5 Friyays: February 1

5 Friyays: February 1

Happy February, everyone!! It’s Dr. Hinson here, back with my 5 Friyays! I’m in the camp that felt like January lasted a YEAR, so I could not be happier to see the new month. We’ve a lot going on at Abbey Research but our busyness is keeping us from freezing in the Polar Vortex, so there’s that. I’ve got a diverse list this week, so let’s be having it!

Attention Tolkien Nerds

In my last Friyays, I shared an article about an exhibition of Tolkien drawings in NYC. This week, we got more exciting news on the same front. The first photos from the upcoming Tolkien biopic, naturally titled ‘Tolkien’ (releasing May 10), were released! The movie follows the early years of Tolkien’s life and how he created his fantasy world of Middle Earth – I, for one, cannot wait!

Disney Celebrates Black History Month

The start of February also means the start of Black History Month. Be sure to look out for all our fabulous content celebrating some sensational black women! Fresh off the heels of it’s win for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Drama at last weekend’s SAG Awards, Disney announced it is releasing the mega-hit ‘Black Panther’ back into theaters from February 1-7 to celebrate BHM. On top of that, Disney will be donating $1.5 million to the United Negro College Fund. Pretty great news all around, now I just have to find out if my local AMC is one of the 250 participating theaters! Fingers crossed!

Ladies Who Restore Art

As the resident Art Historian at Abbey Research, I’m always on the look out for great art stories. I often share them in my Friyays and today is no different. I came across this article last week, which describes an all-woman art restoration studio in Italy. What’s got them in the news is that they have recently opened their doors to the public, in order to see the painstaking process of art restoration. Were I wealthy enough, I would be on the first flight to Rome to have this remarkable experience!

Stories of Unknown Painters

We’re sticking with the art history trend today because I recently saw an article in the Guardian about one of my favorite painters no one has ever heard of. Artemisia Gentileschi was the daughter of a painter, and grew up during the height of 16th century Italian painting. Not only was Gentileschi remarkable talented and successful during her life, she also suffered from sexual violence and trauma at the hands of other painters. Painters who have gotten much more attention and praise than she has accumulated. I was fortunate enough to have a fierce professor who knew the importance of introducing us to women artists, rare though they were, especially at that time.

This article tells how “with words and images, she fought back against the male violence that dominated the world she lived in” and why she deserves to be one of the most famous artists in the world. But – history is always written by the victors, and the victors are almost always men, so Artemisia is not in many art history books. She does not get biographies, and biopics. The recent films and mini-series about Van Gogh and Picasso continue to show that as a society we still value the stories of troublesome male painters over a female painter of any talent. Read the article, and if you can, find a show of Gentileschi’s work – she’s well worth your time.

Keeping Girls In School

I don’t have the statistics for how many young girls can’t attend or miss school because they don’t have menstruation/sanitary products. The products are expensive (and even taxed as a luxury in the states) and access to them often creates barriers between girls and their education. Yes, even in 2019. So I wanted to share the news that UK organization the Red Box Project is going to start operating in Northern Ireland. Period poverty is a real crisis, around the world, even in our country, and it was fabulous to see the wonderful work of this group make it to my beloved Northern Ireland.

That’s my Friyays for this week. Thanks for indulging my love of art history, I hope you found all 5 stories worth your time on this frigid Friday morning! Dr. Donnelly is up next week!

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