Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Museum of Art recruiting docents

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is opening recruitment for its docent program. Those who have a passion for teaching and sharing the arts with children are encouraged to apply to the upcoming docent training class. Docents are trained Museum volunteers who engage with visitors to facilitate enriched experiences with works of art and create a warm and welcoming Museum environment. These “gallery teachers” encourage visitor inquiry and enjoyment of the arts. The 2019 docent class will include: A calendar year worth of training Becoming a docent gives the opportunity to participate in a thorough training process. Training will take place from January through December 2019 and will include mentorship from experienced docent peers. Training for specific groups Participants will attend classroom and gallery training sessions to become familiar with the TMA collection and gain skills to connect PreK-8 students with works of art. The training program includes specific training for the PreK-8 school tour program. Convenient training hours Training sessions will be held weekdays to coincide when school tours take place. For further information, please visit www.toledomuseum.org and attend an information session on Aug. 9, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Applications are now being accepted and interviews will take place late August and early September. Classes will officially begin January 2019.


Law’s exhibit celebrates nature & the flowering of community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Painting wasn’t enough for Rebecca Louise Law when she was an art student. As much as she loved the richness of painting, she longed for something more immersive. She tried installations, including some horrendous efforts involving food. Law found what she was looking for in her father’s garden – dahlias. Fifteen years after that first flower-based installation, “Dahlias,” the English artist has created an installation that she said most fully realizes her vision. Law’s “Community” opened Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Canaday Gallery. The site specific work was created over the past several weeks by Law, her four-member team, and more than 400 local volunteers. It uses 520,000 dried flowers. Of those 10,000 were harvested locally, including some from the museum’s grounds. The rest are the flowers used in her previous 51 installations. She saves everything. After an installation’s run, everything is boxed up for future use, even the dust that the flowers eventually become. These are encased in glass. She will return to Toledo in September for a residency at the Glass Pavilion working with that dust. On Saturday, Law discussed the evolution of her work with the museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Norton-Westbrook who curated “Community.” Growing up in the countryside near Cambridge, England, she spent her time in the fields and fens. If it wasn’t raining her mother sent her and her siblings out to play. If they were inside often it was among the dried flowers in the attic. Law went on to study painting. “I felt incredibly frustrated. I wanted to work outside the canvas. I couldn’t figure out how to paint in the air.” Then she had her epiphany. Law started to “paint” with flowers. That led her to discover and study a whole new world of botany. “Personally I’m blown away by nature,” Law said. “That’s my ultimate inspiration. The more I know, the less I know.” The flowers are draped across the Canaday’s ceiling and hang down to the floor. From the entry the effect is a shimmering tableau. Then the viewer walks into the scene to be among the blossoms. During a press preview on Friday Law explained that she stands back while others arrange the flowers at her direction. The arrangement is guided by mathematics and aesthetics. Saturday Law said of the effect she seeks: “I suppose it’s spiritual, the presence of the beauty of what we have here on earth.” Last December Law visited the museum to finalize the details for the exhibit. She was…


Toledo Federation of Art Societies celebrates its tradition & looks to the future

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Doug Adams-Arman remembers attending the “May” Show, the once annual Toledo Area Artists exhibition. Presented by the Toledo Federation of Arts Societies at the Toledo Museum of Art, it showcased the work of the best regional artists, from the elders who helped put Toledo on the artistic map to students from Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo. “To know that Toledo art could be in the museum was fantastic,” Adams-Arman, who has just be elected to his second term as the TFAS president, said recently. “It just gave me a sense of that I was living in a city with living artists. It was very exciting.” Now that show is history. Its tradition is celebrated in the current exhibit “Decades in the Making: Highlights from the Toledo Federation of Art Societies” at the museum through June 24. The show features more than 20 works, from the about 300 that the TFAS purchased from those shown in the area show. That collection is now being housed at the Toledo School for the Arts, where Adams-Arman works as a major gifts officer. The work spans almost 70 years of the show from early representational paintings, “Still Life with Pheasant” by Jeannette Doak Martin and “Spanish Girl” by Miriam Silverman to the most recent purchase, “Slaughter of the Innocents” by K.A. Letts, an Ann Arbor-based painter. Letts, Adams-Arman said, has a rising reputation in the art world and “it’s privilege” for TFAS to own one of her works. “Slaughter” was exhibited in the 95th annual show, and the last one presented. Change was afoot in 2014. The boundaries for entries were expanded, but fewer artists, just 28, were included. Those exhibiting got to show more work. The painting mixes Letts’ concern with current issues expressed through myth and primordial iconography. Religious iconography plays an understated role in Sister Jane Catherine Lauer’s 1952 painting “Afternoon Collation.” With its use of straight lines and geometric blocks of color, it evokes a stain glass window. Yet the scene it depicts is a slice of everyday life in the Ursuline convent. The piece Adams-Arman said was painted for the Toledo area exhibit. The show also has iconic names from the Toledo scene. That includes Edith Franklin, a ceramicist who also participated in the studio glass workshop at the museum that launched at the art glass movement. Adams-Arman, worked with Franklin and credited her with getting him involved in TFAS. Two of the driving forces behind the glass workshop have work displayed, glass pioneer…


Artist going ‘to paint in the air’ to create installation for Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART British installation artist Rebecca Louise Law uses flowers and natural materials as her medium to “paint in the air.” The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has commissioned this vanguard contemporary artist to design and implement her largest site-specific installation to date exploring the relationship between humanity and nature. Sourcing approximately 150,000 plants and flowers native to the Toledo region and requiring 4,000 volunteer hours of assistance from community members over 15 days, Law will create an immersive environment that will thematically and literally represent northwest Ohio. A proponent of sustainability, Law also plans to reuse flowers from her previous installations around the world for the TMA project. Curated by TMA Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Horton-Westbrook, Rebecca Louise Law: Community will be on view exclusively in Toledo from June 16, 2018, through Jan. 13, 2019. “We hope this installation will offer visitors a sensory experience, evocative of the people and places, natural history and landscapes of northwest Ohio,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “Law’s transporting vision wonderfully reflects the spirit and textures of our local and global communities.” Law uses both dried and fresh flowers in her work, and the process of decay is part of her time-based installations. Inspired by the dried flowers that hung in her attic as a child, Law’s “sculptures” are suspended from above and held together with copper wire. Drawing on the theme of community, the coordinated volunteer effort will begin in May, with local residents assisting with stringing together garlands of plants and flowers and taking some ownership over the ambitious installation, an aspect of the project that the artist feels passionate about. “I started out studying printmaking and painting, but I’ve always enjoyed nature. I come from seven generations of artists on my mum’s side, and seven generations of gardeners on my dad’s,” said Law. “My intention was to get others to physically experience a painting. I soon began to realize that color wasn’t what mattered as much; it’s about nature and preservation, processes of life and decay.” Based in London, Law has been commissioned to create installations at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Chandran Gallery in San Francisco, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London and in New York City’s Times Square, among other venues. Her work has been exhibited at a range of galleries and at major institutions, including the Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. “Law’s installations are powerful reminders of the need for us to be present in our everyday life – to stop…



Solungga Liu performs musical treasures at Mother’s Day recital at Toledo Museum

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Solungga Liu remembers the day well. A hot, rainy afternoon in her native Taiwan, and she was bored. So she randomly pulled a score from the shelf in her studio. It was the music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. She did not know his work much beyond his piece “The White Peacock.” She sat at her piano and began to sight-read through the music. She played through the entire book. “Right at that moment I couldn’t stop,” she remembers. “I fell in love with his works.” That passion for the music of Griffes, whose work sits at the intersection of Romanticism and Impressionism, will be on display Sunday at 3 p.m. when Liu performs a Great Performances recital in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. The program will include Griffes’ transcription of “Les Parfums de la nuit,” the second movement of Ravel’s orchestral piece “Iberia,” a piece she premiered after its discovery. Music by Cesar Franck and Amy Beach, another little appreciated American composer, will also be on the program. Two years after Liu’s discovery of Griffes’ music, she recorded “The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: The Piano Works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes” on Centaur Records. By that time Liu had joined the faculty of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. The Toledo concert will be similar to the one she presented last November at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. It was there that the Debussy transcription had been discovered. Liu said that Griffes, who was born in Elmira, NY, had studied for four years in Berlin. He heard an early performance of Debussy’s “Iberia.” He was so taken with the piece, that he faithfully transcribed its intricacies for solo piano. Back in the United States he taught music at the high school in Tarrytown, NY, a job he hated. But it did give him access to New York City. He traveled to the offices of the publisher G. Schirmer, and played his transcription for two people there. That was, Liu said, the only public performance of the work. Copyright issues seemed to have scuttled hopes for publication, and the manuscript disappeared. Griffes seemed on the verge of a professional breakthrough when he died at 35. Griffes scholars, Liu said, assumed the manuscript was lost. Then in 2016 it turned up in the vast archives of the Library of Congress. Excited by the discovery, officials approached Liu to perform it. The program is filled out with Beach pieces, more Griffes, and Franck’s monumental “Prelude,…


Toledo Museum celebrates 200 years of Libbey Glass

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART To commemorate 200 years of excellence in glassmaking, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has organized Celebrating Libbey Glass, 1818-2018. The exhibition will present more than 175 outstanding examples of glass from TMA’s renowned collection as well as objects and materials from the Libbey Inc. archives, including pressed glass tableware, Amberina art glass, Libbey’s world-renowned “brilliant” cut glass (including TMA’s glorious Libbey Punch Bowl), mid-century modern barware and examples of more recent “premium give-away” glasses for companies. Celebrating Libbey Glass will be on view exclusively at TMA beginning May 4 and continuing through Nov. 25 in the Glass Pavilion. “As founders of the Toledo Museum of Art, the Libbey family was instrumental to the advancement of arts education and art appreciation in this region,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “It is our honor to recognize the Libbey legacy of innovative glass design, practices and production and to celebrate the Museum’s longstanding commitment to the medium through collections development, exhibition, research and programming.” The story of the Libbey Glass Company began 200 years ago in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established as the New England Glass Works in 1818, the company rose to prominence in the 19th century, cementing its reputation as one of the most successful American producers of fine glass tableware. As the general manager of the company from 1872, William L. Libbey (1823-1883) saw the business through difficult economic times, eventually taking over the firm’s lease to become owner. His son, Edward Drummond Libbey (1854-1925), joined his father as partner in 1880. Promoted to superintendent in 1883 at the age of 29 when his father died, the young Edward faced serious challenges with rising fuel costs and growing labor unrest. In 1888 he made the decision to move the entire operation to Toledo, Ohio, because of the abundance of natural gas and high-silica content sand, as well as its proximity to shipping and rail lines. Continuing its production of both high-end and everyday tableware, the factory thrived in Toledo and in 1892 officially changed its name to the Libbey Glass Company. Its success helped to brand Toledo as “The Glass City.” Throughout its history, Libbey has created a great variety of decorative and useful blown and pressed objects in both colorless and richly colored glass, at times decorated with cutting and engraving. The firm won national and international fame through their extravagant displays at world’s fairs, especially the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, in 1904. The company also made…


Toledo Museum exhibits works from 100 years of Toledo Area Artists exhibits

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART In 1917 the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and three local artist collectives established the Toledo Federation of Art Societies (TFAS). The following year, the first Toledo Area Artists (TAA) exhibition sponsored by TFAS was held at TMA. Today TFAS is affiliated with more than 40 area art organizations—including artist clubs, galleries, college and university art departments —and hundreds of individual members within a 150-mile radius of the city of Toledo. This retrospective exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of TFAS and the century-long tradition of celebrating and recognizing the best artists in the region by TMA. It will showcase more than 20 works of art in a wide variety of media from the approximately 270 works purchased by TFAS for its collection over the last 60 years of TAA exhibitions at TMA. Decades in the Making will be on view at the Museum from April 28 through June 24. “The greater Toledo area has a history of incubating some of the most forward-thinking creative practitioners in the country,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “This legacy is in large part the result of the support provided by the Toledo Federation of Art Societies. Decades in the Making commemorates the 100th anniversary of TFAS and recognizes our joint commitment to the region’s outstanding arts and artists.” The works were selected by Halona Norton-Westbrook, Director of Curatorial Affairs at TMA. Among the featured artists will be Diana Attie (drawing), Edith Franklin (ceramics), Dominick Labino (glassblowing), and Kenneth Thompson (sculpture). “Since 1948 the Toledo Federation of Art Societies has been investing in Toledo-area artists while at the same time growing a permanent collection of some of the most dynamic works of art created in our region,” said Doug Adams-Arman, TFAS president. “We look forward to sharing highlights of these noteworthy acquisitions with the entire community as part of our 100th anniversary festivities.” Decades in the Making: Highlights from the Toledo Federation of Art Societies is on view in Gallery 6 from April 28 through June 24, 2018. Admission to the exhibition is free. For more information about the Toledo Federation of Art Societies, please visit tfas100.org # # # The Toledo Museum of Art is a nonprofit arts institution funded through individual donations, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships and investments. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund programs at the Toledo Museum of Art through a sustainability grant program that encourages economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Glass Pavilion® and Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion®…


BG native Maria Sampen returns home to perform recital at Toledo Museum

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Sampen and violin did not get off to the best start. As a 4-year-old Suzuki student, she stepped on her violin. It was an accident. She says. Her parents decided maybe she should take piano lessons. She did eventually find her way back to her original instrument. Now Sampen teaches violin at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington, and she performs around the world as a soloist with orchestras and smaller ensembles. Until January she hadn’t presented a solo recital in the area since she graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1993. She and pianist Thomas Rosenkranz played the first of two concerts titled “Brahms in Context” at the Toledo Museum of Art. The second concert will be presented Sunday at 3 p.m. in the museum’s Great Gallery. The concept for the concerts is to play all Johannes Brahms’ pieces for violin and piano and pair them with contemporary pieces, and in one case a piece by Clara Schumann, a friend and possible unrequited love interest of Brahms. The idea for the recital first germinated first in China. In 2015, Sampen had traveled to teach and perform at Szechuan Conservatory in China with her parents John Sampen and Marilyn Shrude, both members of the faculty of Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. Sampen needed a pianist and her parents suggested their BGSU colleague Rosenkranz, who was in Chengdu on sabbatical. The concert went well. So well in fact that several months later Rosenkranz contacted Sampen with the idea of performing the Brahms pieces in a recital with contemporary works. Performing with Sampen, had led him to reconsider the music of Brahms, which he had previously “never warmed up to,” he said. At the January concert he explained he discovered innovations and rhythm subtleties “under the surface” of the music. Rosenkranz suggested the museum’s Great Performances series as a good venue for the performance. That performance included William Bolcom’s jazzy Violin Sonata No, 2. Sampen knows Bolcom’s work well from her time as an undergraduate and doctoral student at the University of Michigan where he teaches. Sampen has frequently performed his violin concerto. On this Sunday’s recital the duo will play Brahms third sonata and his scherzo as well as Alfred Schnittke’s First Sonata for Violin and Piano, one of the most popular post-World War II violin sonatas. Sampen has fond memories of family visits to the museum with her parents and younger brother, David, who now lives in Los Angeles, where he performs…


Toledo Museum unveils master plan that integrates its campus with the community

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) announces today (Feb. 6)  a comprehensive Master Plan for the institution, its buildings and surrounding campus, to be carried out over approximately 20 years. The first phase of the Master Plan, which developed out of TMA’s recent, long-range strategic planning process, focuses on TMA’s grounds as an urban park and oasis within the city of Toledo. Plans call for creating new green space, unifying the architectural and visitor experience and enhancing the existing gardens and grounds. TMA began developing the Master Plan in late 2016 with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, an internationally renowned architectural and planning firm based in New York City. Among Beyer Blinder Belle’s specializations are museums, campus planning, historic preservation and parks and gardens. The firm has collaborated with some of the most influential cultural institutions in the U.S., including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Frick Collection, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ellis Island and Longwood Gardens. “Through this dynamic Master Plan, the Toledo Museum of Art is poised to capitalize on our institutional strengths of outreach and education and to better engage with our many communities and constituencies for generations to come,” said Brian Kennedy, Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director of the Toledo Museum of Art. “We look forward to realizing this vision through our work with Beyer Blinder Belle by supporting the citizens and leadership of the city of Toledo, a city that is in the midst of an exciting urban revitalization.” The team at Beyer Blinder Belle has completed a full assessment and analysis of TMA’s site, developed a range of options and consulted with theMuseum’s leadership to act on the Master Plan announced today. The Master Plan is designed to considerably increase the Museum’s accessibility and visibility by unifying the twelve buildings across its 40-acre park-like setting and weaving the site into the broader urban fabric of downtownToledo. The Master Plan is being developed, founded on established community relationships, and will dovetail with goals for the surrounding neighborhood and greater Toledo area. The Master Plan includes a significant evaluation and audience research component that will integrate visitor feedback; analyze regional and target audience demographics, interests, behaviors and expectations; audit current program offerings and visitor circulation patterns; examine TMA’s campus wayfinding system and amenities, and propose practical solutions to maximize the comfort and sensory experience of TMA’s diverse audiences. “At Beyer Blinder Belle, we believe that architecture and design empower neighborhoods and people by connecting them to each other and their everyday built environment,” said Elizabeth Leber, partner at Beyer Blinder Belle. “Through this ambitious…


Toledo Museum exhibit puts mummies in a new light

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mummies have had many uses over the millennia – fertilizer, being ground for medicine, starring in horror films and kids cartoons, being the centerpiece for art museum collections. The Toledo Museum of Art’s mummies were among its most popular attractions, and until now last viewed by the public in 2010. The mummies, though, are not objects, said Brian Kennedy, the museum director. They are human remains. In all the hype surrounding ancient Egypt, that gets lost. A new exhibit “The Mummies: From Egypt to Toledo” aims to put that humanity at the center. The mummies – the remains of a Young Priest and an Old Man – are not treated as objects but on view in a darkened room, reminiscent of a wake. The exhibit continues through May 6. (Click for details o related events.) The museum’s exhibition designer, Claude Fixler said the remains are treated with “a much greater sense of reverence than in the past to bring home the point that these were someone’s child. “They deserve the solitude of this space, a sense of quietude and meditation on their lives relating to our own in many ways.” This is the third time Fixler has designed an exhibit featuring the remains. Kennedy had just arrived in Toledo when that 2010 exhibit was about to be staged. Coming from Dartmouth College, an institution founded to educate Native Americans, and before that from the Australian National Museum where issues of the display of human remains were acute, he was bothered by some aspects of the exhibit. He decided they would not be shown except in an exhibit where they can be put in context. Young Priest and Old Man had not been on exhibit other than special shows since 1997. Curators Adam Levine, associate curator of ancient art, and Mike Deetsch, the director of education and engagement, were charged with providing that context. Egypt had long fascinated Western culture. The goddess Isis was adopted by the Romans. When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1795, he brought along hundreds of writers, scholars, scientists, and artists, Deetsch said. Their work introduced ancient Egypt to the western world and gave rise to Egyptology. The Libbeys were among those fascinated, traveling to Egypt three times. Levine said that 98 percent of what was acquired by the museum through 1906 was from Egypt. That includes the mummies of Young Priest and Old Man. It was a different time, Kennedy noted, when it was acceptable to buy human remains. The Libbeys purchased them from Ralph Blanchard’s…


Toledo Museum exhibit puts mummies in a new light

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is once more displaying the two Egyptian mummies that launched the Museum’s early collection and have fascinated visitors for more than a century. The exhibition explores how TMA acquired Young Priest (ca. 800 BCE, Third Intermediate Period) and Old Man (ca. 100 CE, Roman Period), their historical significance in the Museum and the phenomenon of Egyptomania – Western civilization’s interest and obsession with ancient Egypt during the 19th- and 20th-centuries. The Mummies: From Egypt to Toledo is a rare opportunity to see the mummies, alongside other ancient Egyptian artifacts, and is on view exclusively at TMA from Feb. 3 through May 6. “We want to offer the public an opportunity to consider the various questions that arise today regarding the collecting that occurred in Egypt over 100 years ago, and what these objects mean in today’s context,” said Brian Kennedy, the museum’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director, President and CEO . The exhibition is co-curated by Adam Levine, deputy director, and Mike Deetsch, the Emma Leah Bippus director of education and engagement. The exhibition is organized into three thematic sections: the rise of Egyptomania beginning with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in the late 18th-century; ancient Egyptian religion and the afterlife; and burial practice, human remains and the humanization of an ancient civilization. The exhibition places the mummies in historical context by including additional Egyptian objects and artifacts from the TMA collection as well as loans from other institutions and private collections. Memorabilia from the Libbeys’ travels to Egypt will be on display along with examples of Egyptomania portraying ancient Egypt in film, art and advertising. Related programming includes a Saturday matinee film series titled “He Went for a Little Walk: Mummies in the Movies” which runs Feb. 17 through May 5. The films all begin at 2 p.m. in the Little Theater. Tickets are free for members and $5 for nonmembers (discounts available with ticket bundles). From March 8 through 10, guests can participate in the “Mummies by Moo-Light” Flashlight Tours. Tours begin at 9 p.m. on Thursday andFriday and 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, with a pre-reception taking place in the Green Room one hour prior to the tours. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Two exhibition-related Master’s Series will be held in the spring. On Thursday, March 29, Bob Brier (a.k.a. Mr. Mummy) will lead a discussion titled “Egyptomania: Our Three Thousand Year Obsession with the Land of the Pharaohs” in the Peristyle at 6 p.m. AIA-Toledo Society and TMA will co-host an appearance by Dr. Salima Ikram on Thursday, April 19. Her lecture, “May They Live…


Toledo Museum to share its treasures during Great Art Escape

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art’s holiday tradition continues this year. The Great Art Escape offers a number of special programs planned for Dec. 26-31. Bring family and friends to this annual event for live performances, art activities, flashlight tours and more. While enjoying these outstanding programs, visitors can also explore TMA’s current exhibitions, Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art and Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists. The 2017 Great Art Escape is sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac and with funds received in the memory of Dr. Edward A. and Mrs. Rita Barbour Kern. Here is a day-by-day schedule of events, many of which are free to the public: Tuesday, Dec. 26 10 a.m-3 p.m.: Free Activities: Handmade Holidays! Family Center 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Free Family Center Activities: Giant Chess, Great Gallery 11 a.m.: Free Glass Percussion Performance in the Glass Pavilion: Rela Percussion, GlasSalon 1, 2 and 3 p.m.: Free Glassblowing Demonstrations, Glass Pavilion 1 p.m.: Family Friendly Yoga, GlasSalon 1 p.m.: Free Dutch Cabinet Organ Performance: Dennis Blubaugh, Gallery 24 1-3 p.m.: Free Drawing in the Galleries, Great Gallery. No experience necessary. All ages welcome! 2 p.m.: Free Great Art Escape Family Films, Peristyle 4 p.m.: Family Flashlight Tours, Meet in Herrick Lobby Family group tickets are $20 for members or $35 for nonmembers, individual tickets are also available. Space is limited, purchase tickets online at toledomuseum.eventbrite.com. Wednesday, Dec. 27 10 a.m.: Family Workshops (ages 3-10 with adult), Classrooms Limited seats available, register early. Tuition for one workshop: $20 members / $25 nonmembers for one adult/one child. Register online or by calling 419-255-8000 ext. 7363 during Museum hours. Painting Together Online Registration (Ages 3-5 with adult) Painting Together Online Registration (Ages 6-10 with adult) 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Free Family Center Activities: Giant Chess, Great Gallery 12-3 p.m.: Free Activities: Handmade Holidays! Family Center 1, 2 and 3 p.m.: Free Glassblowing Demonstrations, Glass Pavilion 1 p.m.: Free Dutch Cabinet Organ Performance: Martha Esbin, Gallery 24 1-3 p.m.: Free Drawing in the Galleries, Great Gallery. No experience necessary. All ages welcome! 2 p.m.: Free Great Art Escape Live Performances: JP Dynasty, Peristyle 4 p.m.: Family Flashlight Tours, Meet in Herrick Lobby Family group tickets are $20 for members or $35 for nonmembers, individual tickets are also available. Space is limited, purchase tickets online at toledomuseum.eventbrite.com. Thursday, Dec. 28 10 a.m.: Family Friendly Yoga, GlasSalon 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Free Activities: Handmade Holidays! Family Center 10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Free Family Center Activities: Giant Chess, Great Gallery 1, 2, 3 and 8 p.m.: Free Glassblowing Demonstrations, Glass Pavilion 1 p.m.: Free…


“Glorious Splendor” pulls Toledo Museum visitors into the wonder of early Christian Era art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Toledo Museum of Art’s new exhibit Glorious Splendor” comes in a small package. Don’t let that fool you. The 27 objects dating from 200 to 700 A.D. tucked into the museum’s Gallery 18, live up to the grand title of the show. They are a dazzling array of gold and silver object encrusted with jewels that draw the visitor in with their intricate detail. The objects, both sacred and secular, have historical significance that matches their physical beauty. “Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art” will be on exhibit through Feb. 18. A few of the items are from Toledo’s own collection but most are from private collections in North America, which curator Adam Levine has brought together for this exclusive exhibit. Once the show closes the objects will be returned to their owners. “If you do not see this show, you’ll never see them again,” Levine said during a press preview last week. Levine, the museum’s associate director and associate curator of ancient art, said he’d developed relationships with the private collectors. It took about a year to pull the show together. “The donors just want to make sure their objects look as beautiful as they can,” he said. The pieces have been at the museum of several months so custom mounts could be made to show them in the most advantageous light.  Levine did further research about each piece, so the donors learn more about their objects. The museum’s reputation for collecting “only the highest quality works” and maintaining that high standard in its exhibits is also important to the donors, he said. “Collectors are honored when we tell them their collections are the same caliber as our permanent collections.” The period covered by the exhibit is one of great historical significance, as the Roman Empire, evolved from a pagan entity to a Christian one. While scholars have written extensively about it, Levine said, it is difficult to bring together objects that tell that story. That’s the mission of “Glorious Splendor.” “The theology of early Christian Era was very unsettled. … There was a lot of debate about the nature of Christ and the nature of the gospels.” Some objects depict Roman gods and heroes. Others celebrate the emperor. And others feature the iconography of emerging Christianity. “Christianity emerged out of a cultural matrix, images of emperors and non-Christian deities were still being produced and still being circulated,” he said.  So Christian artists drew on the aesthetics of pagan iconography to illustrate Christian beliefs. “There are…


Arts beat: VIVE! has right stuff in performance of orchestral masterpieces

Ed.  Note: This is the first is a series of commentary and observations on area arts events. This will supplement, not replace, the coverage BG Independent news already provides. By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Usually when Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” or Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” are performed, the size of the orchestra approaches 100. On Sunday (Oct. 8) VIVE! Ensemble conducted by Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia took on those early 20th Century masterworks with a dozen musicians on each. The performance in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery, was stellar. What the pieces might have missed in orchestral heft they gained in translucent textures with subtleties of voicing ringing out through the ensemble. Diaz, a student in Bowling Green State University’s Doctorate in Contemporary Music program as are a number of the other musicians in the ensemble, shaped these pieces with clarity and a sure sense of form. As the “Rite” roared to a finish, two sets of timpani and a bass drum provided enough boom to drive the piece home. But the three percussionists on the “Rite” never overwhelmed the rest of the ensemble. Instead it was the audience that was overwhelmed and moved by the performance. A few more observations: * Both pieces open with signature solos, and Kenneth Cox on flute on “Prelude” and Joshua Hart on bassoon on “Rite” did justice to their solos. The smaller ensemble meant that all the solo parts stood in greater relief. The ensemble benefits from having such strong musicianship throughout its ranks. * The picturesque “Prelude” seemed perfect for an art museum, almost like a painting come to life. In the Wolfe Gallery, visitors could see Picasso’s rendering of a faun as part of the special exhibit “Drawn from Classicism: Modern Artists’ Books.” * The ensemble and the audience combined took up about as much space as just the orchestra would in a traditional performance of these pieces. * Cox and clarinetist Derek Emch were called on to do some balancing. Each had to play multiple versions of their instruments. Within a measure on “Prelude” Cox had to switch from alto flute to piccolo. At one point on “Rite” Emch as he played his B-flat clarinet, had to maneuver his bass clarinet into position for a quick switch. He and trumpeter Jonathan Britt, who doubled on piccolo trumpet, also delivered the clarion calls on the “Rite.” * Scott Boberg, the museum’s manager of programs and audience engagement, noted that the grand piano being used in the performance was one…