Monday, February 15, 2010

Maryland Symposium

Online Registration is now open for the upcoming symposium co-sponsored by the David C. Driskell Center and the University of Maryland University College

Autobiography/Performance/Identity: A Symposium on African American and African Diasporan Women in the Visual Arts - March 5 and 6, 20010

Featuring a keynote address by Lorraine O'Grady, and a performance by my good friend and Boston Cuban-American artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and more.

See the program online here and register for the symposium online here.

For more information contact
David C. Driskell Center
1214 Cole Student Activities Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
TEL 301-314-2615
FAX 301-314-0679

Warhol at the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery

This has all the characteristics of a terrific re-exhibition:

In 1980, iconic American artist Andy Warhol created a series of silkscreen prints titled “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century,” which depicted such luminaries as Albert Einstein, George Gershwin and Golda Meir. Warhol was on hand when an exhibition of the works debuted in the Washington area at that time. According to The New York Times, “Critics were appalled and denounced the series as crassly exploitative.” Audiences across the country, however, responded far more favorably.

Thirty years later, the exhibition returns to the nation’s capital along with a new one-man show, Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews? based on the series.

The exhibit, “Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century in Retrospect,” will be on view in the Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery from February 25 through May 2. An opening reception will be held February 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The production, written and directed by DC favorite Josh Kornbluth, will be presented by Theater J March 6-21 in the Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater at the Washington DCJCC. A humorous and penetrating take on Warhol’s Jewish portraits, Kornbluth’s show wrestles with the artist’s motives and techniques as well as the spiritual dimensions of his work while, at the same time, revealing Kornbluth’s own suppressed religious identity. A comedic autobiographical monologist based in the San Francisco area, Kornbluth performed his hit show Citizen Josh at Arena Stage in 2008. Tickets to Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews? are available at or 800-494-TIXS.

Looking back from a 30-year vantage point, Susan W. Morgenstein (who curated both the original and current exhibitions) says “‘Ten Portraits’ addresses several important questions: Why is Warhol and his work still popular today, and why do these 10 portraits continue to intrigue viewers?”

History of Exhibition

The 1980 exhibition grew out of discussions among New York and Israeli art dealers and Washington area curators who narrowed down lists of dozens if not hundreds of Jewish figures representing great achievements in the arts, sciences, philosophy, law and politics. Ultimately, they encouraged Warhol to portray:

* Sarah Bernhardt, celebrated French actress
* Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice of the United States Supreme Court
* Martin Buber, renowned philosopher and educator
* Albert Einstein, the great theoretical physicist
* Sigmund Freud, founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology
* Marx Brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo, vaudeville, stage and film comedians
* Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth Prime Minister and one of the founders of the State of Israel
* George Gershwin, distinguished American composer
* Franz Kafka, eminent novelist
* Gertrude Stein, avant-garde American writer, poet and playwright

The suite of ten prints represented a departure for the famous artist. For instance, it was the first time he had done a series that included portraits of different people (rather than multiple images of the same person). It was also the first time he depicted historical figures.

In addition to the 40 x 32 inch prints, the current exhibition features reproductions of the photographs on which Warhol based his artworks, media coverage of the original exhibition, and copies of the lists from which the final figures were selected.


On April 7 at 7 p.m., the Gallery hosts Richard Meyer, author of the catalog, “Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered,” in conversation with Susan W. Morgenstein. An associate professor of art history at the University of Southern California, Meyer examines the exhibition’s controversial premiere, whether or not our views of it have changed since its first showing and why the images continue to provoke books, films, plays and museum exhibitions. Visit for more information.


“Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered,” a 64-page book featuring color and black-and-white illustrations, is available in the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery and Abramson Family Foundation Judaica Gift and Bookstore; it sells for $15.


The Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, a program of Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and Fridays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Note that the gallery will be closed on March 30 and 31 and April 5 and 6 for Jewish holidays.) Admission is free.

Theater J is a professional theater company founded to present works that “celebrate the distinctive urban voice and social vision that are part of the Jewish cultural legacy.” A program of the Washington DCJCC, Theater J has been hailed by The New York Times as “The Premier Theater for Premieres.”

The Washington DCJCC, located in the nation’s capital and serving residents of the metropolitan area, is located at 16th and Q Streets, NW, four blocks east of the Dupont North Metro station. For information, contact (202) 518-9400 or