GODS IN COLOR at SF’s Legion of Honor Museum

Close your eyes and think of ancient Greek statues. Do you see them in their gleaming white marble? Do you see how the classical purity of their forms is presented without enhancement or any distraction from colors or other decor? That’s certainly the way anyone interested in art history would have envisioned them for the past several centuries. Turns out, that vision is wrong. The astonishing exhibition, Gods in Color, will be at the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum through its last day, January 7th. It’s more than an eye-opener. It will not just invite you to reconsider everything you know about aesthetic values; it will force you to blink a few times and conclude the past is something different, maybe more complicated, than we thought we knew it to be.

Reconstruction of Trojan Archer, 2005. Original: Greece, Aegina, ca.480 B.C.E.Glyptothek Munich. Copy synthetic marblecast with natural pigments in eg tempera, lead, and wood, height 37 3/4in. Leibieghaus Sculpture Collection (Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt, on loan from the Universit of Heidelberg, LG157. picture courtesy Fine Arts Museums San Francisco.

This writer had heard years ago that the Acropolis was thought to have been painted in bright colors (my mother, a student of Art & Archaeology at Washington University, St. Louis, called this “a wake up call.”) Improved technology has now analyzed the bits and traces of color especially on statues and architectural remnants. The Gods of Color exhibition shows reconstructions of famous statues, friezes and even an Ionic capital all painted according to what the scientific detectives have found. Shown with the reconstructions are outstanding, original, unchanged works from classical Greece, Egypt, the Near East. The exhibition is fascinating not only for the chance to see these art works in a way close to the way the ancient Greeks saw them, but also for what is revealed about the science and economy of the times.

For example, one color is called Egyptian blue. The color was entirely synthetic. The Egyptians had worked out the science of producing a blue for their art through their knowledge of chemistry. They used silica, lime, copper and alkali. Blue made from lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone, was too costly for a multitude of projects. Other colors in the Greek works were derived from natural mineral sources: red and yellow ocher, red cinnabar, azurite and malachite. The cave paintings in Lascaux (ca. 17,000 B.C.E) demonstrate that even then the artists could create colors from minerals. Dr. Rene Dreyfus, Curator in Charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation, explains that although they might have found a way to make the deep black for their art work from local sources, it’s most likely that they used hausmannite, a rare manganese oxide that would have come from the Pyrenees, 150 miles away. The use of color derived from minerals like lapis lazuli suggests that even in these eras so far away from us in time, artists could have relied on far flung trade routes for color. The lapis, for example, would have come from Afghanistan.

When you first enter the exhibition, you will see two magnificent male, warrior statues. They demonstrate that bronze statues (these from ca. 460 B.C.E.) also were enhanced by color. Silver, colored stones, gold, copper were used for teeth, eyes, eye lashes, lips, and nipples. The color was an integral part of all of the “glory that was Greece.” It appears that during these golden eras, nude art works would have been naked without their colors. Will you see these statues and think them garish? That is surely what our culture had long ordained. Rush to this exhibition and consider how much you will, or will not, reconsider.  Warrior picture: Two bronze warriors from Riace, originals ca. 460 BCE, These were found underwater off the coast of Reggio di Calabria.  The last day for Gods in Color is January 7, 2018. See legionofhonor.org     Museum Admission: Free for members; $15 (ages 18-640, $12 (over 65), $6 (college students with ID), Free for age 17 and younger.

 

Clover Products at Mollie Stone’s!

Great news: you can donate to The Lively Foundation without giving a dime. Buy Clover Organic or Clover Stornetta products at Mollie Stone markets, May 1 – 31; Lively will receive 10% of the purchase price. This is truly a painless way to donate and do good! You’ll need a Mollie Stone’s community card. We can send you the form or the cashier can give one to you. Trouble free.mollie_stones_card Here’s how:clover_supp_header

  1. Program runs May 1–May 31, 2013
  2. Look for this sign and purchase Clover Stornetta Farms or
    Clover Organic items
  3. Use your Community Card/ or get one at checkout
  4. Automatically earn an additional 10%

Leslie Friedman: Behind the Velvet Curtain/Soiree San Francisco

Nienke Lels-Hohmann, founder of the European Soirees, San Francisco, presents Leslie Friedman, Thursday, May 23rd. Leslie will give a very lively talk, illustrated with many pictures, about her historic international performance tours. Dr. Friedman’s performances were presented by the US State Department and host nations including China, Russia, India, Poland, Romania, Spain, England and more. In most, she was the first American dancer or artist of any kind to be presented with joint sponsorship. Truly groundbreaking both artistically and politically. Do come! Details below:mail-2Flying leslie Left Small

WHEN:  Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
WHAT:  A fascinating lecture by a history professor transformed into an international dancer, Leslie Friedman.
Wonderful libations as well as sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, conversations, friendships, rencontres…
WHERE:  At the Arader Galleries, 432 & 435 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111, tel. 415-788-5115. (Parking at 250 Clay Street, open till 10:00 p.m.)
COST:   $60 per person and first-come, first-serve.  Please reserve by sending a check payable to Nienke Hohmann, to the following address: 2275 Broadway Street Apt. 206, San Francisco, CA  94115.   Only payments by check, no cash please.

Fromm Institute at USF Open House

thth-1Today was the Open House for The Fromm Institute’s spring quarter. Professors present brief descriptions of the courses they’ll offer. I’m always a little nervous and spend a lot of time thinking it over. This quarter, I’m offering Great American Dancers. Pictured above: The Nicholas Brothers(L) Gwen Verdon (R)Very great dancers. I won an award for my brevity: a bottle of Slimfast. Some professors won packets of instant oatmeal. Sorry to say it took me a long time to get it about the “fast” and “instant.” Sign up! 1-2:40 p.m Weds. 4/17/03-5/28/03 Here it is: I realize that for some individuals the notion of taking a course about dancers might seem frivolous in a world full of troubles. For example: There are Americans who text while they drive and who think the word text is a verb. North Korea wants to send America a message and here on our Peninsula we might be the first to receive it. It is highly likely that individuals with no sense of humor will soon get their hands on chemical weapons.  In the words of the great playwright, Moliere: “All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.” ———————————————-And so I stand here and suggest you meditate upon these words: FredAstaireGeneKellyBuckandBubbles. FredAstaireGeneKellyBuckandBubbles. Rogers, Miller, Powell, Jamison. Rogers, Miller, Powell, Jamison. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” The Nicholas Brothers is all ye need to know. Please note: This course does not claim to present the ONLY great dancers. This course will present tap, ballet, modern, and other dancers. Why bother with this course if you are already a dance fan or if you are not now and never have been a dance fan?—– I will give you three reasons:                                                                                                            (1) Dance–which disappears as it happens–reveals the meaning of life. —                                     (2) Seeing Bill “Bojangles” Robinson can uplift your appreciation of the homo so-called sapiens species                                                                                                                                             –(3) Only those who take this course will learn the answer to an eternal mystery: Who’s got the pain when they do the mambo?

Announcing: San Francisco Museums’ Director

It’s another Hedgehog Highlight: An exciting event at the de Young Museum, in Golden Gate Park, today. Diane B. Wilsey, President of the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Museums, SF, announced that Dr. Colin Bailey will be the new Director of the FAMSF which includes the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum, in Lincoln Park, and the de Young. Dr. Bailey is currently Deputy Director & Chief Curator of The Frick Collection, New York City. Mrs. Wilsey stressed that the Board sought someone who was an outstanding leader for the museums and a respected scholar. His specialty is 18th and 19th century French art. The announcement was welcomed by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who also addressed the museum staff, press, and enough camera and tech crews for a space shuttle launch. An Englishman, Dr. Bailey earned his doctorate in art history at Oxford University. Mrs. Wilsey promised that Dr. Bailey would work closely with the community and be “fun.” The late John Buchanan, the well loved previous director was approachable and fun, she noted, and his successor will carry on that tradition.

Gold Rush! in Santa Clara & San Mateo, CA

The Lively Foundation presented The Gold Rush! at Westwood School, Santa Clara, March 15, and College Park School, San Mateo, March 8. Our presentation has narration made from letters written in the mining fields, music that was popular in the era, dances, and projections of archival photographs & engravings. It’s entertaining and painlessly educational. A longer version, for the general public, had its premiere as part of San Francisco’s official celebration of the Gold Rush’s 150th anniversary, 1999, in the Veterans’ Building, SF Civic Center.  At College Park school we performed for the whole school, about 300 students plus parents and teachers, and at Westwood, we performed for the 4th & 5th grades, about 100 students. Here are some pictures with audience members, after the shows.SanMateo GR kids3IMG_0041IMG_0044IMG_0045

Ming’s in Pictures! more by popular demand

Intelligent, charming, and so good looking! that’s the way to describe Lively Foundation friends. Here are: Barbara Baxter & EJ Thiele; Robert Nilsen; Paul Armel, Dr. Carol Achtman, Nienke Lels-Hohmann; Anne Garvey, Leslie Friedman, Godfrey Watson, Dr. Kate Lorig; Jeannie Watson, Leslie Friedman, Godfrey Watson; Leslie Friedman & Vicky Kwoh Ching.IMG_0101IMG_0102IMG_0113IMG_0111IMG_0115IMG_0105

Ming’s Luncheon, March 2: Great fun, Great food

The Lively Foundation’s annual New Year’s luncheon/banquet was tremendous fun. Ming’s Restaurant, Palo Alto, created the most delicious food. It was beautiful to look at, good to eat, and as Vicky Kwoh Ching explained to us, the menu was designed to bring us good luck. Amazing. Here are some pictures from a wonderful event. Thanks to all the Lively friends who attended. Thanks to Ming’s. Please support our supporters: Ming’s, 1700 Embarcadero, Palo Alto; Kiehl’s Stanford Shopping Center; Guittard Chocolate; The Milk Pail, California St. Mountain View.IMG_0065 IMG_0058IMG_0073IMG_0095IMG_0108IMG_0116

The Milk Pail-Chocolate!

Steve Rasmussen the owner of The Milk Pail Market, 2585 California St., Mountain View, has offered a 10 lb. slab of Guittard French Vanilla Chocolate for Lively to auction. Calling all chocolate lovers! Did you miss the chance to meet us at Ming’s today? Were you outbid for the chocolate items? Now’s your chance!!! Enter a bid for Chocolate Heaven. Help Lively present its educational programs for Bay Area schools. Eat the world’s best chocolate. We’re waiting to hear from you!olivsign