Walters Art Museum Acquires Major Work by African American Artist
In 2002, philanthropists Eddie and C. Sylvia Brown created The Brown Challenge Grant, donating $500,000 to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, to be matched by the museum, creating a $1 million fund for the purchase of art by 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century African American artists.
The Walters has purchased the final major work associated with this grant, River Scene (1868), a serene landscape by Richard Seldon Duncanson (1821-1872), which is now on view in the Walters’ 19th-Century Galleries.
Duncanson was an individual who faced prejudices as a “free colored person,” but was hailed in 1861 as “the best landscape painter of the West.” His art depicted the Ohio River Valley and the vast North American landscape. River Scene is an idealized landscape that reveals a luminosity characteristic of his work. He included several small finely dressed black figures in the painting that are engaged in leisure activities, demonstrating that although Duncanson worked in the American landscape tradition, he added a nuanced African American perspective. This painting will be on view through Black History Month in February and then brought to the Walter’s Conservation labs for study.
Ladies Swing the Blues
Maybe MetroStage should have called this 90-minute musical/play/exposition “Birdland” instead of “Ladies Swing the Blues,” and my expectations would have been better met. While the performances also evoked the spirits of other 40s and 50s jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee, much of the focus was on Charlie “Bird” Parker.
The show starts as the ladies explore the life and death of Parker. With great live music and dart-like dialogue, audiences learn about Parker and others. Usually, when I see such shows like “Ladies Swing the Blues” at MetroStage, I wonder what musical artists from the 60s, 70s, and 80s will MetroStage honor with plays in 2040?
Yes, the music was great for those wishing to sit back and just enjoy jazz of yesterday in a comfortable setting. Sorry to those looking for a dramatic performance. The story also reminded me of past shows at the Metro, the dialogue was there - - but the singer/actors delivered them more like a series of Wikipedia facts.
Things to Do
CR Gibbs Lectures – Free
Black Teens in the Civil Rights Movement
Oakcrest Comm. Cntr.
Thu, Feb 7, 630 p
Great Slave Revolts
Capitol View Library
Mon, Feb 11, 7p
Ancient African Empires
Tue, Feb 12, 7p
Black Miners: A Buried Legacy
Wed, Feb 13, 7p
Bold Soul Sisters: Black Women Civil Rights Leaders
Sat, Feb 16, 2p
Oakcrest Comm. Center
Tue, Feb 19, 630 p
Great Black Women
Wed, Feb 20, 7p
An Evening with Danny Glover
Half of all ticket purchases will benefit TransAfrica Forum.
Event includes African Passion wine tastings,
heavy hors d'oeuvres and entertainment.
2121 14th St. NW
Wed, Feb 20, 6p-10p, $125
BLACK POP CULTURE: Legends & Visionaries of Color
(A group exhibition featuring the works of:
Al Burts, Michael Cummings, Karl Graham,
Betty Murchison, Carmen Torruella-Quander,
Greg Scott, Kenya Scott, Alec Simpson,
Francis Washington, Julian Weaver and
Ann Marie Williams)
The Gallery at Mandarin Oriental Hotel
1330 Maryland Avenue, SW
Until Thu, Feb 28, free
Do Lord Remember Me
Featuring University of Arkansas at
Pine Bluff Theater Company
Clarence Music Center
Fri, Feb 8, 10a, $5
Fri, Feb 8 and Sat, Feb 9, 8:15p, $10
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hallelujah the Musical: The Legacy of Gospel Music,
African American Research Library and Cultural Center
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Sat, Feb 16, $
New York (Greater)
The Harlem Fine Arts Show
The Riverside Church New York City
91 Claremont Avenue
New York, NY
Thu Feb 7- Sun Feb 10, $20-$50
Hue-Man and Mist Present a Night with Keith Sweat
46 West 116 St.
Harlem, New York
Wed, Feb, 20, VIP door 6p, Main 6:45p $30-$40
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The Godmother of Rock & Roll
Premieres Fri, Feb 22, 9p on PBS (check local listings)
Panama Honors Herbie Hancock
Panama City Mayor Roxana Méndez presided over a ceremony that included the delivering of the keys of the city to Herbert Jeffrey 'Herbie' Hancock (right). She presented him the keys January 15 in recognition of his artistic gifts and contributions to the cultural development of Panama’s capital city.
After the Central American ceremony, he and jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter visited the Danilo Perez Foundation, which teaches children how to play jazz. They entered the building to the sounds of Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” and he joined the children on the piano (below).
On the following night, Susana Baca, (below) the extraordinary Afro-Peruvian singer, delivered a lively concert. Her performances over the years have given rebirth to Afro-Peruvian Music. In July 2011, Baca became Peru’s Minister of Cultural Affairs and is believed to be the first person of African descent to hold a cabinet position in the Peruvian government.
Free Children’s Programs at the National Theater – Washington
Starting Sat, Feb 2 to Sat, May 4, the National Theater offers free children’s programs sponsored by
by Marriott International and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. (Shows are best appreciated by children four years old and older.)
Saturday 9:30a and 11a
Tickets distributed 30 minutes before each show
One ticket to each person in line
The National Theatre
1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW