This essay by Peter Nisbet was originally published in the Ackland’s Member E-Newsletter of 16 March 2015.
Today’s word is refreshment.
Over the past several months, I have been thinking especially about a project that might be called “Ackland Refreshed”: imagining and implementing ways to make the art on display look even better and our museum visitors feel even better. After rearranging and reinstalling the collection, as well as switching to LED lighting (enhancing the visibility of our art, all the while saving money and energy), we have just finished repainting our galleries, adding carefully-chosen, art-enhancing colors to the walls. I have had many visitors tell me that the galleries have never looked so welcoming and elegant, and I invite you to experience these refreshed spaces for yourselves.
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