The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been given a gift of more than 8,000 photographs by Aaron Siskind (1903–1991) from the Aaron Siskind Foundation in New York. Established by the artist in 1984, the foundation’s mission has been to preserve and protect Siskind’s artistic legacy, as well as to foster knowledge and appreciation for photography through research, publications, exhibitions and an annual fellowship prize for individual artists.
The foundation recently decided to dissolve its operations and transfer the collection to an American art museum that would be willing to administer the annual fellowship prize and care for, interpret, and display the foundation’s core collection of Siskind’s photographs. VMFA was awarded this major gift thanks to the museum’s demonstrated commitment to photography and its outstanding fellowship program. The transfer of the collection to VMFA took place on January 1, 2020.
“After a thorough search of the major art institutions across the country, the Aaron Siskind Foundation was delighted to find that the visionary leadership, ambitious plans for the future, and commitment to carrying on Aaron Siskind’s legacy made VMFA the ideal choice as the new and permanent home for the collection and administration of the Siskind Prize,” says Victor Schrager, President of the Aaron Siskind Foundation.
“With this remarkable donation from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts owns what Siskind and his colleagues considered to be the finest prints of every important work he ever made,” says VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “Comparable to the key sets of Paul Strand’s photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., this gift also allows VMFA to become an important center for the study and appreciation of Siskind’s life and work, as well as photography in general.”
The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Siskind was born and raised in New York City and graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1926. Three years later, Siskind received a large-format view camera as a wedding gift when he married Sidonie Glatter. He took his first photographs with this camera on their honeymoon in Bermuda in 1930. Siskind later joined the Film and Photo League in New York. Inspired by the social documentary photography that he saw at the Film and Photo League, Siskind spent the next decade working as a street photographer, most notably producing his acclaimed Harlem Document series. In the early 1940s, he shifted to more abstract and symbolic work, often based on found objects.
Siskind supported himself by teaching in the New York public school system until 1949, when he resigned and briefly tried to earn his living as a freelance photographer. Unable to do so, Siskind moved to Chicago at the invitation of fellow photographer Harry Callahan, whom he met in the summer of 1950 at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, where they both taught photography. Siskind went on to teach photography at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago from 1951 to 1970.
By the 1950s, his work had become widely associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement thanks to his acclaimed photographs of the walls of buildings, whose flat, variegated surfaces enlivened by peeling paint or the remnants of torn posters provided a visual counterpart to the work of Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and other painters of the New York School. Siskind’s photographs were shown alongside the paintings of these artists in a series of exhibitions at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York between 1947 and 1951. At a time when photography rarely achieved equality with painting as a fine art, Siskind’s success in the broader New York art scene signaled an important advancement for the medium.
In 1971, Siskind was appointed as a professor of photography at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a position he held until his retirement in 1976. He spent the next two decades traveling extensively, including extended trips to Italy, Morocco, Mexico and Peru. In 1975, he made an acclaimed series of abstract compositions in Peru based on the tightly packed stone wall at Sacsayhuamán which, with its geometric patterning, continued the artist’s interest in finding visual equivalents for contemporary abstract painting in his stark black and white compositions. When Siskind died in 1991, he held a pre-eminent place in the history of the medium thanks to his career-long dedication to the idea that photography can be an abstract form of expression and an aesthetic end in itself.
The gift includes the core collection of 4,062 photographs that represent the artist’s finest works from every series and period of his career. VMFA will also receive approximately 3,900 duplicate prints which it will donate to other museums, including those in cities and places where Siskind lived and worked, as well as countries he visited at the end of his career. The museum has also agreed to take on the responsibility of administering the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship, which provides cash grants to artists working in photography and lens-based media. Siskind established this grant to assist independent photographers to pursue personal projects without bias to any particular form of the medium. VMFA is in an excellent position to administer this annual prize due to its Visual Arts Fellowship Program that has supported Virginia artists for the past 80 years.
Three Sheets to the Wind playing drive-in concert at City Stadium June 13th
Enjoy smooth ’70s and ’80s yacht rock from Three Sheets to the Wind on June 13th at City Stadium – in the comfort and safety of your own vehicle.
Yacht rock tribute band Three Sheets to the Wind, known for their smooth and sultry soft rock vocals and ’70s and ’80s covers, will play a drive-in concert in collaboration with The Broadberry in the parking lot of City Stadium June 13th, it was announced this past weekend.
Tickets, which went on sale this morning, are good for up to four people in one vehicle. In order to maintain social distancing, no one will be allowed outside of their vehicles except to use the restroom at portable toilets, which will be on-site and cleaned often.
Audio from the show will be broadcast live via a lower power FM transmitter to those in attendance.
Learn more and purchase tickets here.
Rules and regulations from The Broadberry staff follow below.
𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐓 𝐑𝐔𝐋𝐄𝐒 & 𝐑𝐄𝐆𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 In order to provide the safest and best Drive-In Concert Experience, we require each participant to observe the following rules:
1. If you are sick, running a fever or have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home until you are healthy.
2. For the safety of yourself and others, you should ONLY attend this event with people in your immediate quarantine circle.
3. Tickets can be purchased online only, there will be no box office onsite.
4. All attendees must arrive within a vehicle that is two axles and holding a maximum of 4 people, including children. No campers, motorcycles, buses, or extremely large vehicles will be admitted. No jeeps without doors or convertibles with tops down. No vehicles towing trailers will be admitted.
5. Absolutely no sitting on your car, standing on your car or exiting the vehicle before, after or during the event. NO LAWN OR CAMPING CHAIRS PERMITTED! NO SITTING IN THE BED OF A PICKUP TRUCK.
6. There is absolutely no leaving your vehicle unless there is an essential need, i.e. bathroom breaks. If you must leave your car to use the restroom – WEAR A MASK.
7. Portable toilets will be available on site. Strict guidelines will be provided to ensure safety and cleanliness. Gloves and sanitizer will be available for use.
8. Absolutely no standing outside of the venue or gatherings on the sidewalks of the venue will be allowed and will be enforced by security.
9. Emergency communication options will be provided both in advance of the event as well as upon arrival to the concert.
10. For the safety of concertgoers directly adjacent to your vehicle, refrain from rolling down your car windows more than two inches from the top.
11. Food can be brought from home and eaten in your vehicle. Please only dispose of trash in proper receptacles or bring all trash back home. Please don’t litter!
12. At the conclusion of the concert, please remain in your parking space until directed by event staff to exit the lot. In the case of an emergency, please remain in your space until directed by event staff. Drive slowly and follow all directions.
13. The parking lot will open one hour prior to the start of the show. We suggest arriving early — parking is first-come-first serve.
14. All audio will be streamed via FM transmitter. Please make sure to arrive with a working FM radio in your vehicle or you will not be able to listen to the show. Portable boomboxes and stereos are permissible for vehicles without a functional car stereo.
15. Absolutely no alcohol and/or illegal substances will be permitted at the event or inside your vehicle and violators will be held accountable and prosecuted by state and federal law.
16. No pets are allowed.
17. Absolutely no illicit goods, no fireworks, weapons or guns, knives or laser pointers.
18. Drivers caught concealing other persons or items in their vehicle will be turned away or asked to leave without a refund. All vehicles subject to search.
19. Big trucks and SUVS may be directed to the back of the lot so as to not block the sightlines of other concert-goers.
20. No refund requests or ticket transfers will be granted. This event is rain or shine.
Byrd Theatre curates “Cinematheque Virtuelle” French film series
Knowing how many people missed seeing the French Film Festival in March and look forward to March 2021, the programming committee saw an opportunity to bring a little “Je ne sais quoi” to the Byrd Theatre’s virtual screening room.
The Byrd Theatre’s virtual movie series continues with an all-new theme. Cinematheque Virtuelle is the Byrd Theatre’s newest virtual series. Knowing how many people missed seeing the French Film Festival in March and look forward to March 2021, the programming committee saw an opportunity to bring a little “Je ne sais quoi” to the Byrd Theatre’s virtual screening room.
Many of the films are new releases and others are new to being available for screening. The Alliance Francaise Richmond has graciously partnered with the Byrd Theatre to bring this French Film Series to life.
Cinematheque Virtuelle French Film Series opens May 27th, 2020 with “On a Magical Night” and opens 2 films on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and additional film each day through June 2nd. The complete series will run through June 9th.
On a Magical Night, French Rom-Com
New French Shorts 2020, a collection of short films
The Perfect Nanny, From Rendezvous with French Cinema 2020/Acclaimed Thriller
Papicha, Cannes Film Festival and Cesar-Award Winning Drama
Deerskin, Black Comedy/Thriller
Someone Somewhere, From Rendezvous with French Cinema 2020/Acclaimed Indie Drama
Alice, South By Southwest Grand Jury Prize Winner
Tezzeka, Comedy/Drama for Moroccan/French Cuisine Foodies
Rififi (1955), Classic: French Film Noir
Band of Outsiders (1964), Classic: Godard’s Unofficial Sequel to Breathless
The Byrd Theatre launched the Virtual Screening Room in March and has been looking for interesting films to share with its patrons. The screening room allows people to rent the films, view from the comfort of their own home during Virginia’s Stay at Home order, and help the Byrd Theatre monetarily. The individual distribution companies are splitting the net revenues from rentals with the Byrd Theatre. Win-Win.
Dominion Energy Riverrock announces Virtual Experience with virtual trail events, streaming content to celebrate 2020 festival
“Even though we can’t gather along the James River at our wonderful downtown waterfront, we still want to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant active-living community,” said Megan Schultz, Director of Events for Sports Backers, co-organizers of Dominion Energy Riverrock with Venture Richmond.
Dominion Energy Riverrock is planning its first Virtual Experience to bring the sights and sounds of the festival, which was originally scheduled for May 15-17 before its cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated restrictions on large events, directly to viewers and participants. The Virtual Experience will include trail running and mountain bike events for participants to take part in virtually on their own before enjoying the streaming festival highlights show on Saturday, May 16, at 5 p.m.
The virtual races will encourage participants to bring the celebratory spirit home to them. Participants can choose 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon trail running distances, or 10-mile or 20-mile mountain bike distances, then select their own course and complete their race any time before May 31. Participants can also upload and compare their times on an online leaderboard. Virtual event registration is now open at www.riverrockrva.com, and the registration fee of $20 includes a Dominion Energy Riverrock trucker hat with an event entry. As part of the celebration, festival organizers are also hosting a drawing for a prize pack featuring items from event partners including YETI, Sierra Nevada, ENO, nuun, Virginia Lottery, and Capital One, among others. No purchase is necessary to win the prize pack and anyone aged 21 and over can enter to win here.
“Even though we can’t gather along the James River at our wonderful downtown waterfront, we still want to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant active-living community,” said Megan Schultz, Director of Events for Sports Backers, co-organizers of Dominion Energy Riverrock with Venture Richmond. “We believe that the Virtual Experience will be a great way for Dominion Energy Riverrock enthusiasts to engage with the things that make the festival so unique and exciting.”
The streaming highlights show will feature music from several artists originally scheduled to perform during the 2020 Dominion Energy Riverrock, including the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, The Hot Seats, and The Northerners, as well as interviews with Dominion Energy Riverrock athletes, demos on mountain biking, slacklining, kayak, and bouldering, and plenty of other festival-related content. The livestream will premiere at 5 p.m. on May 16 on the Dominion Energy Riverrock YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/DominionRiverrock/live) and on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/riverrockRVA/), and be available for on-demand streaming immediately after. A trailer for the special can be viewed at the Dominion Energy Riverrock Instagram page, @RiverrockRVA.
“We know that Dominion Energy Riverrock is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year in Richmond, so it’s important for us to bring the spirit of the festival to our dedicated community with this Virtual Experience,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We especially would like to thank Dominion Energy for their support to bring this concept to reality so we can all take part in the festival in our own way.”