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Important Member Information
There will be a $2 surcharge to view the 2004–5 Carnegie International. Members will enjoy a members-only check-in line with expedited ticketing.



Right: Robert Bowden, Study for Presepio Backdrop, 2004, watercolor, Carnegie Museum of Art.








Right: Common villagers are some of the 100 human figures in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Presepio.









Presepio Gets Neapolitan Backdrop
Thanks to Women’s Committee

The Women’s Committee has commissioned Pittsburgh artist Robert Bowden to create a mural to serve as a backdrop for the beloved Presepio, the 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene that is displayed every year in the Hall of Architecture throughout the holidays. Elisabeth Agro, assistant curator of Decorative Arts, says the Presepio came with a backdrop when it was purchased from a collector in 1956, but that the backdrop was not in the Neapolitan style and hasn’t been used in many years.

“ The new mural is wedded to what is in the Presepio architecturally and structurally,” says Agro. She explains that Bowden is painting it in the style of an 18th-century Neapolitan landscape, and is including the Bay of Naples, ships, Mt. Vesuvius, palazzi and other buildings, ancient ruins, formal gardens, and more.

Bowden is painting the landscape in oil on a 60-inch x 52-inch canvas, which will then be enlarged to a huge backdrop of more than 17-feet wide by 15-feet high to suit the Presepio’s 21-foot-wide platform. Visitors also will have the opportunity to see Bowden’s original watercolor sketch and oil canvas beside the mural to gain an understanding of the artistic process.

The Presepio features buildings and more than 100 human figures with terra cotta heads and dressed in original fabric clothing. The figures include members of the Nativity as well as Neapolitan aristocrats, officials, and peasants. The Presepio has been a Carnegie Museums’ tradition since its purchase in 1956.


Holiday Trees Bring Fantasy to Life
Continuing a long-standing holiday tradition at Carnegie Museum of Art, the Women’s Committee has envisioned four more fanciful ways to decorate the 20-foot trees that will stand in the Hall of Architecture Thursday, December 2 through Sunday, January 9. Working within the theme of “Children’s Fantasies of Christmas,” committee members are creating beautiful ornaments and objects that will deck the trees. With your museum admission, you’ll have the opportunity to delight in the four trees: “Space Child’s Christmas,” depicting Santa’s gift delivery to children on other planets; the “Unicorn” tree, featuring the Unicorn of Flemish tapestries fame; “Night Before Christmas,” capturing Santa’s visit as described in the Clement Moore poem; and the “Fairy” tree, featuring gossamer fairies from myths and literature, along with their forest and toadstool homes.

Holiday Tree Preview Party
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
6-8:30 p.m.
Hall of Architecture
$40 per person
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; for reservations
call 412-622-3325.

Holiday Party for Special Guests
Close to 200 special guests—children and adults alike—are expected to enjoy a delightful afternoon of food and festivities at this year’s Holiday Party for Special Guests, sponsored by the Women’s Committee of the Museum of Art. The guests are students from the Day School at The Children’s Institute, Mon-Yough TAC/W, Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Easter Seals School East, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Allegheny Valley School, and The Pace School. They will be treated to lunch, gifts of beanie baby animals, a visit from Santa, and lots of music-making—ranging from the jingling bells they’ll wear on ribbons, to a sing-along and holiday favorites played by the Mt. Lebanon High School Orchestra.

Volunteer Betsy Kampmeinert is arranging the holiday party this year. “Singing together is great fun for the guests and is a bonding experience for the volunteers,” she says. “This party is always a
terrific time!”


Upcoming Exhibition
Kawase Hasui: Landscapes of Modern Japan
November 13, 2004–February 27, 2005
Works on Paper Gallery

For centuries, Japan was known for its woodblock print tradition. In the early 20th century, Japanese print designer Kawase Hasui (1883–1957) was active in the shin hanga or new print movement intended to revive the flagging tradition. Hasui worked closely with publisher Watanabe Shozauro, and become one of the publisher’s most successful artists. Hasui is noted for capturing the effects of weather and light on the landscape, and traveled the country in search of suitable subjects.

The exhibition will include approximately 70 prints and watercolors from the James B. Austin Collection at Carnegie Museum of Art, along with several works from a private Pittsburgh collection.

Kawase Hasui, Japanese, 1883-1957, Moon Over Magome (Magome no tsuki), 1930. Woodcut on paper. Carnegie Museum of Art. Bequest of Dr. James B. Austin.


Recent Acquisition:
Concetto Spaziale Black, 1968, and Concetto Spaziale White, 1968,
by Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana, designer, Rosenthal Porcelain Factory, manufacturer, Concetto Spaziale -
White, 1968, and Concetto Spaziale - Black, 1968
, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 2004.20.1 and 2004.20.2

Born in Argentina and raised in Milan, Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) is revered as one of the major forces in 20th-century art. A painter, sculptor, and theorist, Fontana was an avant-gardist interested in exploring three-dimensional space, especially in his ceramics works. According to noted ceramics historian, Garth Clark, “Fontana was not just a ceramist, but could well be the most important artist to work in this medium in the 20th century.”

The Concetto Spaziale White and Concetto Spaziale Black are among Fontana’s final work in ceramics and were produced as a series in porcelain by Rosenthal. What is unusual about this series is that they combine mechanical and manual production. Rosenthal made the bodies from a mold, and Fontana then added the punctured holes and oval gashes by hand, making each object in the series different.

Curator of Decorative Arts Sarah Nichols says, “The pieces were conceived to stand alone or to be paired and, I think, by pairing, the sum is greater than the individual parts. It speaks to another important aspect of Fontana’s work—opposites creating a whole or the two sides of the coin of life.” Nichols adds, “The pair might stand for light and dark, day and night, male and female, or the hand and the machine.” The Museum of Art previously acquired Fontana’s 1962 copper sculpture, Concetto Spaziale (Attesa).

Nichols says, “These ceramic works are an important acquisition for this museum because they represent a critical aspect of Fontana’s career. They illustrate the blurring of traditional boundaries between art and craft that starts to occur post-1945, and they add a significant dimension to our ceramics collection, the development of which is a collecting priority.”


Programs Enhance Enjoyment of the Carnegie International

November & December 2004

Every Carnegie International brings the Pittsburgh region many opportunities to explore contemporary art through an exciting array of events and lectures. The current Carnegie International is no exception, and offers something for every level of interest—from daily docent-led tours to happy hours to in-depth lectures by artists and curators.

Letter to Tacitus, 2004
Trisha Donnelly
Saturdays at noon
Galleries, free with museum
and exhibition admission.

Daily Exhibition Tours
Tues.-Sun., 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Sat. and Sun., 3-4 p.m.
Meet in the Museum of Art lobby.
No reservations required, free with admission.

Poetry Performance: John Giorno
Collaboration and Convergence Between Visual Art and Poetry
Sun., Nov. 7, 1 p.m.
Carnegie Lecture Hall, free.
A poetry performance by Giorno, one of the inventors of the spoken word movement.

Lunch & Learn:
Conversation with Laura Hoptman

Thurs. Nov. 11, 10:30 a.m.
$25 members/$30 non-members, includes lecture, tour, and lunch in Carnegie Café.
Join Laura Hoptman, curator of the exhibition, for personal insights on some of the art and artists. Following lunch, you’ll embark on a docent-led gallery tour.
Call 412.622.3288 to register.

Artist’s Lecture: Trisha Donnelly
Thurs., Nov. 11, 5 p.m.
McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University, free.
Donnelly’s work explores the interrelationship of words, actions, thoughts, and images and their ability to invoke associations in the mind’s eye of the viewer.

Performance TGIF
Fri., Nov. 12, 6-9 p.m.
Museum galleries and café, free with museum and exhibition admission. Visit the exhibition and enjoy performance art at this casual evening event.

Curator’s Lecture: Elizabeth A. T. Smith
Lee Bontecou in Perspective
Sat., Nov. 13, 2 p.m.
Carnegie Lecture Hall, free.
Elizabeth Smith sees in Lee Bontecou’s work an extraordinary cohesiveness of vision over time and a sensibility that is both optimistic and despairing about the relationship between human beings and the world they occupy.

Lectures are co-sponsored with Carnegie Mellon School of Art.


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Copyright (c) 2004 CARNEGIE magazine. All rights reserved.