Summer is a great time to take children to art museums, and San Diego County families have many exhibits from which to choose in the coming months. Here are just a few compiled by Art Farm Summer Camp Director Gaul Culley, representing multiple art forms from Gothic tapestries to a photographic exhibit that focuses on domestic life within the walls we call home, to a magnificent sculptural installation of Zodiac animal heads.
SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART (IN BALBOA PARK)
June 09, 2012 through September 16, 2012
The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
The Pastrana Tapestries, coming to the San Diego Museum of Art, are among the finest surviving Gothic tapestries. The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries will feature the recently restored set of four monumental tapestries that commemorate the deeds of Afonso V, King of Portugal.
Woven in the late 1400s, these monumental tapestries, each measuring 12 by 36 feet, depict Afonso V’s conquest in 1471 of the Moroccan cities of Asilah and Tangier, located near the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. They are among the rarest and earliest examples of tapestries created to celebrate what were then contemporary events, instead of allegorical or religious subjects. The designer minimized the misery of warfare, reinventing the event with the heroic image of Afonso and the ideals of chivalry in mind. Exquisitely rendered in wool and silk threads by Flemish weavers in Tournai, Belgium, the tapestries teem with vivid and colorful images of knights, ships, and military paraphernalia set against a backdrop of maritime and urban landscapes.
Since the 17th century the tapestries have been the property of the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Pastrana, Spain, 50 miles east of Madrid. Because of their outstanding quality and historical significance, the Spanish government listed them as cultural patrimony to be safeguarded during the Spanish Civil War. Only one of the four tapestries has previously travelled to the U.S.
The conservation of these tapestries received the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards 2011.
MOPA (MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS IN BALBOA PARK)
THREE STORY HOUSE
12 May, 2012 – 30 Sep, 2012
Drawn from MOPA’s photography collection of more than 7000 images, Three Story House traces how photographers have captured the familiarity of the domestic environment to tell stories of how we live and where we live, as well as transforming it into a creative space to make art. With the inception of photography in 1839, photographers began to explore the importance of domesticity in our everyday lives, offering insight into the home as a nucleus for daily growth and renewal. Like a treasured heirloom, these photographs from MOPA’s collection are a pleasure to share with you here, in our house.
MINGEI MUSEUM (IN BALBOA PARK): NATURE, TRADITION AND INNOVATION
CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE CERAMICS FROM THE COLLECTION OF GORDON BRODFUEHRER
Jun 2, 2012 – Jan 6, 2013
Collection Source: Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer
This exhibition at the Mingei explores the evolution of contemporary Japanese ceramics through the work of many artists and a variety of forms, from tea bowls and noodle cups to stunning vases and robust platters. Strong and sculptural, these ceramic pieces also reveal an earthy beauty through abstract forms, soft colors and pools of glaze. These organic objects come from kilns throughout the regions of Japan, and their clear connection to nature will be enhanced with large scale photographs of Japanese landscapes and natural elements.
FOLK FESTIVALS AND TRADITIONAL CRAFTS: JAPANESE PRINTS FROM THE COLLECTION OF MAURICE KAWASHIMA
Jun 2, 2012 – Jan 6, 2013
Collection Source: Collection of Maurice Kawashima Location: Balboa Park
This exhibition, also at the Mengei, features prints by two Japanese artists: Yoshitoshi Mori (1898-1992) and Masaaki Tanaka (b. 1947). Both graphic and figurative, they depict cultural festivals, scenes from daily life and archetypal characters such as warriors and actors. Created with stencils, woodblocks and silk screens, the prints will be displayed alongside a selection of beautiful mingei – objects of use – from the Museum’s permanent collection, including a diverse range of historical and contemporary objects: pottery, kimono and other textiles, lacquer, metal, baskets and toys.
STUART COLLECTION, UCSD CAMPUS, LA JOLLA, CA
The Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego seeks to enrich the cultural, intellectual, and scholarly life of the UCSD campus and of the San Diego community by building and maintaining a unique collection of site-specific works by leading artists of our time. It has been inventive in both its curatorial point of view and its working processes. The collection results from an innovative partnership between the university and the Stuart Collection. Under an agreement forged in 1982 (and renewed in 2003), the entire campus may be considered as sites for commissioned sculpture. It is further distinguished from a traditional sculpture garden by integration of some of the projects with university buildings. With the enthusiastic cooperation of the UCSD Department of Visual Arts, and financial support from the Stuart Foundation, the Friends of the Stuart Collection, the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other organizations, foundations and individuals, the collection has initiated and completed an impressive range of projects. The selection of artists for commissions is based on the advice of the Stuart Collection Advisory Board, which is composed of art professionals of international stature. Artists are invited to conceive and develop proposals with the assistance of the Stuart Collection staff.
SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART: AI WEI WEI: ZODIAC HEADS: CIRCLE OF ANIMALS: GOLD
FEB. 23-JULY 29TH, 2012
MCASD is honored to present the U.S. museum debut of Ai Weiwei’s topical and sumptuous Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (2010). This gallery-sized installation is comprised of twelve animal heads, each depicting a segment of the ancient Chinese zodiac. The recent works by artist and activist Ai Weiwei reference a European version of the Chinese zodiac designed by Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione. The original sculptures, with their international connections, were built for an elaborate water-clock fountain at the imperial summer home of Emperor Qianlong, just outside of Beijing. In 1860 during the Second Opium War, the imperial gardens were ransacked, displacing the twelve zodiac heads. To this date only seven have been recovered. Continuing his work of re-interpreting cultural objects from his own fantasy and historical knowledge, Ai revisions all twelve zodiac heads. His work comments on the tension between what is “fake,” what is a “copy,” and what may constitute the better of the two.
Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and AW Asia, New York.
Art Farm Summer Camps
For information about Carlsbad Art Farm Summer Camps starting June 11, visit our website. Camps enroll all summer on a space-available basis. Art Farm is located on 10-acres of private woodland habitat in north coastal San Diego County near the Village of Carlsbad. Camp sessions are one-week, Mon-Fri, 9 A.M.-3:30 P.M. Classes are in our outdoor studios, where we teach students to draw and paint from our farm animal models. Programs also include natural science enrichment and an introduction to animal training. Students must be entering Grades 2-8 in the fall to attend. To contact us by email, go to director@CarlsbadArtFarm.com.