Since 2001 the Cantor Foundation has provided substantial support for Exploring the Arts, a New York City-based organization founded by Tony Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto, who is president of the organization’s Board. Recently the first exciting expansion of ETA’s geographic realm of activity has occurred and now three East Los Angeles high schools have been added to those New York schools that ETA supports. This support takes the form of both funding and expertise, and it enables the public schools to include the arts in their curricula in a big way.
On a recent broadcast NBC Nightly News joined Susan and Tony on their recent visit to ETA’s three new Partner Schools in East L.A. Take a look (past the opening commercial):
Following a few years’ hiatus to plan continuing traveling exhibitions, at the beginning of September two new Rodin exhibitions organized by the Cantor Foundation opened. The first, a selection of Rodin’s portraits, fills the OSilis Gallery at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. The second, at the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, features the variety of Rodin’s figurative work.
The Ross Gallery exhibition, curated by its director Lynn Marsden-Atlass and Cantor Foundation Director Judith Sobol, opened on September 6 and closes on December 22. The Gallery, easy to find on Penn’s beautiful campus, is distinguished by Gothic Revival windows that would have pleased Rodin, who likened Gothic architecture to the essence of nature.
Entitled “Rodin: The Human Experience,” the Ross Gallery show provides insight into Rodin’s fascination with how an inert material like bronze could convey human life in all its aspects. The sculptures attest to the artist’s interest in sensuality, in psychological affect, in movement, and in the varieties of human emotions. The exhibition features many of Rodin’s iconic works, including Meditation (with Arms), Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose, The Hand of God, and Torso of the Walking Man. Included are pieces from the Cantor Foundation Collection as well as special loans from Iris Cantor’s personal collection.
It is especially significant that this group of Rodins be shown in Philadelphia, as that city is home to its own Rodin Museum, a remarkable collection in a newly-renovated building, both donated to the City by Jules Mastbaum, who collected Rodins just after the artist’s death.
Foundation Director Judith Sobol was invited to Philadelphia for the exhibition’s opening reception. She presented a tour of the exhibition to visitors celebrating the occasion. You can join the tour, here:
Additional special programs are planned; Contact the Ross Gallery (215-898-3617) for more information.
The loan of nineteen Rodins to the OSilis Gallery at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York (just outside NYC) created the opportunity for the College gallery to explore Rodin’s working methods. The September 12-November 27 exhibition, entitled “Rodin & the Methods of a Master,” actively explores how Rodin made his sculpture as well as his interest and achievements in portraiture. Works in this exhibition are from the Foundation as well as Iris Cantor’s personal collection.
The OSilis show includes many significant works, including the Bust of Jean Baptiste Rodin (his father), a number of images of the writers Hugo and Balzac, the Bust of Gustav Mahler and the Head of Pope Benedict XV.
Rodin’s portraits were greatly admired. They told the viewer not only what the sitter looked like, they also told the viewer what Rodin was so good at discerning: the inner life of the person, the part of the sitter he or she preferred to keep private. Each portrait thus also revealed the invisible truths of a person. And each also revealed the artist’s response to that invisible truth. Thus Rodin’s portraits changed expectations about the nature of portraiture.
At the opening reception on September 12, Cantor Foundation Trustee Michele Geller greeted visitors on behalf of the Foundation and Iris Cantor. Following her greetings, Gary Sussman, Director of the Art Students League Vytlacil Campus and a sculptor in bronze, spoke about the casting method and how and why it has been used.
The OSilis Gallery exhibition is accompanied by additional programs aimed at increasing public knowledge of how bronzes are made. There will also be a trip to Philadelphia to visit the Arthur Ross Gallery and the Rodin Museum. For more information, call 914-337-9300, extension 2262.
(Stanford University recently sent us this article by Robin Wander from Stanford News)
Somebody has got to keep the Gates of Hell safe from the elements. Meet the students on Stanford’s outdoor sculpture preservation crew. They conduct preventative maintenance on Rodin’s Gates of Hell and 100 other outdoor sculptures across campus. In other words, they get lots of hands-on-the-art experience because they have permission to touch.
Given the nature of their work, which combines art and science, it’s no surprise that the crew, led by Elizabeth Saetta, is an extension of the Cantor Arts Center’s Art+Science Learning Lab, run by Susan Roberts-Manganelli.
Saetta points out in a post on the Cantor blog Cross-Sections that conservation of art, including outdoor sculpture, involves specific training in not only art, but also chemistry and materials science.
Past technicians have in fact included students studying art history, chemistry and materials science, as well as bio-engineering, philosophy, English, mathematics and studio art.
The crew trains with Saetta by learning about patinas, anionic soap and brush types, as well as the damaging properties of bird droppings, pollution and even water. On the logistical side, they help arrange for the fencing, water, electricity and lifts the workers need to do their job.
Then there is the Art Cart, a golf cart-type vehicle initially outfitted by the museum staff around 2003. It hauls crews and supplies around campus to accomplish constant preventative maintenance, as well as to deal with the latest conservation treatment issues (i.e., graffiti or metal corrosion). The d.school recently presented a clever upgrade improving functionality and visibility of the preservation program.
Recently the Gates of Hell were washed with gentle detergent and soft brushes, then dried to prevent mineral deposits. Once dry, a protective microcrystalline coating was applied to the surface with brushes and lint-free cotton rags. The application was done during the heat of the afternoon sun and with a small propane torch to warm the surface and allow for an even coating of wax onto the metal surface.
“Regular care protects the sculpture from exposure to the elements, pests and public, and also prevents the need for invasive conservation treatment or repairs in the future,” Saetta said. She is currently seeking a hands-on student to join the crew – one who’s not afraid of waxing hell.
The first of its kind in the region, the Iris Cantor Men’s Health Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center was dedicated and opened its doors in July 2012. It’s a bright, open and high-tech environment where internists and urologists provide men with full-service health care, from heart rate to prostate. The Center offers men the same kind of comprehensive care the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center has provided to women since it opened a decade ago. Both Iris Cantor Centers, as envisioned by their founder Iris Cantor, reflect the trend in healthcare that has gradually shifted from detecting and responding to illness with medication and treatment, to a philosophy that encourages preventive measures and healthy lifestyles. The new Men’s Health Center occupies 9,500 square feet on the 12th floor of 425 East 61st Street in Manhattan, the same building as the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center. The proximity of the two Centers to each other enables couples to schedule their health care appointments at the same time.