This year has progressed in a manner none of us could have predicted. It began on a high note on January 25th with the opening of Good Forum, Decorum, and in the Manner: Portraits from the Collections of Washington Print Club Members. Exhibited at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center, the show drew an appreciative and interested audience until it prematurely closed two days before its conclusion.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and starting in March all in-person WPC programs were cancelled (including the Annual Membership Appreciation and Business Meeting) for the foreseeable future. WPC programming traditionally has taken a hiatus for the summer months, July and August, but the Program Committee is busily planning for programming starting in the fall. Like most cultural institutions around the world, we will be offering our first ever virtual program using Zoom in September.
We scheduled a tour of the Chiura Obata: American Modern exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum for April 4th, which was cancelled. The show closed on May 25th, but fortunately Alex Mann, curator of prints and drawings at SAAM, has kindly agreed to present a Zoom overview on Obata to WPC members with a deeper focus on his prints. Please save the date of Friday, September 18 at 11am.
More details on the Obata program (including sign-up information) and on additional fall programs will be included in the September Bulletin.
Resources for Virtual Offerings from Cultural Institutions
Using various digital platforms, cultural institutions have become very adept and creative in presenting virtual offerings on their websites. If there is an upside to these chaotic times, it’s the resiliency and nimbleness of cultural institutions to pivot from in person to online programs.
Among local institutions with art related programs to check out include the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Phillips Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and American University Museum at the Katzen Center. In addition, DC’s Transformer Art Gallery is offering Collector’s View 2020 Reimagined, sharing the private collections of a select and diverse group of the DC area’s prominent art collectors (free registration required).
Looking beyond the local area, there are numerous cultural institutions both nationally and internationally providing a rich array of video programs on art, artists, and collecting. These include Heni Talks: Stories of Art dedicated to sharing insights about art history on film from leading artists, curators and academics and artnet News which covers issues relating to the entire art world. Road Scholar, committed to making learning possible when travel is not, is offering free on-line lectures via their Virtual Lecture Library. There are several videos focused on the arts including Hieronymus Bosch, a two part series on the Medici Family and on Picasso, and the founders of Los Angeles’s most famous museums. Smarthistory’s free award-winning digital content unlocks the expertise of hundreds of leading scholars, making history of art accessible and engaging to people the world over.
If you have virtual offerings and other resources you would like to share with WPC members via Facebook, Instagram and future WPC Bulletins, please contact Nancy Hirshbein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News of Note
The WPC Board of Directors has established a committee to revamp the Club’s website. Chaired by Nancy Hirshbein, committee members include Melissa Fast, Mike Hagan, Beverly With and Chris With. Herb Cooper serves as the committee’s technical advisor. At present, a web developer has been identified and engaged, a mock-up of the new home page approved, and committee members are busy writing text for the new site.
We hope to have the new website up and running sometime in the fall. The membership will be informed once the site is operational.
Stay healthy and safe!