Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and his wife Loki were art lovers. The exhibition “The Chancellor’s Art” gives some insight into their collection.
Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015) held the arts in high regard, both as a public figure and a private person.
For instance, it is well known that he was an avid and talented piano player.
But he also revealed his deep appreciation of art throughout his career as German Chancellor. In 1979, he had Henry Moore’s steel sculpture, Large Two Forms, erected in front of the Chancellery building in the former German capital, Bonn. During Schmidt’s state visit to East Germany in 1981, he planned a visit to the Güstrow Cathedral to get to see Ernst Barlach‘s sculpture Der Schwebende (Hovering man).
His admiration for Barlach resulted in the Chancellor and his wife regularly visiting the Ernst Barlach Haus museum in Hamburg. The museum, together with the Helmut and Loki Schmidt Foundation and the Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation, is now showing the private collection of the renowned couple. It includes about 150 paintings and sculptures.
‘Earnest collection and hodgepodge’
Helmut and Loki Schmidt (1919-2010) collected works of art for decades, resulting in a veritable “mixture of earnest collection and hodgepodge,” as museum director Karsten Müller says. To be fair, for all their love of the arts, the two were not art experts.
“They were not art collectors in the strict sense of the term. They weren’t driven by a passion to get this piece and that piece but rather, I think, they agreed on what they liked and then acquired works accordingly during gallery visits, for example, or by browsing through auction catalogs,” Müller said in an interview with German public broadcaster NDR.
Helmut and Loki Schmidt at the opening of the exhibition ‘Group of Seven. Canadian Landscape Painters’ in 1977
“They had a rather relaxed attitude towards making the best of good opportunities as they presented themselves: As a result, their apartment was filled (with art) over the decades.”
Art as the backdrop for world politics
Most of the Schmidts’ collected works were hung or stood in their private house in Hamburg-Langenhorn, which was located in the midst of a middle-class housing area.
This was also the backdrop of numerous receptions of guests of state invited by the Chancellor. These included Soviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev (1906-1982) and French President Giscard d’Estaing (*1926).
You could say that, in a way, Schmidt conducted world politics from his living room.
The Schmidts did not collect art with any particular intention, says Stefan Herms, managing director of the Helmut and Loki Schmidt Foundation. Their collection was primarily based on “individual emotional decisions.”
Art played a big role in the Schmidts’ household, where many paintings adorned the walls in a rather dense and random formation, taking inspiration from the Petersburger hanging style. Numerous works in their collection, however, had to be restored over the summer of this year as the Schmidts had not taken professional care of their often rather valuable works.
The fact that Helmut Schmidt was a prolific chain smoker did not help in keeping the artworks in the best condition.
Residential art at a museum
North German sculptor Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) and expressionist painter Emil Nolde (1867-1956) were among the Schmidts’ favorites. Helmut and Loki Schmidt also maintained personal ties with the famous artists’ colony in Worpswede: Works by Otto Modersohn, Paula Modersohn-Becker and Fritz Overbeck are also part of their collection and now on display in the Ernst Barlach Haus.
The selection of art presented at the art show also reveals the Schmidts’ soft spot for artists who had been defamed as “degenerate” during the Nazi era.
But for many visitors to the exhibition, there are some surprising treats to discover, like two rather special clay figurines: One shows Helmut Schmidt in his role as the head of state, wearing a proper suit, while the other presents his then-challenger in the race for the chancellorship. That was the Bavarian Premier Franz-Josef Strauss, who is depicted wearing lederhosen and holding an overflowing glass of beer in his hand.
This memento from the federal election is now 40 years old. But instead of being opponents, Schmidt and Strauss — in a rather reconciliatory fashion — appear to need each other in this constellation, as they are a set of salt-and-pepper shakers.
“He was a serious opponent,” Schmidt one said about Strauss — and placed the salt and pepper shaker in the guest toilet of his home.
Adapted by Sertan Sanderson.
Winnipeg Art Gallery renames its Inuit Art Centre as Qaumajuq – The Globe and Mail
The Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is now Qaumajuq.
The WAG announced Wednesday that a circle of language keepers have given an Inuktitut name to the centre. Qaumajuq (pronounced HOW-ma-yourq) means “It is bright, it is lit,” a reference to the light that flows into the new building through its glass front.
The centre, which was set to open next month, is now expected to launch in February, 2021. It will house the largest public collection of Inuit art in the world, holdings that include more than 7,000 pieces on long-term loan from the government of Nunavut.
The art includes contemporary prints, drawings and sculptures, and rare historic pieces, most of which will be on public display for the first time. The centre, which will launch with free admission for all Indigenous visitors, will feature a glass vault, a system of open storage letting people see a larger number of works.
The renaming of Qaumajuq, which the WAG says is the first of its kind at a major art institution in Canada, is an initiative that responds to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, both of which include articles stressing the importance of Indigenous languages.
The language keepers representing both Inuit communities and Indigenous peoples in the Treaty 1 territory where the WAG stands have also given the original gallery building an Anishinaabemowin name: Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah, meaning “Come on in, the dawn of light is here.” The gallery will continue to be known as the Winnipeg Art Gallery, but the Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah name is intended to signify the presence of Indigenous languages at the institution.
The names were arrived at by virtual consultations lead by Dr. Julie Nagam and Dr. Heather Igloliorte, co-chairs of the WAG Indigenous advisory circle, and joined by a group of fluent Indigenous language keepers and elders. The group included both the Inuit, and First Nations and Metis from the Winnipeg area. The languages represented are Inuktitut (Inuit), Inuvialuktun (Inuit), Anishinaabemowin (Anishinaabe/Ojibway), Nêhiyawêwin (Ininiwak/Cree), Dakota (Dakota), and Michif (Metis), and the names can be heard at wag.ca.
SMALL//works art show at KAC looking for submissions – The Omega
Once again, the Kamloops Arts Council will be hosting their small works art show, an annual event where artists can sell smaller works of art to buyers for a more affordable price.
Terri Hadwin, Executive Director at the Kamloops Arts Council, said, “We host around three to four hundred different pieces of artwork, and all of those pieces are within a certain size limit.”
Hadwin added that “when people are looking to purchase something unique [or] something locally produced, they can come into the old courthouse and know that they’re not going to break the bank and they will be able to meet those objectives and find that one of a kind awesome present to give to their loved one or hopefully keep for themselves even.”
The SMALL/works art show is also more than an event to showcase smaller art and a fundraiser to help the KAC. Instead of the artists donating their art and the KAC keeping all the funds, the KAC splits the funds made from art sales between the artists and the KAC.
Hadwin said, “the reason why we do that is we found that other fundraisers typically ask artists to donate their artwork altogether, and we felt that this [we] really help our artists at the same time as helping our organization raise a few funds that go towards our ongoing programs.”
The KAC is currently receiving submissions for the annual event and is accepting any work, including 2D or 3D art, and work under 200 inches. The work should also be priced under 300 dollars to help with the art show’s affordability. Anyone submitting artwork must also be a Kamloops Arts Council member.
“Right now, we have 91 pieces, and that’s quite a lot because we typically don’t see any applications until the deadline day,” Hadwin said. “Everybody waits until the very last moment, so this has been an uptake on early submissions, so that’s really nice to see.”
She also added that this art show is not juried, as they can host many pieces of artwork due to the smaller size. “It’s pretty much a free for all because the pieces are so small we can fit a lot in here.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is different from last, but the KAC can continue the annual event with a few changes to help keep attendees safe.
“COVID does adjust things quite a bit. We will encourage people to go online and book timeslots when they would like to come and view the artwork. It’s not necessary, but if they go and do that, then they know for certain that they’re not going to have to wait outside,” Hadwin said.
“We are only going to be seeing 20 guests within the entire building during that time, so people know it’s not going to be crowded,” Hadwin said. “We are going to have volunteers walking throughout the building and sanitizing throughout the day so they know it’s going to be a safe place to come.”
The deadline for submissions to the SMALL//works art show is November 1, and anyone wishing to submit up to ten pieces can easily do so on the KAC website. The great big teeny-tiny art show will be available to view, and work will be able to be purchased from November 20 to December 19 at the Kamloops Arts Council
Culture Days celebration of all art forms was a virtual blockbuster – OrilliaMatters
I want to start off this week by congratulating the Orillia District Arts Council, the City of Orillia Community Services Department (formerly the Parks Recreation and Culture Dept.), and Creative Nomad Studios on a very entertaining and successful virtual Culture Days event last Saturday.
My partner and I tuned in a few times during the day and it was hard to tear ourselves away.
The curation of all the different events, as well as the “fillers” in between, was topnotch, and the live streaming was excellent. It’s not easy to pull off a full day of livestreaming with multiple people, places, and things, and it was pulled off impeccably. Kudos to Michael Martyn and Anitta Hamming for doing just that!
I really enjoyed the emphasis on all the different kinds of arts that there was in the programming. ODAC has, over the past several years, looked like more of a place for visual artists, but every arts form was embraced and supported in this event: performing arts, storytelling, special FX makeup, acting, videography, music, history, visual art and more.
It really went with ODAC’s new tagline, displayed on the banner in many of the features: Educate, Advocate, Celebrate, All art forms. Congratulations ODAC and everyone else, you did exactly that on Saturday. The day’s events will be available to be re-watched shortly, I will let you know the link when it’s available.
Speaking of ODAC, it has partnered with Orillia Museum of Art and History and the City of Orillia Community Services Department for the annual Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards again this year. All the nominees have been announced, and there are many, across five categories:
In Education: Stacey Schat and Doug Ironside; Otter Art Club.
In Emerging Artist: Chief Lady Bird; Marta Solek; MJ Pollak; Norman Robert Catchpole.
In Events: The Essential Concert Series; Kevin Jon Gangloff and Roots North Revisited and Orillia Youth Centre events; Dick Johnston and the Take a Vet to Dinner event.
In Heritage: Carolyn Leclair and Elite Printing: Sarah Pickard and the Sawbones Society; Marcel Rousseau; Ron and Ann Harrison; and David Town.
Qennefer Browne Award: Rusty Draper; Molly Farquharson; Roy Menagh; Phil Jackman; Gaia Orion; Will McGarvey.
Among such a wealth of talented people, who will the lucky recipients be? Find out at the virtual awards night on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. on the Orillia Museum of Art and History’s YouTube channel, here.
Congratulations to all the nominees, we really have an arts and heritage sector to be proud of, in this small town.
There are actually quite a few events coming up, both virtual and in-person, as we all learn to navigate these strange pandemic times in a safe and responsible manner.
Of course, Halloween is this weekend, and the good news is, trick or treating isn’t cancelled, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. The unit does advise however, to include a face mask in your costume, stay six-feet apart, only trick or treat outside and with members of your own household, and perhaps use tongs to hand out candy. So, stay safe if you are going that route.
Alternatively, you may have pre-registered for the Trunk or Treat event at ODAS Park, or are thinking of going to the Quarentine-O-Ween event at It Happens Tech Repair. Trunk or Treat is full up, but the later event is going on Oct. 31 from 5 to 9 p.m. at 1-222 James St. W. where you can pop by for a safe Halloween treat.
Or maybe you are opting to have a safe event at home with members of your household. If you are staying home, you can have an amazing soundtrack to your night with the Dylan Lock Halloween Driveway Concert, Live on Facebook, starting Oct. 31 at 5:30 p.m. at Dylan Lock’s Facebook page, here. So far this year, the driveway concert series has raised over $55,000 for local charities. Check out this event and have a rock ‘n’ roll Halloween.
Another option is to check out the drive-in movie at Orillia Square Mall on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. The movie is the family-friendly Gnomeo and Juliet and cost is $20 a carload, with proceeds going to Building Hope. There are also giveaway goodie bags to the first 50 cars! To register your car, please contact the mall administration office at 705-325-2366.
And Jakob Pearce is playing at Fionn MacCool’s in Orillia on Oct. 31 starting at 8 p.m. They have a heated patio! Enjoy!
Coming up, OMAH is hosting a plein air watercolour workshop with local artist Julianna Hawke. It’s happening Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the beautiful Stephen Leacock Museum. For more details and to register, go here.
I don’t usually mention activities outside of the Orillia area, but this new virtual world does change things up a bit, and there is a virtual event nearby that I want to tell you about. The Culture Alliance of Georgian Bay, which encompasses Beausoleil First Nation, Midland, Penetang, and Tiny and Tay townships, is putting on a huge virtual cultural conference, starting on Nov. 3 and running throughout the month.
Your $25 ticket gives you access to all eight sessions and the breakout discussions and the speakers are amazing, including keynote speaker Katherine Nicholls. Katherine is a New York-based business exec who is chair of the New York State Council on the Arts.
The theme of the conference is Obstacles and Opportunities, and there have been plenty of both and will continue to be, for the cultural sector. If you are involved in the cultural world and community in any way, I urge you to check this out, there is a lot of good information to be found here.
On Nov. 7, the annual Kiwanis Club of Orillia auction is going online, lots more details on that next week!
Just announced, Jerry Leger will be performing live in an online fundraiser for Dress for Success Orillia and Barrie, on Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. Admission will be by donation and the event celebrates Giving Tuesday, the antidote to Black Friday. Will be a fun evening of great music by this amazing Canadian musician.
Mariposa Folk Festival is having another online mini concert, this one featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie, at some point in November. We will let you know as soon as we know!
Also in November, Craig Mainprize is having a solo show, at the newly renovated Creative Nomad Studios. The opening reception will be November 12, with an artist’s talk happening November 21. We will let you know more when we know!
Speaking of Creative Nomad, membership categories are now available for purchase and tours of the building can be booked! Check out lots more information on this hotly anticipated cultural centre, through the website here.
Have a safe and careful Halloween and see you next week! If you have arts news, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday at noon.
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