Monthly Archives: September 2011

New European Paintings Enter the Collection

By Margaret Burgess
Associate Curator of European Art

The European collections at the Museum have been enriched by two acquisitions. Preeminent 19th-century Dutch Romantic painter Barend Cornelis Koekkoek’s masterpiece Landscape (1849) and 19th-century British painter William Powell Frith’s A Victorian Room (n.d.).

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Netherlands, 1803-1862), Landscape, circa 1849, oil on panel, 24 x 22 inches. Gift of the family of Henry A. and Elizabeth C. Laughlin.

Koekkoek’s Landscape is a recent gift to the Museum from the generous family of the late Henry A. and Elizabeth C. Laughlin, and joins the installation of European art on the second floor. Koekkoek adhered to the Ruskinian notion that artists should stay true to the natural world through careful observation; his depiction of trees with broken limbs and bark covered in lichen testifies to his acuity amidst nature and became his trademark. Landscape bolsters our narrative within the galleries of pre-Impressionist art, and not only complements our landscapes of the American Romantic movement, namely those of the Hudson River School, but also French paintings such as Camille Corot’s Untitled Landscape. The painting has been carefully cleaned and conserved by paintings specialist Cynthia Luk at the Williamstown Conservation Center, and it also acquired a new custom frame designed by Troy Stafford who studied historical frames that Koekkoek particularly admired.

William Powell Frith (Great Britian, 1819-1909), A Victorian Room, no date, oil on canvas, 13 1/2 x 8 inches (sight). Museum Purchase.

An intimate interior scene by 19th-century British artist William Powell Frith (1819-1909), A Victorian Room was purchased at the recent Barridoff auction. One of the most popular painters of the Victorian era, Frith was a master at depicting the social world of London. In this interior scene, his careful brushwork captures a myriad of details, from the peacock feathers in the vase to the fan propped at the left. Light filters through the stained glass providing a warm glow to the room. The painting bridges the gap between our 18th-century portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and our Impressionist painting by Alfred Sisley. Moreover, the work ties in nicely with the Museum’s collections of British drawings which include works by Thomas Rowlandson, Edward Lear, Samuel Prout, and James Holland.

Check the Rhime

By Sonya “Sontiago” Tomlinson
SPACE Gallery

Formed in 1985, A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) was part of a collective of hip-hop artists known as the Native Tongues Posse. Their first album dropped in 1990, while hip-hop was still a young art form and other rappers like NWA and Ice Cube were being banned for misogynistic and violent lyrics. In strong contrast, A Tribe Called Quest made songs about hanging out in their native New York boroughs, girlfriends, parties, and travels. Lyrics were accessible and the group was good at crafting infectious beats as well as call and response anthems like the legendary, “Can I kick it?,” to which we know the answer, “Yes, you can!”

Made up of three rappers and a producer, the quartet was equal parts present. Certain members stood out more than others and the two founding members, Q-Tip and Phife Dog became most known for their distinct flows. Q-Tip had a distinct nasal sound that set him apart while Phife Dog owned quick delivery and linguistic play.

Their combination of content, beats, and talent was well-received with Grammy nominations, Billboard chart-toppers, platinum record sales and several media recognitions putting them in the top 100 albums of all time. The group went on to make four albums, lose a member, make movie appearances, break up, create solo projects, and reunite more than once for the largest American hip-hop festival, Rock The Bells. With more than 25 years of history and fame, A Tribe Called Quest is the Beatles of the hip-hop world.

Beats, Rhymes & Life:The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest documents one of hip-hop’s most legendary groups and explores the players and events that produced the soundtrack to many lives.

Movies at the Museum
Beats, Rhymes & Life:The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Friday, September 23, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 24, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 25, 2 p.m.

For more information click here.

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Going Once, Going Twice…

By Caitlin Brooke
Marketing and Public Relations Assistant

Now is the time to get your tickets! On September 17, the Portland Museum of Art will host mod n modern: 2011 Portland Museum of Art Auction. The evening is guaranteed to be a lively celebration, commencing at 5 p.m. with a Silent Auction and cocktail party, followed by a Live Auction with an elegant dinner. For the first time in decades, this year’s Auction will be held at the Museum outside under a tent, creating a fun and festive shopping environment for all.

The evening’s Silent and Live Auctions will have you captivated and eager to place your bids! For a full list of Live Auction items and for an exclusive sneak-peak of the some of the items in the Silent Auction, click here.

In addition to the Auctions, we have an exciting opportunity for you to win $10,000 in cash. This prize can be yours simply by purchasing a raffle ticket. You do not need to attend the Auction to win (but we hope you do so you don’t miss out on all the fun!) Tickets are $100 each and only 300 tickets will be sold! To purchase tickets for the event and for the raffle, or for more information, please call Julie Davidson at (207) 775-6148, ext. 3244.

Tickets are $75 for the Silent Auction and cocktail party, and $125 for the Live Auction and dinner (which includes admission to the Silent Auction). Tickets may be purchased on the Museum’s website, or by calling (207) 775-6148, ext. 3248.

We hope to see you there!