VMFA Teacher’s Workshop Project Appian Way Fashion Review Blog

At the Project Appian Way Teacher’s Workshop on April 3rd, we discussed fashion in the Roman world.  Participants worked in small groups using primary and secondary source quotes and historical information to write a fashion review blog about a work of art. This one focuses on the excesses of fashion! Enjoy our winning review blog!

Fayum Portrait of a Woman, Roman, 3rd – 4th century CE, encaustic on Wood Panel, Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, 55.4 

We don’t know her name, but we know what killed her – Heracles’ dog chewed purple all over her!  Her hair, her jewels, her eye shadow, lip tint, and clothes all have purple. And that hair? Does she think she’s a goddess?  Look at that center part style! Martial says “She wears a fetid robe as if to say, it’s the robe, not she that smells that way.” Maybe so, but all that dye may be giving the corpse a run for its money in the odor department.  Nothing but good of the dead, but all the good I can see is the amount spent on that finery! Is that local linen? Imported silk?  Two necklaces!? Two!  Wasn’t one enough!? She’s plundered the whole sea for pearls and purple.  Just how many sea creatures had to die for that outfit?  Thankfully we can only observe this portrait, not whiff it! Pliny, Ovid, Suetonius all agree – she’s past her quota of purple.  Bring back the sumptuary laws and exile that excess!

typocrat:

// recent student work
course: typography II
20x30” posters

My students at Virginia State University Art & Design recently completed posters for the upcoming VMFA exhibit Posing Beauty in African American CultureSee the exhibit beginning April 26th and running through July 27th.

We are LOVING these poster mock-ups by VSU Art & Design Students for the upcoming Posing Beauty in African American Culture exhibit! Which one is your favorite?

Celebrate the Week of the Young Child™, April 6-12th, with VMFA!  It’s a fact – quality care and education during preschool years leads to healthier and happier grownups!

Learn more about VMFA programs for kids ages 3 months to 5 years.

Perceptual Impressions: analyzing the urban experience

Eli McMullen (American, b. 1992)

VMFA Pauley Center, November 23, 2013 – March 23, 2014

 

This series of constructed environments convey both realistic space and abstraction using the language of urban landscapes. McMullen’s paintings examine the cultural and aesthetic value of the “commonplace,” subverting the mundane, often-discounted interpretation of our surroundings by searching for a deeper significance in the setting. The composition of light and space and implication of time reveal the character of the environment. Though absent of figures, these landscapes emanate life through the presence and absence of the human imprint. Consideration, careful examination, and discovery of these public spaces have served as the artist’s main inspiration.

 

McMullen is from Alexandria, Virginia, and is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the recipient of a 2013 VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship.

 

The deadline for the 2014 Fellowship has passed, but stay tuned - recipients will be announced in February 2014! 

Wild@Art 2.0

The new version of Wild@Art has landed! 

VMFA’s app Wild@Art has been updated with new content! Walk on the wild side of art with Images from VMFA’s ongoing exhibition Catching Sight (on view until July 13, 2014),as well a host of all new audio and video content to explore. 

To update to the new version, first remove any previous installations from your device, then download and enjoy the new and improved Wild@Art from either Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store

 

The Water is Wide: paintings by Blade Wynne

VMFA Amuse Restaurant & Claiborne Robertson Room

November 4, 2013 – March 2, 2014

 In this body of work, artist Blade Wynne depicts rural environments and commonplace objects that arise out of his observation, invention, and memory. Wynne considers his work as part of a larger dialogue with the American Regionalism movement and its preoccupation with authenticity, home, and spirituality. Using a straightforward pictorial language, his paintings are deceptively simple, yet still touch on deeper themes like impermanence and alienation. Skillfully executed, yet also somewhat clumsy and chaotic, this contradiction is intentional by the artist.

 Wynne says, “Throughout my work there is an awareness of the present moment mixed with a somber meditation on the past. The weight of the past is encountered though the abandoned residue of humanity: defunct machines and objects that are now useless, deteriorating and returning to dust. It is a reflection on the nature of mortality and of physical and psychological human frailty. Yet there is also a freedom found in detachment, and solitude in the overgrown woods, as well as a positive energy found in the endless growth and life cycles of nature. I paint places in which there is an intertwining of living and decaying matter, of forms coming into being and disappearing.”

 Wynne lives and works in Chesapeake, Virginia, and is the recipient of a 2013 VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship.

Check out more of Wynne’s work, and all three of VMFA’s Fellowship Exhibitions, here.  And remember, there are only 2 days left to apply for a Fellowship - applications are due Nov 8, 2013!  Click here for more information.

Other Places: photographs by Mel Kobran

Richmond International Airport - Oct. 7, 2013 - Feb. 23, 2014

Mel Kobran created the composite images in this exhibition from photographs taken during her travels to isolated places around the world. Her sojourns included sites as variable as the White Mountains in New Hampshire, Chesapeake Bay’s Tangier Island, Yellowstone National Park, and the southern coast of Iceland.

Individually, each landscape is stark, even otherworldly; together, they create new environments that are both familiar and foreign. This exploration of the intersection of reality and fantasy creates a certain sense of disorientation that comes from confusing the two. Says Kobran, “It is a feeling that only occurs after spending too much time out on your own, the inevitable result of an insatiable wanderlust for the unknown.”

Kobran is from Leesburg, Virginia, and was awarded a 2013 VMFA Visual Arts Graduate Fellowship.

Want to see all of the Fellowship Exhibitions currently on view? Click here to find out more.  And while you’re at it, why not apply for a Fellowship?  Applications are due Friday, Nov. 8, 2013! 

Our bracket isn’t full yet (where are you VCU?)! Pull three of your friends together to represent your school in VMFA’s first Pictionary tournament. The prize is pretty great and we’re not grading your drawing skills, we promise. 

Allegory of Marital Fidelity, a 17th century Dutch painting by Jan Miense Molenaer, that is chock-full of symbolism, supple brushwork, and amazing light, was “renamed” last night as part of a Young Non-Profit Network tour on Creativity. Four teams offered hypothetical suggestions to up sell the work to a variety of 21st century audiences. Tough choice to pick a favorite, but the stand out has to be:
17th Century “We Can’t Stop”
Why? The group thought it looked like a crazy music video: drinking, music, fights, random items, YoLo, and finally the parents on the right breaking up the party.
What would you rename it?

Allegory of Marital Fidelity, a 17th century Dutch painting by Jan Miense Molenaer, that is chock-full of symbolism, supple brushwork, and amazing light, was “renamed” last night as part of a Young Non-Profit Network tour on Creativity. Four teams offered hypothetical suggestions to up sell the work to a variety of 21st century audiences. Tough choice to pick a favorite, but the stand out has to be:

17th Century “We Can’t Stop”

Why? The group thought it looked like a crazy music video: drinking, music, fights, random items, YoLo, and finally the parents on the right breaking up the party.

What would you rename it?

In just four hours, teachers from the 2013 VMFA Summer Institute for Educators planned and constructed these panels that represent art movements and social changes of the 20th and 21st centuries. Visit this visual timeline in VMFA’s Art Education Center Exhibition Galleries!