It is hard to believe that it’s already time to bid farewell to the Impressionist exhibit at the Muscarelle! Students and staff agree that it seems like only yesterday when the crates of paintings arrived and now it is time for the masterpieces to head to their next home. With wall text being taken down and fresh coats of paint waiting to be applied, everyone is busy as ever preparing the galleries for upcoming exhibitions. It has been a wonderful whirlwind of an experience for students and staff alike to work on this show— thank you for visiting our blog and joining us on this journey to reveal the secrets of the Impressionists!
The beginning of the new year also marked the start of a new semester for the museum seminar at the Muscarelle! On the first day of class the returning students were excited to welcome the newest members to the museum seminar. The returnees presented their experiences in the course before leading the new students to the upstairs galleries for a guided tour of the show— and just in time as the exhibition will come to a close on January 22nd. If your New Year’s resolution was to learn the secrets of the Impressionists, be sure to stop by the Muscarelle before it’s too late!
Pictured above is returning student, Kristen Scully, talking to the new members about the Degas monotype, Landscape with Rocks.
It’s the most colorful time of the year!
Although winter break has arrived, Seeing Colors: Secrets of the Impressionists will remain open for the holidays! Martha Steger, from Richmond’s Style Weekly, recently said, “if you’re planning a trip to Williamsburg during the holiday season, add to your itinerary the Muscarelle Museum of Art, on the College of William and Mary campus… the five secrets of the impressionists, as defined by the Muscarelle, show why this beautiful yet experimental school of painting has resounded timelessly with the public.” Be sure to click here to check out the rest of Steger’s article!
Pictured above is Pissarro’s wintry scene, Landscape with Cows from the exhibition.
On Monday, December 12th the upstairs galleries at the Muscarelle became not only a space for Impressionist appreciation, but were also transformed into a recording studio! The museum hosted a reception for WHRO Public Media and the distinguished Barbara Hamm Lee conducted an interview with Professor Spike and Dr. De Groft about the history of the Muscarelle and the importance of Seeing Colors: Secrets of the Impressionists. Guests at the reception became the live studio audience and sat surrounded by the magnificent paintings in the French Impressionist room. During the Q&A section, Dr. Spike was asked about the integration of the museum with students on campus, to which he responded that this past semester, the 16 students in the museum seminar became “the education staff of this museum. All of the written materials that you see on the walls and in the handouts, that you read online, the class blog that was kept, the music station and the tours were done by the students in the museum seminar.” The interview has been broadcast, be sure to listen to the podcast by clicking the link below!
(Total time: 33 minutes and 27 seconds)
The galleries of the Muscarelle were alive with the colors of the Impressionists (and bright winter coats!) today. Bustling with excited visitors and a group from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, including Dr Sylvia Yount, Chief Curator, all eyes were on the Impressionists as visitors took advantage of the Seeing Colors picture book, the music listening station and gallery guides— all products of the work of the seminar!
On December 1st, the final day of class, the students of the museum seminar went up to the exhibition together to share their final thoughts and opinions on the show. Paul J. Sachs, creator of “the museums course” at Harvard University, wrote that every university art department
“should be closely associated with a museum of its own—its laboratory…so conceived that it offers a large number of men and women familiarity with the artistic heritage of our civilization through contact with original works of art, and also offers to a limited number specialized scholarly training, to enable them to serve as teachers, critics, curators, or directors of museums….Traditional methods of study gave students little more than a literary approach to the masters, rather than an appreciation of their works, [while] the museum brings a student into actual contact with the objects of his study.”
That is exactly what the Mucarelle Museum became for William & Mary students this semester— a laboratory, providing the tools to experience art and museums in a whole new way through the execution of this major show.
Though classes have come to a close, the show will remain open until January 22nd, 2012. Don’t miss out on the work of ARTH330, and come learn for yourself the Secrets of the Impressionists!
Making Impressions in The Flat Hat
This week, one of Williams & Mary’s student newspapers, The Flat Hat, featured the exhibition in a fantastic article, “Making Impressions”. The reporter, Connor Norton, came to the Muscarelle a few weeks ago and students were able to walk him through the show while answering his questions and explaining their experiences in making the exhibition a reality. Kristen Scully, ‘14 said “This show has been such an important part of our semester… it’s a huge experience for us as students. Part of the fun of the show is being able to share it with all our friends… After class, if I see a friend, I tell them exactly what happened that day. It’s been such a unique, exciting and wonderful experience.” For the rest of the article and more student reactions to the Impressionists, click here!
Pictured above is Renoir’s Still-Life with Apples from the exhibition.
The show is open and the “Secrets” are out!
Click here to read an article from the Virginian-Pilot highlighting the secrets of the Impressionists and featuring an interview with seminar student, Jason Gangwer. Pictured above is Monet’s Houses of Parliament in the Fog from the exhibition— be sure to check out the article for Jason’s interpretation of the piece!
Seeing Colors: Secrets of the Impressionists is taking off! Attendance is averaging 125 visitors per day and growing through word of mouth, the one-day high so far is 179 visitors!
Pictured above is the cover of Seeing Colors, the picture book which features original writing by students in the seminar, quotes from the impressionists and beautiful images of works in the exhibition! The book is free upon admission to the show or $3 sold separately.
Last week, students had the privilege of having a class taught by Museum Director, Dr. Aaron De Groft. Seminar student Kennis Forte summarized the hour in these words—
“Today we had a reporter from the school newspaper, The Flat Hat, visit us for the first half of class. He asked us some questions about our role in putting the show together and the class in general. We also took him upstairs to point out some more specific things about the organization of the show and the five secrets.
During the second half of class Dr. De Groft spoke on Luca Giordano and we looked at ‘The Three Mary’s before the Tomb’ from The Muscarelle’s collection. Dr. De Groft showed us a slideshow of another Giordano that he had helped rediscover at the Ringling, ‘The Bacchanalia’. He described the process of its attribution and restoring the damage that had been done to it.”
It was a terrific opportunity for students to learn about the life and oeuvre of Luca Giordano (a top-notch painter nicknamed “Fa Presto” as he is said to have completed over 4,000 paintings over the course of his lifetime) and to then see one of his masterpieces in person! Pictured above is Giordano’s “The Three Mary’s before the Tomb” from the Permanent Collection at the Muscarelle Museum.