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Collection News

Around the Galleries: Medieval Sights and Sounds

98.23aThanks to a collaboration with the Eastman School of Music, a visit to MAG’s medieval gallery will soon be a feast for the ears as well as the eyes. “Medieval Sights and Sounds” will feature period music from a new database on the free MAGart app; and a gallery guide and interactive kiosk in the recently reinstalled space.

The project, which is funded by the UR Provost’s Multidisciplinary Award, should be completed this spring.

In February, “Medieval Sights and Sounds” was the subject of “Echoes of the Middle Ages,” a concert by Schola Cantorum of Christ Church Episcopal Church, Stephen Kennedy, director; with Michael Alan Anderson, assistant professor of musicology, Eastman School of Music. It was also the subject of the March 2 “What’s Up” talk.

Listen to an interview on WXXI’s With Heart and Voice as Schola Antiqua of Chicago is featured in a half-hour broadcast heard locally on February 2. The ensemble recorded music that celebrates various objects on display in the medieval gallery. Host Peter DuBois welcomes artistic director Michael Alan Anderson and MAG curator Nancy Norwood to the studio to discuss the project.
Top of page: This 15th-century French Leaf from an Antiphonary: Music for the Office of Matins is on view in the medieval gallery.

Around the Galleries: Tapestry


The most important Renaissance tapestry in the Gallery’s collection went back on view in April 2012 for the first time in nearly two decades. Woven of wool and silk in 16th-century Flanders and measuring 12 by 15 feet, Trellised Garden with Animals shows a colonnaded garden with lush foliage and wildlife (details shown). But until recently, it was only too obvious that the centuries had taken their toll on the work. In 2009, thanks to a major grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Gallery was at last able to send the tapestry to the Textile Conservation Laboratory in New York City. Read the whole story

Above: MAG curatorial staff, assisted by Marlene Eidelheit, director of the Textile Conservation Laboratory, reinstalled the tapestry in the second floor Renaissance Gallery.

Learn more about the European Tapestry Initiative.

Around the Galleries: Downstairs

curators installing devorah sperber workAmerican Gothic installation by Devorah SperberAs visitors to the 2006 exhibition Extreme Materials may remember, Devorah Sperber’s stunning installations explore the ways we see and perceive our world in the digital age. Using special software, Sperber scanned a photo of Grant Wood’s iconic painting, American Gothic. The resulting heavily-pixilated, inverted image was her blueprint to assemble 4,596 spools of thread. From close up, the viewer sees only fields of color, but upon stepping back and looking through an acrylic sphere (or is it a crystal ball?), the scene magically rights itself. See for yourself, in the exhibition corridor near the Lockhart Gallery.

Pictured: (Above right) Curators installing the work and (above left) the work itself, complete with “crystal ball.”

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