The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has cancelled a blockbuster exhibition of Genoese art due to the pandemic.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has cancelled its presentation of a major survey of Genoese art, little over a month before it was scheduled to begin. The museum stated that the ongoing pandemic rendered it impossible to put up the show in September as planned.
However, European audiences may still be in luck. The exhibition “A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750,” co-organized by the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, is still scheduled to open in 2022. (Dates for the presentation have yet to be verified by the university.)
“A Superb Baroque,” which had been postponed for more than a year, was one of the most anticipated events of the fall season, and was to serve as a great survey of Genoa during the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Italian city-state thrived as a centre for the arts. More than 130 pieces, many from international institutions, were to be included in the exhibition. The Chiesa di San Luca, the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola, and the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato were all expected to provide about half of the pieces.
Anabeth Guthrie, the National Gallery of Art’s chief of communications, said in an email that the decision was made to cancel “A Superb Baroque” this week, just as many paintings held by Genoese churches were scheduled to come down for international transport, citing the exhibition’s “complex” nature. A visa authorization process would be required for more than a quarter of the works, according to Guthrie. Even as recently as Monday, it was unclear whether the works would be able to leave Italy.
“We were concerned that if the virus continued to spread globally, international transit restrictions would prevent the artefacts from being moved back to Europe, leaving them trapped in the United States, perhaps jeopardising the Rome presentation,” Guthrie explained. “Last year, two exhibitions were stranded here due to transportation issues.”
There were also concerns about the health risks linked with the large crews required to build works as grand as those o
n the “A Superb Baroque” checklist.
According to a statement on the National Gallery of Art’s website, “the pandemic has created a number of complications and a level of uncertainty that would jeopardise our ability to present this highly anticipated exhibition in a manner that meets the expectations of our audiences and adequately tells the storey of this important place and period in history,” “the pandemic has created a number of complications and a level of uncertainty that would jeopardise our ability to present this highly anticipated exhibition in a manner that meets
Most major shows were postponed or rescheduled as a result of the pandemic, from a Joan Mitchell retrospective scheduled to tour the United States to an Artemisia Gentileschi survey at the National Gallery in London. The National Gallery of Art’s exhibition “A Superb Baroque” is one of the few that has been completely cancelled.…continue reading
Jennie Alexander is my name. My name was John Alexander until 2007. I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who has been helpful and encouraging. Yes, people change, times change, but wood is still lovely!
I’m a chairmaker by trade. In the late 1960s, I constructed my first post-and-rung chair. My fascination with chairs began when my mother, Dorothy Parker Lowe, gave me her two-slat post-and-rung chair when I was a child. To describe what I had learned up to that point, I authored “Make a Chair from a Tree: An Introduction to Working Green Wood” in 1978, a practical book about post-and-rung chairmaking. For short, I name this book MACFAT. In a second version published in 1994, I provided an afterword with some revised methods. The book is part of a growing interest in the use of hand tools and green wood in traditional crafts. As a result, I coined the term “greenwoodworking.”
Both volumes of the book were out of print by 1999. I filmed a two-hour video of “Make a Chair from a Tree” with Anatol Polillo, a good friend and craftsman. Lost Art Press has published it and it is now accessible. The two books, the film, as well as intensive teaching and research, have introduced me to the amazing world of traditional craftsmen and scholars who are generous and compassionate. I’ve gained more knowledge than I’ve imparted. They have helped me grow as a person and as a chairmaker.
The process is continued in this third edition. The core approach stays the same: handling greenwood with simple hand tools, understanding how greenwood changes shape as it dries, and utilising those changes to build a robust, long-lasting two-slat post-and-rung chair.
Greenwoodworking is a traditional method of riving (splitting) and shaving a piece of wood that (at first) has a high moisture content. Saws are only used to cut long fibres across them, not through them. Not only is greenwood used in the early phases of several greenwoodworking crafts, but the shrinking and swelling qualities of wood are also used, and sometimes artistically avoided. That is correct in this case. We simply need hand tools to create this chair. The cost of the tool is low.
I use the term “post-and-rung chair” to refer to a diverse range of vernacular chairs, including country, kitchen, ladderback, Shaker, Appalachian, Delaware Valley, and others. Four vertical posts, 12 horizontal rungs, two slats, and fibre seats make up the basic post-and-rung two-slat chair detailed here.
What Was the Source of This Chair?
By chance, I became a greenwoodworker. My mother raised me as a single mother. I volunteered to help around the house. She informed Jerry at Boulevard Hardware that if I needed any tools or materials, she would pay for them. Jerry – or Miss Erma, his sidekick – handed me a Stanley loose-leaf notebook with instructions on how to use Stanley hand tools. I went to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, which required good shop classes. On my mother’s advice, I framed and finished my basement flat. She subsequently sent me to St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, where I worked in an abandoned woodshop repairing furniture. The post-and-rung chair that Mother gave me came in first and last in all of this! It’s something I’ve known since I was a child. I was passed down to it.
Before creating my first chair, I was a young lawyer who had collected some tools and read books on woodworking and chairmaking. My next-door neighbour, Jack Goembel, agreed to let me use his store. Later, another woodworker friend quit to work as a mail carrier and sold his lathe, band saw, and drill press to me. I had to take out our first-ever loan to purchase them. Joyce, my lovely wife, insisted that I do it.
I joined the Early American Industries Association (EAIA) and met Charles Hummel, the Winterthur Museum’s curator of collections at the time. He drew the best out of me. I ended up with a weird workstation, working seriously on furniture, and going to museum basements with Hummel to look at broken furniture.
With Hammer in Hand (1968), a seminal book by Hummel, chronicles an enormous collection of woodworking tools, equipment, account books, and furniture made by three generations of the Dominy family of East Hampton, Long Island, between 1760 and 1840. “We have a Dominy chair that you can disassemble when the humidity is low,” Hummel once informed me. We did so, and it was through this type of research that I learnt a lot about how ancient chairs were built. A notch or groove turned in each tenon is one example – the same notch I’ve seen in Southern chairs hundreds of years and miles apart. I became interested with busted chair parts and became an expert on them.
Lake Shakers’ Sabbathday, 1984. Minnie Green, R. Mildred Barker, Marie Burgess, and Frances A. Carr are in the front row. Elsie McCool, Theodore E. Johnson, Wayne Smith, and Arnold Hadd are on the back row.
Joyce and I visited the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community numerous times, where we met Sister Mildred. The purpose of our initial visit was to look at the chairs. “You know, it’s interesting,” Sister Mildred added. People mistake us for chairs.” We returned a few times to see the chairs and learn more about the Shakers. Soon after, I resolved to make a Shaker one-slat dining chair, which I accomplished with the help of a few tools and a lathe.
What does a Jennie Chair entail?
The joinery of those damaged chairs, Shaker chairs, Appalachian ladderbacks, and the human body inspired the chair in this book. The chair is extremely comfy since the back posts are bent and have a distinctive flat shaving on the front face, earning it the nickname “mule ear.” The back posts also flare outward for added comfort, complementing the curve of the back slats. The lumbar spine of the sitter is supported by the bottom slat’s location.
My …continue reading