What the MFA said…New England Patriots dominance and Super Bowl 2019 MVP Julian Edelman!

Twitter excerpt from #MuseumBowl 2019 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston vs. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 

MuseumBowl 2019 MFA Boston vs J Paul Getty Museum

WILLIAM RIMMER_Flight and Pursuit_ 1872 oil on canvas colllection of Museum of Fine Arts Boton
WILLIAM RIMMER_Flight and Pursuit_ 1872 oil on canvas accessioned 1956 collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

(alas Museum Bowl 2019 appears to be bragging rights only, but maybe the Getty will consider shipping the Hare to the MFA, pretty please…)

Patriots hype | It’s on! MFA Boston vs the J Paul Getty 3pm today #MuseumBowl twitter showdown

Over the past few years, museums join in the Super Bowl spirit via trash talk on social media accounts. From humorous challenges and clever collection puns it’s morphed into big stake art bets for Super Bowl contenders: Some wins have triggered a museum loan from the losing city’s rival fine arts institution. Yesterday (see below) the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announced a twitter showdown with the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Look for #MuseumBowl and @mfaboston and @GettyMuseum. It’s going down at 3pm TODAY, Friday, Feb 1, 2019. I don’t know if there’s a wager but I hope so! It’s great fun no matter what.

The MFA makes good use of their archives dog, Riley.

 

MFA Boston twitter account Museum Bowl 2019

now theyre cooking

we want the Getty famous painting Hans Hoffman Hare.jpg

Looking back at MFA exhibition: devastating and important Lodz Ghetto photos by photojournalist and survivor Henryk Ross

Museum days with David Cox |  Installation scenes from our April 27, 2017 visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to see Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross. The travel exhibition originated from the Art Gallery of Ontario where this searing and important Holocaust photo collection is held and much of it digitized. You can explore more than 4000 negatives here: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross http://agolodzghetto.com/)

Henryk Ross (1910-1991) was one of less than 900 known survivors of 160,000 confined to the Lodz Ghetto by German Nazis.

photo caption: details from exhibition wall text

 

Before 1939, Ross was a photojournalist for the Polish press and heroically that didn’t stop in the ghetto. He was forced to photograph identity cards for every captive, promotional material, and assignments, often gruesome, for the oppressors’ “Department of Statistics”. While photographing ostensibly for “work” he snapped away bearing witness, building evidence and leaving a record. His wife Stefa was imprisoned there as well, aiding and encouraging his activity. They were married in the ghetto. Ross’s cover necessitated movement, access to equipment,  developing, and film: His perilous “employee” theft went undetected. Henryk Ross was a brave front lines prisoner and artist surreptitiously documenting specific and deteriorating realities of the innocents for five years– building a body of persistent resistance. He was a war photographer and patriot I did not know before this exhibition and will not forget.

photo caption: selected photos on display at the MFA (click to enlarge and for more information) genocide day by day

 

Miraculously both survived, and some negatives.  Ross’s work was used as evidence in the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. They testified together. By then he hadn’t photographed anything for years and wouldn’t ever again. “I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy… I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom.” -Henryk Ross

I wonder if there is a memorial plaque on Jagielonska Street near where he hid them?

As this repository was such an exacting chronicle and similar camera format, I thought about curating a show of American FSA/OWI photographers, Ross’s contemporaries, working with home front goals in the same time span as Ross. In 1942 Howard Lieberman and Gordon Parks official assignments included portraits in Gloucester, Massachusetts, of family members missing deployed husbands, brothers, sons and daughters, of a community honoring Memorial Day, of fishermen hard at work providing “Victory Food From American Waters”. People helping. Brave souls. (FSA photograpers and FSA had earned clout pre-1937. Did they inspire Ross? Decades later, did these artists ever come to know each other’s works?)

 

photojournalism_past destruction installation view_ 20170427_lodz ghetto photographs of henryk ross collection holocaust photos at museum of fine arts boston_ © catherine ryan
humanity  devoured- death march past synagogue ruins

 

The exhibition included examples of the Lodz ghetto horrifying, gutting circulars. I used Google translate to transcribe a few of the letterpress announcements. I imagine that the Art Gallery of Ontario will crowd source volunteer transcription one day.

Keep Calm and Carry On pronouncements here, too
Aug 12, 1940 Announcement 104: Jews! Remain Calm!
The events of the last days were triggered by the responsible elements that we wanted to bring chaos into our cycle. These people are aimed at the only important benefits allowed to organize positive and appropriate help for the population. In a short period of time since the creation of the ghetto, after great hardships, it was possible to obtain work from the outside for parts of tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, lappers and seamstresses; soon I will get employment for other crafts, as well as for handicrafts.
The Municipal Budget is Overstated.
Supplying children and the elderly is still in the foreground. Pomino will be equipped with kitchens for all: old and young. Regardless of the (?) general kitchen for workers and the unemployed, which will be issued with 10,000 tanks per day and for various layers (also for religious Jews) – block committees will continue to be supplied. this is a positive plan that must be spotted. this is not an easy task. therefore I am appealing to you with an appeal: keep calm. Do not allow yourself to be misled with irresponsible elements that would hinder your previous work and fulfill your future intentions.
I WANT TO SAVE PEOPLE.
I will do everything that is possible and I will strive to ensure that my tasks are carried out with all due diligence – Ch. Rumkowski

March 22, 1942 Announcement No. 371 :  Resettlement
Subject: Orders concerning the transfer of the ghetto.
Spatialization of the western ghetto part…From the Donnersiteg, the western part of the ghetto must be cleared of all residents and workers. the people living and working there must therefore be in the east…
I hereby announce that the resettlement continues to take place on the initiative of the authorities. I urge the persons concerned – who are destined for resettlement – to do so. upon receipt of the departure request, it is essential that you arrive punctually at the meeting time prescribed by you, otherwise you will have to leave the country without any additional packing.
litzmannstadt-ghetto the 22nd, marz 1942 Ch. Rumkowski* is the oldest of the Jews in Litzmannstadt 

excerpt from the MFA museum label (photo below) concerning Administration and Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski: “…The Elder of the Jewish Council, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, believed the residents might survive if they became productive…Due to its remarkable productivity, Lodz was the last Polish ghetto to be liquidated. The Jewish Council played a problematic role in the history of the Lodz Ghetto. Its members were forced to implement Nazi policy, but were perceived as privileged in return. Rumkowski remains one of the  Holocaust’s most controversial figures.”- MFA label

August 22, 1942 Announcement no. 428 Concerning the size of the ghetto
In addition to the previously no longer enter. Who does not follow this request and on Thursday d. 24 august 1944, after 7 o’clock early in these areas as well as in the already cleared still encountered, is struck, with death… 
It is bounded by the area: in the west …
limited: in the east …
limited: to the south …
limited; in the East…
and slow to the south…
For special attention
Workers barracked in these areas in closed premises can remain in their workplace and be allowed to work in the same place.
Secret State Police

September 4, 1942 Announcement No. 391 General Curfew in Ghetto

Museum of Fine Arts display label (see photo above) “On September 4, 1942, Lodz Ghetto populace was told that elderly and sick residents and children under the age of 10 would be deported from the ghetto. This notice forbade the remaining residents from leaving their homes while deportees were collected. “From Saturday September 5 1942 from 5pm on a general curfew is in effect until revoked. Excepted are: firefighters, the Transportation Department, feces and garbage haulers, workers involved in the reception of goods at the Baluty Market Square and the Radogoszcz (station), doctors and pharmacy personnel.”

Installation view_ label_20170427_Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross collection Holocaust photos at Museum of Fine Arts Boston_ originated by Art Gallery of Ontario © catherine ryan _130708.jpg

from the digitized archives: click to enlarge and read description

Gloucester in the news: Cape Ann Museum back to back stories in the Boston Globe

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More than just kids’ stuff: Children’s literature inspires shows at the MFA and Cape Ann MuseumBoston Globe by Mark Feeney October 14, 2018

Mark Feeney highlights the Cape Ann Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in the Boston Globe Sunday Arts Museum Specials edition because of  concurrent spectacular and rare exhibitions: Winnie the Pooh Exploring a Classic opened September 22 and continues through January 6th, 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston;  Virgina Lee Burton “The Little House: Herstory” opens November 3rd at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester and continues until March 31, 2019.

Mark Your Calendars! Here are Cape Ann Museum art shows inspired by children’s literature on display now, upcoming and not to miss:

  • Harrison Cady exhibition continues through November 9th retrospective of a dazzling Golden Age of Illustration legend, cartoonist and fine artist 
  • Virginia Lee Burton exhibition The Little House: Herstory opens November 3rd  Burton resided and worked in Gloucester, Mass., where she created some of America’s most popular and seminal children’s books. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Other books include Katy and the Big Snow and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. She is renowned for her influential work as a Folly Cove textile designer and founder. Cape Ann Museum is the biggest repository of her art and archives. This 2018 survey will be gorgeous!

If you time it right there is a window of overlap where you can visit both the Harrison Cady and Virginia Lee Burton exhibitions.

  • A group show celebrating Cape Ann Reads new original children’s picture books by local artists and writers will open in January

Barr-Klarman Foundations team up on 25 million arts initiativeBoston Globe October 3, 2018 

Cape Ann Museum received $375,000 Barr-Klarman investment funding in recognition of its stellar contribution to arts and culture in Massachusetts. The Barr Klarman Arts Initiative will disperse 25 million to 29 arts organizations; Cape Ann Museum is one of 3 North of Boston recipients.

Super Bowl #MuseumBowl wager @MFABoston vs @philamuseum

The 2018 #SuperBowl LII winner will trigger a museum loan from the losing city’s rival fine arts institution. If the Patriots win, @philamuseum will lend Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky by Benjamin West. Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston. The MFA would lend Mrs. James Warren (Mercy Otis) by John Singleton Copley, which the MFA modified for #museumbowl twitter trash talk vs Atlanta.

Super Bowl 52 bet

Philadelphia Museum created a video this year.

When the Patriots win the Eagles might feel more like this woodblock print from the MFA famous prints and drawings collection: **Sad** Eagle on a Pine Branch in the Rain, Isoda Koryusai, ca.1770s, Japanese Edo period, Bigelow collection.

eagle on a pine branch in the rain MFA Japanese Edo period ca1770s Isoda koryusai.jpg

On Friday the two museum twitter accounts will throw down. I wonder which works the MFA will modify this year for the trash talk on twitter, maybe their iconic Copley Paul Revere?

The Philadelphia Museum of Art could doctor their Rubens Prometheus… if so one hopes with the logo, not a player. (And one could argue even still that it’s in the Patriots favor as knowledge of foresight for the win, and Prometheus comes out all right in the end.)

Phil Mus Art Rubens Prometheus W1950-3-1

Last year the MFA did a great job with the Thomas Sully–but hey what about that eagle installed nearby.

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Thomas Sully (American (born in England), 1783–1872) The Passage of the Delaware, 1819, American wing, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

There are a lot of eagles in the MFA collection…Too dark?

homer MFA MacIntyre eagle MFA (2).jpg
Winslow Homer. The Fog Warning. 1885. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. mash up with Samuel McIntyre Eagle ca 1786-89 for cupola at Derby house 70 Washington Street Salem, MFA collection

What would you pick for the MFA #MuseumBowl?

John Wilson’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr suite of proofs at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

john-wilson-roz-1972img_20170113_130240

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, owns 20 incredible and deliberate states from John Wilson’s monumental etching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The final state was printed in an edition of 50 in 2002. The 2002 print was based on a smaller Wilson drawing of Dr. King, a 1985 preparatory study for a bronze statue installed in the Rotunda of the US Capital in 1986. Wilson created other portraits of Dr. King including a monumental 8 feet tall bronze that was installed in Buffalo’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Its macquette went to the Butler Institute of American Art.

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To make the etchings currently on view at the MFA, Wilson collaborated with master printer and artist Jim Stroud. Stroud is the founder and owner of Center Street Studio, named for its address in… Gloucester. Center Street Studio opened and operated from 1 Center Street from 1984 to 1986 before moving  to Boston. I co-curated an exhibition Civil Progress in American Art which featured John Wilson in 1986. More to come.