March 20, 2007

Hall of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians

One of my all time favorite exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History, or really anywhere, is The Hall of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians....I really need to check in with this exhibit, I haven't been there in over a year....I am always fearful that they are going to "modernize" and thus ruin this amazing and antiquated piece of the museum...this is the famous collection, assembled by Franz Boas....below is a bit of information about Boas, who was a super interesting fellow.

"In 1896 Boas was appointed Assistant Curator of Ethnology and Somatology of the American Museum of Natural History. In 1897 he organized the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, a five-year long field-study of the natives of the Pacific Northwest, whose ancestors had migrated across the Bering Strait from Siberia. He attempted to organize exhibits along contextual, rather than evolutionary, lines. He also developed a research program in line with his curatorial goals: describing his instructions to his students in terms of widening contexts of interpretation within a society, he explained that '...they get the specimens; they get explanations of the specimens; they get connected texts that partly refer to the specimens and partly to abstract things concerning the people; and they get grammatical information." These widening contexts of interpretation were abstracted into one context, the context in which the specimens, or assemblages of specimens, would be displayed: '...we want a collection arranged according to tribes, in order to teach the particular style of each group." His approach, however, brought him into conflict with the President of the Museum, Morris Jesup, and its Director, Hermon Bumpus. He resigned in 1905, never to work for a museum again."

The first photo is one of my fave artifacts at the American Museum of Natural History, a Nootka wooden rattle, consisting of small wooden fishes suspended in a grid of wooden dowels. It was collected by the Jesup North Pacific Expedition in 1897.

The second photo was taken in is Franz Boas posing as part of a Kwakiutl Hamatsa (a Pacific Northwest tribe) figure group exhibition that was being created at the Smithsonian Institution.

March 16, 2007

long ago

a view of the first section of the american museum of natural history...taken from the roof of the dakota apartment building (central park west + 72nd street). by H.B. Jackson 1879-1881

click on photo to enlarge image.

March 15, 2007

uncle LD's high bias podcast

need something smart and satisfying for your ears......fill up your iPod with Uncle LD's High Bias podcast.

this podcast from the village voice's LD Beghtol has been on at the studio, the subway, the walking's been on.
I don't know what was up with february (and part of march), but it has been DARK.....i've been fighting the doom and the gloom
with large sticks.......and as uncle LD says, these selections will "probably not make it any better, but perhaps get you through the next hour."

new songs, moody songs, songs you haven't heard at all, so far there are 30 podcasts....LD has a rainbow, kittens, cotton candy, and unicorns 4 ever mix, one with special guest Stephin Merritt, an easy listening for the self-absorbed and stay-at-home set, one for legend James Brown, a brief tour of the non-urban mentality mix, tunes to break your're getting the picture.

check out this interview with LD to learn more about his other musical projects, his bands, and his book from the 33 1/3 series about the magnetic field's 69 love songs.

March 11, 2007

gillian carnegie + toba khedoori

Gillian Carnegie at Andrea Rosen
Toba Khedoori at David Zwirner

beautiful day on friday wandering the galleries...thanks mbh.
here were my two faves, who excelled at building both the surface and inside of their work.
carnegie's oil paint handling was super.
we certainly didn't hit it all.....more chelsea later this week.

March 7, 2007


peggy lee + benny goodman perform 'why don't you do right'


Louise Bourgeois is a giant....
here is a thought of hers to re-visit....

'Milan Kundera has said that when you leave your childhood, your relationship to what you have left becomes very importat. You develop a certain attachment to it. To affirm your identity, you make the past - which in certain ways you hate - into a beautiful thing. But when you go back and see the actual scene of the crime - i'm joking now - the actual scene of your early years, you don't recognize it. Either you have embellished it, or you have torn it apart, or you have murdered it, or you have made it into a pie-in-the-sky. Whatever you did, you don't recognize it.'

LB, Drawings & Observations 1995

March 4, 2007

sniffing hot glue....

i got into the hot glue yesterday.....i needed to bring a painting on a field trip and decided it might be fun to build a tote.....made it out of materials just lying around the studio.....the criterion for tote = reusable, sturdy, and easy to seal up.....i am going to use one of those giant rubber bands to keep it all together....nothing like a good craft project.