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Quarantine Staff Picks

Each week different members of The Block's team will be offering three picks that resonate with them in this moment. 

MAY 20, 2020 - 150 seats, animated by the audience

Today, Malia Haines-Stewart, Associate Film Programmer, writes:

"During this time, when watching films in a shared physical space is no longer available to us, I have been reflecting on the communal experience of movie-watching and, of course, missing the Block’s 150-seat auditorium and the people who animate it with their presence. Here is a selection of my top three screenings that I attended as an audience member before joining the Block Cinema programming team.  The films affirm my understanding of cinema’s role as a collaborative, social, and conversation-based art form that thrives on and celebrates togetherness."

1. La Politique des Autres: Short Films by Agnès Varda (July 2019) - Explore work by Agnes Varda
2. Barbara Hammer: Declarations of Identity (May 2019) - Explore work by Barbara Hammer 
3. Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Dreams of Suitcases and Blue Lobster (Oct. 2019) - Explore the Ism, Ism, Ism series

 

Each Wednesday a member of The Block's team offers selections that resonate with them at this moment. . Today, Malia Haines-Stewart, Associate Film Programmer, writes: "During this time, when watching films in a shared physical space is no longer available to us, I have been reflecting on the communal experience of movie-watching and, of course, missing the Block's 150-seat auditorium and the people who animate it with their presence. Here is a selection of my top three screenings that I attended as an audience member before joining the Block Cinema programming team. The films affirm my understanding of cinema's role as a collaborative, social, and conversation-based art form that thrives on and celebrates togetherness." . 1. La Politique des Autres: Short Films by Agnès Varda (July 2019) 2. Barbara Hammer: Declarations of Identity (May 2019) 3. Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Dreams of Suitcases and Blue Lobster (Oct. 2019) Link in bio #MuseumFromHom #ShareTheArts #BlockCinema #StaffPicks

May 13, 2020 - "No reference to time, to space, to illness or fear"

 Today Corinne Granof, Academic Curator, writes:

"In these difficult times, many of us are seeking respite and distraction, sometimes we are seeking escape. I am drawn to the pure color, line, and form of non-representational works in our collection. There is no reference to time, to space, to illness or fear. The works are transportive and, for a moment, take us out of the moment, offering a two-dimensional surface for joy and beauty."

1. Stanley William Hayter (English, 1901 - 1988), Maternité Ailée, 1948, Color engraving, soft-ground etching and stencil relief-roll, 13 9/16 in x 7 15/16 in, 1999.18

2. Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, 1900 - 1985), Untitled, from the series Seven Convolutions, 1948, Color lithograph, 17 7/8 in x 22 1/8 in, 1985.42.7.

3. Myron Kozman (American, 1916 - 2002), Abstraction #203, 1940, Color screenprint, 25 1/8 in x 17 11/16 in, 1996.88

Each Wednesday a member of The Block's team offers selections that resonate with them at this moment. Today Corinne Granof, Academic Curator, writes: "In these difficult times, many of us are seeking respite and distraction, sometimes we are seeking escape. I am drawn to the pure color, line, and form of non-representational works in our collection. There is no reference to time, to space, to illness or fear. The works are transportive and, for a moment, take us out of the moment, offering a two-dimensional surface for joy and beauty." . 1. Stanley William Hayter (English, 1901 - 1988), Maternité Ailée, 1948, Color engraving, soft-ground etching and stencil relief-roll, 13 9/16 in x 7 15/16 in, 1999.18 2. Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, 1900 - 1985), Untitled, from the series Seven Convolutions, 1948, Color lithograph, 17 7/8 in x 22 1/8 in, 1985.42.7. 3. Myron Kozman (American, 1916 - 2002), Abstraction #203, 1940 Color screenprint, 25 1/8 in x 17 11/16 in, 1996.88 #MuseumFromHome #FromOurCollection #ShareTheArts #Abstraction #MuseumWeek

May 6, 2020 - Conversations on Global Connection

 Today Kathleen Bickford Berzock, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs writes:

"Separated physically from my neighbors, family, colleagues, and friends, I wonder at my simultaneous connections with people near and far via digital platforms. My sense of time and of space have contracted and expanded in the same moment. What does it mean to be together at this time? As families and households, communities, countries, and our world navigate a global health crisis, I am drawn to the work of artists and curators who help me to see the synergies between the local and the global in new ways and who invite me to consider our connections across time and place. Here are three of my favorites from The Block Archive"

1. Visual Vanguard: Bisi Silva (April 6, 2017)

2. Kader Attia: Opening Day Program (January 21, 2017)

3. Artist Talk: Counter-Histories with Michael Rakowitz (February 13, 2019)


Each Wednesday a member of The Block's team offers selections that resonate with them at this moment. Today Kathleen Bickford Berzock, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs writes: "Separated physically from my neighbors, family, colleagues, and friends, I wonder at my simultaneous connections with people near and far via digital platforms. My sense of time and of space have contracted and expanded in the same moment. What does it mean to be together at this time? As families and households, communities, countries, and our world navigate a global health crisis, I am drawn to the work of artists and curators who help me to see the synergies between the local and the global in new ways and who invite me to consider our connections across time and place. Here are three of my favorites from The Block Archive" 1. Visual Vanguard: Bisi Silva (April 6, 2017) https://vimeo.com/212358761 2. Kader Attia: Opening Day Program (January 21, 2017) https://vimeo.com/201487578 3. Artist Talk: Counter-Histories with Michael Rakowitz (February 13, 2019) https://vimeo.com/321251976 #MuseumFromHome #FromtheArchive #ShareTheArts

April 29, 2020 - Collection images of solitary contentment

Today Alisa Swindell, Curatorial Research Assistant writes:

"I have been thinking of how often women are shown in relation to others, as lovers, mothers, caretakers. In this time of isolation, I have also been considering what it means to be alone. With both trains of thought in mind, I have selected images from the collection of women by themselves who seem content being solitary."

1. Henri Matisse, Repose on the Banquette, 1929, Lithograph, 19 3/4 in x 26 1/16 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of James and Anne DeNaut, 2008.31.2.

2. Charles Swedlund, South Side, c.1958, Gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 × 7 1/2 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Steve Nordman. 2018.12.7

3. Will Barnet, Between Life and Life, 1998. Color lithograph, 28 x 29 3/4 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Anonymous gift in memory of Lorraine Agnes Stewart, 2000.8.

 

Each Wednesday different members of The Block's team will be offering three picks that resonate with them at this moment. Today Melanie Garcia Sympson, Block Curatorial Associate writes: "As the city quiets down and we socialize through our screens, I find myself drawn to works in the collection representing Chicago's crowds and bustling streets: commuters downtown with places to be, kids at the playground, and a stylish couple dancing joyfully." - 1. Roland L. Freeman, Dancing at Jazz Alley, Chicago, Illinois, 1974, Gelatin silver print. 14 in x 11 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund Purchase, 2000.25.7 2. Henry Simon, Untitled (State and Monroe Streets) [silhouetted figures], ca. 1965, Monochrome photographic print, 7 in x 6 3/4 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Norbert Simon and David Simon, 1997.28.95 3.Charles Swedlund, South Side Chicago, c. 1958, Gelatin silver print, 9 3/8 in × 7 1/2 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Steve Nordman, 2018.12.4 #MuseumFromHome #FromOurCollection #ArtfortheSociallyDistanced #Chicago

April 22, 2020 - Photographic views of essential work and life-sustaining labor

Today Corinne Granof, Academic Curator writes:

Photographs in The Block’s collection, some by the great photographers of the Farm Security Administration from the 1930s and 1940s, capture the conditions and hard physical labor of farm workers. While their work is often invisible, the photographs serve to remind us of farm workers’ critical, but often unnoticed, contributions. In our current moment, farm workers are essential workers, and undocumented immigrants have been recognized as “critical to the food supply chain.” In photographs we see their deep connection to the land and the bounty of the earth. These photographs, among many in the Block collection, speak to the daily life of the farm workers and the gifts of their life-sustaining labor." 

1. W. Eugene Smith, "Spanish Village" Series ,1950, Gelatin silver print, 13 7/8 in x 11 in., Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Richard L. Sandor in honor of Julie and Penny Sandor, 1986.1.65

2. Torkel Korling. H.J. Heinz, Tomato Workers, Farm County South of Chicago, 1942, printed 1991, Gelatin silver print, 13 7/8 in x 11 in; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift in part by Steve Nordman, 2001.22c

3. John Collier, One of the enormous fields at which many migratory laborers are employed. Seabrook Farm. Bridgeton, New Jersey, June, 1942 Gelatin silver print, 3 15/16 in x 5 1/8 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 1999.11.9

Each Wednesday different members of The Block's team will be offering three picks that resonate with them at this moment. Today Melanie Garcia Sympson, Block Curatorial Associate writes: "As the city quiets down and we socialize through our screens, I find myself drawn to works in the collection representing Chicago's crowds and bustling streets: commuters downtown with places to be, kids at the playground, and a stylish couple dancing joyfully." - 1. Roland L. Freeman, Dancing at Jazz Alley, Chicago, Illinois, 1974, Gelatin silver print. 14 in x 11 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund Purchase, 2000.25.7 2. Henry Simon, Untitled (State and Monroe Streets) [silhouetted figures], ca. 1965, Monochrome photographic print, 7 in x 6 3/4 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Norbert Simon and David Simon, 1997.28.95 3.Charles Swedlund, South Side Chicago, c. 1958, Gelatin silver print, 9 3/8 in × 7 1/2 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Steve Nordman, 2018.12.4 #MuseumFromHome #FromOurCollection #ArtfortheSociallyDistanced #Chicago

April 17, 2020 - “Working from Home”: Prints of Work, Solitude, and Household Space

Today Curatorial Graduate Fellow Caitlin DiMartino selects three collection prints on work, solitude, and household space. "Whether to emphasize an aesthetic, contemplative aspect of individual labor, to experiment with the effects of light on an interior space, or to enhance the solitary presence of the sitter, printmakers across time have utilized the compositional and symbolic resonance of domestic settings in their work. While Northwestern’s campus remains closed and with many of us spending more time indoors or working from home, these prints, depicting interior scenes of toil and contemplation, could perhaps be considered from a new perspective in light of these recent circumstances." 


1. Peter Ilsted (Danish, 1861 – 1933), Sunshine, 1909, Color mezzotint inked à la poupée, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of James and Pamel Elesh, 2004.10

2. Ellen Lanyon (American, 1926 – 2013), Orchard Street, 1955, Etching with gold leaf, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 1994.61

3. W. Greatbach (English, 1802 – ca. 1885) after Gerard Dow (Dutch, 1613 – 1675), The Winder, 1846, Engraving, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of the Carnegie Corporation, 1985.10.21

Each Wednesday a member of The Block's team offers picks that resonate with them at this moment. Today Curatorial Graduate Fellow Caitlin DiMartino selects three collection prints on work, solitude, and household space. "Whether to emphasize an aesthetic, contemplative aspect of individual labor, to experiment with the effects of light on an interior space, or to enhance the solitary presence of the sitter, printmakers across time have utilized the compositional and symbolic resonance of domestic settings in their work. While Northwestern's campus remains closed and with many of us spending more time indoors or working from home, these prints, depicting interior scenes of toil and contemplation, could perhaps be considered from a new perspective in light of these recent circumstances." #MuseumFromHome #FromOurCollection #WorkingFromHome 1. Peter Ilsted (Danish, 1861 - 1933), Sunshine, 1909, Color mezzotint inked à la poupée, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of James and Pamel Elesh, 2004.10 2. Ellen Lanyon (American, 1926 - 2013), Orchard Street, 1955, Etching with gold leaf, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 1994.61 3. W. Greatbach (English, 1802 - ca. 1885) after Gerard Dow (Dutch, 1613 - 1675), The Winder, 1846, Engraving, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of the Carnegie Corporation, 1985.10.21

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April 10, 2020 - Three collection photographs of a vibrant, social Chicago

Today Melanie Garcia Sympson, Block Curatorial Associate writes: "As the city quiets down and we socialize through our screens, I find myself drawn to works in the collection representing Chicago's crowds and bustling streets: commuters downtown with places to be, kids at the playground, and a stylish couple dancing joyfully." 

1. Roland L. Freeman, Dancing at Jazz Alley, Chicago, Illinois, 1974, Gelatin silver print. 14 in x 11 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund Purchase, 2000.25.7

2. Henry Simon, Untitled (State and Monroe Streets) [silhouetted figures], ca. 1965, Monochrome photographic print, 7 in x 6 3/4 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Norbert Simon and David Simon, 1997.28.95

3.Charles Swedlund, South Side Chicago, c. 1958, Gelatin silver print, 9 3/8 in × 7 1/2 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Steve Nordman, 2018.12.4

Each Wednesday different members of The Block's team will be offering three picks that resonate with them at this moment. Today Melanie Garcia Sympson, Block Curatorial Associate writes: "As the city quiets down and we socialize through our screens, I find myself drawn to works in the collection representing Chicago's crowds and bustling streets: commuters downtown with places to be, kids at the playground, and a stylish couple dancing joyfully." - 1. Roland L. Freeman, Dancing at Jazz Alley, Chicago, Illinois, 1974, Gelatin silver print. 14 in x 11 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund Purchase, 2000.25.7 2. Henry Simon, Untitled (State and Monroe Streets) [silhouetted figures], ca. 1965, Monochrome photographic print, 7 in x 6 3/4 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Norbert Simon and David Simon, 1997.28.95 3.Charles Swedlund, South Side Chicago, c. 1958, Gelatin silver print, 9 3/8 in × 7 1/2 in, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Steve Nordman, 2018.12.4 #MuseumFromHome #FromOurCollection #ArtfortheSociallyDistanced #Chicago