Meet the Staff: Carolyn Allmendinger

CAllmendingerCAROLYN ALLMENDINGER is the Ackland’s Director of Academic Programs.

How long have you been at the Ackland?

I started working at the Ackland in fall 1999.

What brought you to the Ackland?

I had just finished graduate school in art history and was trying to figure out what kind of career I wanted to pursue (some people do that before they finish school; others change their mind a few times). There was a part-time position available as an editor for the Ackland’s catalogue of European drawings. I got that position and quickly discovered I wanted a career working in an art museum. As the editing work began to wind down, another position opened – teaching university classes from various academic disciplines with art objects in the galleries. Once I started doing that, I was completely hooked. Continue reading

Modernist Architecture and Hans Hofmann: Some Added Context

This essay by JJ Bauer (Visual Resources Curator and Lecturer, Art Department, UNC-Chapel Hill) includes selected information and images from her February 24th Art For Lunch talk at the Ackland.

Modernist Architecture and Hans Hofmann: Some Added Context

24ANTIQUES2_SPAN-popupBefore they worked with Hans Hofmann on mosaic murals for building projects in New York, there is evidence that architects William Lescaze and Kelly and Gruzen were already incorporating modernist abstract mosaics into their designs and rethinking the place of other forms of art in modern architecture in the 1950s.

A Known Precedent

Noted International Style modernist architect William Lescaze incorporated a 60 foot wide mural by Max Spivak on the long interior wall of the two-story lobby of the Calderone Theatre in Hempstead (Long Island), New York in 1948-1949, in his own words, “to bring life and interest to a very large wall located in a strategic area.”[1] The mural was then reflected back at movie-goers from a mirror on the opposite wall as they arrived at the mezzanine level via escalator from the lobby. 711-Third-web  750_750_1_e52384b0-4c98-b5b4-f788-d425a17bc0feThe architect was not unique in thinking Spivak’s non-objective mosaics were appropriate artworks to be incorporated into modernist architecture that otherwise eschewed anything that could  be considered superficial or applied decoration. Writing about the nascent career of Spivak in the New York Times, critic Aline B. Louchheim states, “And it seems equally astonishing that modern architecture and mosaic decoration, deeply compatible by nature, should not by this time have had a long and prolific marriage. For modern architecture finds its beauty through expression of its structural design and through emphasis on the intrinsic handsomeness of its materials. And mosaics, becoming an integral part of the architectural elements, enhance them without obscuring their function.” She then goes on to speak about mosaics in terms comparable to those Clement Green
berg was also just beginning to apply to the New York School of painters that included Hans Hofmann, emphasizing mosaics’ use of color, variations in tone, irregular pieces, and, above all, flatness and formal patterning.[2]
e01c6d1bc4e250529523a10e7ef0dfd9&ext= Continue reading

Meet the Staff: Joel VanderKamp

JOEL VANDERKAMP is a preparator at the Ackland Art Museum.

5cde0142-46c2-4a78-92d2-dcb1ef3ca16aHow long have you been at the Ackland?
I began in August of 2013

What brought you to the Ackland?
The Ackland is at the intersection of my community and my work experience. I followed my wife to Chapel Hill and spent the first few years of my relocation commuting to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro. I have a fairly broad art handling experience and have found that I really enjoy working with encyclopedic collections. When the opportunity arose to work with the Ackland’s collection and programming I jumped at it.

What do you do at the Ackland?
I am a preparator. That means a lot of different things depending on the museum. The primary role of the preparator is to handle the art, be it for exhibition, storage, shipping, documentation, etc. At the Ackland the preparator also creates/supports the design and construction of the exhibition spaces, display cases, signage and lighting. Because the Ackland has a diverse collection and is relatively small in scale my responsibilities are quite various.

Continue reading