Megan Williams is an intern in the Ackland Art Museum’s Education and Curatorial departments and an MS Library Science / MA Art History candidate at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Artists often turn to their city for creative inspiration. Sometimes they represent exactly what they see down to each minute detail, other times, they produce a barely recognizable impression. Some of the prints in the exhibition America Seen are images of real things and places that still exist today. While researching these prints, I was eager to find the locations depicted. Like photographs, prints can be used as historical records, and they are capable of showing us a vision of an unknown or forgotten past.
Armin Landeck, American, 1905-1984: “York Avenue, Sunday Morning,” 1939; drypoint. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
The Hunter and Cathy Allen Collection, 2013.21.26
When Hunter and Cathy Allen donated the 1920s through 1940s prints now on view in our exhibition America Seen, they knew that the works would inspire research, education, and insight. But they might never have expected that their collection would inspire the Ackland’s first annual ARTINI.
We knew right away that we wanted to host a celebration of the period covered by the prints—an incredibly turbulent and colorful time in our nation’s history that included the Roaring Twenties, Prohibition, the Stock Market Crash, the Great Depression, and the New Deal, to name a few landmark trends, “scenes,” and events.
Such a party called for signature drinks—ones with period ingredients and each with a unique taste from the era. We sought out a few of Chapel Hill’s best bartenders, to see if they would be interested in creating a cocktail that “spoke” to America Seen. Needless to say, we were met with enthusiasm. Each bar—The Crunkleton, JuJuBe, Roberts Lounge at the Franklin Hotel, Sugarland, and Top of the Hill—embraced our mixologist/artistic challenge and succeeded in capturing this incredible era of American history in a drink. Continue reading