Michael R. Taylor has been appointed Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). He'll start in August. Michael will oversee the division of art and education: VMFA's curatorial, exhibition, and education departments, as well as the library and statewide programs.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in Richmond, has an acclaimed collection of American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary artworks. The museum is open 365 days a year, and admission is always free. They expanded their facility--it looks gorgeous--in 2010, launching an organizational transformation.
"We are extremely fortunate to have a museum leader of Michael's caliber join our senior leadership team," says VMFA Director Alex Nyerges in a press release dated May 21. "His curatorial experience, scholarly credentials and reputation in the international arena will help move the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to an even higher place in the world of national and global art museums.
"He comes to us as we adopt a bold and ambitious strategic plan."
Michael said, "I am absolutely delighted and deeply honored to join VMFA, an institution that I have long admired for its world-class collections, singular exhibitions, and remarkable educational programs."
Indeed, VMFA offers many educational activities and studio classes for all ages, as well as a Statewide Partnership program of traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the state. Check out their beautiful space and exhibitions at VMFA's website.
Michael has an international reputation as an outstanding museum administrator, curator, author, and expert on modern and contemporary art. His commitment to education as an essential component of a museum's role makes Michael an exceptional asset. Beyond these gifts, Michael also brings a rare ability to engage people, sparking excitement and enthusiasm in the community.
We're thrilled for Michael--and for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Working on updating our catalog of Jim's artwork, I found three 8x10s that were labeled on the backs by Jim. I was able to connect titles and dimensions to two missing paintings and one we've already found.
One of the scholars looking at Jim's work has figured out something very enjoyably 'pataphysical, but we'll wait till his book comes out to reveal it.
Meanwhile, here's a missing painting; we now know that the title is TWO FROM ASGER. Its dimensions are 40"x30".
Our mission is to find and conserve Jim Brewton's artwork, ultimately ensuring that the works are preserved for posterity. As she searched for artwork, interviewing Jim's friends and collectors, Emily uncovered some wonderful caches of Jim's papers and ephemera. After sifting through the things and savoring them, what then? She's been storing them in cardboard boxes in her clothes closet, which is not ideal.
Thanks to our involvement with 'Philadelphia a la Pataphysique,' we've found a permanent home for the collection at the University of Pennsylvania's Special Collections Libraries. We're delighted about the donation!
Special thanks to Ronald & Patricia Weingrad; and Gerry Larrison & Nanie Lafitte ~ through Larrison's sister, Patricia Wright: without them, there would be very little ephemera to collect.
Much gratitude, as ever, to Michael R. Taylor, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and former Curator of Modern Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Michael has been our leading light since we formed the Brewton Foundation in 2008.
And many thanks to David McKnight, Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Penn’s Kislak Center; Katie Price, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute and Penn English doctoral alumna; and John Heon, educational consultant, independent scholar, and Penn English doctoral alumnus.
This image is from a transparency found among Jim's things. The piece seems to be signed and dated 1965. It looks as if it may be among the works Jim made in Denmark, at the shirt factory owned by Aage Damgaard (now the HEART Herning Museum of Contemporary Art). If you've seen this artwork, please let us know!
"James E. Brewton, Graffiti Pataphysic" ends in 10 days. Slought, 4017 Walnut St., Philadelphia, is open Thursdays through Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment (215.701.4627).
Since the show opened on March 21, we've had a lot of excitement. Our latest news is that two more paintings were found, and Philadelphia City Paper ran a cover story about our 'Pataphysical adventures on the quest for Jim's artwork. You can hear Dr. Michael Taylor's talk about Jim; audio is on the lower right side of this page on Slought's website.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to show Jim Brewton's work, thanks to Michael, Slought, and Philadelphia a la 'Pataphysique, a March 2014 festival and long-term effort by various groups in Philadelphia and at the University of Pennsylvania to build a physical and digital collection of scholarly resources related to 'Pataphysics.
Dr. Michael R. Taylor, renowned curator and former Director of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art and former Philadelphia Museum of Art Curator of Modern Art, spoke about Jim at the opening on March 21. The audio recording is on Slought's website, lower right side of page. It's terrific!)
Wonderful news for the Brewton Foundation: Michael has joined our board of directors. We are thrilled!
Since we started our journey in 2008, Michael has guided, supported and inspired us. We're proud and delighted to welcome him to our board.
Slought Foundation is a perfect venue for Jim Brewton's return to the art scene in Philadelphia. The exhibition is part of a conference and celebration called "Philadelphia a la Pataphysique"; poets, scholars, musicians, curators and artists from all over the world came to the events.
Mikala Jamison, arts editor at Philadelphia City Paper, wrote a beautiful story about the quest for Jim's artwork. The feature is online here, and was the print edition's April 3 cover story.
Thank you! to all of you who support us; in particular our very hardworking board of directors: Barbara Berry, Simon Rosenthal, Patricia Weingrad and Ronald Weingrad. Thanks to collectors who lent Brewton works to the show at Slought: Jason Brewton Broede, Vera Carbo, and Barry and Marianne Promos.
The exhibition at Slought is up through Thursday, May 1. 4017 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Hours are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment. Call (215) 701-4627. Free.
Please visit Slought Foundation if you're in Philadelphia. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 1 - 6 p.m., or by appointment: (215) 701-4627.
Documentary filmmaker John Thornton recently completed a terrific interview with Dan Miller and posted it on YouTube.