Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Smithsonian Gardens & Buildings in 8 Views

My New Plates!

While at the National Museum of African Art I indulged myself and purchased a single place setting of these dishes from Morocco!  They are gorgeous.
 Bacon and scrambled eggs with garlic and spinach, a side of fresh grapefruit and coffee.
A Moroccan lamb stew with carrots, onions & peas, Zucchini & Peppers with dried fruit and lemon zest and Rice.  Dessert: simply divine Molasses Ginger cookies from my friend, Adele.

The National Museum of African Art: The Point Of Going

The point of going was to the see the exhibition: Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue.

From the website - "One of the world’s preeminent private collections of African American art will have its first public viewing later this year at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue brings together artworks from the world-class collections of the National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr. The exhibition, which opens at the museum Nov. 9 and remains on view through early 2016, is a major part of the museum’s 50th anniversary, celebrating its unique history and contributions toward furthering meaningful dialogue between Africa and the African diaspora."
Edo artist, Benin kingdom court style, Nigeria 
Commemorative head of a king
18th century
Copper alloy, iron
David C. Driskell
born 1931, United States
Benin Head
c. 1978
Egg tempera on paper

So the premise to pair or cluster works like the David C. Driskell painting below with the Edo mask above and allow the viewer to consider the connections.  It's a time honored practice that actually formed the basis for one of America's preeminent Museums, the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia.  And here it works like perfection.

The Cosby's collection itself is simply stunning in its scope and depth.  This is a show so worth taking the time to visit.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  The good news, you have until January 24, 2016 to come to DC and see it.  Here are some additional works from the Cosby's private collection.
 Richmond Barthé
1901-1989, United States
Inner Music
 Henry Ossawa Tanner
1859-1937, United States
The Good Shepherd
Oil on Canvas
Aaron Douglas
1899-1979, United States
Oil on Masonite
Charles White
1918-1979, United States
Seed of Heritage
Ink on Illustration Board 
 Keith Morrison
born in 1942, Jamaica
Robert S. Duncanson
1821-1872, United States
Falls of Minnehaha
Oil on Canvas 
Jacob Lawrence
1917-2000, United States
Blind Musician

The National Museum of African Art: S. O. Alonge's Photographic Legacy

An amazing exhibition at the National Museum of African Art.

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria is a major exhibition showcasing the photographs of Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge (1911–1994), one of Nigeria’s premiere photographers and the first official photographer to the royal court of Benin. Alonge’s historic photographs document the rituals, pageantry, and regalia of the court for more than half a century and provide rare insight into the early history and practice of studio photography in West Africa. - from the Museum website.

The photographs are interspersed with amazing works from the museum's collection.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The National Museum of African Art: The Building!

 I went to see the above exhibition and was deeply reminded that it's an amazing museum for it's building alone!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Today's Sermon


The first thing I saw in the morning
Was a huge golden bee ploughing
His burly right shoulder into the belly
Of a sleek yellow pear
Low on a bough.
Before he could find that sudden black honey
That squirms around in there
Inside the seed, the tree could not bear any more.
The pear fell to the ground,
With the bee still half alive
inside its body.
He would have died if I hadn’t knelt down
And sliced the pear gently
A little more open.
The bee shuddered, and returned.
Maybe I should have left him alone there,
Drowning in his own delight.
The best days are the first
To flee, sang the lovely
Musician born in this town
So like my own.
I let the bee go
Among the gasworks at the edge of Mantua.

~ James Wright, 1927 - 1980

A Walk In Fern Valley With My Boy!