The Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis Exhibit

Guest post written by Dr. Britine Perkins, PhD.

Dr. Perkins

I was given the opportunity to preview the new Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis exhibit before it opened to the public.  This was indeed a special opportunity as the ACM is only the 2nd museum nationwide to host this breathtaking exhibit. Because Lewis’s work is about movement, the pieces are grouped to showcase how his art evolved from figurative in the 1920’s and 30’s, to completely abstract expressionist by the 1940’s. He is one of a very few African-American artists to pursue this style of painting.

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When one thinks of abstract expressionist artists from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, immediately names like  Jackson Pollock , Picasso, de Kooning, Max Ernst, and one of my personal favorites, Frank Stella, among many others will come to mind. Unfortunately, what does not come to mind are African-American abstract expressionist artists, which was usually considered a rare departure for an African American artist (at one meeting in Italy that featured the likes of Polluck and de Kooning, Lewis was the only African American in the room, much like this preview where I was only one of two minorities in the room).  For Norman Lewis, who was born in 1909 in Harlem, expressing the energy of the Renaissance unfolding around him profoundly influenced his work. Early on in his career, he realized that he wanted to paint the Black experience, just not in the figurative way that was expected on African American artists of that time. By the 1940’s, he had rejected painting figurative works, and painting what he wanted to paint. Because he was African American he was not truly accepted by the white abstract expressionist artists, nor was he accepted by African American artists who felt the only way to express Black life was through figurative art.

Although considered a successful artist (his work was exhibited in over 130 exhibitions in his lifetime) he did not receive the true recognition as an abstract expressionist artist till after his death, something he has always predicted.  Regardless, he continued to paint the way he wanted:  American life is diverse and so should the art that depicts it, a struggle that Norman Lewis is definitely winning, even if posthumously.  Today many of his pieces are being sold for between $250,000 and $350,000, while during his lifetime, most sold for less than $20,000 as noted in a recent March 2016 CBS Sunday Morning clip (Reappraising the art of Normal Lewis) about his long overdue rightful recognition as an abstract expressionist artist.

After viewing just some of his extraordinary works, one leaves with an overwhelming admiration for a man who fought racism on both sides and yet continued to do what he wanted to do.  Although he was overlooked in his lifetime, I for one am very glad to see him finally get his due as not just an African-American artist, but one of this nation’s greatest abstract expressionist artists.

The Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis will be om diplay until August 21, 2016. To find out more about this wonderful exhibition and all of the other things click Amon Carter American Museum of Art.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, enjoy great works of art.

 

 

 

Spring Break–Take A Break

Every time women of a certain age talk about Spring Break, we automatically think of Spring Cleaning.  We think of putting away winter clothing, changing the comforter, clearing out the pantry, deep cleaning this and that.  Why do we do that?  Is there an unwritten rule that we have to use our time away from the office working while everyone else is enjoying their time off?  What’s to keep us from doing the Spring Cleaning a little at a time after Spring Break?  This year I decided to do just that.

When I left work on the Friday before Spring Break, I went home and did my weekend cleaning that night–I was determined that this would be my Spring Break.  There would be no deep cleaning this Spring Break.  There would be the day to day cleaning, but nothing that would take all day and/or all week.

Here is my week of during Spring Break. What was yours like?

  • Sunday–great church service at Carter Metropolitan CME Church, and then dinner with my husband and our youngest daughter.  Then I did a movie (Creed) in my pajamas with my husband and popcorn and wine.
  • Monday–massage at Perfect Touch with Katie that made me want to lay there for a couple of hours.  Went walking with my sorority sister and made my steps then coffee at Starbucks afterwards. Then I decided to make homemade peanut butter cookies.  The kitchen was smelling good.  We ate them while we watched the movie again (it was rented for 2 days).
  • Tuesday–my guilty pleasure of a facial.  I absolutely love getting facials especially at my favorite place Ageless Perfection Skincare.  Miss Ruby is the best. Started reading “Natchez Burning” by Greg Iles for a book club I just joined. It is a very exciting read.
  • Wednesday–my best friend since second grade and I went to the Amon Carter Musuem of American Art to check out their latest exhibition–American Epics (Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood).  Yes, it is very good and educational.  Then we were off to West 7th Street to have lunch outside because the weather was just perfect.  We tried our tastebuds at Mash’d, a place we had never gone to.  The best lemonade bar none.  I like mine tart, my friend likes hers sweet, we were both happy. Then my daughter cancelled our walk, but I went anyway–got my steps in.
  • Thursday–manicure and pedicure at Zizi’s.  Even decided to have a glass of wine while I was getting serviced.
  • Friday–going to a networking event for women sponsored by the women’s division of the Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.  Got my TABC certification so that I can volunteer for the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.
  • Saturday–meeting with volunteer coordinator for Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival to get my assignment.  Then on to Fair Park to cover BeautyCon so that I can report about it to you, and see what they have for women of a certain age.

I started each morning with my prayers and coffee in my pj’s, and ended each night with wine and prayers in my pj’s. The house is still clean, yes the sweaters still need to go to the cleaners and be put away (well maybe, this is Texas weather). I’ll just drop them off on my way to work after Spring Break.

Spring Break is not for Spring Cleaning, it is for taking a Break during the Spring.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–you can clean next week.

Hollywood of A Bygone Era Showcased At Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum

The works of one of the most compelling artists of the 20th Century is currently being shown at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.   “AMERICAN EPICS: THOMAS HART BENTON AND HOLLYWOOD” highlights over 100 of the Missouri artist’s works. Besides some 30 paintings on display there are also murals, drawings, lithographs along with several movie posters and book illustrations.
To find out more about this wonderful museum and all the exhibitions and activities going on go to:  http://www.cartermuseum.org/.
 
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.
This post was written by Carol Y. Cooper

The Amon Carter Museum Of American Art Presents “Self-Taught Genius: Treasures From The American Folk Art Museum”

First they invited you to Party On The Porch with great food, drink, conversation, music and even great weather.  Now the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas is inviting you to another stellar event–their latest exhibition, and it promises to be an outstanding event.

Their newest exhibition Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum will be open from October 10, 2015 through January 3, 2016.  This free exhibition showcases the works of self-taught artists whose bodies of work offer a look at the history of America through eyes that were sometimes overlooked.

Ralph Fasanella (1914–1997) Subway Riders, 1950 Oil on canvas Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Ralph and Eva Fasanella Courtesy MTA Arts & Urban Design
Ralph Fasanella (1914–1997)
Subway Riders, 1950
Oil on canvas
Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York
Gift of Ralph and Eva Fasanella
Courtesy MTA Arts & Urban Design

The executive director of the American Folk Art Museum, Anne-Imelda Radice, Ph.D., states that this exhibition serves as a landmark.  It showcases the genesis of a field that has grown and become even more complex than ever before. Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum is providing new insight into the critical role of artists whose works were previously not given wide national recognition.

There are 100 works from a diverse group of artists whose works date from the mid 18th century through the early 21st century.  It represents over 50 years of collecting by the American Folk Art Museum.

This exhibition of self-taught artists is a first for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.  Adding to the exhibition will be other works in the galleries showcasing self-taught artists from Texas–Texas Folk Art which comes from private collections.

The local presentation of this exhibition is sponsored by the Kleinheinz Family Foundation for the Arts and Education.  To find more about the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the exhibition Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum,  go to:  http://www.cartermuseum.org/.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear“.  Visit the Amon Carter Museum of American Art for this wonderful free exhibition.

Free Fun In Your City

Free Fun

Every city has some wonderful events that are free or cost very little.  As a woman of a certain age I am always watching my money. Even while watching my money I am on the lookout for something fun to do–something different.  This week in Fort Worth, Texas you can visit the venues in the cultural district for FREE.

Fort Worth has some of the best museums in the national.  Go by yourself, take someone with you, go by yourself, go by yourself….Get out of the house and enjoy yourself.  There are so many things that women of a certain age can do all alone or with someone.  Why not take that child and/or grandchild to the cultural district–you can have a teaching moment without really trying.

Fort Worth skyline with the Trinity River in the foreground.

Take a look at your city and see what’s going on and enjoy.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Mind and Body

As we go through life it is important that we stay active both mentally and physically.  In most cities there are things that cost very little or even some things that are free so cost should not be a huge concern when finding actives. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Ft.Worth, Texas is a world class museum known throughout the world. They always have their permanent collection free to the public.

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This summer they are having a special showing that is free.

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The special exhibition is ROMARE BEARDEN A Black Odyssey. It is truly amazing.

The museum offers free guided tours for this exhibit, headphones or you can download the app for the exhibition on your smartphone. You can’t take pictures of the special exhibitions, but you can take them of their permanent collection.

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When leaving you will be given a card informing you of the special exhibition at the Arlington Museum of Art. There is a small admission charge, but it is far less than the cost of a movie. 

The exhibit is WILLIAM H. JOHNSON AN AMERICAN MODERN–HARLEM RENAISSANCE.

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As women of a certain age we need to expand our minds and do something different.  There are so many things that are on my I’m gonna do” list that I have not done yet, but I can cross zip lining off.

Beaumont Ranch offers a variety of zip lines, and we did them all. There is a cost, but we used a Groupon.

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Take care of your mind and body. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.