The Museum will be closed Sunday, December 24, through Tuesday, December 26, for Christmas.
Introducing #NCMAabcs: an alphabetical exploration of the Museum through our typeface. Designed by Pentagram and inspired by the shape of the 362 coffers that encase the skylights of West Building, the NCMA typeface is sculptural and lyrical—a work of art in itself.
The alphabet project, conceived by digital production company Myriad Media with photos by Raymond Goodman, aims to take a closer—or different—look at both beloved and lesser-known elements of the Museum.
Every other week, we’ll post a new letter and encourage you to participate and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using hashtag #NCMAabcs.
American artist Beth Lipman created this five-tiered, 10-foot-tall sculpture out of more than 500 individual glass elements in 2010. The elaborate installation alludes to the layers of a wedding cake, the flounces of an elaborate bridal gown, and still-life paintings throughout art history—in fact, selected elements in the sculpture were inspired by works in our permanent collection!
This shelter, created by artist Chris Drury in 2003, is an oversized camera obscura. The pinhole camera on the roof projects an inverted image of the sky onto the floor of the chamber, turning one’s perspective upside-down. Have you visited the Cloud Chamber?
The Ghanaian artist created this modern structure, Lines That Link Humanity, in 2008 from discarded aluminum and copper wire. On the wall, the sculpture looks like a shimmering tapestry, but the bottle caps recall the fraught social history of West Africa, where liquor was once traded for slaves.
This modern painting, Raqqa II, was painted by the American artist in 1970. Made from synthetic polymer and graphite on canvas, it measures 10 feet tall and 25 feet long. This picture is only a small piece of the whole. Can you find where this picture was taken?
Often called “the rings,” these three ellipses were created in 1999 by Raleigh artist Thomas Sayre. The concrete curves cured for a month in elliptical trenches before being lifted into place. Can you guess how tall the sculpture is?
This bronze sculpture is one of the most well-known by French artist Auguste Rodin. You can find this lover’s embrace in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Court and Garden, which features works from all phases of the master's career.
The Pavilion is located in the Museum Park, which spans more than 160 acres for visitors to explore. The shelter-as-art was designed and built in 2007 by Raleigh residents Mike Cindric and Vincent Petrarca. What flying insect’s wings do you think inspired the Pavilion’s metallic covering?
This large-scale environmental work in the Museum Park is the result of a unique collaboration among an artist, a landscape artist, and several architects. The entire piece covers 2.5 acres and includes many of the amphitheater’s outdoor elements, like the screen and seating. Can you locate each letter?
This modern sculpture, formed from flowers and Mylar butterflies suspended from stainless-steel cables, was created in 2003 by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter.
S is for skylights.
These curved ceiling coffers with elliptical skylight openings (oculi) are not only beautiful—inspiring the very typeface that is featured in these ABCs posts—but also energy-efficient. West Building’s unique daylighting system allows filtered light into the galleries, reducing electric lighting energy consumption by half.
The Museum Park encompasses more than 160 acres of fields, woodlands, and creeks to explore by walking, biking, or running. The trail system leads visitors through natural areas and to permanent and temporary works of art. Which is your favorite work of art in the Museum Park?
U is for Untitled.
There are currently eight untitled works of art on view in the Museum. Can you identify the artist of this untitled piece (detail shown here)? Hint: This life-sized abstract is by an American artist and is located in our East Building.
Completed in 2010, the 127,000-square-foot gallery building displays the Museum’s permanent collection. The exterior of West Building is 50 percent glass, so filtered natural light allows for viewing the collection in a whole new way.
Did you know that X-ray radiography is a common technique used by art conservators to discover information about the creation and condition of a painting? The NCMA has an entire facility dedicated to the craft.
This interactive work, created in 2010 by Maria Elena González, requires the participation of two or more people. Grab a map to locate the red platforms. While you stand on one platform, your friend stands on the other. Take a photo of what you see and share it with the hashtag #NCMAyoume.
The maker of this 20th-century headcrest is unknown, though it originated from the Mossi peoples of Burkina Faso. The Museum’s African collection features several intricate wooden headdresses, helmets, and masks.
You’ll see us in your inbox soon. And we hope to see you at the Museum!