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A sculpture by Ida Kohlmeyer in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is made of abstract painted aluminum shapes.

Object Lesson: Rebus 3D-89-3 by Ida Kohlmeyer

This month, Ida Kohlmeyer’s painted aluminum sculpture Rebus 3D-89-3 returns to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, newly refreshed from structural repairs and brandishing a brand new coat of paint. The expert restoration—undertaken by Kohlmeyer’s longtime fabricator G. Paul Lucas of Lucas Limited in Louisburg, Kansas—brings the work back to its intended brilliancy and allows us to appreciate the work of one of Louisiana’s most influential and enigmatic abstract artists anew. Read More

Photography, Surveillance, and Protest

Gordon Parks famously stated that photography was his “choice of weapons” against racism, intolerance, and poverty. While photographs have certainly been used to document and advance social justice causes in the past, the use of photography in recent protest movements has demonstrated one of the dangers of the medium. While protest photographs have amplified these movements’ messages and visibility, those very same photographs have been used against their makers by other authorities. Read More

A red IKEA watering can designed by Monika Mulder

Object Lesson: IKEA Vållö Watering Can

In 2002, the Vållö watering can’s designer, Monika Mulder, was asked to solve a clunky logistics issue. Her result is a graceful work of art. The challenge was that a standard watering can’s handle, pouring spout, and cavity take up a large volume of space. For IKEA, a company organized around the principle of using thoughtful design to address shipping efficiency in furniture, this excess volume was a big deal. The design request was for a watering can that could be stacked, one within another, which saved tremendously on international transportation costs. Read More

Lorna Woods, descendent of AfricaTown USA

Conversations in Color: AfricaTown USA

Amistad Research Center presents Conversations in Color featuring community activist Hannibal Lokumbe and the pastor of Union Missionary Baptist Church of AfricaTown USA, Rev. Derek Tucker. They discuss the cultural restoration of the historic community of AfricaTown, which was founded in 1866 by the survivors of the last documented slave ship to transport enslaved Africans to the Americas. The Amistad Research Center also shares an oral history of AfricaTown descendant Lorna Woods. Read More

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