Lists Take the Spotlight at RISD Museum

Mar 25, 2013

The humble list is the focus of a new exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum.  The lists provide added insight into the artists who kept them.

The RISD Museum has on display a collection of 80 lists, most of them written by artists.  The collection is on loan from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.  The most prominent artist featured is Pablo Picasso. A yellowed four-by six-inch piece of paper contains his recommendations of artists for a 1913 exhibition.

The Rhode Island School of Design has received a private donation of $1M to fund international relationships.  RIPR’s John Bender has more.

A $1M donation coming from Bangalore, India to RISD is the largest international gift the school has ever received. The money will be used to fund a visiting faculty position, specifically, artists and scholars connected to India.

RISD has had study abroad programs to India, and Provost Rosanne Somerson is excited to now bring scholars from India to RISD

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The Rhode Island School of Design has received $1 million from the parents of an alumna to fund visiting scholars in the painting department. The gift from Vikram and Geetanjali Kirloskar of Bangalore is the largest bequest from an international donor in RISD’s history.

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ

Rhode Island School of Design graduate Seth MacFarlane hosted the Oscar Awards last night, prompting some RISD faculty to tune in. The creator of animated television shows like “Family Guy” showcased his off-color sense of humor and singing and dancing abilities.

During his opening monologue, MacFarlane joked about how critics would perceive his Oscar turn. He chatted with actor William Shatner, who reprised the role of Captain James T. Kirk, and sang an ode to actresses who have appeared topless in the movies.

A new exhibit of work by the artist Christopher Ho entitled “Privileged White People” is now on view at New York’s Forever & Today, Inc. gallery. The show features large photographs of people like President Bill Clinton and the actor James Van Der Beek, of Dawson’s Creek fame.

  • Sawyer probe continues

State and federal law enforcement agencies are checking the books at the Sawyer School for criminal activity following its abrupt closure just after Christmas. State education officials have recovered student records from the school and are planning to hold an event at CCRI next week to provide transcripts and counseling for students wondering how to proceed with their degrees.

MacArthur genius grant recipient and author Junot Diaz is slated to speak at RISD on November 5th. The talk will be open to the public.

Diaz, who teaches writing at MIT, also won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

The book was assigned reading over the summer for all incoming RISD students. School officials say it will be part of this year’s curriculum in both fine arts and liberal arts courses.

Actress Jemima Kirke, who plays free-spirited but aloof Jessa Johansson on HBO’s breakout show “Girls,” ought to know her way around Providence. She’s a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Kirke earned a BFA in painting from RISD in 2008. She’s also the daughter of drummer Simon Kirk, of Bad Company fame.

The Rhode Island School of Design has a new leader for its governing board. The art school has elected Michael Spalter, a businessman with a vast personal collection of digital art, to chair its board of trustees.

Spalter replaces outgoing RISD Board Chair Merrill Sherman, who will stay on as a member of the board for three years. Sherman led the search for the school’s current president, John Maeda, who has proved unpopular with many faculty.

Spalter is married to the artist Anne Spalter, who has a studio in Pawtucket. She’s a graduate of both RISD and Brown University.