Monday, September 21, 2009
"The Ruffian" is a digital cotton-rag print from "Dominion Derby Girls: Glen McClure," on view now at VMFA's Pauley Center. (Photo © Glen McClure)
Roller Derby? I used to watch that when I was a kid!
If only I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that throughout my skating career! Yes, ladies and gents, roller derby is alive and well. And while it may not quite resemble the stuff you used to watch on Saturday morning television, rest assured modern roller derby still delivers the same hard-hitting action you remember.
The renaissance of Roller Derby began in 2001 in Austin, Texas, and has since spread like wildfire, first across the United States and now the globe, with leagues forming in places such as the U.K., Germany and New Zealand. Today’s derby promotes athleticism, sports”woman”ship and camaraderie. Sometimes coupled with “interesting” outfits and unique derby names, modern roller derby is a fascinating mix of sport and kitsch.
The premise of the game is simple. Roller derby matches consist of two teams; five skaters from each team take the track. A skater designated as the jammer (with the star on her helmet) scores the points; the remaining skaters are the blockers, and they form the pack. It’s the jammer’s job to get through the pack while the opposing blockers attempt to stop her. The game is a combination of speed, skill and simultaneous offense and defense.
Today’s leagues are established, organized and maintained by their members. They establish business structures, file tax paperwork and plan their league’s season schedules. Today’s derby athletes are strong, confident women who work hard for what they love.
Shannon “The Ruffian” Ruff, Skater, Dominion Derby Girls
On Friday, Oct. 16, at noon in the Pauley Center, “How...do you roller derby?” with Shannon Ruff starts with a brief in-gallery demonstration followed by a discussion. The program is free.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., VMFA presents College Night with the Dominion Derby Girls from Norfolk and Richmond’s own River City Rollergirls in a derby demonstration.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This is a detail of VMFA's Art Nouveau Punch Bowl With Three Ladles, made by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in 1900. It will be on view in the expanded VMFA galleries opening in May. (Photo © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
PARIS (Sept. 15, 2009) --- A little more than a century ago, Louis Comfort Tiffany presented favrile glass, including his masterwork punchbowl, at the 1900 Paris Exposition, and was awarded gold and bronze medals. Incredibly, since then Paris has paid little attention to the work of this innovative international artist until now. Finally, to the City of Light comes the world première of "Tiffany: Color and Light," which for the past several days has been previewed by elite scholars, collectors, and international museum leadership, as well as hordes of worldwide press.
Tomorrow is the public opening of the Tiffany exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg. Sidewalk kiosks, banners, and all the buses in Paris herald this dazzling exhibition. The museum, in Paris's verdant Jardin du Luxembourg next to the 17th-century Medici Palace, showcases many of the finest examples of Tiffany's career. Towering windows, delicate objects, and brilliant lamps fill the galleries with sparkling, colored light and graceful forms. Visitors can trace the development of Tiffany's innovative use of glass as an art form, as objêcts d'art, and on to extraordinary domestic interiors and resplendent church windows. The photographs of the exhibition are dazzling, but the payoff for us will be in Richmond, on May 29, 2010, when "Tiffany: Color and Light" comes to Virginia.
After Paris and Montreal, the tour will conclude in Richmond, its only U.S. venue. And at the close of the exhibition, many of its works will return to their home in VMFA's permanent collection, to provide inspiration and delight for generations to come.
Suzanne Hall, Chief Communications Officer, VMFA
(VMFA photo by Jay Paul)
Robin Nicholson, Deputy Director for Exhibitions, VMFA
PARIS (Sept. 15, 2009) --- Color and light ... and a touch of glamour ... came here to Paris last night with the opening of "Tiffany: Color and Light" at the Musée du Luxembourg. VIPS, museum professionals and collectors from around the world -- the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia -- previewed the finest assemblage of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany in a generation. A post-preview dinner hosted by the President of the French Senate in the palatial rococo rooms of the Sénat building confirmed the importance of this exhibition as a major cultural event on the glittering Parisian art scene.
The show looked fabulous- - glowing, never-seen-before stained glass, exquisite favrile objects, mosaics, jewelry, and -- stars of the exhibition -- our own Cobweb and Wisteria lamps. And the version of this show that's coming to Richmond next May will be even better; all of the works seen in Paris, but with additional windows and objects only being loaned to us and Montreal. Trust me...it will be spectacular!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
VMFA photos by Jay Paul
PARIS (Sept. 13, 2009) --- With a day before the preview of the Tiffany: Color and Light exhibition, we had time to visit top collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Paris. At VMFA we are preparing the galleries to completely reinstall our own collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco decorative arts. It's widely known that VMFA has a world-class collection, and today's visits affirmed our pride and honed our connoisseurship.
At the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, we admired elegant, sensuous line, with organic, especially floral, and other plant-inspired motifs with inspiration by Japanese design. Just as in our collection, unusual materials such as tropical wood, sharkskin, cobra and galuchat (a type of shark or stingray) further distinguish the sophisticated designs. We admired bold, dramatic furniture by Eileen Gray, Louis Majorelle, Emile Gallé, Jacques Doucet and Pierre Legrain, all familiar because of the diverse collection at VMFA.
The Musée d’Orsay was packed with admirers of Gallé, Majorelle, Champetier and Eugène Vallin. With beautifully displayed galleries, the former train station showcased some of Paris’s finest work, including some magnificent beds that were contenders for our Louis Majorelle bed -- almost. In November, VMFA members will preview the Art Nouveau and Art Deco collection, carefully collected and generously donated in 1985 by Sydney and Frances Lewis. Only members will see this preview – everyone else will have to wait for the grand opening on May 1.
Paris has great Art Nouveau and Art Deco, including some legendary Metro stops, designed by Hector Guimard. Fortunately, you can see equally fine work in Richmond, Virginia, but not at our metro stations.
Chief Communications Officer, VMFA
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This video was shot and edited by Robert Nyerges, the son of VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. Robert Nyerges is a a film/video student.
It all began on a trip to Washington with Alex Nyerges, VMFA's director. He mentioned that his son Robert, a film/video student, was to be home for the summer. Robert was interning in Richmond with Dreams Factory, a terrific production shop, but he had some spare time to "shoot some b-roll" for VMFA. (B-roll is illustrative footage to accompany a story).
Robert and I met, and I was struck by his poise and professionalism, and I'm not saying that because he is my boss's son (really). I shared with him one of the many needs that our small communications office has on the brink of re-opening a major national museum. Together, we realized we had a great opportunity. VMFA has begun to explore ways to use moving images to enhance the many stories about our museum. Robert explained many aspects of technical production and asked me for my vision of behind-the-scenes tours with Alex, and I produced outlines for each segment.
We met several times to hone messaging, style, continuity, equipment, editing software and the myriad details to consider, such as animation of the myVMFA logo and the intro for each segment. We set up some shoot appointments, and that's when it became quite poignant.
Father and son worked as a seamless team, interacting with a level of engagement, familiarity and good humor, to produce three professional and informative pieces about the magic that is happening behind the construction fence. I watched a father continue to work after a long day, bantering cheerfully with his son, who gave his dad another tool to enhance his stories about VMFA.
Suzanne Hall, Chief Communications Officer, VMFA