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Docent Dateline


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A Note from the Council Chair, Barbara Smith There is excitement in the air at Reynolda House Museum of American Art this Fall with the opening of the wonderful Grant Wood and The American Farm exhibition curated by Allison Slaby. What an amazing collection of paintings and farm implements! In addition to spending time in the exhibition, you have an opportunity to have your picture taken in the American Gothic cut out at some events throughout the season or by the large photo of the Reynolda Farm bull. Also we are in storytelling mode at Reynolda and invite you to share your farm and Centennial stories. Who doesn’t appreciate a good story? Look for my farm story about milking (or trying to milk) a cow at my grandparents’ farm! It’s not as easy as my grandmother made it look.

Barbara Smith, Docent-Volunteer Council

Chair, 2016-2018 I am pleased to serve this term as Chair of the Docent-Volunteer Council along with the Executive Committee: Ann Rudkin, Assistant Chair; Vince Cimmino, Advisor; Betty Balser, Secretary; and Beth Hoover-DeBerry, staff support.

Council members (by committee) are: Martha Haire and Kay Smith (Front Desk); Susan Golden and Denise Washburn (Marketing and Communications); Kathleen Jamison (Digital Engagement); Cynthia Leonard (Flower Arranging); Jeremy Reiskind (Docent Dateline); Sandra Camastra, Mary Mascenik, and Susan Warren (Tours); Jean Alsup, Warren Dunn, and Mary Jo Peterson (Class Assistants). If you would like to be involved in any of these committees, please contact the member responsible. The fall calendar is packed with learning opportunities, from programs for families and kids to sharing your farm and Centennial stories. I hope you will mark your calendar and plan to participate in many of the offerings. Also, keep up to date with Docent-Volunteer activities by following us on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you around Reynolda House. Bring someone new - once they come, they will be back! Warmly, Barbara Docent-Volunteer Council Chair, 2016-2018

Beyond the Frame: In the Studio Extended by Jeremy Reiskind William Merritt Chase has been described, possibly critically, as "a wonderful human camera—a seeing machine." As with the picture I chose for my correlation (eight years ago!), In the Studio, 1884, Chase painted many still lifes, incorporating in his works the many items he had accumulated from his various travels. His Tenth Street Studio in Manhattan was famous for the variety of art and art-objects he had acquired. Our painting includes a hanging Middle-eastern metal lamp, a circular bas-relief plaster cast, small glass vases, an Oriental figure and much, much more. A photograph of this same corner taken at about the same time attests to the accuracy of his painting. He meticulously painted what he saw was there! (continued on page three)



Art-y-Facts: Questions by Barbara Kolesar Why does one ask a question? To test knowledge, to seek information or direction, to verify an alleged fact, to begin a Docent Dateline article. But perhaps the greatest questions of all engage another person in the task at hand. Phrasing a question is an art; just ask the parent or grandparent of a teen whose responses to questions are annoyingly monosyllabic because the question has been phrased to elicit just that curt response. To truly engage another person in discussion, questions must allow and indeed encourage elaborate responses. In leading tours of Reynolda House, docents are, for the most part, dispensing information about the family history, the house’s rooms, the works of art, or a new exhibition. But the tour is so much more interesting for the visitor if they become part of the discussion. Engaging the visitor by asking the right questions is a key ingredient in a memorable tour. When signing up for tours, I used to be careful to select general-interest groups like those from churches, senior citizens organizations, or clubs, because I did not want to field questions from visitors who were experts in art or history. For example, when The Artist’s Garden exhibition was on view, I was frankly nervous even after Curator Allison Slaby’s docent instructions. I am not a gardener at all and could not tell the difference between a dahlia and a delphinium, a marigold and a mimosa, a peony and a petunia. So when numerous garden clubs started to book tours, I was frankly gun shy for fear of looking ridiculous in fielding their questions. Instead, I decided, I would turn the tables and ASK rather than answer questions… and it worked! Every garden club I took into the exhibition was absolutely delighted to narrate the flowers pictured in each painting. Bingo! I had engaged (Continued on page four)

New Faces: Meet Aaron Canipe, Chief Storyteller Aaron Canipe is our new Communications and Content Manager. Sarah Smith, Director of External Relations, has dubbed him our "Chief Storyteller." He joined the Reynolda House staff last March as our media man—creating and facilitating all sorts of communications—from social media and websites to adding the new “D” in this revised Digital Docent Dateline. Aaron, 26, was born and raised in Aaron Canipe, Chief Storyteller Hickory, NC. He attended Fred T. Foard High School. By the time he applied to college he knew he wanted to focus on his interest in creative photography. Looking for an appropriate school that would allow him to pursue this, he chose the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. from which he received his BFA in Fine Art Photography in 2012. He followed this up with an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University in 2015. During these years of schooling he assisted and taught many classes in photography. Here is a link to his resume. Before coming to Reynolda House, Aaron worked at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke. There his main mission was working with the William Gedney Photographs and Writings collection—which includes photographs of Appalachia taken during the LBJ years. Aaron considers himself a working artist—while working on behalf of communications at Reynolda House, he also pursues his creative bent—fine art photography. He recently opened his first curated exhibition at the Rubenstein Library showcasing photographs found in the Picture File collection called “The Tomb in the Corner of the Garden.” Based on his experience with the Gedney Collection as well as his own artistic inclinations, Aaron sees little delineation between documentary photography and art photography. He has contributed to a number of group and two-person shows and is involved in developing books and zines promoting creative photography, including a do-it-yourself publishing enterprise, Empty Stretch. To get an idea of Aaron's many remarkable photographic accomplishments click on ‘WORK’ on his website. So far Aaron has found Winston-Salem an exciting place to live and work. He particularly appreciates the energy and innovative ideas he sees here and how Reynolda House and other institutions contribute to that vitality of life.

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So I wondered what more of the Tenth Street Studio display may have been there beyond the frame of In the Studio? Would we, could we, ever know? And had Chase painted "beyond" our picture? The answer turns out to be "yes!" I will demonstrate this by linking the reader to two paintings: one view adjacent to ours and one overview of this corner of his studio. The first painting, Connoisseur - The Studio Corner, 1882, presently in the collection of the Arkell Museum, Canajoharie, NY, is of comparable size but longer horizontally than vertically. It shows a woman inspecting Japanese prints (much like in our picture). We see the same large wooden chest with the same red throw draped above. Note the distinctive blue chalice and the hanging mask. Here, I contend, we are looking to the left of our picture. But how can we be sure we are looking at the same scene at approximately the same time? There exists another very large and somewhat unfinished painting, The Tenth Street Studio, 1880-1915 (exact date unknown) that shows a larger view of the entire studio area, with people dining and two large dogs standing about. And there in the background is the entire studio corner, with the large wooden chest and the distinctive red throw. On the right side of the chest are many of the objects seen in our picture, particularly the hanging metal lamp and the Oriental figure; on the left side are objects presented in the picture at the Arkell including the large blue glass chalice and the mask. Though this large picture is undated, the two smaller pictures are dated circa 1884 and 1883. Hence we can date the larger picture to that approximate time. There are additional photographs that, to a degree, corroborate this William Merritt Chase, In the Studio, 1884, c. interpretation. I imagine that someday it might be possible to bring these two “complementary� paintings together—an in-the-studio reunion, as it were. Incidentally, there is currently a fine traveling exhibition of the paintings of William Merritt Chase, first at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and then at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This essay is an example of how we might utilize the linking capability of the new Digital Docent Dateline. Are there any connections you would like to make and document digitally?

Upcoming Exhibitions: Fall 2016 Reynolda at 100: Reynolda Farm

Opening October 29, 2016 | Northeast Bedroom Gallery Off the Wall: Postmodern Art at Reynolda

Opening December 3, 2016 | West Bedroom Gallery

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Museum News

them in the tour, they were happy to share their knowledge, I learned a good deal about flowers—a win on every front.

Local celebrities spotted at Reynolda

On March 29, I took a group of National Associates from Reynolds American, Inc. for a tour. I was very interested in where they were from, where they worked, what their jobs entailed, what they knew about Winston-Salem. They were most intrigued by the E.F. Caldwell brass cigarette/ashtray in the library and when questioned, did not know that the top piece was for dispensing matches, its sides left clear of ornamentation for striking the match. They were intrigued by the humidor: the smell, the old Camel package, the loose tobacco, the Prince Albert can and the plug tobacco. As sellers of the product, it was great to engage these young folks in the origins of the company. Generally speaking, folks love to respond to questions about where they are from, what has brought them to Reynolda House, what they know about Winston-Salem, what their specific interest is in the Museum (family, art, house, exhibition). Engaging a person through well-worded questions is the best way to make the visitor comfortable, involved, validated and assured of a great visit. Who could ask for more?

Upcoming Exhibition: Spring 2017

Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention February 17—June 4, 2017 Mary and Charlie Babcock Gallery

In case you missed it, Winston-Salem Monthly magazine featured our very own Mac Mitchell in their ‘Local Hero’ section of the August issue! Read the article here. In this same issue another docent made the news— Jeremy Reiskind. He was quoted for the article, “The Call of the Creek.” In the printed piece, you’ll read his quote on page 48, online you can scan for it under the heading ‘The Gateway Nature Preserve.’ Kudos! Did you know?

The Museum offers educational experiences for preschoolers! We have established a monthly, Friday morning storytime, Reynolda Read-Aloud for ages 2-5, and have recently launched a new series for ages 3-5, Pre-K at Reynolda: Mornings at the Museum. We are excited to have the opportunity to host preschoolers and their families during these programs. Know a child in this age group that you want to bring? Register here. Have a friend or neighbor with little ones? Invite them by sharing the registration link! New Acquisition!

Reynolda House Museum of American Art is proud to officially include the painting Dancing, by Arthur Dove (1934) as part of our American art collection, thanks to Barbara Babcock Millhouse who graciously gifted the Museum this important work of art. The work is currently on view in the Master Bedroom gallery. Mantle Madness

A HUGE thank-you to our flower arranging volunteers for keeping the arch vase on the mantle in the front lobby full of flowers each week. Since May 1, your collective efforts to adorn that particular vase has resulted in 233 of them being sold. That’s $5,548 dollars of revenue for the museum store. Way to go! Have you noticed?

New wayfinding signs were installed late this summer to help visitors navigate from the Museum to the Gardens, and around the new pathways installed as part of the landscape restoration project. You’ll also enjoy new furniture on the front patio. It is very similar to furniture that was purchased for the Babcock Wing, and it is much more functional and comfortable for visitors and staff alike. Art on the Move: Davis & O’Keeffe

If you travel enough, you can find Reynolda’s collection around the world. Lending works from our collection to other museums is one of the ways that Reynolda reaches a national and international audience. Our works often travel with chaperones, or as we call them, couriers, from our collections management department to ensure their safety. Here’s the latest traveling all-stars: Stuart Davis’s For Internal Use Only at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the exhibition Stuart Davis: In Full Swing, on view June 10September 25, 2016. Georgia O’Keeffe’s Pool in the Woods, Lake George at the Tate Modern in the exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe on view through October 30, 2016.


Save the Date! Upcoming Events of Interest November 2016 2 Wednesday: Object of the Month, Farm Pond (1957) by Andrew Wyeth with Allison Slaby, 1 p.m. 7 Monday: Interpreter Training for Reynolda at 100: Reynolda Farm exhibition. Three sessions, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. Limited gallery space, RSVP required. 12 Saturday: Reynolda Village Tour. 10 a.m. Cost: $15 Members/students, $20 non-members. (also on Saturday, Nov. 19) 13 Sunday: An Afternoon with Angus MacLachlan, writer-producer. Clips from his new film, Abundant Acreage Available, will be shown. 3 p.m. 16 Wednesday: Interpreter training for A Christmas 1917 tours. 1-3 p.m. 17 Thursday: Gallery Talk, Reynolda at 100: Reynolda Farm with Bari Helms. 12 noon. 19 Saturday: Reynolda Village Tour. 10 a.m. Cost: $15 Members/students, $20 non-members. December 2016 6 Tuesday: A 1917 Christmas, day tour. Begin at 2 p.m. and continue every 15-minutes until 3:30 p.m. Cost: Members/students $15, non-members $20. (also on Tuesday, December 13 and 20) 7 Wednesday: Object of the Month, Keelin before the Reflected View No. 2 (1972) by Fairfield Porter with Kathleen Hutton. 1 p.m. 9 Friday & 10 Saturday: A 1917 Christmas, evening tours. Begin at 5 p.m., and continue every 15-minutes until 8 p.m. Cost: $15 members/students, $20 non-members. 13 Tuesday: A 1917 Christmas, day tour. Begin at 2 p.m. and continue every 15-minutes until 3:30 p.m. Cost: Members/students $15, non-members $20. (also on Tuesday, Dec. 20) 18 Sunday: Play, A Christmas Memory. 4 p.m. Cost: $10 Members/students, $15 non-members. 20 Tuesday: A 1917 Christmas, day tour. Begin at 2 p.m. and continue every 15-minutes until 3:30 p.m. Cost: Members/students $15, non-members $20. ,(also on Tuesday, 13 and 20). 20 Tuesday: Concert, Holiday Pops Brass. 7 p.m. Cost: $10 Members/students, $15 non-members. 2017: Other dates to note January: Museum closed; offices open Friday, February 17: Exhibition, Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention opens Monday, February 20: Interpreter training for Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention, 10 am - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Guest Speaker: Annie V.F. Storr, Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University, Art History professor at Monserrat College of Art, and founding Chair of Education Studies at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. For a complete listing of programs and special events, visit the Museum’s website: 

Post Office Box 7287 Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7287 Telephone 336.758.5150 Toll-Free 888.663.1149 Website

HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m.

ADMISSION: Adults $14 Members free Children/students free WFU Employees free Affiliated with Wake Forest University and supported by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County

Digital Docent Dateline: Fall 2016  
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