Art, Galleries & Museums
Faith Journey through Art PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Margaret Thomas   
Friday, 11 November 2011 11:57
Augustana Professor Allen Bertsche will share his reflections about how art can give our personal spiritual journeys a visual language, in a series of four classes  called Faith Journey through Art on Tuesdays, November 22 and 29 and December 6 and 13 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 3707 Eastern Ave., Davenport.  The classes will be from 7 to 8:30 pm.  The discussion will include the topic of how we can “read” works of art for their life-affirming messages.  For more information, contact the Congregation secretary at 563 359 0816.

 
Traveling Exhibition @ Moline Public Library PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Jennifer Christiansen   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:33

New traveling exhibition explores the influence of Jewish culture and history in the work of renowned illustrator Maurice Sendak.

Moline, IllinoisIn a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak,” a traveling exhibition opening at the Moline Public Library on Wednesday, December 28th, reveals the push and pull of New and Old Worlds in Sendak’s work and shows how Sendak’s artistic journey has led him deeper into his own family’s history and his Jewish identity.

Maurice Sendak is best known as the illustrator of more than 100 picture books, including

Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. He was born to Polish immigrants in Brooklyn in 1928, and his childhood was typically American in a number of ways. At the same time, he became fascinated as a child with the worn black-and-white photographs of his European relatives, and the influence of both of these worlds – the threads of Jewish family, geography, and culture – can be seen in his imaginative works.

The exhibit is an exploration of Sendak’s illustrations and picture books, revealing connections between these iconic works and Sendak’s childhood, family, and the popular culture of the time. The colorful exhibit panels feature illustrations of ferocious creatures, curious children and vibrant neighborhoods, alongside thematic explorations of the Jewish culture and history – and Sendak’s own family experience – that influenced Sendak’s work.

“In a Nutshell” was organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, and developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. The exhibit was curated by Patrick Rodgers of the Rosenbach Museum & Library.

The Moline Public Library is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Contact 309-524-2470 or visit www.molinelibrary.com for more information. “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak” will be on display at the Moline Public Library until February 24th, 2012.

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Family of Hollywood actor/producer Bill Self gives Annie Oakley collection to Buffalo Bill's Wyoming museum. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by BBCHC   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:29
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Bill Self (1921 – 2010) appeared in more than 30 films between 1945 and 1952, including “Red River” directed by Howard Hawks, and went on to produce many feature films including “The Shootist” starring John Wayne. His love for the American West was kindled early on with a movie about a lady sharpshooter, Annie Oakley.

Once 15-year-old Bill Self saw Barbara Stanwyck star as Annie Oakley at the Keith Theatre in Dayton, Ohio, he was hooked. Oakley’s brother, who lived nearby, had loaned some of his Oakley memorabilia for display in the theatre lobby. The 1935 film and the memorabilia fired Self’s imagination, and his fascination with Oakley and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody took root.

As the story goes, Bill Self had embraced Annie Oakley’s work so much, that after that first movie, he contacted Oakley’s brother, and the two became friends. Then, at age 17, he started writing an Oakley biography and persuaded his family to travel to Cody, Wyoming, so that he could study the Oakley scrapbooks in what was then the original Buffalo Bill Museum.

He even went so far as to coax the museum’s founder and curator, Mary Jester Allen (Buffalo Bill’s niece), to name him Assistant Historian—complete with letterhead stationery and business cards! The book he started was never published, but Self’s love for Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, and the West led to service on the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center from 1984 until his death in 2010.

On Friday, September 23, 2011, Self’s daughter, Barbara Self Malone, on behalf of herself and her brother, Edwin B. Self, presented a large collection of their father's Annie Oakley memorabilita to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Over the years, the elder Self had given much of his Annie Oakley collection to the Center, adding to its extensive Buffalo Bill and western history holdings. Included in this bequest and previous gifts were clothing, letters, gear, firearms, photographs, and other memorabilia.

“Dad always loved heroes,” Malone says. “Even as a teenager, he was fascinated by Annie Oakley. She took risks; she excelled; and she had a strong connection to the American West. With his collection, he felt connected to Annie Oakley; and with his early experiences in that Buffalo Bill Museum, he never hesitated in his desire that the collection should one day go to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.”

Part of the bequest was a ca.1892 William Cashmore rifle produced by Charles Lancaster & Company. Malone and her husband, George, formally presented the English-made double rifle—thought to be the customized to Oakley’s measurements with a silver AO on the stock—at a luncheon of the Center's Board of Trustees in Cody.

The Historical Center has one of the most important Annie Oakley collections in existence including clothing, gear, saddle, firearms, posters, and photographs.

“We couldn’t be more pleased about this acquisition,” Executive Director and CEO Bruce Eldredge said. “With it, we add significantly to our Annie Oakley collection—much of it due to the generosity of Bill Self and his family. These latest treasures are truly extraordinary.”

Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and the nature of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West. For general information, visit www.bbhc.org, or call 307.587.4771.

ADDITIONAL INFO BELOW:

WILLIAM E. "BILL" SELF BIO (1921 - 2010):

William E. “Bill” Self was born in Dayton, Ohio, on June 21, 1921. After his graduation from the University of Chicago in 1943, he made his way to Los Angeles to become an actor. His first role was that of Private Gawky Henderson in the 1945 film The Story of G.I. Joe. All told, between 1945 and 1952, he appeared in over 30 films.

In 1952, Self moved to the less glamorous side of the camera and launched his extensive career in television production, first with CBS Television Network, and later to a 15-year stint with Twentieth Century Fox. He left Fox in 1975 to join with Mike Frankovich in the development and production of television and feature films, a partnership that was short-lived but produced The Shootist (1976), John Wayne’s last film, and From Noon Till Three (1976) starring Charles Bronson.

Later, Self returned to CBS in several capacities, eventually being tapped as President of CBS Theatrical Film Production. He served in this capacity for three years, supervising the creation of 10 movies. After that, when CBS decided to discontinue its feature film business, Self created the independent William Self Productions to develop both television and feature films. In partnership with Norman Rosemont, Self produced several works for television’s Hallmark Hall of Fame. His Sarah, Plain and Tall, co-produced with Glenn Close, received the highest rating of any Hallmark Hall of Fame to that date.

From childhood, Self was described as having “enthusiasms”—keen interests that became life-long pursuits. After he won a citywide contest in Dayton to appear in a magic show, he developed a love for magic and had memberships in several magic organizations. His early love for movies served him well later in film and television. And, after meeting a champion tennis player in the lobby of a theatre in 1932, Self convinced his parents to buy him a tennis racket—leading to many a match with the likes of Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and Jack Warner, among other Hollywood notables.

Because of his affinity for Buffalo Bill, his Wild West show, Annie Oakley, and the American West, Self was appointed to the Buffalo Bill Museum Advisory Board of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in 1982 and became a member of the Center’s Board of Trustees in 1984, a position he held until his death in 2010.


ANNIE OAKLEY BIO (1860- 1926):

Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses—Annie to her family—on August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. After the death of her father and stepfather, the 9-year-old Oakley lived with the superintendent’s family at the Darke County Infirmary, which housed the elderly, the orphaned, and the mentally ill. In exchange for helping with the children, Oakley received an education and learned the skill of sewing, which she would later use to make her own costumes.

As a young teen, she returned to her family after her mother had married a third time. To help with family finances, Oakley used her father’s old Kentucky rifle to hunt small game for the local grocery store for resale to hotels and restaurants. Her hunting enterprise was so successful that she was able to pay the $200 mortgage on her mother’s house with the money she’d earned…and she was just 15 years old!

One of her “customers”—who was impressed with her shooting—invited her to participate in a contest against well-known marksman, Frank E. Butler. Oakley won the match with 25 shots from 25 attempts; Butler missed one, but that didn’t stop him from being totally enamored of his opponent. Eventually, the two shooters were married on August 23, 1876.

The Butlers traveled with their shooting performances, signed up with the Sells Brothers Circus for one season in 1884 as “champion rifle shots,” and then joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1885. Oakley became a star attraction, and Butler was content to be her manager and assistant. The two prospered with the Wild West and remained with the show for 16 years—including two trips to Europe that secured her position as a seasoned performer and star of the Wild West. In truth, Annie Oakley may have been the first woman celebrity.

Because of a desire for less travel, the Butlers left Buffalo Bill in1901. They did continue to perform, however, finally retiring from shooting exhibitions in 1913. Eventually they moved to Pinehurst, North Carolina, where Oakley wrote a touching eulogy for Cody in 1917, noting “the passing of a golden era.”

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Oakley unsuccessfully offered to raise a regiment of woman volunteers to fight in the war and went so far as volunteering to teach marksmanship to the troops. She gave her time to the National War Council of the Young Men's Christian Association, War Camp Community Service, and the Red Cross. She had, by all accounts, a very philanthropic soul.

In 1926, after 50 happy years of marriage, the Butlers passed away within three weeks of each other: Annie Oakley died on November 3, and Frank Butler died November 21. Both died of natural causes after a long and adventuresome life.


THE COLLECTION:

Annie Oakley about husband Frank Butler, June 30, 1926, five months before his death

“He is so gloomy and looks so queer and bad. And he will sure go if he does not think of more pleasant things and stop reading all the murders and things that pray on his mind.”

-Affect. Missie

Annie Oakley to husband Frank Butler, October 21, 1926, two weeks before her death

“Jimmie. Sorry you fainted, but you are in the best hands you could get into. Don’t try to write any of your checks. Just sign…So glad you are getting some sunshine there. Hope you feel better.”

-Lovingly. Missie

Annie Oakley to husband Frank Butler, undated

“Don’t tell me anything about the house. Just tell me about yourself.”

The latest additions to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s collections include several personal letters between Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler—evidently the last ones they wrote to each other. Literally touching that correspondence, seeing the handwriting, and sampling the sentiment—as brief as it was—gives new insight into the life of Buffalo Bill’s star, Sitting Bull’s “Little Sure Shot,” and Frank Butler’s “Missie.”

But, this recent acquisition also provides a window on Bill Self, the collector. Simply put, his collection of Annie Oakley photographs, clippings, film, letters, and objects is extraordinary. Witness:

  • a wig Oakley used when she became prematurely gray-haired
  • powder horn
  • spurs
  • film
  • historic news clippings about the Butlers
  • and, of course, the ca. 1892 William Cashmore rifle produced by Charles Lancaster & Company

In this collection, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center can celebrate the spirit of the American West anew and join the Self family in commemorating Bill’s Self love for the West.

 
An Iowa Christmas Story PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Kelly Lao   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:54

“An Iowa Christmas Story” with Michael Zahs, Sunday November 20th, 2011 starting at 2p.m. at the German American Heritage Center, 712 West Second St. Davenport, IA 52802 563-322-8844, www.gahc.org. Free with admission.

Celebrate “An Iowa Christmas Story” with Michael Zahs at the German American Heritage Center. Michael is a two time winner of the “Iowa Teacher of the Year” Award and enjoys using stories and artifacts to bring the past to life. He does this so well that in 2010 the NEA named him one of the top 38 teachers in the country! Using his collection of over 30 holiday items, some from his personal 200 year family history in Iowa, you will learn how Christmas has been celebrated in our state since 1808, and how our state has grown and benefitted from its ethnic richness.

 
Figge celebrates Haitian art exhibition with special event PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:38

(Davenport, Iowa - October, 2011) On November 10, the Figge will host an event to celebrate the exhibition Restoring the Spirit: Celebrating Haitian Art which features art work that vividly portrays Haitian culture and history.  The Figge is partnering with Kids Against Hunger Your Quad-Cities to bag lifesaving food which will be delivered to Haiti.

Kids Against Hunger is an international food relief organization working to save the lives of starving people. The local chapter has provided over 700,000 meals to starving people in Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua, many of whom suffer from malnutrition and resort to eating mud cakes to stave off the hunger.  In addition, they have provided nearly 65,000 meals to hungry people in the Quad Cities. The bagged meals, made up of rice, soy, six vegetables and twenty-one vitamins and minerals, provide a nutritionally complete meal and cost $0.25 per meal.

The Figge is seeking over 100 volunteers to help bag food from 5pm to 6pm on November 10.  Families and children are encouraged to participate.  Suggested free will cash donations of $20 will be accepted to help cover the cost of these meals.  For a fee of $360, teams of 12 volunteers can sign up to create 1440 meals in an hour.  There will be a brief program at 5pm with remarks by John Kessler of Kids Against Hunger your Quad Cities.

At 7pm, Figge friend and Rock Island psychologist Dr. Ralph Saintfort will present a talk, “The Earthquake in Haiti and Its Aftermath.” Dr. Saintfort has been a clinical volunteer with Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership since 2003. He was born in Haiti and lived there with his family until he was 14. This talk is offered in conjunction with the special exhibition Restoring the Spirit: Celebrating Haitian Art.

 

To volunteer at this event, please contact Jennifer Brooke at the Figge Art Museum 563.326.7804x2048 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This event is sponsored by the Figge Art Museum, the Scott County Medical Association, the Rock Island Medical Association and the Rock Island Medical Alliance.

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