By Neysela DaSilva-Reed
As we move into 2015 we have two big aims for our Little New-Yorkers program. First, we want to get them upstairs into the galleries more often. Second, we are going to use the objects in our collections to make connections beyond New York.
This program is all about exploring this amazing city, but I also believe that this includes all the influences that come from abroad. This is at the very heart of what it is to be a New Yorker.
New York is known as a cultural melting pot, and we should be learning via New York and not just about New York. Whether exploring historic immigration to New York with stories such as Laundry Day by Maurie J. Manning, or modern-day diversity within the city with stories such as Abulela by Arthur Dorros.
Our first international adventure came courtesy of the artist Edwin Lord Weeks who took us to the shores of India. Next week we turn to Annie Leibovitz, who will take us to the mythological days of ancient Greece.
In the new exhibition Pilgrimage, the Leibovitz shows a very different body of work from the her usual association as photographer to the stars. This series of photographs charts the artist’s natural curiosity. They were taken simply because she found the subject matter to be interesting. They show dramatic landscapes, living interiors, and other miscellaneous objects, which seemingly present quite the challenge for our Little New Yorkers program.
One of the interiors is a photograph of the childhood bedroom of Louisa May Alcott at Orchard House. Alcott was quite the artist and took to sketching on the walls in her bedroom. One of these illustrations shows a series of robed people beside a man in a chariot led by galloping horses. They are all led by a beautiful, young maiden. The drawing in this photograph is of the sun god Helios being lead by his sister the goddess of dawn, Aurora.
Join us next week (on Tuesday or Friday at 3:30 pm) to find out about Helios’s role, why the sun scorched the earth and how the sun rises and sets every day. For our craft project we’ll be making our own fiery golden chariots. Please drop by!