Anger, Love, and Power
A Public Lecture with Dennis Edwards on Fri., May 20, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
In-person and online participation available.
Registration is required; lecture will take place in Hicks Chapel Sanctuary.
Some Bible readers dismiss or demonize anger, but anger can provoke positive change when rightly understood. Similarly, understanding and appreciating that love is not sentimentality but actively redresses injustice will fuel our imaginations for how Jesus-followers can help reshape our neighborhoods.
April 30 – September 18, 2022
The Frick Pittsburgh is pleased to present Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist and Visionary, an exhibition of original artworks, limited edition prints, and archival materials through which innovative artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) celebrated African American subjects, beginning Saturday, April 30 at The Frick Art Museum. Drawing on his own experiences, Bearden created narratives that reflect both the nostalgic rural North Carolina of his childhood and the vibrant urban life of places like Pittsburgh and Harlem. Bearden spent portions of his youth with his grandparents in Pittsburgh, and his 1984 mural Pittsburgh Recollections, installed at the Gateway T station, honors the city’s history and its residents’ work ethic. The artist’s work layers themes from art history, literature, and religion with everyday rituals like family dinners to create visual stories that depict and elevate the Black experience while agitating for social change. Manager of Exhibitions and Registrar, Melanie Groves, curator of the Frick's presentation of this exhibition, commented, “The opportunity to present Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist and Visionary not far from where the artist first took up drawing in his early years, and in a city that inspired and informed much of his work, is an honor for the Frick.” Elizabeth Barker, Ph.D., executive director of The Frick Pittsburgh remarked, “This exhibition, in conjunction with SLAY: Artemisia Gentileschi & Kehinde Wiley, and Vanessa German’s Reckoning: Grief and Light, represents a celebration of Black creative excellence not previously seen at the Frick on this scale.”
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
For over 50 years, Romare Bearden depicted, defined, and celebrated the life that surrounded him. The exhibition begins by looking at Bearden’s early work—editorial cartoons of the 1930s, Soup Kitchen, a rare surviving painting, and commercial work—examples that highlight Bearden’s interest in issues of politics, race, and social justice. A major section of the exhibition, Visualizing the African American Landscape, emphasizes Bearden’s efforts to depict a layered vision of Black America, held together by history, ritual, and a pursuit of justice. A section titled Bearden and Women features powerful images of women, who appear as healers, protectors, goddesses and conjurers in the world Bearden created, undoubtedly inspired by the strong influential women in his life. The last section of the exhibition, Li’l Dan: the drummer boy, A Civil War Story, presents original illustrations in collage and watercolor from the only children’s book written and illustrated by Romare Bearden. The rediscovered story, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in 2003, tells the story of Li’l Dan, an enslaved drummer boy who uses his art to save a company of Union soldiers. Unique to the Frick’s presentation of the exhibition is a focus on Bearden’s connection to Pittsburgh. Bearden spent a significant portion of his childhood in Pittsburgh, staying with his maternal grandparents, who operated a boarding house for migrant workers employed in the steel mills. Over dinners with tired steel workers, the artist developed an appreciation and fascination with labor, and Pittsburgh appears frequently in his work. The exhibition includes 50 works of art and is made possible by generous loans from the Romare Bearden Foundation, the Estate of Nanette Bearden, and the DC Moore Gallery, NY. Additional works were kindly loaned by local collectors.
Starting Sat., May 7, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is presenting this year’s Summer Flower Show: Monet in Bloom, inspired by the works of impressionist painter Claude Monet. In this spectacular new exhibit — which follows in the footsteps of Phipps’ blockbuster Van Gogh in Bloom show from 2019 — the gardens of Phipps will bring three-dimensional life to Monet's breathtaking scenes of delicate flora and dreamlike design. Vivid botanical displays will place you directly into stunning scenes from the artist’s own canvasses – beloved paintings that have stood the test of time for 100 years.
Just in time for opening of Monet in Bloom and Mother’s Day weekend, the 86th annual May Market is taking place! May 6 – 7, stock up on unique plants, gardening accessories, handmade jewelry, lawn décor and more. May Market is free and open to the public; for hours and a complete list of participating vendors, visit phipps.conservatory.org/MayMarket.
Plus, Sat., May 14 marks the opening of Phipps’ Butterfly Forest for the first time in 3 years! This experience will awe visitors with an up-close look at some of nature's most prized pollinators alongside the blossoming flowers that feed them. Butterfly Forest runs through Mon., Sept. 5 and is included with cost of admission. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org/Butterfly.
Summer Flower Show: Monet in Bloom was designed by Associate Director of Exhibits Jordyn Melino. The show runs from May 7 – Sept. 25. Phipps is open from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. Fridays. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit phipps.conservatory.org/Monet.
First-of-its-kind Exhibition of Two Masterpieces of the Same Subject Painted 400 Years Apart Explores Critical Questions of Identity, Power, and Inequality
The Frick Pittsburgh presents the highly anticipated April 16 opening of SLAY: Artemisia Gentileschi & Kehinde Wiley, a first-of-its-kind exhibition pairing two masterpieces of the same subject painted 400 years apart ─ the first by Artemisia Gentileschi, arguably the most successful female painter of 17th-century Italy, and the second by Kehinde Wiley, the internationally celebrated Black American contemporary artist. Both paintings depict an Old Testament war story in which the heroic Jewish widow Judith beheads the Assyrian General Holofernes and thereby saves her city and the Israelites from destruction. Co-organized by the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and The Museum Box, and coordinated at the Frick by Chief Curator Dawn R. Brean and noted art historian Kilolo Luckett, the juxtaposition of these monumental works raises critical questions of identity, power, inequality, oppression, and what constitutes self-defense in an unjust war. Alone, each work of art exists as an essential destination for art lovers. Together, they spark vital questions and serve as catalysts for conversation. 2 “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to showcase these two extraordinarily powerful masterworks in a never-before-seen pairing,” said Elizabeth E. Barker, Ph.D., executive director of The Frick Pittsburgh. “Great works of art, like these two paintings, take us outside of ourselves and have the power to change the way we see the world. When we discuss a work of art with others, the experience can be even richer and more meaningful. This is one reason why museums are playing an increasingly essential role in fostering discourse and can even serve as agents of social change,” she continued. “The future of museum curating is collaborations. It’s essential for ensuring multiple perspectives are represented, that there are multiple avenues through which visitors can engage with the ideas behind the artworks,” said Ms. Brean. “Kilolo Luckett was the ideal partner for presenting this exhibition. She cares immensely about the potential for museums as safe spaces for generative dialogue. Her insights and perspectives have made the show that much more powerful.” “These two artists, their journeys and their stories are vastly different. And yet there is so much in common in their experiences,” said Ms. Luckett. “We are programmed to look at differences in an unhealthy way; the exhibition is an opportunity to think differently ─ and to heal and grow together.” SLAY will remain on view at The Frick Art Museum through July 10, 2022. Admission is free. EXHIBITION-RELATED PROGRAMS AND EVENTS The Frick will offer an array of exhibition-related programming including Exploring SLAY: In-gallery Conversations, up-close explorations of the exhibition’s two massive paintings, on Thursdays and Saturdays, April 21–July 9, at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. Admission is free for the gallery conversations, however space is limited. SLAY programs begin on Tuesday, April 12 with a virtual investigation of the story of Judith and Holofernes led by Hebrew Bible scholar Caryn Tambler-Rosenau.