Published September 2, 2009
Mary Butler of Old House Web muses about historic homes as art and as sites of creative inspiration, including the exhibit Art+History. “Just being inside an old space can lend a fresh perspective and ignite your imagination,” she notes. Butler also describes how, for her newest album, musician Imogen Heap was inspired by the creaks, groans, hisses, and taps of her own old home. Butler asks the tantalizing question,
In the case of the Nightingale-Brown House, its story involves five generations of the Brown family, who were involved in or touched by slavery, imperialism and trade. I wonder, if a singer were to record an album there, what would it sound like?
Published August 19, 2009
Import/Export by Jill Slosburg-Ackerman
Taking a new look at this old house, Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe, August 19
“Every summer when I was growing up, my parents would drag the family to a historic mansion for an afternoon of edification. It seemed that time had stopped in these places, with their plush carpets, velvet ropes, and winged chairs I was forbidden to sit in. There was nothing I could see to connect all the polished tables and portraits …”
Published May 18, 2009
Read Eve Essex’s review of Art+History for The College Hill Independent.
Narratives of orientalism, colonialism and slavery are teased from the objects already in the house, and the work acts as a framing or display device… But Slosburg-Ackerman’s tone is extremely conversational, a formal play and activation of contradictions in the space rather than a refusal of them. “It’s very much responding to the things I’ve learned about the place,” she told the Independent, “but then just forgetting it to some degree. The story is more my story.”
Though Herrera-Prats poses as a historian, she makes it plain that her evidence is dubious… Though earnestly displaying the results of her investigation, she is not mastering a historian’s discourse–she is happily struggling.
Published May 7, 2009
Rosie and Meg will be presenting at one of the the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Skill Share Workshops!
RICH skill share workshops
Planning Your Exhibition on a Shoestring: Tricks for Making Your Budget Exhibition Look Like a Million Bucks!
Tuesday, May 12, Pawtucket Visitors Center, 175 Main Street
12:00-1:30 PM, brown bag lunch
Please call RICH to RSVP: 401-273-2250
Learn what you should spend money on and where you can cut costs. Presenters: Marjory O’Toole, Managing Director, Little Compton Historical Society
Rosie Branson Gill and Meg Rotzel, Co-curators, Art+History
Andrian Paquette, Curator, Slater Mill Historic Site
Ted Peffer, President, IO Labs, Inc.
Surviving this economic downshift requires creative solutions for pinching every penny. Join RICH for a FREE workshop series that provides practical solutions for managing public programming on a shoestring. For more details about presenters, directions, and other lunches visit: http://www.rihumanities.org
Published April 10, 2009
A class of sixth grade students from the Wheeler School in Providence visited Art+History on Thursday, April 9 as part of the site visit and curriculum Place Explorations. In small groups, students went on a scavenger hunt for some of the house’s most unusual details, such as the Zuber wallpaper, Czarist table garnitures, and a Dutch leather butler’s screen. Then students broke into two groups to learn more about the artworks featured in the exhibit.
A student points out one of the whimsical objects in the Nightingale Brown House, the dolphin-legged table
For Carla’s piece, students were asked to assume the identity of either artists, historians, or Brown family members and describe the artwork from that perspective. Most students agreed the artwork was “funky”! One student called it both random and arranged, saying the fate of the various photography studios seemed “random” but the elements of the artwork, such as the lamps, tables, and photographs were definitely “arranged.” Students also debated whether photographs were always true. Impressive, no?
Three girls closely look at Keep the word vanishing until the end.
Students were asked to think about how the various pieces of Import/Export were made, how they were moved into the house, and how other objects at the Nightingale Brown House arrived here. They then embodied those actions in the space of the rooms where the artwork is installed.
A student raises her hand while viewing pieces from Import/Export
You can see more pictures of the visit here. To book a visit, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your class size and students’ grade level.
Published April 10, 2009
Visitors checking out Art+History! Come one by and you can, too!
Visitor looking closely at Jill's work in the dining room.
Thanks to everyone who came out and made the Art+History opening such a fun party and great art looking experience! Click on the images above for more pictures.
Published April 10, 2009
Two visitors listen to a letter Carla wrote to Officer O'Reilly.
The audio component of Carla Herrera-Prats’ Keep the word vanishing until the end is now available on-line. Click here to listen, or go to her artist page here.