If you have seen the 1941 painting Menneske Pyramide [Human Pyramid] by Harald Engman, on view in The Wolfsonian’s permanent exhibition Art and Design in the Modern Age, there’s a good chance you wanted to get a closer look at this dense, layered work. You may have recognized some of the figures and items in the painting and wondered at the identity of others. With those elements you could identify, you may have had the urge to leave the equivalent of a sticky note with an explanation.
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It has been quite a trip for the now-ubiquitous philodendron as it has made its way to and spread throughout the United States since the 1930s. Useful material for South American indigenous peoples, exotic tropical plant, coveted interior design element, run-of-the-mill houseplant, inspiration for all manner of modern and contemporary design—the philodendron has been these things and more.
The exhibition Two Streets from the Sand showcases the works of several museum staff members. Items on view include paintings, mixed media pieces, photography, and even poetry. Contributing staff members include artists whose work is frequently exhibited, others who have made art for years but rarely show it, and someone whose first work is featured. The show is up through August 26 in The Wolfsonian’s Museum Shop and Café.
A bit of a hybrid between being a detective and a treasure hunter, the job of a rare book cataloger is characterized by curiosity and the motivation to investigate. The Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection contains period imprints for which some basic, decent cataloging descriptions exist, as compiled by staff at other libraries or dealers of antique books. As a special collections librarian, part of my charge is to not accept these brief records in their quasi-complete states.
The Wolfsonian’s Fellowship Program has announced the selection of three visiting research fellows for summer and fall 2014, each of whom will be in residence at the museum for three to four weeks.
For those of us who like rolling up our sleeves and getting hands-on with projects (or encouraging others to do the same through judicious gift giving), The Museum Shop carries the versatile KAPLA blocks featured in the interactive building station in the lobby. The identical pine blocks are sized to be user-friendly, with a ratio of 1:3:15. It’s the perfect size to build all manner of animals, buildings both futuristic and historic, and even trains and planes, according to the KAPLA website.