Fabulous Finds at The Walters

March, 2016
Volume 4, Issue 3

Dear Reader,

“Saint George Slaying the Dragon from the Porto San Giorgio Altarpiece,” Carlo Crivelli. 1470.

The weather could not be more perfect today, which was a far cry from the snowy morning visit I made to the Walters Art Museum last week. But two new exhibits there are worth a visit in any type of weather.

These exhibits are free and are located on an upper floor amongst the Walters’ permanent collection, so your route involves an exploration of the museum’s gorgeous tiled hallways and objects ranging from ancient Greek sculpture to Byzantine paintings.

The first exhibition, “A Renaissance Original: Carlo Crivelli” features 14 paintings that literally jump from their gilded frames, due to the painter’s use of gems and other 3-D objects.

You might even say Crivelli was one of the first painters to ‘bling’ out his works.

His themes are religious, but Crivelli was also known to personalize his biblical stories using objects that would have appealed to the everymen of his era. For instance, there are cucumbers on the table at the Last Supper. “He has whimsy,” says Joneath Spicer, the James A. Murnaghan Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Art. “These are farmers. They eat local.”

“Crivelli finds one detail you can relate to,” she continues, “And from that you can extrapolate yourself.” His depiction of St. George slaying the dragon places the saint, who would have lived in the year 400, in a more contemporary surrounding. His horse utilizes stirrups, which were invented in China in the 5th century but would not be found in Western Europe for several hundred more years, and George himself wields a lance that also dates to the Renaissance Era. “Crivelli responds to the realistic trends of his own time while respecting the past that is part of the culture of the Adriatic basin – the culture of his patrons – yet his style is all his own.” Spicer says.

Studying these paintings, one can’t help but wonder why Crivelli wasn’t recognized as much of a master as other painters of his day, like Leonardo da Vinci. It might come down marketing. Spicer says that Da Vinci worked in Rome, the capital and hub of commercial activity. But Crivelli was born on the East Coast, in Venice. Ideas would not have spread as quickly (certainly not as fast as today) and thus might explain why Crivelli was more obscure.

But his hometown didn’t diminish his abilities – in fact, it added to his originality, as Crivelli sought reference from Byzantine painting models as well as the more physical realities of Renaissance Art.

“Splendor” was a word curator Spicer used to describe the works, and it is a fitting summation of the exhibit as a whole. See it while you can before May 22, 2016.

“Pair of Vases (Vases à tête d’éléphant), 1756-62, made by Sèvre and owned by Mme. de Pompadour, The Walters Art Museum

A Woman Ahead
of Her Time

I am partial to the second new exhibition at The Walters, because it’s simply so pretty.

The gallery featuring Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker is painted to resemble an 18th century boudoir, similar to the apartments in Versailles that Madame de Pompadour kept.

The mistress of King Louis XV employed artists and craftsmen to create cameo engravings, which are raised etchings on jewels, and intaglio engravings, which are designs etched into the gems themselves. She also commissioned her favorite images, of her dog, Bébé, for instance, to appear within other art forms, such as in prints and on vases and porcelain.

The gallery showcases examples of each medium as well as a remarkable discovery curator Susan Wager made: A first-edition set of Pompadour’s commissioned etchings that had been thought lost for more than a century. “They had been hiding here at the Walters masquerading as a much later posthumous,” Wager says.

Many people know that Pompadour was a great patron of the arts, but not as many people know how seriously she took her commissions, nor their relationship across different media. “Pompadour was the first member of the bourgeoisie to get the title of chief mistress of the King,” Wager says. “She had a lot of power.”

And with status and power comes envy. Pompadour was mocked by insecure members of court – they even printed pamphlets ridiculing her. They tried to downplay her accomplishments. “Because she was a woman in the 18th century collecting luxury items, people thought of her as a mindless accumulator.” Wager says. But what Pompadour did was different, and in many ways, ahead of her time.

“The works on view show that she was thinking about these objects and images in a very sophisticated way,” Wager says.

Pompadour herself had a great sense of humor. Her original surname, Poisson, meant fish. So she collected and displayed Chinese fish vases and even had them mounted with French mounts. Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker, is on view through May 29, 2016.

The Walters Art Museum is located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at 600 North Charles Street and open Wednesday-Sunday 10 am-5pm and Thursday 10 am-9 pm. For more information, call 410-547-9000 or visit www.thewalters.org.

Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Alphabetical Order

Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website

Turtle by Neysa Johnson is one of about 50 works by BSA students included in the exhibit. The exhibit will be open through April 30, 2016.

The Development of the Young Artist
Friday, Mar 11 | 11 AM – 12 PM

Please join us at U.S. Department of Education for an Art Exhibit Opening featuring BSA students.

The program will include classical, jazz and theatre performances by BSA students and the Art Exhibit featuring the work of BSA’s visual artists. Remarks by Chris Ford, BSA Director, and Monique M. Chism, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. All are welcome and we hope you can join us!

Location: The U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C.

Tickets: Please RSVP by Thursday, March 3 to bzuknick@bsfa.org Questions? E-mail or call Brigid at 410-625-0494.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website


Yuri Temirkanov Returns
Friday, Mar 18 | 8 PM
Saturday, Mar 19 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

Yuri Temirkanov, conductor
Denis Matsuev, piano

At the heart of the anniversary celebrations, Music Director Emeritus Yuri Temirkanov brings authenticity and passion to two classics of the Russian repertoire. Tchaikovsky lays bare his soul in the fourth symphony, which combines fragile beauty and brassy bombast. First Prize winner of the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Denis Matsuev proves himself the equal to Rachmaninoff’s famous, bravura concerto.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Dr Dog

BSO Pulse: Dr. Dog
Thursday, Mar 24 | 8:30 PM
The Meyerhoff

Igor Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat
Members of the BSO
Baltimore Boom Bap Society

Happy Hour from 5:30-7 PM
Lobby Activities at 7 PM
Concert at 8:30 PM

Pulse is back – this time with Dr. Dog! The program starts with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performing Stravinsky’s L’histoire, a high-energy tale told through music of a fiddling soldier who does a deal with the devil – with spoken word narration by the Baltimore Boom Bap Society. Followed by a performance by Dr. Dog, culminating with a unique collaboration.

Start the evening off with food from some of the area’s best restaurants, happy hour specials, local vendors and live pre-concert entertainment!

Pulse is made possible by a generous grant from The Wallace Foundation.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | 410-332-0033 | Website

Detroit 67

Detroit ’67
Apr 8- May 8, 2016

By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Kamilah Forbes

“[A] poetic play of fire-fueled dreams and frustrated love that is set against a backdrop of historic social unrest in Motown.” – Star Tribune

After the death of their parents, siblings Chelle and Lank (named for poet Langston Hughes) make ends meet by hosting late-night parties in the basement of their childhood home. In 1967 Detroit the latest sounds of Motown echo from the record player, but the risk of their unofficial nightclub is high, given the intensifying police presence in the all black neighborhood. The danger increases when Lank rescues a battered white woman, and relationships between black and white, brother and sister, friend and stranger begin to shift. The music and politics of the Motown era sizzle in the background of this sharp-eyed drama that explores our shared humanity, across family and across race.

Playing in the Mainstage Theatre at Towson University.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street | 410-396-5430 | Website

The 14th Librarian of Congress

The 14th Librarian of Congress

We’d like to congralate the Enoch Pratt Library and Dr. Carla Hayden! President Obama recently nominated her to be the next Librarian of Congress. Click the link above for the fantastic video!

Grace & St. Peter’s Church
707 Park Avenue | 410-539-1395 | Website

Grace & St. Peters
The interior of Grace & St. Peter’s Church

Holy Week Schedule
Sunday, Mar 20 – Sunday, Mar 27

Palm Sunday, March 20
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:30 a.m. Confessions
10:00 a.m. Blessing of Palms, Procession, and High Mass
Messe Basse – Gabriel Faure
Solus ad victimam – Kenneth Leighton

Maundy Thursday, March 24
6:00 p.m. High Mass and Procession to the Altar of Repose
8:30 Confessions
Mass for 4 voices – William Byrd
Ave Verum Corpus – Peter Phillips
*Watch before the Altar of Repose begins after Mass

Good Friday, March 25
5:00 p.m. Confessions
6:00 p.m. Solemn Good Friday Liturgy
The Passion According to St John – Victoria
The Solemn Reproaches – Victoria

Holy Saturday, March 26
6:00 p.m. Confessions
7:00 p.m. Easter Vigil and High Mass
Missa super ‘Ich stund an einem Morgen’ – Jacob Handl
Now the Green Blade Riseth – Anonymous

Easter Day, March 27
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:30 a.m. Confessions
10:00 a.m. Procession and High Mass
Missa super ‘Ich stund an einem Morgen’ – Jacob Handl
Alleluia: Christus surrexit – Felice Anerio
Healey Willan: Rise up, my love – Healey Willan

Click here for more details.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website

A Taste of Maryland

A Taste of Maryland
Thursday, April 7, 2016
6-8 PM | Lecture begins at 6:30 PM, Reception to follow

Presented by Joyce White Food Historian

Learn about the history of Maryland’s most iconic food traditions and food businesses, such as Maryland Beaten Biscuits, crab cakes, coddies, McCormick Spices and Old Bay to some less well-known fare including black licorice, white potato pie, and peach fluff. A look at Native American fare will also be included. The presentation will be followed by the opportunity to taste as assortment of sweet and savory Maryland fare such as Mock Turtle Soup, Crab Chips, Otterbein’s Cookies, Jewish Apple Cake, and Maryland White Potato Pie!

Ticketing and Further Information: “A Taste of Maryland” is part of our Francis Scott Key Lecture Series. To register for this event, or subscribe to the entire series, click here.

The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website


Join the Maryland Humanities Council for a series of discussions featuring acclaimed journalists, highlighting the best work in their profession, as we commemorate the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes. The panels will touch on some of today’s most significant issues and will offer historical context to current events in Baltimore and beyond. Mark your calendar and join us for one or all four. All panels are free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A brief Q&A will follow each discussion.

  • March 29: War/Veterans/National Security – Dan Fesperman,David Wood (Pulitzer 2012)
  • April 19: Challenges Faced by Baltimore – Justin Fenton, Erica Green, E.R. Shipp (Pulitzer 1996), Diana Sugg (Pulitzer 2003)
  • May 10: The Environment – Will Englund (Pulitzer 1998), McKay Jenkins, Elizabeth McGowan (Pulitzer 2013), John McQuaid (Pulitzer 1997, 2006)

Andrew Green, Editorial Page Editor at The Baltimore Sun, will serve as moderator for all panels.

All panels begin at 7 p.m. and are sponsored in part by The Baltimore Sun, which will also serve as the host venue. The Baltimore Sun is located at 501 North Calvert Street in Baltimore.

Visit the Maryland Humanities Council website for more details on the panels as well as our other Pulitzer programming throughout the year, or contact us at (410) 685-0095.

This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Council in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The panel discussions were made possible in part by The Baltimore Sun.

Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website


Mozart’s popular comic opera
Così fan tutte

Thur, Fri, and Sat, March 10, 11, 12
7:30 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Peabody Opera Theatre
Jennifer Blades, stage director
Peabody Concert Orchestra
Hajime Teri Murai, Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Director of Orchestral Activities

Tickets: $25 Adults, $15 Seniors, $10 Students. For more information, click here or call 410-234-4800.

Sylvia Adalman Chamber Series
“Poets and Another Planet”

Tuesday, March 29 | 8 PM
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

Peabody director of chamber music and cellist Michael Kannen joins with vocalists William Sharp and Hyunah Yu, pianist Seth Knopp, violinists Violaine Melançon and James Stern, violists Victoria Chiang and Maria Lambros, and cellist Alan Stepansky to perform Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2, Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and the Sextet from Capriccio by Richard Strauss.

Tickets: For more information, click here or call 410-234-4800.

Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website


LADY DAY at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Mar 18 – Apr 3, 2016

Book: Lanie Robertson
Direction: Tom Flatt & David Gregory
Featuring Anya Randall Nebel

Synopsis: The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia – Emerson’s Bar & Grill. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Feb 18, 2016 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Talk Back with Cast & Director: Mar 27, 2016 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: Fri & Sat – 8 PM; Sun – 2 PM Mar 18, 19, 20; 24, 25, 26, 27; 31, Apr 1, 2, 3. Ten Spot Thursday: Mar 24 – 8 PM.

Mask and Movement

Mask & Movement Workshop
Saturday, Mar 12, 2016 | 11 AM

In our introduction to Mask & Movement Workshop you will learn the following:

  • Dynamic, highly physical research for the stage including muscle-memory exercises.
  • Ensemble play.
  • Historical context for the use of masks around the world.
  • A physical foundation for creating characters for the stage.

Location: Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 811 Cathedral Street, in The Great Hall (look for the signs)

Further information: click here or call 410.752.1225

After-School Academy

After-School Academy
Spring 2016 (Programs begin Mar, and run into May 2016)

If you are interested, please complete the online survey so that we can schedule the classes you want, when you want them. We will use information from the survey responses to schedule which classes are held, and on which days of the week, each class is held. Most classes require 6 students to achieve critical mass, and we will stop registration at 12 students.

We are pleased to announce that we have been given a funding grant by the Brown Foundation to support scholarships for students with a financial hardship. A short financial aid application will be provided those requesting financial assistance.

Further information: click here or call 410.752.1225

Until next month,

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

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