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Gwendolyn Brooks:

A Poet’s Work in Community

January 28 through June 5, 2022

Image Details: Jeff Donaldson (1932-2004), To Gwen with Love. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc, 1971. The Estate of Jeff Donaldson, courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York

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This exhibition celebrates the life and work of American poet Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000). Though Brooks is generally well-known for her poetry, few recognize her expansive social and political impact. The first Black author to win a Pulitzer Prize in any category, Brooks led a decades-long career marked by her engagement with struggles for racial justice. Her early writings centered around the people she grew up with and observed on the streets of Bronzeville, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Chicago. As her connections to this community grew in tandem with the international struggles against anti-Black racism, so did the scope of her poetry and her influence. This back-and-forth between poet and community opened up surprising spaces for learning, empowerment, and institution building.

Comprising more than forty manuscripts, broadsides, and first editions, A Poet’s Work In Community explores Brooks’s roles as a poet, teacher, mentor, and community leader. It traces the effect of the resulting relationships on her work and the work of other creatives, such as Dudley Randall, Sonia Sanchez, and Jeff Donaldson. The exhibition tells the story of Brooks as a young poet through her early published poetry, establishes her relationship with the Black arts and publishing communities of the 1960s and ’70s, and illuminates her contributions as a mentor to future writers through her children’s books and self-published guides for young poets. A Poet’s Work In Community comes at an important time in our collective history, giving us a blueprint for building community as an essential part of creative growth.

Gwendolyn Brooks: A Poet’s Work In Community is made possible by Katharine J. Rayner, with generous support from the Caroline Morgan Macomber Fund.

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Hans Holbein the Younger, Simon George of Cornwall, ca. 1535–40. Mixed technique on panel, diam: 31 cm (12 3/16 in.) Frankfurt am Main, Städel Museum, 1065.

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Holbein: Capturing Character

February 11 through May 15, 2022

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543) was among the most skilled, versatile, and inventive artists of the early 1500s. He created captivating portraits of courtiers, merchants, scholars, and statesmen in Basel, Switzerland, and later in England, and served as a court painter to Tudor King Henry VIII (1491–1547). Enriched by inscriptions, insignia, and evocative attributes, his portraits comprise eloquent visual statements of personal identity and illuminate the Renaissance culture of erudition, self-fashioning, luxury, and wit.

Holbein: Capturing Character is the first major exhibition dedicated to the artist in the United States. Spanning Holbein’s entire career, it starts with his early years in Basel, where Holbein was active in the book trade and created iconic portraits of the great humanist scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536). Holbein stayed in England in 1526–1528 and moved there permanently in 1532, quickly becoming the most sought-after artist among the nobles, courtiers, and foreign merchants of the Hanseatic League. In addition to showcasing Holbein’s renowned drawn and painted likenesses of these sitters, the exhibition highlights the artist’s activities as a designer of prints, printed books, personal devices (emblems accompanied by mottos), and jewels. This varied presentation reveals the artist’s wide-ranging contributions to the practice of personal definition in the Renaissance. Works by Holbein’s famed contemporaries, such as Jan Gossaert (ca. 1478–1532) and Quentin Metsys (1466–1530), and a display of intricate period jewelry and book bindings offer further insights into new cultural interests in the representation of individual identity, and highlight the visual splendor of the art and culture of the time.

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Holbein: Capturing Character is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

The Morgan’s presentation of Holbein: Capturing Character is made possible in part by the William Randolph Hearst Fund for Scholarly Research and Exhibitions and by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Major support is provided by the Ricciardi Family Exhibition Fund, Joshua W. Sommer, Beatrice Stern, T. Kimball Brooker, and Alyce Williams Toonk, with additional support from Barbara G. Fleischman, Robert Dance, and Mr. and Mrs. Randall Barbato. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Photography by Robin Carson, courtesy of Woody Guthrie Archives

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Woody Guthrie: People Are the Song

February 18 through May 22, 2022

The author of more than three thousand folk songs, Woody Guthrie (1912–1967) is one of the most influential songwriters and recording artists in American history. He is an icon of the Depression era and wrote the world’s most famous protest song, “This Land Is Your Land.” But he was not only a songwriter, and his subject matter extended well beyond labor politics. The full corpus of his creativity—including lyrics, poetry, artwork, and largely unpublished prose writings—encompassed topics such as the environment, love, sex, spirituality, family, and racial justice. Guthrie created a personal philosophy that has impacted generations of Americans and inspired musician-activists from Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen to Ani DiFranco and Chuck D. As Bob Dylan noted of Guthrie, “You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live.”

The Morgan’s upcoming exhibition tells the story of this great American troubadour and writer through an extraordinary selection of instruments, manuscripts, objects, photographs, books, art, and audiovisual media, assembled from the preeminent Guthrie holdings of the Woody Guthrie Center and the private collection of Barry and Judy Ollman. Prominent among these rarely seen objects are the original, handwritten song lyrics to “This Land Is Your Land,” which Guthrie composed just a few blocks away from the Morgan in 1940. More than eighty years later, this song remains enduringly popular, as Guthrie’s words maintain a vital relevance in today’s world. 

This exhibition is presented by the Woody Guthrie Center® in collaboration with the Morgan Library & Museum.

Woody Guthrie: People are the Song is made possible by the Margaret T. Morris Fund for Americana. Additional support is provided by Jon and Barbara Landau.

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AAQ / Resource: Southampton Inn 

In the Heart of Historic Southampton Village

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