Our collective experience of lockdown and isolation during the past 18 months makes the prospect of this coming school year particularly exciting. And while nothing compares to the delight of face-to-face conversations with instructors and fellow students, there is still digital research to be done! We have good news on that end.
If you haven’t yet ventured back to your preferred museums, now is the time. Summer is coming to an end and the pandemic has deprived us of months of museum-going pleasure — reward yourself. We have assembled a list of some eye-catching exhibitions for the coming year. We’ll begin with a couple that are ending soon:
Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle
The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., June 26-September 19, 2021
Most of the 30 original panels from Jacob Lawrence’s series on the American Revolution have been reunited for this exhibition that has toured several museums. The artist conceived and executed the paintings during the mid-1950s as the Civil Rights Movement grew and his interpretation incorporated the actions of enslaved Black people as part of the arc of American history.
We was taught there’s so many different ways to build a quilt. It’s like building a house. You can start with a bedroom over there, or a den over here, and just add on until you get what you want. Ought not two quilts ever be the same. You might use exactly the same material, but you would do it different. A lot of people make quilts just for your bed, for to keep you warm. But a quilt is more. It represents safekeeping, it represents beauty, and you could say it represents family history. 1
Mensie Lee Pettway (b. 1939), on learning her craft from her mother America Irby.
Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, and we are celebrating with a virtual exhibition of African American quilts. June 19 observes and renews the call for freedom, justice, and equality in the African American community. From the period of slavery through emancipation and up to current times, the activities and output of quilters have embodied strength, bound the community, and bestowed beauty and warmth, echoing the spirit of the holiday. An archival photograph of two generations of the Pettway family sewing together, 1937, and the mosaic mural Quilting Time, 1986, by Romare Bearden attest to the community building/family bonding attributes of the tradition.
2020: A world in lockdown, a world in protest
Extending our cultural scope and disciplinary reach
We are working to add new collections that extend Artstor’s cultural scope and disciplinary reach. This includes African, African American, and Asian content, and content in disciplines such as social justice and human geography, environmental studies, public health, and natural sciences. New additions centered on this growing diversity include: Barbara Anello: Khmer Sites; Arthur Szyk; Brooklyn Museum; Magnum Photos, and more.
We are currently working on integrating Artstor on JSTOR. When you search JSTOR today you will find Artstor’s 2+ million images in your results, bringing together critical scholarship and high-quality images on one platform.
As the year progresses, we will be adding tools for working and teaching with images, making your experience even better. We have several ways you can follow our progress, or you can simply sign up to get updates in your inbox.
We are doing this because we believe that by combining images with essential scholarship, you’ll strengthen the depth and quality of your research, make innovative connections, and spark unexpected discoveries.
Welcome to all new participants and welcome back to old friends. For a quick refresher on tips and tools, new content, and our growth at Artstor, check out these handy resources to get the lay of the land:
A landmark offering of 500 new images by one of America’s most celebrated political artists during World War II.
Scholar and author Irvin Ungar has recently contributed the Arthur Szyk collection to Artstor, consisting of 500 images by acclaimed World War-II era Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk (b. 1894, Łódź, Poland – d. 1951, New Canaan, Connecticut). Below, Ungar and art historian Samantha Lyons, PhD, provide context on the artist’s life and career.
Art Historian Magda Salvesen, author of Artists’ Estates: Reputations in Trust, writes about the emotional aspect of her work as the curator of the estate of her husband, the American painter Jon Schueler.
“Art must take reality by surprise,” the writer Françoise Sagan said in a 1965 interview. With the arrival of Covid-19, however, I have frequently found myself considering the reversal of these terms.
The sudden closure of a Jon Schueler exhibition in March 2020, two postponements of other shows, the absence of studio visits by potential clients or gallery reps, and the inability of my assistants to return any time soon ironically created what I had long desired: open time, month after month, to work on the Jon Schueler Archive.
Artstor is offering up a beastly alphabet in observance of this month, dedicated by the ASPCA to the prevention of cruelty to animals. You may be surprised at the creatures we can conjure.
A is for Anteater long in the nose
B is for Bear who wanders the globe
C is for Cat, because it must be