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Category: Recommendations

Film Recommendations – July 2020

Scrolling through Netflix, Prime, and Hulu can be an endless rabbit hole. This month’s film selection celebrates the lives and careers of three women artists.

Miss Hokusai

PG-13| 1h 33min | 93% Rotten Tomatoes

O-Ei is a talented artist who works with her father, Tetsuzo, later known as Hokusai, on the woodblock prints that would make Edo famous worldwide. This film is beautiful. Any fan of Hokusai or his famous The Great Wave print will enjoy this story and appreciate the scenes taken from his other prints.

Where to Watch

Stream: Netflix | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Jack LevineKeiji ShinoharaChuck Close, and William T. Wiley

The Fabulous Life of Élisabeth Vigée LeBrun

PG-13 | 1h 35min

A docudrama that offers an excellent analysis of renowned painter and free-thinker, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Learn more about this fascinating artist from her early life to earning coveted royal commissions to paint many European royal elites including Marie Antoinette.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon Prime | Rent: Amazon

MMFA Collection Connections

Clara Weaver ParrishJohn Singer Sargent, and Mary Cassatt

What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann

Not Rated | 1hr 20min

This documentary offers a rare glimpse of an eloquent and brilliant artist, photographer Sally Mann. Spanning five years and filmed at her Virginia farm, Mann reveals her artistic process and allows the viewer to gain entrance into her world as she reflects her personal feelings about mortality as she continues to examine the boundaries of contemporary art.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon Prime | Rent: Amazon, Vudu

MMFA Collection Connections

Eudora WeltyCaroline DavisPinky/MM Bass, and Nancy Marshall

Book Recommendations – June 2020

Amid the significant movement of our nation and in efforts to lift Black voices, our June book recommendations address and highlight the lack of Black representation in the art world, underline how systematic racism has contributed to this and other injustices for Black Americans, and offer insights on how art can contribute to much-needed change.

Click here to browse May’s recommendations.

About Ekphrasis

The Museum’s reading group is expanding! ​All individuals are invited to join Ekphrasis regardless of Museum membership. If you would like to join Ekphrasis, please complete ​the form​ below​.

Membership Form

Vote for 2020–2021 Reading Selections

If you have​ any questions, please contact Brandy Morrison at bmorrison@mmfa.org.

Related Program

This Is What I Know About Art Discussion [via Zoom]
Wednesday, August 12; Noon

More details to come.

Art and Upheaval

Book

Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World’s Frontlines

Author

William Cleveland

Why You Should Read

“This beautifully written book reads like a collection of stories from voices across the world, woven together to exemplify the power of art as a tool for activism. It helps us understand that activist art isn’t just a thing in countries often thought of as being in peril, and art for change isn’t limited to visual arts. Art and Upheaval sheds light on stories from Australia, South Africa, the United States, Serbia, and more, and lifts up voices of artists who create with purpose through visual, performance, and language arts. Art is a universal language; even when words can’t be understood, creative expressions speak loud and clear.” – Laura Bocquin, MMFA Assistant Curator of Education

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Kindle

Related Content

Artists+Actvisim: Let’s Talk

Exhibiting Blackness

Book

Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum

Author

Bridget R. Cooks

Why She Wrote It

“Visiting and working in mainstream museums, I found the regular omission of art on view that had been created by African American artists. When there was an art exhibition of their work, I noticed a few other things: First, African American artists were featured in museums within group exhibitions about Black identity. They were not regularly shown in thematic-based exhibitions organized around a style of art or specific topic. And rarely was their work shown alongside artists who were not Black; Second, the object labels for art by African American artists stated that the artists were Black, however, labels for art by White artists did not identify them as White. Third, when an exhibition of works by African American artists was on view, the majority of White museum visitors who commented to me about the exhibition stated that they had never seen art by an African American artist before. They believed that the exhibition was the first of its kind, and they wanted to know more.

What most people did not know was that there have been African American artists for hundreds of years. There has also been a history of White supremacy in museums since their origins in the nineteenth century. I wanted to create a well-researched text and critical analysis that would make the history of African Americans and art museums accessible. My hope was for American art museums and art critics to do better work in the future.” – Bridget R. Cooks

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop

Related Content

Interview with Bridget Cooks, UC Irvine

This Is What I Know About Art

Book

This Is What I Know About Art

Author

Kimberly Drew

Why You Should Read

“This book delves into the hidden (or not so hidden) obstacles that minorities face when trying to enter the art realm. In this book, Drew exposes the realities of Black professionals entering the art world–the wage disparities, the lack of opportunities, the absence of Black artists in a variety of appropriate spaces, the burden of dealing with white guilt. She also discusses why and how Black people do not engage with art and museums in the same way. Through this work, the reader becomes enlightened and empowered, something that is greatly needed in today’s world.” – Cassandra Cavness, MMFA Development Assistant

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

Kimberly Drew’s Instagram

Related Program

Book Discussion [via Zoom]
Wednesday, August 12; Noon

More details to come.

White Fragility

Book

White Fragility: Why is it so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism?

Author

Robin DiAngelo

Why You Should Read

“It’s an excellent read. She gives thorough and diverse examples of racism in society. The book addresses many issues including white supremacy and how all people can work together to engage more constructively. I read it in two days!

As for how it applies to the art world? I think it will give everyone a different perspective on why black artists and their artwork are crucial and should be represented in museums and galleries.” – Cynthia Milledge, MMFA Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

‘Interrupt The Systems’: Robin DiAngelo On ‘White Fragility’ And Anti-Racism

Film Recommendations – June 2020

Scrolling through Netflix, Prime, and Hulu can be an endless rabbit hole. This month, we’ve chosen to spotlight films that both challenge our own entrenched ways of thinking, as a people and society, and celebrate Black artists, heritage, and culture in honor of Juneteenth.

As Is by Nick Cave

Not Rated | 1h 10min

This 2015 behind the scenes documentary follows fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist Nick Cave as he travels to Shreveport, Louisiana to begin an eight-month art project leading up to a one-time multimedia performance featuring hundreds of local artists, musicians, soundsuit dancers, and members of the community.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon | Rent: Amazon

MMFA Collection Connections

Yvonne Wells, Nora EzellCharlie Lucas, Lisa Hoke, Elayne Goodman, and Mary Proctor

Black Panther

PG-13 | 2h 14min | 97% Rotten Tomatoes

In this 2018 Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, who must take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s character as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. This is quite possibly the best Marvel film for so many reasons. From an art perspective, the soundtrack and imagery in Black Panther relies heavily on cultural traditions African countries and ethnic groups from across the continent.

Where to Watch

Stream: Disney+, Hulu | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

African Collection, Dan Peoples, Yoruba Peoples, and Bassa Peoples

Additional Reading

Becoming Black Panther: 12 African Art Inspirations for Blockbuster Movie

The Hate U Give

Rated PG-13 | 2hr 13min | 97% Rotten Tomatoes

Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is constantly switching between two worlds—the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.

Where to Watch

Stream: Hulu | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Anne Goldthwaite, Roland L. Freeman, and John Lapsley

Just Mercy

Rated PG-13 | 2hr 17min | 83% Rotten Tomatoes

Based on his memoir, this film follows recent Harvard graduate Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) as he heads to Alabama. The film tells the story of one of his first cases, Walter McMillian (Jaime Fox), a man sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. After years of racism, legal and political maneuvering, Stevenson fights for McMillian’s life to appeal his conviction.

Where to Watch

Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Yvonne Wells and Anne Goldthwaite

Additional Reading

 Discussion Topics from EJI

Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace

Rated PG | 53min

Known for his vibrant, larger-than-life reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring young African American men, Wiley steps out of his comfort zone to create a new project: a series of classical portraits of African-American women. The film, Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, documents the project as it unfolds, tracking Wiley’s process from concept to canvas, coming to know the women whom he selects to paint, and enlisting Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to create couture gowns for each woman.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Elizabeth Catlett, Chester Higgins, and Hale Woodruff

Selma

Rated PG-13 | 2hr 7min | 99% Rotten Tomatoes

Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination remained rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for black Americans to register to vote. In 1965, the Alabama city of Selma became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Where to Watch

Stream: FX Now | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Yousuf Karsh, Charles Shannon, and Walker Evans

Film Recommendations – May 2020

Scrolling through Netflix, Prime, and Hulu can be an endless rabbit hole. To help your search, we’re spotlighting three films related to art that you should watch during the stay at home order.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

PG-13 | 1h 43min | 80% Rotten Tomatoes

This John Hughes 1980s coming of age film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who decided to skip school to hang out with his girlfriend and best friend. The friends visit several Chicago landmarks, including a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Where to Watch

Stream: Netflix | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, and Pablo Picasso

Midnight in Paris

PG-13 | 1h 40min | 93% Rotten Tomatoes

Woody Allen’s time travel comedy follows Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a successful but unfulfilled Hollywood screenwriter who travels to Paris with his fiancé and her conservative family. One night Gil gets drunk and lost in the streets of Paris, where he is picked up by a vintage car that allows him to travel back in time to meet artists including Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, and Edgar Degas.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon (with ads) | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Ferdinand-Jean Luigini, Frank Myers Boggs, and Luigi Loir

The Thomas Crown Affair

Rated R | 2h | 70% Rotten Tomatoes

In this art heist remake, Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan), a multi-millionaire who steals Claude Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This causes an attractive insurance investigator (Rene Russo) to pursue him for the crime and before long the two fall in love.

Where to Watch

Stream: HBO | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Theodore Earl Butler and Jules Ernest Renoux

Book Recommendations – May 2020

Several members of the Museum’s book club, Ekphrasis, reflected on their collective favorites over the years in order to make some recommendations for you. Below are some of their selections—check back each month for additional suggestions—happy reading!

Click here to browse April’s recommendations.

Related Programs

Ekphrasis: The Last Castle
Wednesday, June 10; 5:30 PM

Ekphrasis: In Sunlight or in Shadow
Wednesday, July 8; 5:30 PM

About Ekphrasis

The Museum’s book club is expanding! ​All individuals are invited to join Ekphrasis regardless of Museum membership. If you would like to join Ekphrasis, please complete ​the form​ below​.

Membership Form

If you have​ any questions, please contact Brandy Morrison at bmorrison@mmfa.org.

The Lady In Gold

Book

The Lady In Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

Editor

Anne-Marie O’Connor

Why You Should Read

“Lady in Gold is an important book about a Gustav Klimt portrait of a fascinating woman in Vienna that was looted by the Nazis, the American Supreme Court’s verdict in favor of her descendant, and the young lawyer who gave up everything to seek justice.” – Alice Novak, book club leader

“The true story behind the film, unraveling the portrait’s journey with differing roles that art plays in politics, society, identity, and memory.” – Carol Tew

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907

Loving Frank

Book

Loving Frank: A Novel

Author

Nancy Horan

Why You Should Read

“I enjoyed the book and the presentation by Alice and Jim Barganier. Learned much about Frank Lloyd Wright that I never knew.” – Beverly Bennett

“What’s not to love about the book Loving Frank? It’s an intelligent blend of truth and fiction… a story about passionate characters with a jaw-dropping conclusion.” – Amy Lovett

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Mad Enchantment

Book

Mad Enchantment Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

Author

Ross King

Why You Should Read

“A wonderful portrait of Monet and his times, with special emphasis on his last great work.” – George Jacobsen

“While Monet is one of the most loved artists in the world, few of us know the whole story about the Water Lillies that he painted in his garden at Giverny, including the gift of his paintings to France as a memorial to the First World War.” – Alice Novak, book club leader

“I enjoy everything by Ross King. His text reads like fiction with so many interesting facts and tidbits.” – Pamela Swan (who loves King’s Brunelleschi’s Dome most of all)

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

Musée de l’Orangerie

Book Recommendations – April 2020

Several members of the Museum’s book club, Ekphrasis, reflected on their collective favorites over the years in order to make some recommendations for you. Below are some of their selections—check back each month for additional suggestions—happy reading!

About Ekphrasis

The Museum’s book club is expanding! ​All individuals are invited to join Ekphrasis regardless of Museum membership. If you would like to join Ekphrasis, please complete ​the form​ below​.

Membership Form

If you have​ any questions, please contact Brandy Morrison at bmorrison@mmfa.org.

In Sunlight or in Shadow

Book

In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper

Editor

Lawrence Block

Why You Should Read

“There’s been a part of me that’s always been attracted to the solitary figures in Hopper’s art. To find what must have been a similar curiosity in the written works of well-known authors somewhat validated my feelings about Hopper.  But then to read original short stories by these authors creating worlds for each piece way beyond my imagination, helped me understand that those solitary figures could possibly have had a vibrant life before and after being captured by Hopper.” – Frank Gitschier

“I learned a lot about Edward Hopper paintings, the stories were very entertaining and educational. The story about the piano player was absolutely chilling. Think I’ll always remember that. I also liked that the authors set their stories in the depression era so they gave the stories a realistic meaning.” – Marlene Harrington

“I was drawn in by Stephen King being a contributor to this book. Each short story gives you a glimpse into how someone can interpret a painting by Edward Hopper.” Brandy Morrison, Ekphrasis coordinator

Upcoming Event

Wednesday, July 15; 5:30 PM

Join Senior Curator Margaret Lynne Ausfeld as she leads a discussion on these intriguing short stories inspired by Edward Hopper’s paintings. This event will be broadcast on Facebook. No registration is required.

We would like to hear from you about what you think is going on in our Hopper painting New York Office. Entries can be a character sketch, dialogue, very short story, poem, or haiku and should be between 17 and 500 words. Submissions are due by July 15. Full or partial submissions may appear on the Museum’s blog or elsewhere. Click here to submit your response.

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

MMFA Collection: Edward Hopper, New York Office (1962)

The Last Castle

Book

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home

Author

Denise Kiernan

Why You Should Read

“I’ve been to Biltmore three times and enjoyed reading how it came to be.” – Marlene Harrington

“I thought this was so relevant to our collection! I didn’t know much about the Vanderbilts, and this was such a good entertaining history lesson!” – Paula Susen

“Having grown up near Biltmore House and having been there several times, I knew a lot about the house and its history.  What was new to me was how important George Vanderbilt was to forestry, not only on that estate but to restoration of forests throughout the country.  The family also did more for the Asheville area than I had known. Until I read the book I did not know that many of the art works from the National Gallery were brought down from Washington, D.C. and were kept there during much of World War II.”  – Carol Anne Toms

Related Event

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

The Biltmore in Ashville, NC

The Monuments Men

Book

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

Author

Robert M. Edsel

Why You Should Read

“Awesome story, better than the movie, of how a special force team of American and British art experts and soldiers worked together to save works of art from Hitler and the Third Reich.” – Brandy Morrison, Ekphrasis Coordinator

“I had previously read Rescuing Da Vinci (by the same author).  It is truly amazing that the Monuments Men located, saved and returned so many works of art.  For four years, an average of twice a day, I drove by the building in Wiesbaden which was one of two collection centers where the artworks were stored, cataloged and attempts were made to determine the owners.  There was never any reference to the Monuments Men or to what had happened there. So glad this story was finally told.” – Carol Anne Toms

Where to Purchase

Physical: Amazon, Bookshop | Digital: Apple Books, Kindle | Audiobook: Apple Books, Audible

Related Content

The Monuments Men Foundation

Film Recommendations – April 2020

Scrolling through Netflix, Prime, and Hulu can be an endless rabbit hole. To help your search, we’re spotlighting three films related to art that you should watch during the stay at home order.

Cézanne et Moi (2016)

R | 1h 57min | 54% Rotten Tomatoes

This historical drama explores the long and often volatile friendship of painter Cézanne and writer Émile Zola, who first met as schoolboys. Another beautiful film and it includes cameo appearances by Manet, Pissarro, and Renoir. If you want an introduction to this friendship, check out this film.

Where to Watch

Stream: Netflix | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Walt Kuhn, Stuart Davis, and Alexander Archipenko

Loving Vincent (2017)

PG-13 | 1h 34min | 85% Rotten Tomatoes

 

A dramatic biopic about Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, and the circumstances surrounding his death. It’s the world’s first fully painted feature film, employing the same technique as van Gogh, which makes it a truly unique and exciting viewing experience.

Where to Watch

Stream: Hulu | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Childe HassamWilliam Merritt Chase, and Marsden Hartley

American Masters: Wyeth (2018)

Not Rated | 1hr 27min

This documentary presents viewers with the most complete portrait of American artist Andrew Wyeth through unprecedented access to family members, archival materials, and his work.

Where to Watch

Stream: PBS | Rent: Amazon, iTunes

MMFA Collection Connections

Andrew Wyeth (1)Andrew Wyeth (2)Winslow HomerCharles Burchfield, and Frank Applebee

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