Here are some Don’t Miss Events
New in the Library
Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty by Phoebe Hoban
The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography by Cynthia Goodman
Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy edited by Nancy Wallach
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl by Trevor Schoonmaker
Film Noir Classics I: Big Heat; 5 Against the House; Lineup; Murder by Contract; Sniper
Film Noir Classics II: Brother’s Rico; City of Fear; Human Desire; Nightfall; Pushover
The Garden of Earthly Delights,
Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037
Old Jews Telling Jokes
American Works for Organ and Orchestra by The Grant Park Orchestra
The Best of The Hot Club of Cowtown
5 Stars: Favorites from The 5 Brown,
Marco Polo: An Opera Within an Opera by Tan Dun
The Secret of Life by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Remember, your MWPAI memberships allows free borrowing from the library’s collection. Please bring your membership card with you to the library. The general public is welcome to visit the library and browse the collection. For information on becoming a member click here or contact 797-0000 ext 2104
Library hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.
Mark your calendars and come see Shadow of the Sphinx, opening to the public Sunday, June 17. This exhibition, organized by Museum of Art Director Anna T D’Ambrosio, is an invitation to travel through the eternally fascinating world of Egypt and to witness its long influence in arts and culture into the present.
See the ancients’ rituals for ferrying their dead into the afterlife: the show includes a tomb room with a sarcophagus, a selection of mummy masks, a canopic jar, and shabty—the statues that would serve as laborers in the afterlife.
Shadow of the Sphinx also looks at the influence of ancient Egyptian art and culture on Europeans and Americans, from the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, who campaigned through Egypt between 1798-1801, into the 20th century.
Shadow of the Sphinx features numerous 19th-century French paintings in what is known as the “oriental” style, depicting life and landscape of the region.
In the United States during the later 1800s, furnishings and dress inspired by ancient Egypt became fashionable. Visitors to Shadow of the Sphinx can stroll through a room vignette filled with scarabs and similarly inspired fine household objects.
The exhibition concludes with the transporting fantasies of popular culture. Through songs, movies and the design of everyday things, the shadow of ancient Egypt’s allure continues to captivate our imaginations.
The Museum of Art owns a garden settee that was made in Utica, about 1870, by the Phoenix Iron Works. These are some things I learned about it, from reading Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute (1999).
The settee reveals some interesting things about the United States and its burgeoning industrialization. It is made of cast iron because metals were becoming increasingly recognized for their aesthetic value in furniture. And, thanks to mass production, this kind of form became available to a growing middle class of consumers.
Metal is also, of course, ideal for outdoor use as garden furniture. The design on the back of the seat is called fern-and-blackberry, based the motifs used. The fern was a popular Victorian houseplant and the manufacturer cleverly reproduced the word F E R N in the seat so that is legible in the cast shadow. The pattern of fronds demonstrates that, even though it is based on nature, the design is that of nature tamed. And, the idea of sitting on a settee in nature is a further demonstration of taming nature through “civilizing” artifacts.
You can see this charming settee in the “Saturated Sight” exhibition in Gallery One North, Museum of Art, on view through July 8.