Saturday, September 09, 2017

The place to be tonight is AU!

The website archive for the Jefferson Place Gallery has been launched:

The site is in the early stages of archiving the 18-year history of the Jefferson Place, with a timeline of activities, artist biographies, images of artworks, images of exhibition-related ephemera, press clipping summaries, and a blog to expand upon the history of the gallery.

About the Jefferson PlaceFounded by several American University professors, and one of their students, Alice Denney, the Jefferson Place was the first gallery in DC to exclusively support the area’s avant garde artists. It was also the place where many of the early Washington Color School artists—Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, Howard Mehring, and Kenneth Noland—first exhibited their signature masterworks in DC.

In the first few years of its existence other galleries copied their model. Duncan Phillips and David Kreeger purchased from the gallery for their collections; Vincent Melzac would donate his purchases to several museums. And the influence of the gallery had potentially greater reach: Abe Fortas, John Brademus and Sid Yates were among the gallery visitors. The former helped Johnson acquire the Hirshhorn collection; the latter two helped establish the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Gallery founders William Calfee, Robert Gates, and Helene Herzbrun—along with early members like Hilda Shapiro Thorpe—would remain with the gallery long after it transitioned from cooperative to commercial gallery under Nesta Dorrance, the gallery’s second director. As the Jefferson Place evolved, it would go on to represent artists like Benjamin Abramowitz, William Christenberry, Tim Corkery, Willem de Looper, Sam Gilliam, John Gossage, Shelia Isham, J.L. Knight, Rockne Krebs, Blaine Larson, V.V. Rankine, Eric Rudd, Yuri Schwebler, Roy Slade, Elliott Thompson, and many others.

The website functions as a companion to the second project: an exhibition curated by DMV artist and art critic John Anderson, "Making a Scene: Jefferson Place," the latest exhibition in the American University Museum's Alper Initiative for Washington Art. The exhibition and catalog essay examines the first six years of the gallery: from its founding in 1957, through 1962, after the gallery had transitioned between directors Alice Denney and Nesta Dorrance. True to its title, the exhibition outlines the scene the gallery was attempting to cultivate in support of local contemporary artists.

Website Development is a collaboration between John Anderson and Day Eight, a DC-area arts non-profit—founded by Robert Bettmann—that helps produce and publish creative projects: including the Arts Writing Fellowship, and the D.C. Poetry Project. The site was developed by BRINK media, and supported by the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, and the American University Museum.

Museum Events
A reception for the exhibition—which includes the website—will be September 9, 6-9 pm, at the American University Museum. A salon-style event, Free Parking, will be held at the museum on Thursday, October 12, from 5:30-7:00.

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this monster:
From: Monalisa Buckwell
Sent: Thursday, September 7, 2017 4:43 AM
Subject: Art Order
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Monalisa Buckwell