For the 2010 holiday season the Chapman Historical Museum’s historic DeLong House will be decorated to reflect the Christmas customs of the 1880s. Throughout the house visitors will find ribbons and flowers not only in the familiar red associated with the holiday, but also in burgundy, mauve and white – colors used in homes one hundred thirty years ago. The house also will feature centerpieces reproduced from period illustrations, hand-made velveteen tree ornaments and snowflakes cut from patterns of the time.
Tours will explore changes in the customs of Christmas from the 1850s to the mid 20th century. Included will be information about popular music, literature, children’s toys and even how our vision of Santa Claus changed over the decades from the first illustrated version of “The Night before Christmas” to the 1930s. A display of early 20th century postcards will provide visitors with a delightful glimpse at the variety of holiday greetings people could send to each other one hundred years ago. The holiday display will be open through January 2, 2011. Public hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday, noon – 4 pm. The museum will be closed on December 24 & 25 and January 1. Admission is free. Donations are welcome. For more info call (518) 793-2826.
Puppetry combines elements of problem solving and creativity. It can also segue children from watching television to seeing a live performance. According to Puppet People co-founder, Mark Carrigan, puppetry can spark the imagination where watching television can not.
“I got into puppetry as a small child. I remember watching a puppet show when I was in third grade, running home and making my own puppets,” says Carrigan. “After receiving a degree in sculpture, I worked with Bennington Marionettes sculpting the marionettes’ faces. I met my wife there.” He and his wife Michelle are the sole owners and employees of Puppet People. They create, design and build all their puppets and shows. Sometimes each puppet can take up to a month to complete. Each show is distinct and the puppets are not reused for various performances.
This Saturday at the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council’s (LARAC) Lapham Place Gallery in Glens Falls, children and adults will have an opportunity to participate in a puppet-making workshop as well as see a performance.
“I now want to share with kids how we make things,” says Carrigan. “The challenge is kids are programmed now after watching a show to just want their parents to buy them something. I tell them to go to the library and find out how to make something. I find that to be very important. After seeing a puppet show, kids discover its something they can do themselves. They can build and create and even put on their own show.”
It will also get children away from watching TV or videos. Carrigan remembers watching TV as a child but using imaginative play much more than children do currently. When his wife, a trained actor, as a child used to put on neighborhood shows. Carrigan wants children to be creative. He can’t stress enough the importance of teaching children to problem solve and role-play for strengthening social skills. He believes it can all start with puppets.
“I think seeing a puppet show is the first step to seeing live theatre,” say Carrigan. “There are a lot of different puppet companies so children gain that live experience through puppets first. I find children to be fascinated by its similarity to TV. Since it’s live performance, it also sparks their (the children’s) imagination.”
So there is not only the aspect of a fun afternoon there are even educational elements involved as well. LARAC is sponsoring the one day workshop along with funding provided by Stewarts Shops. The Saturday performance is $10 for adults and $5.00 for children. The 11:30 a.m. workshop is a separate fee of $12 with each participant leaving with his or her own rod puppet.
This 50-minute production is inspired by the classic Russian folk tale and ballet, The Firebird. The mythical bird comes to life and with the help of Ivan and Princess Yelena attempts to break the enchantment of the evil sorcerer. The Firebird focuses on the story’s elements of friendship, teamwork, responsibility and courage. Different types of puppets are incorporated into each show and is appropriate for grades K-6. The Firebird uses rod puppets, marionettes and body puppets.
Jenny Hutchinson, LARAC Gallery program coordinator says, “We haven’t had this workshop since 2006 so we are excited to bring the Puppet People back. For the workshop we will have about 20 people so a lot of individual attention can be given. As a nonprofit organization LARAC is proud to continue to enrich the quality of life for Warren, Saratoga and Washington counties”
Registration is requested for both the workshop and production as space is limited. Please call Ms. Hutchinson at 798-1144, ext. 2 for more information.
Last week, The Post-Star announced that its free weekly publication ADK Talk would cease publication (naturally, the blurb was buried in the middle of its local section).
This was the Glens Falls daily’s latest failed attempt to compete with the region’s independent weekly The Chronicle. ADK Talk had replaced two separate but nearly identical Post-Star weeklies called The Glens Falls Leader and The Queensbury Citizen, an experiment which also failed. The Lee Enterprises-owned paper announced that it had abandoned the weekly experiment to “pursue initiatives online” with its website. The demise of ADK Talk and its predecessors revealed some interesting lessons about the local media landscape.
Identity Matters The Chronicle is celebrating its 30th birthday because it’s distinctive. The independent weekly has a very strong identity in the community. Many people swear by it. Some people people swear at it. But everyone knows what The Chronicle is all about. Personally, I used to view it with disdain but have to come appreciate the value of a venue for independent voices in a corporate media dominated culture; and a lot of other people apparently do too.
ADK Talk and its predecessors were never able to develop that identity because they were seen as just another Post-Star/Lee Enterprises vehicle. It’s certainly reassuring for outlets like Adirondack Almanack that people still place value on the concept of locally-driven, independent media. Content Matters ADK Talk and its predecessors ran almost exclusively light feature stories. Sources tell me that the purpose of The Post-Star‘s weeklies was to entice non-subscribers to purchase the daily product.
But stories about middle school kids going on field trips and the like may be mildly interesting but are a poor hook to convince the undecided that the daily product would provide information essential to their lives. The structure of the weeklies seemed poorly thought out.
Free Isn’t Evil Newspaper pooh-bahs are possibly the only business people who go out of their way to publicly insult their customers. People who want/expect their news for free are regularly treated as leeches by newspaper big wigs.
“How can newspapers make money (survive) if the end user refuses to pay for the content?” they sniff, ignoring the fact that the terrestrial broadcast media (over the air radio and television) make money even though the content is free to the end user. Most weeklies are for profit businesses and are also free to the reader. Websites like Pro Publica are offering top quality journalism free to the end user.
ADK Talk and its predecessors were not merely distributed (free to the end user) at places like supermarkets and libraries. They were also mailed to thousands of local households that didn’t subscribe to the daily product. So Lee Enterprises put forth the significant expense of not only publishing the weeklies and having them trucked to public venues but also the postage of having them sent via the USPS.
When you spend that much time, energy and money to give your product away, how can you criticize or be surprised at the expectation that news be free?
Ultimately, the region will barely notice the disappearance of this advertising vehicle. Lee Enterprises was recently ranked as the most inefficient company in the publishing industry. One can only hope that the trend will be bucked here and that the money formerly poured into ADK Talk will be used to slow the precipitous demise of quality in The Post-Star‘s main product: the daily newspaper itself.
Murder, mystery, music and mayhem abound in the latest offering from Adirondack Theatre Festival. Murder for Two, the new musical comedy by Kellen Blair (lyrics/book) and Joe Kinosian (music/book) will receive its first full production as a part of ATF’s 16th season. The show will be performed at the Charles R. Wood Theater, 207 Glen Street in downtown Glens Falls. Performances run July 22 – July 31. Official opening night is Friday, July 9 at 8pm. Tickets and more information can be found by calling 518-874-0800 or visiting www.ATFestival.org. This fast-paced musical comedy/mystery features two actors– one playing a detective and the other portraying all suspects in the murder of a well-known novelist – and one piano (on which they both share the piano playing duties). Along the way, audiences meet a distraught but ditzy widow, a comely ballerina, the town psychiatrist, a grad student aspiring to become a detective, a 12-member boys’ choir, a squabbling middle-aged couple, and more.
Under the direction of Scott Weinstein, the cast is composed of New York City stage actors Adam Overett as Officer Marcus and Joe Kinosian as the wacky suspects. The show’s design team includes Kina Park (sets); Jason Kantrowitz (lighting); Lydia Dawson (costumes); and Ken Goodwin (sound). The production is sponsored by Stewart’s Shops.
This will be the first full production of Murder for Two. ATF Producing Artistic Director, Mark Fleischer, first saw the show as a staged reading in New York City last year. “I was so impressed with the humor and versatility of this show. This writing team is exploring ways to present a full scale musical comedy with only two performers. Their talent as songwriters is very impressive and their comedy very sophisticated. Most importantly Murder for Two offers audiences a fun evening at the theatre.” Fleischer has followed the development of the piece by attending readings at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor NY and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. The production at ATF will be the first time the show is fully staged with actors not holding scripts and with the addition of sets, lights and sound design. The show has already caught the attention of theatres across the country and future productions are already in negotiation at theatres in large cities across the country. However, audiences in our area will be the first to see this musical. As Fleischer states, “ATF is reversing the trend of summer theatres producing NYC approved shows. ATF audiences in the Adirondacks give the approval before shows head to NYC.” ATF has a 16 year tradition of developing new works for the theatre. Last summer ATF produced Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days. The show was then produced at NYC’s Roundabout Theatre. The creators and ATF hope that Murder for Two will follow in this tradition.
Photo: Adam Overett and Joe Kinosian in Murder for Two
Lake George Town officials want the Hudson Headwaters Health Network to establish a clinic in their community, and have initiated discussions with the Network to determine its feasibility, Supervisor Frank McCoy has announced.
A clinic could be housed in a new building constructed for Lake George’s Emergency Medical Services squad, McCoy said at the Town’s monthly board meeting on Monday. “Land is so expensive in Lake George that it makes sense to buy property for two entities,” said McCoy.
According to town councilwoman Fran Heinrich, Hudson Headwaters’ Tripp Shannon informed the town that a sufficient number of patients from Lake George visit the Network’s other clinics to justify a thorough investigation of the proposal.
Dr. John Rugge, the president and CEO of Hudson Headwaters Health Network, said the Network staff’s meetings with McCoy and Heinrich had been productive. “We’re committed to working with the Town to meet the long term health care needs of Lake George,” said Rugge. The expense of establishing a new clinic is among the issues that need to be addressed, said Rugge. Typically, municipalities provide a building, equipment and maintenance of a clinic, which Hudson Headwaters then staffs with medical personnel.
The not-for-profit network currently operates health centers in Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Glens Falls, Indian Lake, Moreau, Moriah, North Creek, Queensbury, Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga and Warrensburg.
Other issues to be discussed include the functions of a Lake George clinic within the network as a whole and the development of a program that could be adapted to Lake George’s fluctuating population, Rugge said. “The population is like an accordion,” said Rugge. “It expands ten-fold in the summer. We would have to address that.”
As a federally-certified community health care centers, a Lake George clinic could be eligible for funding under the 2010 federal Health Care Reform act, though it may be at least four years before that money becomes available, Rugge said.
Despite those obstacles, Rugge said, “it’s a pleasure working with such a far-sighted administration. Whenever a community wants to work with Hudson Headwaters Health Network, magic can happen; obstacles can be overcome.”
A new facility for Lake George’s rescue squad, while urgently needed, will also take time to fund and construct, said Bruce Kilburn, the president of the Lake George Emergency Squad. Founded in 1960, the rescue squad celebrated its 50th anniversary in February with a gala at the Georgian, intended to kick-off a fund raising campaign for the new building.
“We’ve outgrown our building on Gage Road,” said Kilburn. “Training, meetings, every day activities are getting more difficult to co-ordinate.”
With the loss of volunteers and increasing reliance on professional Emergency responders, who are frequently assigned over-night shifts, separate facilities for men and women are needed, Kilburn said.
“Without separate facilities, we could face sexual harassment suits,” said Kilburn. “That’s a big concern to us.”
Town officials anticipate assistance from Lake George Village taxpayers in the fund drive for new EMS headquarters, said McCoy. “We expect Lake George Village to step up to the plate,” said McCoy. “The Town funded fifty percent of the new firehouse.”
A number of locations for the new facility are under consideration, but none have been made public.
After well over a year of planning, thirty-eight unique Adirondack chairs will be placed throughout downtown Memorial Day through September 6, 2010. Each chair was created by a regional artist offering a Glens Falls theme, built to be weather resistant and functional. This project is hoped to focus on Glens Falls as a tourism destination with many shopping, dining, cultural, and entertainment choices.
To promote “Have a Seat in Glens Falls,” ninety-thousand rack cards have been distributed along eastern New York from Suffern to Plattsburg and twenty-thousand brochures with chair maps have been delivered to local retail stores, restaurants, and attractions. A website provides access to all pertinent information, including an interactive map of the chairs’ locations. The project also has an active presence on Facebook. Ads, both radio and print, and banners will run throughout the summer months. After the event is over, the chairs will be sold to the highest bidders at the “Chair-itable Auction”, scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, at The Queensbury Hotel. Each artist will receive 25% of their chair’s sale price. Net proceeds from the project benefit the City Park Restoration Project, Crandall Public Library, and Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council.
This year Lake George Opera’s Opera-To-Go is performing another adaptation by John Davies of Opera Tales. Davies, a bass-baritone has performed with a variety of opera companies such as Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco and Philadelphia as well as many others. Then in the 1990s, as a means to entertain his own children, Davies hit on a combination that worked. He merged classic fairy tales with classic music in a way to engage and entertain children of all ages.
Each Davies children’s opera takes recognizable tunes and pairs them to a story with a lesson, similar to the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon that showcased The Barber of Seville. In this performance one little pig goes to the library as she researches how to build a house. The Three Little Pigs converges with Mozart’s Don Giovanni as the wolf pretends to be a statue and ends up being invited for dinner with a second little pig and trouble commences.
For Liz Giblin, Director of Marketing for the Lake George Opera, Davies’ children’s operas not only take classic operatic ideas and themes but have a strong educational element to them as well. Each year the company performs for schools throughout upstate New York, the Adirondacks and western New England as well as a series of free performances for families.
“The Opera-To-Go program has been going into communities and schools since 1985,” Giblin says. “Children aren’t only exposed to opera but to good lessons within each of the classic fairy tales. The Three Little Pigs shows how everything you need to know is in the library. Last year’s opera was about the danger of talking to strangers. Another opera was about the Golden Rule. Children are not only exposed to opera but also exposed to stories and music. Obviously we are an opera company so want people to know that opera is available to everyone not just an older generation.”
The 45-minute opera of The Three Little Pigs will be held at the Charles R. Wood Theatre in Glens Falls free of charge at 1:00 p.m. on March 27. According to Executive Director Bill Woodward seating for the operatic performance at the Wood Theatre is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The 299-seat theatre will be open a half-hour before show time.
“This a great opportunity for kids to come and see opera where it is reachable. It is a fairy tale and children are mesmerized with the singing. It’s a good way to assimilate them to opera,” says Woodward. “Parents will enjoy it just as much as the kids.”
Two investigative reports purporting to reveal dubious practices by the Adirondack Park Agency and environmental groups have been called into question themselves. The pieces, which ran on January 9 and 10, were written by Post-Star features’ editor Will Doolittle. Doolittle has written numerous columns expressing hostility to the APA and green groups. Why a journalist who was openly and vehemently hostile to the APA and green groups was assigned to do a purportedly objective investigation into the APA and green groups is something the paper never felt the need to explain. And my skepticism appears to have been validated. (Note: Part one of the series is available online here. Part two is here) » Continue Reading.
Please join me in welcoming Brian Farenell to Adirondack Almanack. Regular readers may recognize Brian as the insightful commentator at Musings of a (Fairly) Young Contrarian, where he regularly offers insights and ideas about national and local issues. His commentary on local media has been a breath of fresh air in the sometimes polluted mass media environment and we hope his regular monthly contributions here will help clear the Adirondack air as well. A nearly-lifelong resident of Glens Falls, Brian has been involved in writing and journalism since his high school days. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University, he spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Although his traditional focuses have been international affairs (he’s been published in Foreign Policy magazine) and media criticism, he has more recently gained a deepened appreciation for the Adirondack region through a new-found love of hiking. When he is not writing or hiking, Brian can usually be found biking or kicking around a soccer ball.
Brian will kick off his contributions to the Almanack today at noon with a piece on the recent controversy over the Glens Falls Post Star‘s coverage of the Adirondack Park Agency.
Enter the Hyde Collection’s Charles R. Wood Gallery, where the stunning new exhibition, “An Enduring Legacy: American Impressionist Paintings from the Thomas Clark Collection,” is displayed, and among the first things you’ll notice is that the paintings are grouped roughly by geography, or according to the regions depicted by these early 20th century artists: the New England coast, Vermont, the Hudson Valley, California.
Far from being arbitrary or eccentric, that curatorial choice cleverly elucidates an intention shared by almost every artist represented in the show. These American Impressionists, explains curator Erin Coe, “were deeply committed to making art that reflected the spirit of America and its distinctive scenery.”
Or, as Coe writes in the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition, “the landscape painters of the first third of the twentieth century were overtly nationalistic in their outlook, seeking to create a more authentic American variant of Impressionism…”
To realize that ambition, those artists were compelled to train their eyes on a particular region, if only because the American landscape is defined by its diversity and lack of uniformity. An American landscape is necessarily a local landscape.
“The works in the Clark Collection offer a comprehensive treatment of these regional schools of Impressionist activity in America,” says Coe.
For instance, the show includes three paintings by Arthur James Emery Powell (1864-1956) of the long-settled, deeply cultivated valleys of Dutchess County.
All three portray winter landscapes, for reasons at least partially explained by Coe in a lecture she delivered at The Hyde on January 17.
Winter landscapes, she said, are “the visual equivalent of a poem by Robert Frost,” that most self-consciously regional of American poets.
Approximately one quarter of the paintings collected by Thomas Clark are winter landscapes, Coe noted, in part because winter is the quintessential American season.
Perhaps it’s co-incidental that Dutchess county was a hotbed of anti-federalism in the 18th century, and that places like Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have shown separatist tendencies at different times in our history. It’s no co-incidence, though, that the artists included in this exhibition chose to paint in places with strong regional identities. The landscapes these artists selected for their subject matter were chosen in part because they exemplified a region’s characteristic and recognizable qualities.
But of equal, if not greater importance, Coe said, those landscapes were the locations of artists’ colonies that flourished in the early part of the 20th century in places like Old Lyme, Connecticut; Cape Ann, Massachusetts; New Hope, Pennsylvania; and Woodstock, New York, as well as in Vermont and California.
The traditions of European and American painting were transmitted through those colonies and schools, producing the unique vision that is embodied in Clark’s collection.
“These artists were the students and sketching partners of the seminal figures in the development of Impressionism in America, such as William Merritt Chase, Willard L. Metcalf, John Henry Twachtman, and Robert Henri,” Coe said.
Thomas Clark, who lives in Saratoga County, has promised to donate this collection of paintings to The Hyde, and this exhibition is to some extent a celebration of that gift.
“An Enduring Legacy: American Impressionist Landscape Paintings from the Thomas Clark Collection,” will remain on view at The Hyde through March 18.
The Hyde Collection is located at 161 Warren Street in downtown Glens Falls. For more information, call The Hyde at 792-1761.
The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls has announced its 2010 Exhibition Schedule. This year’s schedule includes American Impressionist landscape paintings, twentieth-century Modern art, a regional juried high school art show, a major exhibition of the work of Andrew Wyeth, and the museum will also play host for the first time to the long-running Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, an annual juried show founded in 1936. The complete schedule from the Hyde Collection announcement is below. Through Sunday, March 28, 2010 An Enduring Legacy: American Impressionist Landscape Paintings from the Thomas Clark Collection
This exhibition presents sixty-four paintings from the private collection of Saratoga County, New York resident Thomas Clark. For twenty years, Clark has been amassing a significant group of pre-1940 American Impressionist landscape paintings with more than 100 works in the collection. Considered one of the finest private collections of this genre in upstate New York, it is testament to the enduring legacy of Impressionist painting in American art.
The collection, on public display for the first time, comprises examples from the last great generation of landscape painters who emerged during, and in the aftermath of, the American Impressionist movement (1880-1920). Many of these artists were students and/or sketching partners of the seminal figures in Impressionism in America, such as William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman. The Collection offers a comprehensive treatment of the regional schools of Impressionist activity in America. Forty-seven artists are featured in the exhibition, including Walter Emerson Baum, John Joseph Enneking, Emile A. Gruppé, Hayley Lever, Frederick Mulhaupt, George Loftus Noyes, and Harry A. Vincent. The exhibition is curated by Erin Coe, chief curator and deputy director of The Hyde Collection and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. Clark has announced his intention to make a future donation of his remarkable collection to The Hyde where it will greatly enhance the Museum’s current holdings of American art.
Through February 28, 2010 Divided by a common language? British and American Works from the Murray Collection
Approximately twenty works of twentieth-century Modern art, donated to the Museum by the late Jane Murray, are on display in Hoopes Gallery. Works included in this exhibition were part of the first significant donation of twentieth-century art received by The Hyde and helped to form the foundation of the Museum’s Modernist holdings. Jane Murray passed away in April 2009 and bequeathed the remainder of her substantial collection to the Museum.
Curated by The Hyde’s Executive Director David F. Setford, the exhibition reflects one woman’s journey into the world of art and the creative process itself. Represented in the exhibition are British artists including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, John Piper, Howard Hodgkin, and Paul Mount. American artists include Gregory Amenoff, American, b. 1948, Gregory Amenoff, Betty Parsons, Stuart Davis, and Ellsworth Kelly. The works selected examine the similarities and differences between American and British works of the period, as both are areas of particular strength in the Murray Murray Collection.
April 11 through May 23 Nineteenth Regional Juried High School Art Show
The Hyde proudly hosts one hundred works in various media by the best of area high school art students. Entries into the competition average approximately 1,200 per year and the top 100 works were chosen by jurors to be highlighted in this annual spring event, showcased in the Museum’s Charles R. Wood Gallery.
This unique show allows participating students to experience the preparation, submission, and jurying process crucial to their artistic development. The young artists entering the competition hail from as many as forty area schools located in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Hamilton, and Essex counties.
June 12 through September 5 Andrew Wyeth: An American Legend
The Hyde Collection introduces the broad span of work by Andrew Wyeth in its major summer exhibition for 2010. Organized by The Hyde and curated by Executive Director David F. Setford and Deputy Director and Chief Curator Erin B. Coe in association with the Farnsworth Art Museum of Rockland, Maine, the exhibition will mark the first opportunity since the artist’s death in 2009 to begin to critically reevaluate his contribution to and position in American art of the twentieth century. Works will include pencil, watercolor, dry brush, and tempera works, and will feature sections devoted to early coastal watercolors and landscape paintings, as well as a look at Wyeth’s models, his interest in vernacular architecture, and his connection with the Regionalist tradition and Magic Realism.
The exhibition will feature approximately fifty works, with the core from the Farnsworth Art Museum. Also on view will be The Hyde’s own Wyeth – The Ledge and the Island, 1937 – and major works from Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Hood Museum of Art, as well as from other museums and private collections.
The Museum continues its summer collaborations with other arts organizations in the region by coordinating a series of lectures, exhibitions, and performances with Wyeth-related themes.
October 10 through December 12 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region
For the first time, The Hyde Collection is host of the Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, one of the longest-running collaborative juried exhibitions in the country. The Museum joins the Albany Institute of History and Art and the University Art Museum at the University at Albany as the third collaborative sponsor of the exhibition, which is hosted by the organizations on a rotating basis. Founded in 1936, this annual show provides a leading benchmark for contemporary art in the Upper Hudson Valley. The exhibition is open to artists residing within a 100-mile radius of either Glens Falls or the Capital District. Past jurors have included artists, curators, critics, art historians, and art dealers such as Edward Hopper (1941), George Rickey (1971), Kenneth Noland (1977), Wolf Kahn (1980), Grace Gluck (1984), Dan Cameron (1997), and Ivan Karp (2005).
For the 2010 exhibition, The Hyde has invited Charles Desmarais, the Deputy Director of Art at the Brooklyn Museum, to be the guest juror. Mr. Desmarais leads the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, conservation, education, exhibition, and library departments.
On Saturday, November 28, The Hyde Collection will open Divided by a common language? British and American Works from The Murray Collection. The exhibition of approximately twenty works of Modern art from the twentieth century are part of a larger collection donated to the Museum by the late Jane Murray.
Between 1991 and 1996, Murray gave nearly sixty works of Modern art to the Museum, the first significant donation of twentieth-century art received by The Hyde. An additional group of works was bequeathed by Murray upon her death earlier this year. This donation helped to form the foundation of the Museum’s Modernist holdings. The exhibit, curated by The Hyde’s Executive Director David F. Setford, celebrates the works donated by Murray and reflects the breadth of her collection, while looking at differences and similarities between British and American Modernism. Artists represented in the exhibition include Britain’s Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, John Piper, Howard Hodgkin, and Paul Mount. American artists include Gregory Amenoff, Betty Parsons, Stuart Davis, and Ellsworth Kelly.
“This exhibition was organized as a tribute to Jane Murray’s legacy,” said Setford, “Her generosity to our Museum is only surpassed by the attention she paid in selecting works for her impressive Modern art collection.“
According to Setford, the exhibition pieces were selected to help visitors examine the similarities and differences between American and British works of the period, as both are areas of particular strength in the Murray Collection.
The exhibition in Hoopes Gallery will be open through Sunday, February 28, 2010. Admission to the Museum complex is free for members. Voluntary suggested donation for non-members is five dollars. For more information, contact The Hyde Collection at 518-792-1761 or visit www.hydecollection.org. Photo: Betty Parsons, American, 1900-1982, Guardian, 1980.
Sarnac Lake wins for musical events this weekend. I’ll be attend every one of them. I’d also love to get to Potsdam to see Aida on the big screen.
Tonight, October 22nd:
In Saranac Lake at BluSeed Studios, open minded mic night is back. Sign up is at 7 pm and The Dust Bunnies host, starting at 7:30. This is the best open mic I’ve ever regularly attended. Musicians and attendees alike are truly supportive amidst originals, cover songs and poetry. Friday, October 23rd:
In Saranac Lake at the Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge,Rachel Van Slyke returns. She charmed us all this past spring with her lovely voice, solid guitar playing and haunting lyrics. Another musician I admire was riding by and actually whipped his bike around upon hearing her voice—he never got to where he was going. The song “Where I Want To Be” is a real pretty one, and I like the video that accompanies this version. She filmed most of it herself while biking around the country. According to her myspace page she starts at 6 pm.
Saturday, October 24th:
In Potsdam, the Met Live in HD is being played at the Roxy Theater and begins at 1 pm. The Verdi opera Aida is about an Ethiopian Princess who is captured and brought to Egypt as a slave. The Pharaoh’s military commander falls in love with her and must choose between his love for her and for his leader. As if this wasn’t heavy enough, the Pharaoh’s daughter is in love with him. This is one of the most popular operas in history—only La Boheme has been performed more by the Met. If you check out this link you’ll find details about fantastic meals you can get in conjunction with these performances.
In Glens Falls the band Live Without Annette is playing at the Full Moon Bar and Grill. They are a cover band that’s been voted best party band by the Post-Star for a few years in a row. You can check out some of their covers on youtube. I like their sense of humor. They start at 9:30 pm.
In Saranac Lake , celebrate Devito’s Birthday with two jam bands at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake. Jatoba and Raisinhead! The first is acoustic and the second reminiscent of the Grateful Dead, both are a lot of fun. As usual there will be a special cocktail hour at 9 pm to get everyone in the dancin’ mood, and some of the best bartenders are coming out of retirement for this special occasion.
Sunday, October 25th:
In Potsdam, The Met’s Encore presentation of “Aida” in HD is at the Roxy Theater. It will begin at 1 pm and end at 5 pm, just in time for dinner. Photo: Rachel Van Slyke
Douglass Crockwell is known today as a commercial artist whose images of daily American life appeared regularly on the covers of popular magazines like the Saturday Evening Post and in advertisements for national brands of beers and dog foods.
In Glens Falls, he had what is known as intra-mural fame, as the city’s best known artist.
“He referred to himself as the ‘poor man’s Norman Rockwell,’” said Patricia Hoopes, who sometimes served as a model for Crockwell’s illustrations, as did her husband and two children. “What Doug painted is not the kind of art that would ordinarily be displayed at The Hyde,” says Sam Hoopes, whose great-aunt, Charlotte Hyde, founded the Glens Falls museum to conserve and display her collection of European and American art.
But last year, Hoopes became aware of a painting that he thought The Hyde should own.
Painted in 1934, Paper Workers, Finch Pruyn & Co. shows workers smoothing and stamping an enormous roll of newsprint, the plant’s principal product at the time.
The workers appear to be carved of wood, Crockwell once said, because he wanted to liken the men to the source of the wood pulp from which they made newsprint.
Mike Carr, the executive director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, saw the painting in a New York gallery and called it to Hoopes’s attention.
“I thought it seemed out of character for Doug, since we knew him best as a commercial artist,” said Hoopes. After discussing the painting with The Hyde’s director, David Stetford, and the museum’s chief curator, Erin Coe, Sam and Patricia Hoopes decided to buy the painting and donate it to The Hyde.
“Given Doug Crockwell’s connection to The Hyde – he was a trustee from 1952 through 1968 and served as acting director from 1964 and 1968 – and The Hyde’s connection to Finch Pruyn, I thought the painting was something The Hyde should have,” said Hoopes.
“Sam Hoopes saw the opportunity to share with the Museum a piece of Glens Falls history. The image of “Paper Workers, Finch Pruyn & Co”. connects us with the industrial roots that allowed The Hyde Collection to begin,” said David Stetford, noting that Charlotte Hyde’s father, and Sam Hoopes’ great-grandfather, Samuel Pruyn, co-founded Finch Pruyn in 1865.
According to Erin Coe, Crockwell painted two nearly identical versions of the image. The first version belongs to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. and was created by Crockwell in 1934 for the Works Progress Administration. The version donated by the Hoopeses to The Hyde, was made by the artist for Finch Pruyn & Co. later that same year.
“Although Crockwell is more widely known as a commercial illustrator, this painting is a remarkable example of his endeavor as a fine artist — long before he became the famous illustrator of the 1940s and 50s,” said Coe. Other overlooked aspects of Crockwell’s career, such as the surrealist films he made and the avant-garde jewelry he designed, have yet to be fully explored, said Coe.
He was also a patron of more pathbreaking artists, including the sculptor David Smith.
His wife, Margaret Bramen Crockwell, once said, “My husband was one of the first to buy Smith’s sculptures. Someone told me years later that the sale of ‘Structure of Arches’ kept David from starving.”
The Hyde owns two other works by Crockwell, Coe said. The first, acquired in 1971, is a painted illustration for the Saturday Evening Post and was donated to The Hyde by Crockwell’s family. The second is an unfinished portrait of Louis Fiske Hyde, which was donated to the Museum by the family in 1979.
According to Coe, “Paper Workers, Finch Pruyn & Co.” was presented by The Hyde’s Collections Committee to the Board of Trustees for approval at their meeting on September 21, 2009. The work will be sent to the Williamstown Art Conservation Center for conservation treatment, and when the painting returns it will be placed on public view.
Cooler weather and changing colors seems to bring out the classical concerts (my that’s a lot of “c’s”). There are so many great performances to choose from this weekend. I feel a bit more intelligent just writing about them; imagine how you’ll feel if you actually get out to hear these great musicians and instruments.
Tonight in Jay is a meeting of the Acoustics Club at the Amos and Julia Ward Theatre at the junction of routes 9N and 86 next to the Village Green. The meeting starts at 7 pm and is for beginner musicians to play, learn and share experiences with music and sound in a casual setting. Any and all instruments, including the voice, are invited. Call Janet Morton at 946-7420 with any questions. Friday in Glens Falls a Beeman Organ Concert will be held at the First Presbyterian Church. Organist Alan Morrison will play at 7:30 pm. Mr. Morrison has a very impressive resume having played at most of the fine concert halls and cathedrals in the States and Canada. You can call 793 – 2521 or go to www.fpcgf.org for more information.
In Lake Clear on Friday, local favorite Steve Borst will be performing at Charlie’s Inn. Steve has written some lovely original songs and is great at taking requests. He starts at 6:30 pm and you can call 891 – 9858 for more information.
Saturday in Keene Valley, Adirondack Brass will be holding a concert at the Congregational Church at 4 pm. Check out their myspace page – they sound great. Keene Valley has some cool restaurants to check out after going to what is sure to be an inspirational evening of music. The event is sponsored by The East Branch Friends of the Arts. For more information call 576-4769. A donation is appreciated.
On Saturday in Saranac Lake, High Peaks Opera will be performing Italian Opera at Will Rogers. This is the same group that blew folks away in Tupper Lake earlier this year and features Metropolitan Opera bass George Cordes. What a fantastic voice—I’ve heard him before and you can check it out for yourself by clicking on the link. The performance starts at 7:30 pm. A donation is appreciated.
Later on Saturday in Saranac Lake at the Waterhole the Rev Tor band gets going around 10 pm. This is in the great-to-play Upstairs Music Lounge, where the cocktails start flowing at 9 pm when the doors open. There aren’t a lot of places to sit, but at that hour it’s usually more fun to dance and sway then stay planted anyway. Rev Tor has some fine musicianship going on in their band. I’m particularly impressed with the keyboards and guitar solos.
You have two chances to hear Dan Gordan “International Man of Saxophone.” The link I connected to is all about a book he wrote detailing his journeys as a street musician in Europe. It looks fun—I’d like to read it—and it gives a little insight as to why he considers himself an international man of sax. This is the beginning of the new Piano By Nature season, which means that pianist Rose Chancler—who will be accompanying Mr. Gordon—is back presenting and giving concerts in her community. The Saturday concert starts at 7 pm and the Sunday one at 3 pm; both take place in the Hand House Parlor in Elizabethtown. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for 15 and under. Reservations are required due to limited seating: 518-962-2949.
Lastly, there are two chances for some open mic action this weekend: First, there is an ongoing Coffee House and Open Mic that happens on the last Saturday of every month at the Universal Unitarian Church in Queensbury. It is held 7:30 – 10 pm and you can call 793-1468 for more details. Then on Sunday at 7 pm there is an Open Mic being held in Lake Placid. The Luna Java Coffee Shop is located at 5794 Cascade Road. I can’t find a phone number for them so… I’ve no other details other than to say, Go and perform or cheer on the local talent. Thriving open mic scenes are essential for a musical community.
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