Saturday, July 28, 2012

Week 4

June 25th - June 29th

Over the weekend, I visited the Rice Library again to copy sections from their books on Tanner. On Monday, I reviewed what I had gathered that weekend, reading and then writing for Tanner examples in the packet. In the afternoon, I also attended the staff tour for the Kenwood House exhibition, in which pieces by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and Reynolds made notable appearances (the rivalry of the later two artists was interestingly illustrated in the exhibit and explained by European arts curator Peter Bowron).

Frans Hals, ​Pieter van den Broecke​, 1633, oil on canvas,
Kenwood House, English Heritage, Iveagh Bequest.
(Courtesy American Federation of Arts)

Frans Hals, ​Pieter van den Broecke​, 1633, oil on canvas,
Kenwood House, English Heritage, Iveagh Bequest.
(Courtesy American Federation of Arts)

Tuesday morning I took a longer break from Tanner to attend the LTA "Beyond the Canvas," which explored the ways in which the MFAH's permanent collection could be used to develop vocabulary as well as analytical and writing skills. In the workshop, teachers practiced using strategic questioning skills and participated in activities like a symbolic scavenger hunt, writing and illustrating a poem related to their subject area, constructing a scene using basic shapes (à la Stuart Davis), and creating a self portrait as part of a discussion on symmetry. The last two hours of my day were allocated to helping clean up the LTA and writing for the Tanner examples. Wednesday consisted of more reading and writing for examples and background. I also got my hands on the PAFA Modern Spirit catalogue, which was helpful in writing discussion for those Tanner works that were more difficult to interpret. Thursday, I assisted with Family Programs. FP has scheduled events on Thursdays on Sundays, usually involving activities like gallery sketching, scavenger hunts, and art creation. This particular day involved gallery sketching so I spent the morning sharpening pencil, arranging sketch kits, and giving instructions to and interacting with families and kids. Overall, it seems like the museum is good about making the gallery spaces kid-friendly. With some of the more fragile or popular works roped off (just for good measure), the free programs allows children to go into almost any gallery in the museum, get comfy on a stool or the floor, and sketch away. Later in the day I finish writing about the Tanner the examples and began rewriting the biographical background information on Tanner that PAFA had used. Friday, the interns went on a behind-the-scenes tour with Michael Kennaugh from the Preparations Department. This basically meant we visited areas like the loading docks, matting and framing, on-site conservation, and on-site storage - also we got to ride in an enormous elevator that is used to transport art (large amounts or things that are especially heavy). I finished the day by concluding my writing on Tanner's biography.

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