A select few of the Women - of the past & present - whose work is featured in this edition of The Agenda News
Madeleine Albright Diplomat - Secretary of State
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting Recent Acquisitions, thru November 4, 2018. The annual exhibition features 27 objects that tell the story of America through the art of portraiture and showcases some of the newest additions to the museum’s collection. The portraits featured include those of Francis Scott Key, Madeleine Albright, Gertrude Jeannette, Dr. Norman Francis, Harry Callahan, Rita Moreno and Dustin Lance Black.
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image, thru April 15, 2018.Dietrich brought androgyny to the silver screen through her roles in such movies as Morocco (1930) and Seven Sinners (1940). “She challenged the strictly limited notions of femininity at the time through her lifestyle and fashion……”The German-born star is a symbol of anti-Nazism, a fashion icon and an influential figure of the LGBTQ community.
Portrait Gallery historian Kate C. Lemay is the curator of this exhibition.
Image below: Marlene Dietrich on the SS Europa, 1933, Cherbourg, France. Photograph by Paul Cwojdzinski, Deutsche Kinemathek - Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin
The Folger Shakespeare Library’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series will present Sandra Gilbert: Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute on December 11.The renowned poet, author, and feministic literary critic Sandra Gilbert will explore the esteemed poet Emily Dickinson’s (1830-1886) contemplation of death and grief as she reads from Dickinson’s poetry and her own. Ms. Gilbert is aProfessor Emerita of English at the University of California, Davis, and she lives in Berkeley.She has published many collections of poetry, including the Patterson Prize-winning Ghost Volcano and Kissing the Bread: New and Selected Poems 1969–1999, which won an American Book Award. The tribute is co-sponsored with The Poetry Society of America.
Image below: A portrait of Emily Dickinson & Sandra Gilbert.
The Folger Shakespeare Library’s PEN/Malamud Award will be presented to Jhumpa Lahiri, who is the author of four widely-acclaimed works of fiction, on December 8. Lahiri was born in London & is the daughter of Bengali Indian emigrants from the state of West Bengal. Lahiri's family moved to the U.S. when she was two, and she grew up in Rhode Island. She is now a professor of creative writing at Princeton University. She has received many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award; & many more honors.
The Renwick Gallery is exhibiting Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, thru January 28, 2018.Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) crafted exquisitely detailed miniature crime scenes to train homicide investigators. The dollhouse-sized diorama composites of true crime scenes are still used in forensic training today and helped to revolutionize the emerging field of forensic science. Glessner Lee is considered the “godmother of forensic science.” She constructed the Nutshells beginning in the early 1940s "to teach investigators at Harvard University’s department of legal medicine how to properly canvass a crime scene to effectively uncover and understand evidence." The dioramas "tell a story of how a woman co-opted traditionally feminine crafts to advance a male-dominated field and establish herself as one of its leading voices." The exhibit is comprised of nineteen studies that were organized by Nora Atkinsonof The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft.
Image below: Frances Glessner Lee at work on the Nutshells in the early 1940s. Image courtesy Glessner House Museum, Chicago, Illinois
The Kreeger Museum Sculpture Garden has installed Portals by Sandra Muss. Composed of seven stainless steel and mirrored columns, each ten feet tall and wrapped in wire, Muss’s work "welcomes visitors into the woods and invites them to explore its mazelike arrangement.” The five-and-a-half-acre grounds “provide visitors with new opportunities to explore the relationship between art and the natural world.
Judy A. Greenberg, Director of the Kreeger Museum has commented that "Portals was conceived by Sandra Muss in response to the environment, reflecting the surroundings and the change of seasons, and encouraging visitors, as they meander through the trees, to interact with the sculpture. The impressive installation makes a significant contribution to this next phase of the development of The Kreeger Museum Sculpture Garden."
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting One Life: Sylvia Plath, thru May 20, 2018. The exhibition employs the poet's personal letters, her own artwork, family photographs and relevant objects, to highlight her “struggle to understand her own self and to navigate the societal pressures placed on young women during her time.”
Dorothy Moss, curator of painting and sculpture at the Portrait Gallery, is curator for the exhibition and is joined by guest co-curator Karen Kukil, associate curator of rare books and manuscripts at Smith College
Image below: Sylvia Plath with Frieda and Nicholas, Court Green - Siv Arb (31 Oct 1931 - 4 Feb 2015) - April 1962 - Photo blow-up - Courtesy Writer Pictures
The Kennedy Center will celebrate the centennial of Swedish Film Director Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007) in December.Bergman’s wife and muse, celebrated director Liv Ullmann, has expanded his 1996 film titled Live Confessionsinto a stage adaptation which delves into the realms of infidelity, family relationships, loneliness, and the weighty results of keeping secrets deep within. The U.S. premiere of the play will be performed by the National Theatre of Norway in the Eisenhower Theater, December 6-9. The play will be performed in Norwegian with projected English titles.
The production is recommended for age 16 and up.
Image below: Liv Ullmann
Kara Walker Artist
The American Art Museum is presenting Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), thru March 11, 2018.The Museum acquired the series in 2008, and this is the first time that the complete series has been presented. Walker "appropriated select illustrations from Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War - two-volume anthology from 1866 - enlarging and overlaying them with dark stenciled figures that depict disturbing imagery, including racial stereotypes and graphic acts of violence."
Walker's works "are presented alongside a selection of the original Harper’s prints on which they are based, also drawn from SAAM's collection."
The Kennedy Center is presenting the world premiere of a musical adaptation titled Me...Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall, directed by Aaron Posner, in the Family Theater, thru December 10. The Kennedy Center commission, with music & lyrics by Andy Mitton, is about “young Dr. Jane Goodall and her special toy chimpanzee Jubileeas they learn about the world around them and the importance of protecting all living species.” The cast features Eymard Cabling, Sam Ludwig, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Awa Sal Secka, and Erin Weaver as Young Jane. The show is most enjoyed by age 6 and up.
Image below: The logo for the show.
Marjorie Merriweather Post - 1887-1973 Art Collector
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is exhibiting Spectacular: Gems & Jewelry from the Marjorie Post Collection, thru January 1, 2018.Nearly sixty pieces that once belonged to Marjorie Merriweather Post, one of the greatest jewelry collectors of the twentieth century, “tell the story behind some of the remarkable stones and the jewelry into which they were transformed.”
Her collection “represented the finest assembly of gems and historical and twentieth-century jewelry in America. She commissioned great pieces from the most important jewelry firms of her time including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, and Verdura and many others…..
New and previously unseen pieces from the Merriweather Post collection are an added highlight of this exhibition.”
Luisa Cevese, Christina Kim & Reiko Sudo Textile Designers
The George Washington University Museum|The Textile Museum is exhibiting Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse, thru January 7. The exhibition presents the work of three designers who place sustainability at the heart of the process: Luisa Cevese in Milan; Christina Kim in Los Angeles; and Reiko Sudo in Tokyo. The exhibition is organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Cantate Chamber Singers, conducted by Gisèle Becker will perform a concert titled A Joyful Noise……..The Rest is Silence at St. John's Episcopal Church, Norwood Parish in Chevy Chase on January 20. The featured soloist will be Deborah Sternberg, soprano. The program will include works by Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Edward Elgar. Gisèle Becker has been Cantate’s music director since January 1994, and she also serves as Director of Choral Activities at The George Washington University, where she conducts the University Singers and Chamber Choir. For 26 years she served as a singer and assistant conductor of the Washington Bach Consort, and she also served for ten years as Chorus Master for the Cathedral Choral Society.
National Chamber Ensemble will perform a concert titled Holiday Cheeron December 16 at Unitarian Universalist Church Of Arlington.The ensemble will be joined by soprano Rebecca Littig, who is the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award. Ms. Littig made her European debut at age 24. She has graced many of the world’s stages including Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and London’s Royal Opera Covent Garden. She will perform Vivaldi's rarely heard masterpiece “O Qui Coeli.” Littig will also lead the audience in a carols sing-along at the conclusion of the concert. The program will include a Hanukkah medley, plus music by Tchaikovsky, and Bach. A group of students from elementary school to college age will accompany the Ensemble in a Vivaldi selection. The students will include Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, and Levine Music.
The Kennedy Center will present Kathleen Battle'sUnderground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey in the Concert Hall on January 28.The five-time Grammy®-winning soprano will return to D.C. with” a special concert program celebrating the spiritual as a musical form as well as the power of the human spirit.”
Image below:Kathleen Battle
Nina Simone - Vocalist
Arena Stage is presenting Nina Simone: Four Women - written by Christina Ham, directed by Timothy Douglas and starring Harriett D. Foy - in the Kreeger Theater, thru December 24.The esteemed songstress Nina Simone has been celebrated for her signature renditions of standards from the American songbook, but the loss of four little girls in a devastating explosion in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963 led her to find her true voice through storytelling & song. Simone’s activist themes including “Four Women,” “Mississippi Goddam,” “Old Jim Crow” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” helped define the sound of the Civil Rights Movement.
Image below:Illustration by Uli Knorzer
Annalisa Diaz - Playwright
Signature Theatre will present 4,380 Nights by Annalisa Dias, January 16-February 18 in the Ark. The play is “a complex and intriguing look at an American worldview created in the wake of September 11. For the last 12 years, or 4,380 days, Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid has been held without charge by the U.S. government at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. As he languishes in his cell, his interactions with those on the outside are juxtaposed with historical events in a riveting exposé into the most dangerous prison of all—fear.” The play is presented as part of the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival.