FREDERIC WISEMAN’S NATIONAL GALLERY
April 13, 2015
A packed house supported MUSE at Jane Pickens Theater to see this fabulous film!
London’s National Gallery, one of the world’s foremost art institutions, is itself portrayed as a brilliant work of art in this, Frederick Wiseman’s 39th film documentary. Wiseman listens raptly as a panoply of docents decode the great canvases of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Turner; he visits with the museum’s restorers as they use magnifying glasses, tiny eye-droppers, scalpels, and Q-tips to repair an infinitesimal chip; he attends administrative meetings in which senior executives do (polite) battle with younger ones who want the museum to become less stodgy and more welcoming to a larger cross- section of the public. But most of all, we experience the joy of spending time with the aforementioned masters as well as Vermeer and Caravaggio, Titian and Velázquez, Pissarro and Rubens, and listen to the connoisseurs who discourse upon the aesthetic, historical, religious and psychological underpinnings of these masterpieces.
NATIONAL GALLERY is the portrait of a place, its way of working and relations with the world, its staff and public, and its paintings.
The Arts & Cultural Alliance sponsored this event to raise funds for MUSE, the Museum Studies Program for high school students at the Newport Art Museum.