Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tyler Texas WPA Murals

These photos are of three murals from the Depression era being cared for and restored by the Smith County Historical Society in Tyler, Texas. Tyler benefited in many ways from the WPA, including a state park, numerous buildings and art.  

These murals are true treasures -- capturing scenes from American life. Read more about the history of these murals and the efforts underway to preserve them for future generations at this link.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grolier Club Hosts 217 Films in NYC

217 Films' 2012 documentary "O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward" will screen at the Grolier Club in New York City on November 19th.  Ward is the father of the American graphic novel and one of the most prolific book illustrators and printmakers in the history of American art. 

Filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton will be there to introduce the film and take questions following the screening.

The Grolier Club is America's oldest and largest society for book lovers and graphic arts fans.  

David Berona, author of “Wordless Books” has said of “O Brother Man” ... “This film is stunning.” 

The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a filmmaker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art) “alive and fresh” (Art New England) and “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News).  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New documentary film celebrates American art through the faces of her people

Connecticut-based independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films announce a new film project -- their seventh in ten years and their sixth “essay in film” -- tracing the history of America through the portraits of the American people.

The film is titled “American Faces: Portrait of a Nation” and is scheduled for release in November 2016.

Abbott H. Thayer, Margaret McKittrick, c. 1903.
Oil on canvas. Indianapolis Museum of Art,
Gift of the Friends of American Art.
From the beginning of our history as revolutionaries through more than two centuries of triumph and tragedy, “American Faces” reveals how American artists have portrayed their fellow citizens, as well as themselves, in paint, on film, and through the tangible reality of sculpture. The portrait is the most intimate form of art expression, and “American Faces” -- using more than 100 works of American painting and sculpture, as well as photographs and the moving image -- will focus on how Americans have viewed themselves, viewed their country, and understood themselves as both individual citizens and as a part of the greater events of their times.

Caesar: A Slave, ca. 1850. Daguerreotype.
New York Historical Society.
Writer and director Michael Maglaras has written, “The richness of our American artistic experience is best understood through the faces of our people, whether it is through the iconography of Gilbert Stuart’s multiple portraits of George Washington, or through Chuck Close’s keen understanding of the composite nature of each of our personalities. The faces of our fellow citizens stare back at us with steadfast resolve and embody a special essence that is uniquely American.” Maglaras continues, “As we have gone through political, social, and financial upheaval and change, what fascinates me as a filmmaker is that a steady point of visual reference in American art is how we portray ourselves, see ourselves, and arrive, through the portrait art of each generation, at a common understanding of what it means to be an American.”

John Singer Sargent,
Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Phelps Stokes, 1897.
Oil on canvas. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Image source: Art Resource, NY.
More About 217 Films:  217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience.  In 2005, Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton released their first film “Cleophas and His Own” about the American painter Marsden Hartley's epic narrative of love and loss. Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley in this film.  In 2008, they released a second film about Hartley called “Visible Silence:  Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet” – the first-ever documentary on the life of Hartley. In 2010, with their film “John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!” they established, through the first full-length documentary on this important painter, that John Marin was one of the fathers of American Modernism. These films, among other distinctions, have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2012, they released “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward.” In 2013, they released “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show.” Currently on tour is their latest film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” celebrating the ways in which Franklin Roosevelt used the arts to raise the spirits of the American people during the Great Depression.

Chuck Close, Self-Portrait, 1997. Oil on canvas.
© Chuck Close, Courtesy Pace Gallery.    
The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a filmmaker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art) “alive and fresh” (Art New England) and “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News).  David Berona, author of “Wordless Books” has said of “O Brother Man” ... “This film is stunning.” A recent review in The Dartmouth said of “The Great Confusion” that “Michael Maglaras... brought the drama of the original show back to life.”

Historic Mural Captures Life During the Great Depression

Sunday, 8 November 2015 - Written by Cory McCoy
When the nation was at its lowest point and people were most desperate, the federal government came up with innovative ways to transform cities like Tyler and the lives of those involved.
To celebrate their 2015 fundraiser, the Smith County Historical Society will host a special screening of the newest film from documentarian Michael Maglaras, “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22 in the Taylor Auditorium of Tyler Public Library.
Maglaras and his producing partner, Terri Templeton, will be on hand for the screening.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Documentary on the Arts of the WPA Plays in Peoria

"Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA" celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Art Project, and highlights artwork, music, writing, and acting, all created under the various New Deal initiatives that put creative Americans on the federal payroll and back to work as a part of our nation's recovery from the effects of the great crash of October 1929. Featuring more than 70 works of art from this period, as well as rare footage of WPA artists and others at work, this film tells the story of how Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal used the arts to bring a message of hope and recovery to the American people, as we dug our way out of the crisis that was the Great Depression. 
Reserve your free tickets by phone or by visiting the Museum ticket desk.
For more information call the ticket desk at 309-686-7000.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Film on the Arts of the WPA at Providence Public Library

Join director Michael Maglaras and executive producer Terri Templeton 

at the Rhode Island premiere!  

Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA

A Documentary by 217 Films

Follow this link for all the details.

Sunday, November 8, 2015
2:00 PM
Cost: Free and Open to All
Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, Rhode Island