Archive for museum

In the Tower

Posted in Culture with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

Kerry-James-MarshallKerry James Marshall is known for his work that explores the experiences of African Americans and the narratives of American history that have often excluded black people. The National Gallery of Art presents In the Tower: Kerry James Marshall, the sixth in a series of Tower installations focusing on developments in art since midcentury through December 7, 2013.

The dominant theme of the exhibit is described by the National Gallery as a look at ‘the transport of African slaves to America in the Middle Passage—the second or “middle” leg of the triangular trade of manufactured goods, slaves, and crops that transpired between Europe, Africa, and the American colonies from the colonial period until the middle of the 19th century. Marshall’s works explore the economic, sociological, and psychological aftermath of this foundational episode of US history. In his art, the past is never truly past: history exerts a constant, often unconscious pressure on the living.’

Emancipation: 1863 & 1963

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , on December 12, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

RRXCF00ZThe year 2013 marks two historic milestones in American history, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the National Archives are recognizing these events.

Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, opens December 14, 2012 at NMAAHC’s temporary gallery on level two at American History. The exhibition, features historic photographs, paintings, new film footage and objects, that explores the historical context of these two crucial events, their accomplishments and limitations, and their impact on the generations that followed. The exhibit runs through September 2013.

The National Archives will celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a free special display of the original document from December 30, 2012 through January 1, 2013. The Emancipation Proclamation is displayed only for a limited time each year because of its fragility, which can be made worse by exposure to light, and the need to preserve it for future generations. Other special programs marking the 150th anniversary will be held throughout the year.

We Want the Funk!

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival kicks off with the free “Bring Back the Funk” concert presented by The National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, Wednesday, June 27, from 6 pm to 9 pm in the Festival’s “Panorama Room” performance tent between 12th and 14th Streets. “Bring Back the Funk” will open the Folklife Festival’s evening concert series and will take place within view of the future site of the museum. Music legend George Clinton will be joined by Meshell Ndegeocello, Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk.  Tom Joyner who will serve as emcee for this summer spectacular. The concert is part of a year-long series of events celebrating the groundbreaking of The National Museum of African American History and Culture and Black Music Month.

Expand Your Local

Posted in Commentary, Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

One of the most wonderful things about Washington, DC is that there is always something new to discover and someplace to go that you have never been. Whether you have lived in Washington for just a few months, a few years, or even your entire life, there are an abundance of opportunities, experiences and adventures that are to be had. So often, however, those of us that dwell in the DC metro area find ourselves bound by habits and routines of going to the same familiar places. We’ll eat at the same restaurants out of complacency. Likewise, we’ll patronize the same theaters, museums, parks and galleries. We will attend the same festivals in the summer year after year, if for no other reason than it’s what we’ve always done. It is convenient and less scary not to venture beyond our normal paths and neighborhoods that we know so much about. We behave this way because it’s easy and comfortable. It is effortless and doesn’t take much thought to do what we have always done or go where we have always gone. It also means, though, that we continue to see the city through the same lens which we have always seen it. But 2012 we can all challenge ourselves to do something different!

The Substance & Style 2012 challenge to each Washingtonian is to spend an entire day in a ward of the District of Columbia where you do not reside, work or frequently play. Take the time to get to know and enjoy the city in a new way. From Dupont Circle to Fort Dupont, there are numerous parks to picnic, play or relax in. Art galleries like Honfleur and Morton Fine Art are great examples of the numerous galleries on either side of the Anacostia River that offer visitors visual treasurers. The DC Public Library also offers an array of programs and activities in libraries across the city. Cultural Tourism DC’s Neighborhood Heritage Trails provides self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods including Deanwood, Mount Pleasant, Tenleytown and Barracks Row. The walking tours are directed by signs that provide a great deal of history, stories and photos while you walk and create your own memories In every Ward of Washington, there lies something to enjoy and new people to meet. We simply must seek the opportunities to do so.

Visiting the cultural and civic sites in other neighborhoods can be entertaining, educational and empowering as it also is a chance to support many of the small and locally owned businesses that are the heart of the local economy. Building community and sustaining it requires us to make conscious efforts to shop and support local entrepreneurs. Substance and Style’s charge to you is to expand your “local” in 2012. Don’t just cross the street, cross the river. Spend a day on Barracks Row and an evening on U Street NW.  Reach beyond your ward. Celebrate the diversity of the city. Expand your local!

The Black List

Posted in Culture with tags , , on November 7, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Walking through the gallery one can see images of him or herself at every turn without ever looking in a mirror. It is an incredible feeling to look at photo portraits in which you can see yourself, though the picture is not of you. The 50 photos that make up The Black List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders now on view at the National Portrait Gallery gives museum visitors that very feeling.  Several years ago photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and journalist Elvis Mitchell worked together to create a list of influential African Americans in the 20th Century. Their idea was to photograph, interview and chronicle the experiences of a vast array of men and women whose life work has contributed to the narrative of American and African American history and culture.  The subjects for this project would be pulled from arts & humanities, business, politics, academia, human rights and every field of human endeavor.  Those chosen would all become members of “the black list” – reclaiming the notion that to be on a black list meant something negative or undesirable. This reimagining of the black list would be positive and incredible.

The current exhibition includes photographs and an ongoing video of the accompanying interviews. Household names and faces like Chris Rock, Reverend Al Sharpton, Dr. Susan Rice and Serena Williams along with those whose names aren’t as widely known as their work are wonderfully captured. While you may have never met these individuals, the inviting portraits by Greenfield-Sanders makes you pause for a moment and consider if you’ve in fact known them forever in a familiar way.  

Two stand outs from the exhibit are the beautifully striking portrait of the Tony Award winning choreographer and director Bill T. Jones, and that of the regal Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. The exhibition remains on view at the museum through April 22, 2012.

Crafty Couture

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 20, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23 the Smithsonian Women’s Committee will host their annual Craft 2 Wear event at the National Building Museum 401 F Street, NW from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The annual event is a show and sale for 40 exhibitors who have previously juried into the Smithsonian Craft Shows.  Exhibitors will be selling some of the very best crafted jewelry, wearable art, and accessories for men and women.  Friday, October 21 a private sneak peek reception will be held at 5:30pm and Sunday, October 23 there will be a panel discussion on curating your closet at 11:00am. Admission to the general exhibition sale is $5 and costs for the sneak peek and panel is $50 and $30 respectively. Proceeds from the weekend of events are used to support education, outreach and research at the Smithsonian Institution.

Seoul in the City

Posted in Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails, Politics with tags , , , , on October 12, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The evening of October 13 the Obama administration will open the doors of the White House to host a state dinner honoring the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. This is the fifth state dinner hosted by the administration. If you didn’t get an invitation don’t be disappointed. Washingtonians have several other ways to learn more and to get a taste of the beautifully rich South Korean culture. For those with a literal appetite Mandu has been offering delicious traditional Korean food in DC since 2006. Both their original location on 18th Street NW and their newest addition on K Street NW continue to get rave reviews.

If something more appealing to the eye than the stomach is what you seek, stop by the Freer Gallery of Art for a visit to the Korean ceramics exhibition. The collection includes ceramics made from 200 to 1900. Throughout November the Freer will hold a series of events including movies and live performances in celebration of the reopening of their Korea gallery. It kicks off Friday, November 4 at 7pm with a free performance by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky.

The Embassy of South Korea is always a wealth of information on activities and programs that bring better understanding of culture and commerce between the US and South Korea all year round. Seoul meets soul in the District.

30 Americans | 1 Extraordinary Exhibit

Posted in Culture with tags , on September 29, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Sinister and sensual, frightening yet full of faith, a feast of the eyes but often hard to digest, 30 Americans, the new exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art that opens to the public October 1 is a breathtaking collection of work. Highlighting the exceptional work of some of the most dynamic and thought provoking African American visual artists in the last three decades 30 Americans provides visitors new and different lenses to view Black identity through their art. It is timely that this exhibit would open in Washington coinciding with the release of Who’s Afraid of Post-­Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now by the cultural critic Touré. In his latest work he examines what it means to be African American in the 21st Century and challenges the traditional assumptions of the creation and performance of blackness today.  

One of the great fortunes of 30 Americans for Washingtonians who wish to use their examination of art as a catalyst for introspection is the inclusion of work by Lorna Simpson. “Why does working with a Black figure necessarily mean that the work loses universal quality?” she asks. Her contributions to 30 Americans when contrasted to those of Zhang Chun Hong in the Asian American Portraits of Encounter exhibit on view at the National Portrait Gallery through October 14 are captivating. Their images and choice of subjects illustrate the commonalities of humanity and offer something savory to ponder – across racial, ethnic identifiers. Universal.

See a complete list of related programs and events for 30 Americans here. The exhibit runs through February 2012.

Hillwood – Home for Everyone

Posted in Culture with tags , on September 13, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

There are three homes every Washingtonian must visit: the White House, Cedar Hill and Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. The gorgeous 25 acre estate is the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the heiress to the Post cereal fortune, socialite, and philanthropist. Also, by the time of her death in 1973 she had become one the finest collectors of art in the world. She amassed what is said to be the most comprehensive collection of Russian Imperial art outside of Russia and a very noteworthy 18th-century French decorative art collection. In 1977 her estate opened to the public and has maintained a meaningful place in the cultural landscape of Washington, DC.

Long before same sex couples were able to legally enter into the institution of marriage in the District of Columbia Hillwood was an institution that had already fully committed to the gay community. Hillwood has done increasing outreach to the local gay community, created an GLBT advisory board and held events to highlight its open and welcoming atmosphere. Saturday, September 17 from 10am – 6pm Hillwood will host its 10th Annual Gay Day. During the gay guests will be able to tour the home, gardens and participate in a host of other activities. The day will end with the traditional social on the lunar lawn – Punch by the Porte Cochere.

If you don’t make it for Gay Day, visit any time before January to visit the Wedding Belles: Bridal Fashions from the Marjorie Merriweather Post Family, 1874-1958, exhibit. It is a delight for anyone interested in wedding fashion.

We Will Remember

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 2, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

It is a day that will never be forgotten and perhaps the defining moment for the United States in the first half of the 21st Century. The unprecedented attacks on American soil that took place September 11, 2001 are being remembered by Washingtonians and the rest of the world in a number of ways.  September 3 through September 11 the National Museum of American History will show a selection of objects at the museum on open tables, without cases, and with short labels in what it is calling Remembrance and Reflection. According to press notes the intent is to give visitors an intimate experience that will help make this historic day more real in their memories and stimulate them to reflect on its significance. This is just one piece of a multi platform 10th anniversary commemoration.

First Lady Michelle Obama along with the National Corporation for Community Service are encouraging Americans to observe September 11 as a National Day of Service. In many areas, volunteers will honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters. If you would like to volunteer, please you can find a location near you here. An additional resource is the official website for the “I Will” movement.

Locally, on Sunday, September 11, HandsOn Greater DC Cares and Serve DC – the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by hosting Tribute to Service – Honoring the Victims, Survivors, and Heroes of 9/11 at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, DC. The tribute serves as a time for community members to rekindle the spirit of service that emerged following the attacks of 9/11. Attendees will have an opportunity engage in onsite service projects, connect to volunteerism throughout the year by participating in our volunteer fair featuring nonprofits from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia and participate in our tribute program.  Ironically, or perhaps intentionally the Washington Redskins will host the New York Giants at FedEx Field.

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