Film on Art Series

Film on Art Series 2019

Tuesdays from Noon to 1:00 pm

The Butler’s free Film on Art series features art history documentaries, which are shown on Tuesdays at noon in the museum’s state-of-the-art Beecher Center Zona Auditorium. Likewise, the Butler’s Art of Film series, shown at scheduled times, presents the best of Hollywood classics drawn from the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 films, as well as the Erbe collection of silent films, classic television and cartoons.  

Film Schedule for January 2019

January 1 Happy New Year! Museum Closed for the Holiday-No film  

January 8American Visions: The Gilded AgeThe many sides of America in the 19th century: the extravagant “cottages” of Newport’s tycoons, the triumph of the Brooklyn Bridge, the haunting realism of Civil War photography, the elegant portraits of John Singer Sargent, the American Impressionism of James Whistler and Mary Cassatt. Together with a new breed of distinctly American artists like Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, they mirror widely different experiences of the American Dream.

January 15American Visions: A Wave from the Atlantic.  Waves of immigrants in the early 20th century bring both their old culture and a thirst for the new. Their tenements are documented by photographer Jacob Riis and the socially- conscious Ashcan School. Then, after the historic 1913 Armory Show, artists like Joseph Stella, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, and Georgia O’Keeffe forge a modernism that is uniquely American. Some celebrate the industrial sublime. Yet, nature is the inspiration that leads Frank Lloyd Wright to develop an organic architecture at the heart of modern design.

January 22American Visions: Streamlines and Breadlines.  The mythic images of the 1920s and ‘30s are as urban as the skyscrapers rising up in New York and as rural as the heartland idealized by Regionalists like Thomas Hart Benton. Isamu Noguchi, Lewis Hine, and the artists of the WPA celebrate the worker as hero. Jacob Lawrence tells stories of black America, and ambitious New Deal projects like Hoover Dam project self-confidence in hard times. Which is the real modern America – the isolation painted by Edward Hopper, or the jazzy vitality captured by Stuart Davis?

January 29: American Visions: The Empire of Signs.  In the post-war era, America’s power is unrivaled, and its artists make an explosive break with the past.  Renowned art critic, Robert Hughes, considers the impact of Hiroshima on art, traces the development of abstract expressionism and the life of Jackson Pollock, and explores how artists as different as James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns reacted to the new consumer culture.  We end with the nation on the eve of divisive conflicts, as media images begin to overwhelm anything created by artists.

February 5American Visions: The Age of Anxiety.  The final program explores how American art has reflected the upheavals of the 25 years from the 1970s to the mid-1990s.  Hughes traces the evolution of abstract art and minimalism and considers the spiritual richness of earth works, in which nature is the artist’s medium.  He ends the series by profiling a wide range of contemporary artists of that period.  Using a diversity of media and approaches, Richard Serra, Susan Rothenberg, James Turrell, and others continue to capture uniquely American visions.

February 12: Ray Johnson: How to Draw a BunnyJohnson (1927-1995) was billed as the greatest artist you’ve never heard of.  This 90-minute documentary explores why.  We’ll see only an hour of it today and finish it next week.

February 19: Completion of How to Draw a BunnyThe Making of Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party”: Probably Chicago’s most famous work, this is a monumental artistic tribute to women of achievement throughout history.

February 26Completion of Judy Chicago film + a special surprise presentation.