January 19, 2020

Film Screening: Eating Up Easter

Film Screening: Eating Up Easter
Sunday, January 26, 2 p.m.

Eating Up Easter follows a modern indigenous community transforming under the globalizing effects of tourism. Previous films have often sensationalized the “mysteries” of Easter Island’s past, a remote Pacific Island known for its massive stone statues. In contrast, this documentary by native Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu provides an intimate look into the passion and creativity his people are harnessing to face the consequences of their rapidly developing island.

Free admission. Pavilion at GMHS,  Snow date Feb. 2
Contact: Michelle Crow-Dolby at mdolby@umw.edu  or 540 654-1851

Belmont Bus Trip to VMFA, Feb. 18

Member’s Bus Trip – Edward Hopper and the American Hotel, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Va.
February 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join Gari Melchers Home and Studio for a guided tour of the VMFA’s Edward Hopper and the American Hotel, the first in-depth study of hospitality settings depicted in the works of one of the most celebrated American artists. The only east coast venue, this exhibition showcases 65 paintings and works on paper by Hopper. Also included are 35 works by other artists who explored similar themes of hotels, travel, and mobility from the 20th century to the present. The exhibition is presented in galleries that include simulated spaces with engaging design components.

$50 for members, $55 for non-members. Price includes bus transport and tour ticket. Lunch is on your own with a choice of the Best Café or Amuse Restaurant. To make reservations at Amuse call 804-340-1580. Bus departs GMHS at 9 a.m. and returns by 4 p.m. Register by February 1 by contacting Meghan Pcsolyar at mpcsolya@umw.edu or  540-654-1848. Contact Jennifer Pinkerton at jpinkert@umw.edu or call 540-654-1842 to become a member!

Winter Break Specials at UMW Museums

Enjoy free admission for UMW Faculty/Staff and their families (up to 5 members) at the James Monroe Museum and  Gari Melchers Home and Studio from December 19 – January 5.

Enjoy 20% off your museum store purchase.

Melchers Paintings Loaned to Embassy in Austria

"In Old Virginia," one of the two Gari Melchers' paintings loaned to the residence of newly appointed Ambassador of Austria Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia.

“In Old Virginia,” one of the two Gari Melchers’ paintings loaned to the residence of newly appointed Ambassador of Austria Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio has loaned two paintings by Gari Melchers for display in the residence of the ambassador to the U.S. Mission in Vienna, Austria. James Gilmore, former governor of Virginia, has been named the new U.S. ambassador. He has expressly asked officials of the Art in Embassies program of the U.S. Department of State to identify paintings that portray characteristic scenes of Virginia. The art of Gari Melchers, an internationally renowned painter who in his later years called Virginia home, was an obvious choice.

Two paintings were selected by Gilmore and the AIE officials. A landscape, entitled In Old Virginia, pictures a bucolic farmyard with cow, the real-life setting of which is down the hill from the artist’s Georgian house in Falmouth, Virginia.

A Native of Virginia

“A Native of Virginia” by Gari Melchers

A nearly life-size portrait of a sturdy pioneering type called A Native of Virginia, will also travel to Vienna, the pair intended as representative of the picturesque beauty of Virginia and the virtues of its citizenry. The loan will continue through the completion of Ambassador Gilmore’s assignment.  Gari Melchers Home and Studio last partnered with the Art in Embassies exhibition program in 2009 when it supplied paintings for display in the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland.

Contact: Joanna Catron at jcatron@umw.edu or 540 654-1841

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife, Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Virginia, a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge.

FBI Seizes Stolen Melchers Painting

"Winter" by Gari Melchers.

“Winter” by Gari Melchers.

A painting by renowned local artist Gari Melchers has been seized by the FBI where it has hung in the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, New York, since 1934. The painting has been declared as property illegally and forcibly obtained by the Nazis, according to a report by the Washington Examiner, Oct. 18, 2019. The courts will determine who is the rightful owner of the property.

In the years leading up to WWI, American painter Gari Melchers was an expatriate headquartered in Holland and Weimar, Germany. He enjoyed the patronage of important German businessmen and manufacturers like German-American exporter Hugo Reisinger, the Krupp steel and armament dynasty, and Rudolf Mosse, the media giant whose flagship newspaper was the Berliner Tageblatt.

Mosse, a Jew, was a philanthropist and prolific collector of art. In 1900, he visited the Great Berlin Art Exhibition, an international forum of contemporary art, where he acquired a pastel painting entitled Winter by Melchers. The painting features a picturesque Dutch couple as they amble before a wintery village backdrop with skates and skating stick in tow.

When Mosse died in 1920, his extensive art collection, including the Melchers painting, passed to his wife, and following her death in 1924, to his sole heir, his daughter Felicia Lachmann-Mosse. When her husband, Hans, assumed control of his father-in-law’s publishing empire, his press was sharply critical of the rising Nazi powers. When the Reich began to target Jews in business and the media, the Lachmann-Mosses fled Germany and surrendered their businesses and all other holdings, including their art collection, to the state in August 1933.

The surviving heirs of Felicia Lachmann-Mosse have sought restitution of the family art collection confiscated under duress, establishing the Mosse Art Research Initiative (MARI) project with the assistance of the investigating unit of BartkoZankelBunzel. Joanna Catron, curator of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio, Falmouth, assisted the effort by providing papers documenting Rudolf Mosse’s purchase directly from the artist and Winter’s reappearance in 1934 at a Macbeth Gallery sale, New York. Subsequently several gaps in the picture’s trail have been closed.

Winter appeared as Skaters in a 1933 inventory of the Mosse collection in a Rudolf Lepke auction house sales catalog, Berlin, prepared by Nazi collaborator Karl Haberstock. Skaters was sold by Lepke in 1934 to an unknown buyer and appeared a short time later at the MacBeth Art Gallery in New York City, where it was sold on consignment to Bartlett Arkell, the American founder of the Beech-Nut Packing Company. It has hung in the museum he founded in Canajoharie, New York, until Sept. 10, 2019, when it was seized by the FBI.

The story regarding the seizing of Mosse’s publishing empire and art collections by the Third Reich and recent efforts to make restitution to his descendants is featured in the June 2018 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife, Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Virginia, a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge.

New Tour Offers Sights and Sounds of Gari Melchers Home in Stafford

The new tour at Gari Melchers Home and Studio was highlighted in The Free Lance-Star:

At one point during the new tour of Belmont, the Falmouth home of American Impressionist artist Gari Melchers and his wife, Corinne, visitors hear the sound of a bell ringing.

It’s a recording of the real servant’s bell that rings in the kitchen of the historic house, and it’s the tour guide’s cue to tell visitors about the servants whose work allowed Gari and Corinne Melchers to live their lives the way they did, said Michelle Crow–Dolby, education and communications manager at Belmont.  Read more.

Belmont Hosts Loan from National Arts Club

Study, by Gari Melchers

A striking portrait of a woman of color entitled Study by Gari Melchers will be featured in an upcoming spotlight exhibition scheduled for October 25 through January 5, 2020. The loan is made possible thanks to the generosity of The National Arts Club, New York. The painting appears for the first time at Gari Melchers Home and Studio.

When it came to subjects of his own choosing, Melchers usually rejected conventional standards of beauty in favor of working-class types, but this well-turned-out woman, with her handsome and serene bearing, is an exception. Joanna Catron, who curates the show, says that “although Study was executed in the era of women’s suffrageit represents a class of American Impressionist painting that perpetuates an old-fashioned view of woman as an object of beauty, or in this case, a ‘study’ in beauty, with no attempt to individualize personality.” The identity and nationality of the black model is unknown, and this is the only known instance in which she sat for the painter.

The mission of The National Arts Club is to foster public interest in the fine arts. It was founded in 1898 by a group of distinguished artists and patrons who conceived the clubhouse as a gathering place to welcome artists of all kinds, as well as art lovers. The National Arts Club took as its residence the historic Samuel Tilden Mansion at Grammercy Park, New York.

In order to build a stellar collection of American art, esteemed artists were invited to submit a representative example of their work in return for a life membership. Melchers was invited to join the NAC in 1917, which he readily accepted with his submission of Study. As the majority of the painter members of the NAC were American Impressionists, Melchers chose an example of singular beauty that could compete with the best.

The exhibition is Included with Museum admission. Contact: Joanna Catron at jcatron@umw.edu or 540 654-1841

Belmont Hosts Talk on Debt to the Musical Past

Gari Melchers Home and Studio hosts Musical Borrowings: Tribute or Plagiarism? a talk on the intriguing history of parodies, tributes, and highway robbery in music, presented by UMW Professor of Musicology Brooks Kuykendall, on Sunday, October 27 in the Pavilion at Belmont, 2 p.m. Admission is free of charge.

“Music is always about other music—perhaps sometimes too much so,” Kuykendall states, citing Handel, whose reputation is blighted because of his “indebtedness” to other composers. Kuykendall echoes T. S. Eliot in the contention that “good composers borrow; great composers steal,” adding that sometimes an allusion to other music is integral to a new artistic statement; sometimes it’s just funny.  Kuykendall will share imagery and audio examples in his exploration of “borrowings” from Handel to Pharrell, via Puccini and Peter Sellers.

Brooks Kuykendall is professor and chair of the UMW music department. He received his Ph.D. in Musicology from Cornell University, and his research has concentrated on British music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Walton, and Gilbert & Sullivan. He blogs on musical textual issues at www.settlingscoresblog.net.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Virginia, a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio Awarded $15,000 by Stafford Tourism

Gari Melchers Home and Studio will host Art After Hours on Thursday, September 26 from 6-8 p.m. GMHS received $10,000 from Stafford Tourism for the program, as well as another $5,000 for its group marketing program.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio will host Art After Hours on Thursday, September 26 from 6-8 p.m. GMHS received $10,000 from Stafford Tourism for the program, as well as another $5,000 for its group marketing program.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio has been awarded $15,000 in tourism sponsorships by Stafford County. The sponsorships were made available as part of Stafford County’s tourism policy and program.

Established in December 2018, the program invites profit and nonprofit organizations to design programs or events that encourage visitors to Stafford. GMHS’s group marketing program received $5,000 in tourism sponsorships, while its Art After Hours Expanded events received $10,000.

Taking place on September 26 from 6-8 p.m., the next Art After Hours features live music by a local band on the lawn. Guests can take a stroll through the gardens and grounds, tour the art galleries and enjoy local food trucks, beer and wine. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, please visit  https://www.garimelchers.org/news/calendar-of-events/.

UMW Museums Featured in Civil War Magazine

University of Mary Washington museums, Gari Melchers Home and Studio and the James Monroe Museum, were both highlighted in the fall quarterly issue of The Civil War Monitor magazine. Read more.