The George Eastman Museum has undertaken the Colonnade Project and Visitor Center Project, which will each transform the experience of all our guests. While these endeavors necessitate some temporary closures and inconveniences (see eastman.org/visit for more information), I am pleased to share that there are still many things to do and see at the museum in the coming months. I invite you to join us for these exciting programs and exhibitions.
On the evening of Thursday, January 30, we will host the opening party for our exhibition Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory. In December 1970, our museum opened Images and Swamp Dreams . . . Works by Bea Nettles, the artist’s first solo exhibition. Nearly fifty years later, we are delighted to survey Nettles’s career through this retrospective. This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, published by the Eastman Museum and the University of Texas Press, are milestones in the understanding and appreciation of Nettles and her artworks. Bea Nettles will be in attendance at the opening party, and on Saturday, February 1, she will be joined by Jamie M. Allen, the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Associate Curator, for a conversation in the main galleries as they lead a tour of the exhibition.
Our Project Gallery will also have new work on view when the museum reopens at the end of January. Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura features some of the artist’s most recent work, in which he excises details from found photographs and reconfigures the compositions. Looking ahead, plan to join us for a public conversation with Cartagena on March 28 to hear more about his artistic process.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to see the latest installation in the History of Photography Gallery, which opened in late October, make sure to visit before it closes in April. This rotation highlights the fresh visions and pictorial insights brought to America by newcomers — through a selection of works by photographers who immigrated or moved to the United States. For a deeper look, attend the tour of the installation with Curatorial Assistant Meghan Jordan on Friday, February 21 at 1 p.m.
When the historic mansion reopens on February 14, we expect that the Colonnade restoration will be complete or nearly complete. The final steps in this crucial project will be installation of the floor tiles and the glass windows looking onto the Schuyler C. Townson Terrace Garden.
Dutch Connection will bring a welcome sight of spring in the midst of our Rochester winter. On view for two full weeks (February 14–March 1), this year’s floral show will fill the Palm House and Conservatory with 14,000 blooms. During many schools’ midwinter break, we are again offering a flower-potting activity, which allows children ages 12 and under to learn how bulbs grow and to take a piece of Dutch Connection home with them.
Also on view upon the mansion’s reopening is One Hundred Years Ago: George Eastman in 1920. This display in the Sitting Room on the mansion’s second floor provides a glimpse into what George Eastman’s life was like a century ago through artifacts and photographs from the Legacy collection.
The Sunday music performances and the members-only Upstairs/Downstairs tours will resume on Sunday, February 16. These are both great opportunities for an enhanced experience of the historic mansion. Through April, we have added an extra mansion tour on Sundays at noon.
We are looking forward, after a monthslong intermission at the Dryden Theatre, to presenting a spectacular Nitrate Picture Show (June 4–7) to kick off a full calendar of screenings for the rest of the year.
See “Meanwhile, At the Dryden…” for a note from Curator of Film Exhibitions Jared Case and Dryden Theatre Manager Sheri Smith about some of what they have in store.
During construction, some disruptions will be inevitable, but there will be much to see and experience at the museum before the grand opening of our visitor center in July 2020. Don’t be deterred by our work in progress.
Ron and Donna Fielding Director
January/February 2020 Bulletin