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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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Rothko to Richter: Mark-Making in Abstract Painting from the Collection of Preston H. Haskell



Gerhard Richter, Untitled, 1986, acrylic on canvas, Collection of Preston H. Haskell.  Photograph courtesy of Douglas J. Eng.  © 2015 Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Untitled, 1986, acrylic on canvas, Collection of Preston H. Haskell. Photograph courtesy of Douglas J. Eng. © 2015 Gerhard Richter.

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to present Rothko to Richter: Mark-Making in Abstract Painting from the Collection of Preston H. Haskell, organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. The exhibition will be on display January 30 to April 22 and will show a collection of mid-20th Century art that highlights one of the most active periods of artistic development—Abstraction. The years from 1950 to 1990 are distinguished by artists’ departure from traditions such as narrative and symbolism in their works and beginning to explore the literal act of applying paint to canvas.

Kelly Baum, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Princeton University Art Museum says of the collection, “Each artist sought to redefine abstract painting for a new social and cultural milieu. Each asked him or herself: what does it mean to make an abstract painting in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, or 1990?” Although they came to contrasting conclusions, “the artists in Rothko to Richter tended to approach the question through the same means, mark-making.”

Through 27 carefully selected works by some of the era’s most important artists, including Karel Appel, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Morris Louis, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, and Mark Rothko, visitors will be able to grasp the scope of artists’ differing approaches to abstraction. Some artists worked to depersonalize the act of mark-making, to literally divorce the mark from the artist’s hand, while others emphasized the artist’s hand and the movement behind it, dripping the paint and using fluid sweeping motions.

Preston Haskell has been collecting art for more than 40 years, both as an individual and for The Haskell Company. Haskell says, “Art stimulates and energizes the human mind and spirit, making us more imaginative and creative.” Visitors will have the opportunity to connect to Rothko to Richter through a variety of public programs.

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Chamber Concert with the Jacksonville Symphony



Do you have plans for tomorrow night? Why not enjoy an intimate evening with Jacksonville Symphony musicians in the Semmes Gallery featuring works by Haydn and Mendelssohn? Through a Community Partnership with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the performance will featuring two ensembles, Friday, January 23 at 8 p.m. There are still a few tickets available through the Jacksonville Symphony’s website by clicking here.

The Woodwind Quintet includes: Les Roettges, flute; Eric Olson, oboe; Peter Wright, clarinet; Anthony Anurca, bassoon; and Kevin Reid, horn.

The String Quartet includes Melissa Barrett, violin; Annie Morris, violin; Colin Kiely, viola; and Betsy Federman, cello.


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10407012_10152217846754979_621811987992377354_nDid you miss the lecture from the Cummer Museum’s Chief Curator Holly Keris on Tuesday evening?

Back by popular demand… A special evening exploring the issue of Nazi Art Looting from the perspective of museums like the Cummer Museum, who are playing a leadership role in restitution. Due to the overwhelming demand of the Nazi Art Looting Lecture with Holly Keris given this week, the Museum is holding an encore presentation on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to general public.

The lecture is free, but registration is required. Click here to register in advance. If there are seats available the night of the event, we will be distributing stickers for entry on a first come first served basis, beginning at 4 p.m. Since this event has been wildly popular, we expect it to sell out in advance and highly recommend pre-registering.

We look forward to offering you this important and insightful talk once again. For further information, please call 904.899.6038.

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Full Speed Ahead for the Junior Docents



Written by Junior Docent David Damiani

JpegThe Junior Docents at the Cummer Museum have gotten off to another strong start this year. The program gives teenagers between the grades of 7th to 12th grade a chance to become engaged with the museum by researching works of art, making their own original works, and volunteering at the museum.

So far, this year has been a jam packed exciting year. Our main project this year is creating an interpretive watercolor based on a didactic (an informational label intended to teach about the piece) we have written. In the beginning of the year each Junior Docent chose a work of art from the Cummer’s permanent collection to focus on. Then, from what we observed, we wrote a didactic that could be used to elaborate on the details in the painting and also describe the feeling the painting gave us. We are now working on the next step in the process, which is to take our didactic and turn it into a watercolor painting.

In addition to this Jpegproject, we have also created Empty Bowls that went to the Empty Bowls Auction sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank. We had a lot of fun creating the bowls. The Junior Docents have also volunteered at exhibit openings and concerts in the garden. We have also contributed to the highlight tours of the galleries and helped out in the studios during free Saturdays.

A third aspect to the Junior Docents is that we listen to a variety of speakers that give us interesting talks about a wide variety of art forms. Our first speaker of the year was watercolor painter Kathy Stark. Ms. Stark gave us insight into what her techniques are and how she paints her works. This gave many of the Junior Docents an idea of how they could paint their own piece. In December, we listened to a lecture by Victor von Klemperer who is attempting to recover Miessen porcelain that his family owned and was stolen by the Nazis during World War 2. We also listened to a lecture by a fashion photographer, Mario Peralta, who gave a fascinating lecture about the history of fashion photographer and how it is inspired work. All of the lectures we have listened to were incredible lectures. Each lecture taught us something knew about art and we greatly appreciate the speakers for giving us their time.

JpegThe Junior Docents have done a lot in the first months of this year’s program and we are all looking forward to our upcoming activities in the New Year.

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Fashion Affects



F&A cyborg looking

Fashion and science have a close relationship, in that a designer, with their needs and whimsy, will look to science to supply the answers. Biology looks at the surrounding world and into the world within a petri dish, to harvest, and create the living building blocks. Chemistry  answers questions about compounds, molecules, and atoms that combine to make fibers. Fibers that are stretched, pulled, coiled and otherwise manipulated to make the clothesF&A colorful fibers that express the fashion. Technology supplies hardware and software to develop ideas into design, testing them with reality. Engineering  connects technologies, producing unique creations, such as shirts that produce energy each time a person moves. And mathematics provide for the precision and logic that allows the pieces to be cut, formed, and arranged in space to realize the designer’s concept.

F&A power shirtFashion draws consistently from science, technology, engineering, art, and math; and a successful designer is acquainted with all these disciplines. Academic programs in Applied Sciences  and Human Ecology (both formally known as Home Economics) advise and F&A STEAM symbolsrequire students interested  in the fashion industry to seek knowledge in all these fields. These degreed graduates are not only the apparel designers and merchandisers, but, they are the analytical textile technologists, the design engineers, the research scientists, the technical textiles designers, and the computer-aided fashion designers.

The work of these individuals finds its way into our lives. The manufactured fiber nylon (designed as anF&A nylons and parachutes alternate to  silk) was militarily important in WWII for parachutes. Nylon
combined with polyester, originally marketed as an economical easy to care for fabric, made up the parachutes that lowered the Rovers to the surface of Mars. (The Ares rockets used to launch Orion use Kevlar in the parachutes of its recovery system. A fabric originally designed to make a lighter tire in response to the oil shortages of the 1960’s; Kevlar is used in a variety of protective clothing.)

F&A spray on clothesAffecting everyday life, while making you look good, solar textiles will power your hand held devices.
Imbedded light fibers, electronics, and nanotechnology will not only change the appearance of what we are wearing but will track us medically. With a wave of the hand, what we are wearing will not only change how it looks, but, will functionally shape-shift. Spray on fabrics will create a chemise or a medical patch. And an improved environment will be promoted by recycled fabrics that reduce waste and catalyst coated fabrics that break down air pollutants. In this way, these collaborations of fashion and science address real world situations pushing beyond the aesthetics of fashion.

F&A peanut gallery
But once established; fashion pushes back. Individual fashion is chosen in many ways for many reasons ranging from the financial to the emotional. Your pocketbook or your friends might persuade you to put on the elegant dress or the heavily worn jeans. It may simply be your mood at the moment that makes you don the black sweatshirt or the red polo. But what is put on, directs others to react to what is put on to (that’s you). In about seven seconds people look at you and decide who you are. Colors affect moods, and how well your clothes fit suggest, rightly or wrongly, what your personality traits are. What about the F&A olympian uniformswearer; can a purposeful choice of style affect the wearer’s behavior? Does clothing make the person? Does a uniform make you stand straighter, study harder? Will you be more mentally prepared in certain situations if you are dressed in the appropriate manner? I know I have experienced these situations. But at what level of consciousness are we truly affected?

F&A brain hat
Fashion might have a much more subtle and possibly longer effect on us than we think. In research involving what is being called enclothed cognition (a subset of embodied cognition that states that the body can influence the mind) studies are showing what you wear not only changes the perceptions of others, but can change the psyche of the wearer. These studies published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and then reported in an article published in The New York Times in April 2012; show statistical differences in how people perform attention-related tasks when wearing different types of clothing, as well, as the same style of clothes defined differently. In the latter case the clothing was a lab coat.

In one of the trials of these studies, two groups wore identically looking lab coats; one group wasF&A tale of two lab coats told that the coat  had previously been worn by a doctor and the other group believed the coat was worn by a painter. The group that believed that they were wearing the doctor’s coat performed better (50% less errors) on sustained attention tasks than those wearing the presumed painter’s coat. Along with other varied trials, the authors of these studies say that this result shows that enclothed cognition is based on both the symbolic meaning of certain clothes and the physical experience of wearing them. However, further research is needed, important questions remain.

To what length does fashion affect the human psyche?  Will onF&A brain fiberse always feel more focused and attentive in a white coat, or would we habituate? Do the cognitive changes last for long periods, or do they eventually wear off? There are some very interesting possibilities as we consider enclothed cognition as part of the overall concept of embodied cognition.

Embodied cognition research has shown that behavior such as acting with confidence, even if we are notF&A DNA confident, can affect hormone levels in the body. These same hormones can change how our genes are expressed, and recent studies in epigenetics suggest that some of these changes may be able to be passed on. So, the advice to those starting a family may be to dress with confidence so their children will be confident.

F&A science and fashion play chessFashion and science have a give and take relationship. Aesthetics and utility go hand in hand and the outcomes can be celebrated and measured. For as much as we believe we are dictating changes to fashion, fashion may be transforming us on levels we do not yet fully understand.

Did you see the fashion at the Cummer Museum? And did you see?

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Music to Your Ears



abigailwilliam Jacksonville is a city FULL of musical talent. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens continues it’s commitment to nurturing the art of music by hosting the best musicians of the First Coast. Between Tapas Tuesdays, Weaver First Saturday Free for All, exhibition openings and other special events, there are lots of opportunities to play at the Museum this year and we have filled the slots with the areas finest.javianpiano

Here’s an upcoming listing of more great music the Museum is hosting, so save the date and head to Riverside for art, food and music! We look forward to seeing you soon!

01/13/15 Tapas Tuesday Arvid Smith 5 to 7:30 p.m.
01/17/15 Happy Saturday at the Café Javian Francis 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
01/20/15 Tapas Tuesday Lauren Fincham 5 to 7:30 p.m.
01/24/15 Happy Saturday at the Café Javian Francis 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
01/27/15 Tapas Tuesday Patrick Evan 5 to 7:30 p.m.
01/29/15 Community Opening: Rothko to Richter Radio Love 5 to 8 p.m.
01/31/15 Happy Saturday at the Café Javian Francis 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
02/03/15 Tapas Tuesday Brad Lauretti 5 to 7:30 p.m.
02/07/15 Weaver Free for All Monica de Silva 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
02/10/15 Tapas Tuesday Lauren Fincham 5 to 7:30 p.m.
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