“Institutional thinking tells us to look very, very carefully before leaping—and such thinking virtually guarantees that we’ll never leap at all. As an antidote to this, my motto has been “Act first, think later – that way you might have something to think about.” (174)
In 1969, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City hired Marcia Tucker, as their first ever woman curator. Shortly after organizing an exhibition for the post-minimalist artist Richard Tuttle, the Whitney decided to terminate her after receiving dissatisfied reviews regarding the show’s conceptually perplexing style. A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York City Art World, edited by Liza Lou, focuses on Marcia Tucker’s persistent desire to challenge the traditional norms and role of the institution through her radical approach to exhibition-making. Her memoir is adorned with personal details of the curator’s private life while simultaneously providing an insightful perspective behind Marcia Tucker’s decision to open the New Museum of Contemporary Art shortly after being fired from the Whitney.
Recommended for any individual interested in curatorial practices, museum and institutional policies, or to simply learn more about the founder of the New Museum, and her relentless desire to push the boundaries of the New York City art world.
Curator Paulina Kolczynska will speak Friday, August 3 at 7pm in Terra, Connelly Lecture Hall.
Kolczynska is an art historian and freelance curator. She has organized exhibitions at the Edinburgh Film House and the Edinburgh City Art Center. She has also worked as a reporter for the Polish section of the BBC in London (radio). She now works for the Art Dealers Association of America in New York.
Read Kolczynska’s essay, “Miroslaw Balka with Anda Rottenberg and Anna Kamachora at the Polish Pavilion” in New Art from Eastern Europe: Identity and Conflict (London: Academy Editions; Deerfield Beech, Fla.: VCH Publishers [distributor], c1994). It’s available in the Greenfield Library Open Stacks, call number 709.4309045 N42a.
Also read her essay “Bread and Circuses” in Performance Art: Into the 90s (London: Academy Editions; New York: Distributed by St. Martin’s Press, c1994). It’s available in the Greenfield Library Open Stacks, call number 700.922 P416a.
Amira Hanafi will lecture Wednesday, July 25th at 7:00 pm in Hamilton Hall, CBS Auditorium.
Hanafi is an internationally exhibited artist, published writer, and curator. She grew up in America, earning her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but returned to Egypt in 2010 where she started collaborating with the Artellewa Art Space in Giza, Egypt.
Ocean Flowers: Anna Atkins’s Cyanotypes of British Algae, from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, is truly a one-of-a-kind digital collection. In 1841, William Harvey published Manual of British Algae, but it did not contain any images. Atkins sought to illustrate Harvey’s Manual by experimenting with William Henry Fox Talbot‘s “photogenic drawing” technique. By placing an object against light-sensitized paper and then exposing it to sunlight, the paper darkens around the object, creating a silhouette of the object. We know this process today as blueprint, or cyanotype.
The final product of Atkins’ work is Photographs of British Algae. What makes algae so interesting? In this case, Photographs is “a landmark in the histories both of photography and of publishing: the first photographic work by a woman, and the first book produced entirely by photographic means.”
Finally, a horrible tragedy that, thankfully, encouraged better working conditions for all Americans. March 25, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University has a wonderful website dedicated to educating the public about the fire, which occurred March 25, 1911 at the Triangle Waist Factory, a textile factory in New York City. Within minutes of the fire starting, 146 people, mostly women and many of them young immigrants, had perished. Because of this horrific event, labor laws and building codes all over the country were updated and enforced.