Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Met launches 'The Artist Project,' a new online video series

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the launch of a new online video series, The Artist Project, in which 100 artists respond to works from The Met’s vast collection, which spans more than five millennia and cultures throughout the world. Beginning March 2015, for one year, the Met will invite 100 artists—local, national, and global—to choose individual works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations. In this online series, artists reflect on what art is, what inspires them from across 5,000 years of art, and in so doing, they reveal the power of a museum and The Met. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art encourage all museum visitors to look in a personal way.

Trailer here:

Over the course of five seasons, The Artist Project  will share the perspectives of one hundred artists with the public, telling us what they see when they look at The Met.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pi Day and St. Patrick's Day Parade

The weekend has something for everyone:

For the non-math types among us, Pi Day is the annual celebration of the mathematical constant that’s the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, or 3.14. So, every March 14, museums around the Bay Area host Pi Day-themed celebrations; this year, you’ll find parties at the Exploratorium and Mountain View’s Computer History Museum.

 If that’s not your scene, head to Mission Pie, which will sell slices for $3.14 on Saturday, or to the SoMa StrEat Food Park, which hosts the Pi Day Puzzle Party at 7 p.m.

The weekend and St. Patrick's Day Events:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

'Letters to Afar' at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Entering the darkened gallery at the Contemporary Jewish Museum where “Letters from Afar” is showing is like entering a time capsule made up of your grandfather’s home movies.   Young girls with 20’s bobbed hair smile at the camera, another young woman applies makeup. Young men pose in front of a car, children tumble out of school, full of life and mischief. Other images portray the traditional world of the Hasidim and the Shtetl – men wearing the top hats and the forelocks of Orthodox Jews. The clips recall the tumbledown wooden houses and synagogues of impoverished shtetls and their threadbare residents.

 One film was made by the great Yiddish linguist Alexander Harkavy, who came to the city of Nowogrudok (now in Belarus) to document how the money raised by his landsmanshaft — a hometown organization abroad — was being spent on orphanages, hospitals, and schools.

These amateur movies, were made in the 1920’s and 1930’s, were shot by American Jews returning to their Polish homeland to visit friends and family. What makes the images almost too painful to watch is the knowledge that a decade or two later, those who remained in Poland would be dead.

These people, excited to see a relative from America and delighted by the new found ability of the camera to capture images on film, have no idea of what awaits them.