Monday, September 12, 2016

World Premiere Screening: America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age

The Avenue in the Rain, 1917,
Childe Hassam.
Courtesy of the White House.
    
I'm delighted to announce that the world premiere screening of “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age” will be held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on January 20, 2017.

Terri and I had been fielding inquiries for the premiere’s location ever since the press release went out over ten months ago…however, after consultation with Trent Nicholas we determined that VMFA was the ideal location for the premiere of this, our seventh film on the arts of America.

Why VMFA?...well, to being with, it houses one of the finest collections of paintings anywhere in the country; and the American works in the VMFA collection, and in particular the McGlothlin Collection of American Art, are matchless. We’ll be using art from the collection of more than fifty museums nationally and internationally as well as many private collectors, but the VMFA collection has at least eight works that we’ll be using throughout the film.


Isles of Shoals, 1912, Childe Hassam.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund.
    
For example, in America Rising we devote a long section to the work of the American Impressionist Childe Hassam, and we’ll be using the VMFA’s Isles of Shoals, 1912 as a prominent part of the Hassan section; we’ll also be using Moonlight, New England Coast from 1907 to actually end the section on Hassam’s devotion to these islands off the coast of New Hampshire.

For the opening of our section on John Singer Sargent, we will use Julius LeBlanc Stewart’s Yachting the Mediterranean from 1896 as a way to illustrate the importance of the expansion of travel to Europe by cultured Americans throughout the years of America’s renaissance.

I’m a particular fan of the work of Everett Shinn, and fell in love with his Horsedrawn Bus from 1899, which I think will work particularly well, juxtaposed with a photograph on the same subject, from the same era, by Alfred Stieglitz.

Moonlight, New England Coast, 1907, Childe Hassam.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
The James W. and Francis Gibson McGlothlin Collection.
    
Of course, I haven’t gotten to the second reason why we chose the VMFA for the world premiere of this new film. Simply put, it’s the audience. Our last screening there was completely sold out. At the Q&A afterwards, Terri and I took perceptive questions and listened to so many comments that indicated clearly that among the membership of the VMFA are many thoughtful people, who can be counted on not only to support the arts through their VMFA membership, but can support filmmakers who bring films about the American artistic experience to Richmond.

I won’t bore you with what it’s like these days in our studio as we make may editing changes to the film, and work through the hundreds of works of art that we are considering…but I will tell you that what sustains us through this process is looking forward to being in Richmond again and, in particular, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where it is clear every day of the week that “art matters.”

- Michael Maglaras



Horsedrawn Bus, 1899, Everett Shinn.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
The James W. and Francis Gibson McGlothlin Collection.