July 26, 2000

Punch’s Progress: A Century of American Puppetry Exhibition

Punch's Progress: A Century of American Puppetry
Traveling Detroit Institute of Arts Exhibition
Venues: September 2000 - April 2002

Dancing on nimble fingers or twirling from strings, puppets have taught and entertained generations from America's earliest days. The Detroit Institute of Arts traces this amazing trajectory in Punch's Progress: A Century of American Puppetry. Touring statewide, the exhibition provides an opportunity to enjoy the history, wonder and artistry of puppets. Punch's Progress is one of many traveling exhibitions the museum organizes to help fulfill its mission of extending its reach to various communities.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is home to one of the most historically important puppet collections in North America. Drawn from the critically acclaimed Paul McPharlin Collection, this exhibition includes fanciful marionettes, rod, hand and shadow puppets that delight audiences and reveal the importance of American puppetry and puppeteers. Included are diverse works, ranging from American wooden puppets to elegant marionettes of popular icons, such as entertainer Josephine Baker, skater Sonja Henie and former President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Punch's baby.

Puppet shows were popular in frontier America, and by the turn of the century elaborately detailed figures performed to live audiences in music halls. Professional puppet troupes toured the vaudeville theater circuit, often accompanied by full orchestras. During the 1920s, puppetry became recognized and appreciated by educational and arts organizations, and classic literature was often performed. During the late 1930s to early 1940s, cabaret puppetry for adults was popular, and the first puppets for a growing new medium, television, were created. Puppetry quickly became popular mass entertainment, often directed at children. Punch's Progress explores the wonder and evolution of this popular art.

Punch's Progress: A Century of American Puppetry will appear in the following venues:
Muskegon Museum of Art, September 7 - October 22, 2000
Detroit Institute of Arts, November 19 - December 31, 2000
Meadow Brook Art Gallery, January 12 - February 25, 2001
Port Huron Museum, May 5 - June 24, 2001
Ella Sharp Museum, November 17, 2001 - January 13, 2002
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, February 1 - April 28, 2002

This exhibition was organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and is supported by a generous grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation. Additional support provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.


July 25, 2000

Creation of a Center for African American Art in Detroit, Michigan

Museum News > Michigan > Detroit > Detroit Institute of Arts

ART Photo Wanafoto
The creation of the General Motors Center for African American Art was announced by the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) as a new curatorial department and resource center at the museum. The Center is named in recognition of a $5 million donation from the General Motors Foundation to the DIA's capital campaign.

The Center will act as an independent department within the museum's existing structure, and will be staffed by a curator, assistant curator and administrative assistant. A national search for staff is currently underway.
"The development of the General Motors Center for African American Art is a natural extension of the DIA's commitment to African American art, and will provide a stimulating new dimension to our collections," said Graham W.J. Beal, director of the DIA. "We intend to create a center of excellence in this area, which will prove to be an invaluable resource for scholars and collectors, as it will house a specialized library related to works by African American artists."

The Center is a testament to the DIA's and GM's commitment to serving the community. "General Motors is dedicated to recognizing the achievements and influence of African Americans," said General Motors vice president and chief financial officer, Michael Losh. "GM is proud to support this extraordinary Center that will enrich and expand the breadth of the museum in both culture and importance."

Early emphasis will be on research that will lead to special exhibitions, lectures and symposia. Additionally, the Center will provide a place where talented African American students can gain valuable experience in a stimulating environment to prepare them for an art museum career.

"I've spoken with Christy Matthews, director of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and we agreed that there could be interesting opportunities for collaboration," Beal said. "While it is difficult to be specific at this early stage, these might include loans of art to parallel exhibitions, joint educational initiatives, and mutual programming around exhibitions."

With a solid core of artistic expertise, intellectual acumen, a powerfully growing collection and a vitally interested local community, the DIA expects the Center will quickly gain national prominence and become a leading contributor to the field of study in African American art. The Center's work will be disseminated through publications such as exhibition catalogues and seminar proceedings.

The DIA is located at 5200 Woodward Avenue in the University Cultural Center in Detroit, Michigan.

Updated post

July 16, 2000

Digital art works at Macworld Expo 2000 for the first time


Digital art Close to three dozen pieces of the best digital artwork from North America will be featured for the first time at Macworld's Digital Art Contest & Gallery, July 18-21, 2000 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Thirty-one award-winning designs, incorporating a variety of styles and disciplines, were selected from more than 600 images submitted by artists, professional graphic designers, hobbyists and students. Featuring artists' demonstrations, as well as examples of the latest software, products and techniques used to create digital art pieces, the Digital Art Contest and Gallery highlights the finest efforts in this rapidly growing art medium. Now in its third year, the Macworld Conference & Expo Digital Art Gallery also travels during the year as a formal exhibition to art galleries and universities throughout the U.S. to highlight this exciting new medium.

Divided into two judging categories, student and non-student, the thirty winning selections were chosen in three separate judging phases by a panel of leading experts from the digital art community, including:


·    Nancy Hitchcock, Sr. Assoc. Editor, Electronic Publishing,
·    Harold Helderman, Director, Center for Electronic Arts, SF,
·    Daniel Carter, Design Director, WIRED Magazine,
·    Karen Sperling, Editor and Publisher, Artistry Magazine,
·    Rick DeCoyte, Owner, Silicon Gallery, Philadelphia, PA,
·    Bert Monroy, Digital Artist, Teacher, Author,
·    John Derry, digital artist/co-creator of Painter
·    Pedro Meyer, photographer, artist
·    Diane Fenster, digital artist


"The quality of the artwork this year is better than ever," according to Daryl Wise, Coordinator of the Macworld Conference & Expo Digital Art Contest and Gallery. "The artwork is professionally presented, and attendees are going to be impressed to see what these talented artists can do with this medium."

The grand prize winner of the Digital Art Contest receives a trip to a future Macworld Conference & Expo, including airfare, hotel and a Super Pass, along with a variety of new hardware and software. Other prizes include: Iomega Jaz drives, Wacom Intuos Graphic Tablets, Printers by Tektronix, Aladdin Systems utility software, subscriptions to Artistry, WIRED and Digital Fine Artist Magazines, Royality-free Klips from Comstock, asset management software from Canto, books by Peachpit Press and an Iris print of their image by Electric Paintbrush.

The Digital Art Contest and Gallery is sponsored by Iomega, Corel, Wacom, National Association of Photoshop Professionals and Tektronix printers by Xerox.