Klimt—among the most important artists of the early 20th century.

brain.png

 “Adam and Eve (1917–18) will be on loan from the Belvedere Museum in Vienna as part of the MFA’s Visiting Masterpiece series, giving visitors a taste of the artist’s signature style, including his sensuous approach to the nude, his bold experiments with pattern, color, and finish, and his exploration of human consciousness and desire. The work will be juxtaposed with the MFA’s life-sized study of a nude couple, Two Nudes (Lovers) (1913), painted by Klimt’s Viennese friend and colleague, Oskar Kokoschka. No more than five years separate the two paintings, which share many features—ambitious scale, daring experiments with form and finish, and, above all, a fascination with sexuality. Each is, in its own way, a product of Freud’s Vienna, but also of a singular artist with a singular vision.”

http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/visiting-masterpiece-klimt

http://www.mfa.org/programs/course/klimt-and-his-contemporaries







It's Magic

We never know what we will see.  Each time nearly two hundred works come streaming into the NAA galleries - sometimes for an open show, sometimes for a juried show.  When the dust settles, works in various media, sizes, representing images of all kinds are parked along the walls of the galleries, some downstairs, some upstairs, perhaps gently resting on sawhorses ... and the challenge and excitement of a new installation are before us.  Each time I think "how will this happen? how will the pieces of an installation puzzle come together?"  We strive to make sure that all works are shown in their best light, hanging with other works that become their organic companions, either on the gallery walls or on pedestals.  The beginning is never easy ... and then we - my dear colleagues and I , some of us artists and some of us not - simply start, we jump in ... and from there, magic happens.  We thank the artists for entrusting us with this unique and treasured responsibility.  This is one of my favorite walls in the Newburyport Art Association's current Winter Members Juried Show, Part I.  

by Elena Ruocco Bachrach, Executive Director, NAA

 

a snapshot from the 2015 Winter Members Juried Show, Part I