Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936

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Due to the redesign of, past exhibitions prior to 2008 are archived externally; visiting these pages will open a new window.


Curators Eye
Friday, November 12, 2 pm, Helen Hsu
Friday, December 3, 2 pm, Kenneth E. Silver
Free with museum admission.

Mind's Eye
Monday, October 11, 6:30 pm
Monday, November 8, 6:30 pm
Separate programs for partially sighted, blind and deaf visitors through Verbal Imaging, touch and ASL. FREE Registration required at or 212 360 4355.

Fall Family Day
Sunday, November 14, 2–5 pm
Join us for a family day celebrating the museum's architecture and fall exhibitions. Engage in conversation, a scavenger hunt, art-making activities, performances, and story-telling. For families with children age 4–10. $15 per family; $10 members; FREE for family members, Cool Culture families, and Guggenheim partner schools. For complete student and family programs, visit


Lateness and the Politics of Media
Tuesday, October 12, 6:30 pm
Peter Eisenman, Principal, Eisenman Architects
Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice, Yale School of Architecture

The celebrated architect, theorist, and author of Giuseppe Terragni: Transformations, Decompositions, Critiques (2003) posits that we are in a late moment in history in which design is controlled by the media to promote consumption. Where does that leave architecture, which, he argues, is the antithesis of design?

Scultura Lingua Morta: Sculpture's Forbidden Languages
Wednesday, November 10, 6:30 pm
Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain
As a scholar and curator of figurative sculpture from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain, shares her thoughts on how exhibitions contextualize art in a political context. $10, $7 for members and students.

Constructing Classicism in Fashion
Tuesday, December 7, 6:30 pm
Patricia Mears, Deputy Director, The Museum at FIT
Between the world wars, women such as Madeleine Vionnet dominated fashion design in Paris and New York. Charting the embrace of classicism, Patricia Mears, a renowned costume historian and style expert, discusses clothing innovations that defined fashion in the 1930s, changed the course of modern dress, and continue to influence couture today. $10, $7 for members. $10, $7 for members and students; for lecture tickets

Special Film Screening

The Blood of a Poet (Le sang d'un poète), 1930
Jean Cocteau
Saturday, October 9, 6:30 pm
Sunday, October 10, 4:30 pm

The first installment in the Orphic Trilogy—a series of three films by acclaimed French avant-garde director Jean Cocteau—the groundbreaking film The Blood of a Poet is one of cinema's great experiments. A portrait of the plight of the artist, the film utilizes surrealist imagery to explore the poet's obsessions with the relationships between art and dreams, metaphor and reality, and life and death. French with English subtitles. Free with museum admission. For complete Chaos and Classicism film program visit

On view in the Sackler Center for Arts Education

Vox Populi: Posters of the Interwar Years
September 1, 2010–January 9, 2011
The 1920s and 1930s were among the greatest years in the history of poster design. Vox Populi, or the “voice of the people,” posters were used by manufacturers, political movements, and the entertainment industry as immensely refined art created for a vast public. The exhibition presents a group of splendid interwar posters from France, Italy, and Germany.

Premiere Performance

Coup de Foudre, Based on The Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau
Paul Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky, Ballet Noir, and Melvin van Peebles
Saturday, October 9, 8 pm
Sunday, October 10, 6 pm
In a theatrical reinterpretation of Cocteau's filmic masterpiece, three generations of groundbreaking African American artists connect through a je ne sais quoi of French culture. Paul Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid performs his own original music score, mixing live instruments and studio recordings with the Telos Ensemble, while Corey Baker, artistic codirector of Ballet Noir and current Fela! star, converts the extreme physicality of the lead film character into choreographic moments. Emmy award-winning Melvin Van Peebles, "the godfather of independent film and modern black cinema," simultaneously reads Cocteau poems. Coup de Foudre explores the ambiguous relationship between modern compositional strategies, based on sampling and digital media, and the experience of tying cinematic history to contemporary times. A post-performance discussion with the artists follows moderated by Christoph Cox, professor of philosophy, Hampshire College. $30, $25 for members, $10 for students. Tickets visit

Digital Workshop with DJ Spooky
The Secret Song II
Sunday, October 10, 2:30 – 4:30 pm
In conjunction with Coup de Foudre, the Sackler Center for Arts Education is pleased to present The Secret Song II, a digital music workshop. Led by DJ Spooky himself, the workshop provides participants a unique opportunity to use their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to invent their own compositional mixes using sampling and custom sound effects, followed by a museum visit and the performance of Coup de Foudre. The Secret Song II will explore the connections between digital mixing and multimedia forms, mining the possibilities of mobile media to create art anytime, anywhere. For adults 18+; ages 14–17 can attend accompanied by an adult. No previous music or art-making experience necessary. Limited enrollment. $55, $40 members, $20 students. To register; for more information

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