I’ve often thought working in a museum is like stepping inside the hallowed walls of Willy Wonka’s great Chocolate Factory. You just never know what the Oompa-Loompas down the hall are fashioning (i.e. The Nugget Factory). All kidding aside, some pretty fantastic things take place around the IMA and other museums at which I’ve worked.
So on this Easter weekend, I want to share with you three “good eggs” I’ve come across all relating to the world of museums.
The first good egg is an online exhibition by the National Portrait Gallery. One Life: KATE, A Centennial Celebration is dedicated to actress Katharine Hepburn. The Web feature traces her life from her beginnings in 1907, through early Hollywood and stardom, to her later career with loads of brilliant photographs, illustrations and movie posters. The exhibition also features Hepburn’s four Oscar statues — the most won by anyone for best actress and video clips of her films, interviews and television roles. I plan to make my way back to the Old Patient Office Building, which houses the museum, before the exhibition closes on September 28. And I’m definitely having dinner at proof across the street. The restaurant features LCD screens of rotating images from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Also, check out the book I am reading: Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn by William J. Mann, a candid look behind the myth she created.
My next good egg is paired with part three of Sunday night’s HBO miniseries John Adams, based on a book by historian David McCullough. Organized by The Massachusetts Historical Society, the exhibits John Adams: A Life in Letters and My Dearest Friend are an indulgence for history buffs. Both focus on the personal correspondence between Adams and his beloved wife Abigail through a sampling of their more than 1,100 surviving letters. You can even explore the connection between each miniseries episode and real correspondence online. If you’re like me, and also eager to read handwritten notes in the margins of more than 3,800 books in Adams’ personal collection, you can check out John Adams: Unbound, organized by the John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library.
The final good egg is double-coated with Dance Kaleidoscope’s performance The French Connection at the Indianapolis Repertory Theater. (Which from the front row was passionate and praise-worthy.) One of the pieces called Au Moulin Rouge: La Goulue (1996) examines the life of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, famous for the series of posters he made for the Moulin Rought nightclub in Paris in the 1890’s. An exhibition at the IMA called Paris Posters: The Art of the Streets includes 20 eye-catching posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and others. Both dance and exhibition tell the tale of the same painter and printmaker and the bohemian lifestyle of Paris in the late 1800’s. If you missed the ballet, you can still see Paris Posters through August 24 .
Now grab a Everlasting Gobstopper and get to egg-hunting.