In accordance with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 117, and to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, the NCMA is closed until further notice. While the Museum Park remains open for walking, running, and biking, visitors should practice extreme caution and take strict social distancing measures. See a full list of affected programs and events at ncartmuseum.org/covid19.
NCMA from Home
Although the galleries are temporarily closed, we invite you to experience your NCMA from home. Through these virtual offerings, inspired by the Museum collection, we hope to foster contemplation, meditation, and creativity.
Beth Lipman, Bride, 2010, glass, wood, paint, and glue, H. 120 x W. 90 x D. 90 in., Purchased with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes in honor of Dr. Emily Farnham, by exchange
Bride, Beth Lipman’s five-tiered, 10-foot-tall, monumental still life contains more than 500 individual glass elements stacked carefully, knocked over, arranged thoughtfully, broken, melted, and shattered. Reminiscent of both a wedding dress and a cake, it’s also deeply connected to art historical traditions.—Jennifer Dasal, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Interchange: Beth Lipman Meets Frans Snyders
Recognizing the often-strict borders between art historical genres and time periods, NCMA curators have paired seemingly unrelated works of art in a series of installations titled Interchanges, meant to challenge and interrupt preconceptions. While the galleries remain closed, we deliver an interchange to your inbox, connecting Bride to a Flemish still life from the 1600s.
Like Bride, Frans Snyders’s Market Scene on a Quay (circa 1635–40) presents a densely packed and creative assembly of objects. Both works play with order and chaos, life and death, and stability and fragility, making them an engaging, if somewhat unnerving, pair. Artist Beth Lipman took direct inspiration from this painting, including one of the kittens and birds in Bride’s bottom tier. Snyders and his workshop invented this scene, combining meat and fish, items not sold together in marketplaces, and showcasing his ability to paint different surfaces and textures, which highlights his impressive artistic skill. Similarly, Bride presents a monumental collection of glass objects, demonstrating Lipman’s mastery of different glassmaking techniques.
Beth Lipman, Bride, 2010, glass, wood, paint, and glue, H. 120 x W. 90 x D. 90 in., Purchased with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes in honor of Dr. Emily Farnham, by exchange
Frans Snyders and Workshop, Market Scene on a Quay, circa 1635–40, oil on canvas, 79 5/16 x 135 1/4 in., Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina
Still Life and Real Life
Bride’s multilayered still life alludes to the layers of a wedding cake, the flounces of an elaborate bridal gown, and still-life paintings throughout art history, with selected elements inspired by works in the Museum collection. (Can you spot a plate of fish that appears in Pieter Aertsen’s 16th-century market scene painting A Meat Stall or the 19th-century Ottoman Esther Scroll and Case from the Judaic collection?) Scroll through our Matrimony at the Museum Pinterest board to see how these celebrations for real-life brides (and grooms) were also inspired by the Museum collection.—Karlie Marlowe, Director of Marketing and Communications
NCMA intern and UNC–Chapel Hill art history major Jordan Wolfe spoke with artist Beth Lipman about her past and upcoming works, exploring the ways in which time and society influence pieces like Bride. (We also discovered her love of masking tape, as she creatively improvised a video setup in her studio to chat with us!) Lipman details her conceptions of the "chasm between the ideal and reality," as well as her process of creation through destruction.—Angela Lombardi, Director of Outreach and Audience Engagement
Local Artist Connection
Couture designer Austin Scarlett, who appeared on the first season of fashion design competition Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars, and spin-off series On the Road with Austin and Santino, talks from his home in North Carolina about all things fashion, sharing where he draws inspiration, the joy of seeing a finished gown on a client, and how a wedding dress comes together. Learn more from the designer in the video below.—Kat Harding, Public Relations Manager
Glassblowing around the World
Glassblowing is an art form practiced all over the world. Here are some fun videos on how glassblowing is practiced in Mexico, Austria, and Italy.—Felicia Ingram Manager of Interpretation, and Cara Greene, Interpretation Intern
Artisans in Murano, Italy, have been making glass objects for over 1,000 years. Watch as they create a chandelier.
The rich artistic tradition of North Carolina is exemplified in the Penland School of Craft, an educational arts center in the mountains, where artist Beth Lipman has taught glass workshops. The school's workshops offer immersive, material-based learning and a supportive community, welcoming students of all skill levels. Artist residencies support full-time makers, and a beautiful gallery works to expand public understanding of craft. Learn more about Penland in the video below.—Angela Lombardi, Director of Outreach and Audience Engagement
A Puzzling Development
The demand for puzzles has emptied the shelves of many distributors and has driven this activity digital. While we sometimes wish we could create physical versions of our best-loved pieces, puzzle factories have yet to be listed as essential services, so we’ve created a puzzle for you to try on your screen at home. The 17th-century Market Scene on a Quay (Frans Snyders and Workshop) hangs next to Beth Lipman’s glass sculpture and served as a point of reference for many objects she included in her piece. Once you’ve finished the digital puzzle, you might be able to spot them on a future visit!—Angela Lombardi, Director of Outreach and Audience Engagement
Create a fantastical table scene using found images. Read along with a story about a girl glassblower. Find these and other ideas inspired by Bride at NCMALearn.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, and Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Educational Lesson Plan
In this NCMALearn lesson plan students will engage in sensory play and make a cardboard sculpture inspired by Beth Lipman’s Bride.—Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Here Comes the Headache
Bride brings to mind three films about seemingly perfect weddings that turn into spectacles of unraveling brides, shattered illusions, and revealing truths.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
Wild Tales / Relatos Salvajes (2014). Director: Damián Szifron. In this Argentinian anthology’s final segment, “Hasta que la muerte nos separe / Till Death Do Us Part,” a bride discovers a secret that drives her into a fit of rage. Rent on YouTube or Amazon.
Melancholia (2011). Director: Lars Von Trier. The strained relationship of two sisters is put to the test at a wedding on the day that a mysterious planet threatens to collide with Earth. Rent on YouTube or Amazon.
Rachel Getting Married (2008). Director: Jonathan Demme. Rachel prepares for her elaborate wedding while trying to deal with her recovering drug-addicted sister. Rent on YouTube or Amazon.
Blown Away (2019). Reality show series where ten master artists compete in glassblowing sculpture challenges. Watch on Netflix.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Mirroring the excessive, decadent, and eternal presence of Beth Lipman's Bride, Charles Dickens's character Miss Havisham insists on wearing her wedding dress for the rest of her days.—Erin Rutherford, Library Assistant
The recording below is an audio description of Bride. Audio description is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is a means to inform them about visual content essential for comprehension.
Look closely at Beth Lipman’s five-tiered sculpture, and you will find that this glass “wedding cake” descends into chaos. Lipman describes glass as representing mortality: “It is strong and fragile, elusive and concrete, fleeting and eternal,” much like the complex emotion of love, both lamented and celebrated in this playlist we hope you enjoy.—Janette Hoffman, Acting Artistic Director and General Manager for the NCMA Amphitheater
Giotto di Bondone and assistants, The “Peruzzi Altarpiece,” circa 1310–15, H. 41 5/8 x W. 98 1/2 x D. 6 in. Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
The Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect Giotto di Bondone was the most celebrated artist of his day. By the time the Peruzzi altarpiece was painted, around 1310, he was known throughout the Italian peninsula as the best and most innovative painter. Poets and chroniclers of the 14th and 15th centuries praised his ability to paint figures and gestures al naturale (in a lifelike manner) as well as his success and fame.
What distinguishes Giotto’s paintings from those of his 13th-century Tuscan predecessors is the sculptural quality of his figures—they are more three-dimensional than flat—and their emotional and psychological realism that suggests they are human. These qualities in Giotto’s art have led generations of art historians to credit him with sparking the artistic revolution known as the Italian Renaissance.
The Peruzzi altarpiece is one of only 40 works belonging to the Giotto “canon” established by Giotto’s earliest biographer, the Florentine artist Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378–1455). Half of the works mentioned by Ghiberti have survived, and our altarpiece is among the small number of complete altarpieces. Of those, it is the only one preserved outside of Europe.
Local Artist Connection
Christopher Holt, the artist behind the exhibition Contemporary Frescoes/Faith and Community, talks from his home in Asheville about his appreciation for Giotto's altarpiece and its connection to the fresco he created at the Haywood Street Church. In this video Holt describes how the practice of making art can achieve its own spiritual level, how connections to his community informs his art, and what it means to have this altarpiece featured at the NCMA.
Global Artist Connection
Giotto was known for his skill as a fresco painter. Succeeding generations of artists—including Michelangelo —studied and emulated him. If you are interested in seeing Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel frescoes of 1508–12 up close, check out this free Epic Games VR experience, “IL DIVINO: Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling in VR”. Using an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Valve Index, you can explore the religious paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. You will find many of the same figures in our Giotto altarpiece and others in our collection. Don’t have a VR headset? You can view the Sistine Chapel in 360 degrees with the Vatican Museum. —Felicia K Ingram, Manager of Interpretation
A Word from the Curator
Most scholars agree the Peruzzi altarpiece was executed by Giotto as part of a decorative program designed for the private chapel of the Peruzzi family in the great Franciscan church of Santa Croce in Florence, founded in 1294. From 1311 to 1315, Giotto covered the chapel’s walls with frescoes illustrating stories of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist—the Peruzzi family’s two titular saints—and probably created the altarpiece now in Raleigh, around the same time. It was designed to rest on top of the central altar and serve as the focal point and backdrop for the celebration of the mass. The frescoes are still in situ in the chapel, so it is not difficult to imagine the altarpiece in its original setting, a lavishly decorated but intimate space that itself was part of a magnificent, orchestrated tableau, the east wall of Florence’s grand new church, just a few steps from the high altar. Read more about Giotto and the altarpiece on NCMALearn.—Lyle Humphrey, Associate Curator of European Art and Collection History
Séraphine (2008). Director: Michael Provos. (In French with subtitles.) Séraphine de Senlis is a simple and devout housekeeper who finds that the act of painting brings her spiritual fulfillment. Watch on YouTube, Amazon Prime, or iTunes.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
A Room with a View (1985). Director: James Ivory. Academy Award–winning film based on the E. M. Forster novel of the same name is set in Florence and features landmarks such as the Piazza Della Signoria and the Church of Santa Croce. Watch on YouTube, Amazon Prime, or iTunes.—Lyle Humphrey, Associate Curator of European Art and Collection History
Altars, Altars, Everywhere
Take a brief and inspiring journey with Karama Thomas—Triangle-based “songspeller,” astrologer, and storyteller—on her land in Durham as she discusses her spiritual practice of building small nature altars. This process connects her to the land and her voice as an artist.
Music as Spiritual Practice
Nearly every culture uses music in spiritual practice, perhaps in meditation as the Sufi whirling dervishes do, or perhaps in praise of a Great Creator, as in the case of Gregorian monks. We hope you enjoy this beautiful Indian bhajan raag. “Bhajan” refers to a devotional song that often follows the melodic framework of Indian classical music, known as “raag” or “raga.” While a raga provides the musical motif in which the musicians operate, it is free form, and performances are improvised.—Janette Hoffman, Acting Artistic Director and General Manager, NCMA Amphitheater
The recording below is an audio description of ThePeruzzi Altarpiece. Audio description is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is a means to inform them about visual content essential for comprehension.
Create a gold medallion or family portrait. Download a free digital copy of a book about Giotto as a boy. Find these and other ideas inspired by the Peruzzi Altarpiece at NCMALearn.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, and Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Here is a mixture of articles, historical fiction, blogs, and more reading recommendations around the intersection of art and spirituality.—Natalia Lonchyna, Librarian, and Erin Rutherford, Library Assistant
A Psychology Today blog entry on the “priceless living bridge between mind and spirit.”
A Month in Siena by Hiram Matar. A Libyan author reflects on Sienese paintings to work through difficult times in his life, reflecting, “The painting understands this. It knows that what we wish for most, even more than paradise, is to be recognized; that regardless of how transformed and transfigured we might be by the passage, something of us might sustain and remain perceptible to those we have spent so long loving.”
The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland. Vreeland's novel tells the story of how artist Emily Carr found her artistic, feminist, and spiritual power painting First Nations villages, Pacific Northwest Indian totems, and the forests of British Columbia.
Auguste Rodin, The Cathedral, modeled 1908, Musée Rodin cast 1955, H. 25 1/4 x W. 12 3/4 x D. 13 1/2 in., bronze, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
Rodin glorified nature as it is, finding beauty in ugliness and going against the prevailing artistic trend of perfecting nature’s flaws. That’s what makes his sculptures feel so modern. In presenting the world as he saw it, Rodin created works of art that speak to universal human emotion and connection.
His skill in making the intimate monumental is on full view in The Cathedral, a pair of large, intertwining right hands. Evoking prayer as much as the pointed arches of a Gothic cathedral, Rodin’s sculpture showcases the best of his ability to capture something divine in this gentle human touch, larger than life-size and put on display for generations to enjoy and contemplate.
Video Visit with Curator Michele Frederick
Join Michele Frederick, associate curator of European art, to learn more about what makes Auguste Rodin’s sculptures feel so modern, even 100 years after his death.
Gothic Cathedrals around the World
The beautiful shape of the two hands in Rodin’s sculpture brings to mind the vault of a Gothic cathedral—hence the title. We invite you to explore Gothic cathedrals and architecture around the world.—Felicia K. Ingram, Manager of Interpretation
To begin your tour, check out these panoramic videos:
How can art and science overlap? A 2014 exhibition at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center, Inside Rodin's Hands: Art, Technology, and Surgery, integrated high-tech imaging with the art of Rodin in partnership with the university’s Department of Surgery. Watch the video to learn more about the project’s 3-D modeling of hands sculpted by Rodin.
Rodin’s Lost-Wax Casting Process
Making Rodin’s The Cathedral was a time-consuming, painstaking journey from plaster model, to impression, to wax, to granulated ceramic model, and finally to complete bronze sculpture. See the full process at NCMALearn.
Film Series on Gratitude
Rodin’s The Cathedral reminds us of the power and fragility of human life and inspires us to reflect on what we are grateful for. This week we recommend a series of short films about gratitude.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs Gratitude Revealed. Director: Louie Schwartzberg. Fifteen short films that explore the science, mystery, and meaning of gratitude.
The Museum’s collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures is a constant favorite, and The Cathedral inspires in us feelings of gratitude for the wonder of this work of art. We acknowledge that gratitude can be a mixed emotion, one inspired by sheer joy and one inspired by memories accompanied by regret.
This week we highlight Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays.” We invite you to write a poem expressing gratitude, in whatever form you are experiencing it, and to share it with the tag @ncartmuseum. You can find a fuller discussion of this topic at NCMALearn.—Katherine White, Deputy Director
The recording below is an audio description of The Cathedral. Audio description is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is a means to inform them about visual content essential for comprehension.
Connecting through Music
The Cathedral reminds us of the importance of meditation, reflection, and connection. Exploring gratitude can lead to tenderness of heart, joy, and often healing. We hope this playlist can accompany you through this emotive process.—Janette Hoffman, Acting Artistic Director and General Manager, NCMA Amphitheater
Taking Rodin’s The Cathedral as your inspiration, create a family hand portrait. Ideas for this project and others are on NCMALearn, along with read-aloud ideas on the themes of gratitude and giving.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, and Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Healing Hands of Gratitude and Comfort
The Cathedral portrays human connection and the healing power of reaching out for each other. Despite physical distance, you can still practice finding this connection through a short, kid-friendly “thankful thoughts” meditation with Growga and these simple self-soothing touch techniques.
Yayoi Kusama, LIGHT OF LIFE, 2018, mirrored box and LED lighting system, H. 86 5/8 x W. 84 1/4 x D. 72 7/8 in., North Carolina Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest) and the bequest of Carlyle Adams, with additional funding from James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, and Dr. W. Kent Davis and Dr. Carlos Garcia-Velez
Among Yayoi Kusama’s most celebrated works are her “infinity rooms,” intimate yet expansive kaleidoscopic interiors with seemingly endless reflections that create fantastic illusions of infinite space. LIGHT OF LIFE is one of the artist’s recent works, made in 2018, when the artist was 88. It consists of a mirrored, hexagon-shaped structure with three openings or portholes at different heights that enable the viewer to look inside the “room” and experience a dazzling—and perspective-shifting—show of colored light and pattern. The work invites both a personal, individual experience and a shared, social experience. When you look inside, you see yourself reflected on the walls of the mirrored chamber, and you also see the reflections of anyone else looking through the other portals, as you all become part of the work of art.
LIGHT OF LIFE was the final acquisition made under Dr. Lawrence J. Wheeler, the NCMA’s director from 1994 to 2018. When recently asked why he wanted Kusama’s work at the NCMA, he replied, “It immediately connects to the 21st-century public, everyone is fascinated by it, and it is one of the most accessible works of contemporary art in the NCMA collection, without the need of guidance, interpretation, or explanation.”
Now 91, Kusama has had a long career as an artist and continues to experiment with new media and technology, exploring the possibility of capturing the infinite in her artwork. “Thousands of illuminated colors blinking at the speed of light,” says the artist. “Isn’t this the very illusion of Life in our transient world?”
Video Visit with Curator Jennifer Dasal
Join Jennifer Dasal, curator of modern and contemporary art, to learn about Yayoi Kusama’s LIGHT OF LIFE. Joyful, playful, serene, intense, simple, profound—LIGHT OF LIFE is all these things, and more.
The NCMA Presents Drawing Room
Join Bill Thelen, artist and founder of Lump Gallery, and artist/NCMA staff member Julia Caston for a live drawing event Friday, May 1, from 7 to 9 pm. Sign up to be one of just 100 participants creating, drawing, and hanging out (from a distance!). Joining the hosts are a cast of Triangle artists, some from the NCMA's annual Monster Drawing Rally, to share their work and creative process. Ask questions and chat with artists while creating at home. Register to participate here, or tune into the YouTube video below to watch live or access the recorded session in the future.
Our cocktail collaboration began with seeing photos and videos of Yayoi Kusama’s LIGHT OF LIFE. We wanted to capture the enigmatic hue the light creates while homing in on the idea of looking into infinity. We riffed on the classic Aviation cocktail by adding sake for a bright lychee flavor and as a nod to the artist’s Japanese heritage. See the recipe here.—Neal Benefield, General Manager, and Connor Gunipero, Bar Manager, Hawthorne and Wood, Chapel Hill
Dramatic Readings Inspired by LIGHT OF LIFE
In the spirit of LIGHT OF LIFE, we invite you to connect with those with whom you are sheltering in place to deliver a dramatic interpretation of a Shel Silverstein poem that resonates with Kusama’s “infinity room.” Watch the video example below, then pick a poem to interpret. Share your videos with us on social media, tagging @ncartmuseum.
LIGHT OF LIFE uses light and space to create an immersive experience, joining the Museum collection 2018 after being featured in the NCMA’s special exhibition "You Are Here: Light, Color, and Sound Experiences." That same summer, First Aid Kit brought their Rebel Heart tour to the Museum’s amphitheater stage as part of the summer concert series, accompanied by what Atlas Stageworks, our concert lighting contractors, dubbed one of the best light shows the Museum has hosted.That’s all thanks to First Aid Kit’s lighting director, Franki McDade. Click through this Facebook album to see some of McDade's work and learn more about the thought behind the displays.
Infinity in Film
Enjoy a documentary on Kusama’s life, plus three experimental shorts with visuals that evoke LIGHT OF LIFE.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
Kusama: Infinity (2018). Director: Heather Lenz. An intriguing and entertaining account of Yayoi Kusama’s life and work. Watch on Hulu. Rent on YouTube or Amazon Prime.
Allures (1961). Director: Jordan Belson. Using abstract patterns and sound and light effects, this short film creates what the director calls “a feeling of moving into the void.” Watch on YouTube.
Catalog (1961). Director: John Whitney. This demo reel of Whitney’s work created with an analog computer he built became a classic of 1960s psychedelia. Watch on YouTube.
An Optical Poem (1938). Director: Oskar Fischinger. Geometric shapes and abstract forms spin and dance to the rhythm of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. Watch on YouTube.
This audio recording is spoken by Vincent Lombardi, Audio Describer. Audio Description (AD) is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision.
Get inspired by Kusama’s love of polka dots and create your own art using circular stickers. Find more ideas for family activities—plus a read-aloud video—on NCMALearn.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, and Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Create fun connect-the-dots puzzles— inspired by the “Queen of Polka Dots”—for your friends and family to complete! Use Picture Dots to upload a favorite image and build your own puzzle. Try it out in this connect-the-dots puzzle (with bonus coloring sheet featuring LIGHT OF LIFE) that we created for you! It’s inspired by another iconic work of art by Yayoi Kusama.
Educational Lesson Plan
Students can use their ingenuity and problem-solving skills to create micro worlds inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama. This NCMALearn lesson plan can be an individual or group project.—Jill Taylor, Manager of School and Teacher Programs
Dancing Lightly through Life
Follow along with this playful and all-level short yoga practice inspired by LIGHT OF LIFE. Join Patrice Graham, owner of Raleigh’s Colors of Yoga studio, to kindle your inner light and let your true self shine, just like Kusama. Enjoy more Colors of Yoga virtual classes.
Frederick Carl Frieseke, The Garden Parasol, 1910, oil on canvas, 57 1/8 x 77 in., Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina, 1973, and dedicated in memory of Moussa M. Domit, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art (1974–1980), by the NCMA Board of Trustees
When asked his artistic goals, Frederick Frieseke declared, “it is sunshine, flowers in sunshine; girls in sunshine; the nude in sunshine.” The emphasis upon light marks Frieseke as a disciple of the impressionists. However, in contrast to the impressionists, he focused his attention not on landscape but on the female figure and the private lives of women. The Garden Parasol evokes the serene pleasure of a summer in the French countryside. The setting is the garden of the Friesekes’ house at Giverny, close to the home and gardens of the venerable impressionist painter Claude Monet. The seated woman is the artist’s wife, Sadie, and the garden was her special creation. Frieseke depicts her as a cultivated woman of leisure whose reading is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor—or visitors—for it is our approach that distracts Sadie from her book and prompts her to fix us with a questioning stare. Whatever small drama might arise from so genteel an encounter is fully upstaged by the vibrancy of the garden, and especially by the Japanese parasol that spices the scene with swirling colors.
Art in Bloom Connection
Pim van den Akker, a Dutch master florist, has said that it is easy to create a beautiful flower arrangement: your medium is already beautiful. More challenging is to create floral art, to make your audience feel the beauty, or longing, or other emotion in your work. This was the primary focus of my recent studies to earn my European Master’s Certification.—Terry Godfrey, Art in Bloom floral designer
Take a virtual tour of the Kew Gardens in London. Can you spot any plants that we have in the Museum Park? (Hint: Keep an eye out for water lilies, which can be found in the reflecting pools outside West Building.)
The recording below is an audio description of Garden Parasol. Audio description is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is a means to inform them about visual content essential for comprehension.
Gardens in Film
Gardens can serve as a haven or an escape, can teach us lessons about nature and life, and can provide sustenance and empower a community.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
Curator’s choice from John Coffey, Deputy Director for Research, the Jim and Betty Becher Curator of American and Modern Art, and Curator of Judaic Art: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955). Director: Ingmar Bergman. Rent on YouTube.
Enchanted April (1991). Director: Mike Newell. Four women go on holiday in Italy and discover hope and beauty in their surroundings. Rent on iTunes, Amazon Prime, or YouTube.
This Beautiful Fantastic (2016). Director: Simon Aboud. A contemporary fairytale set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in London. Watch free on YouTube.
Can You Dig This (2015). Director: Delila Vallot. Documentary that profiles urban gardeners in South Los Angeles. Rent on iTunes, Amazon Prime, or YouTube.
Mort Garson’s 1976 album, Mother Earth’s Plantasia, was meant to be played for plants as well as people. Garson, one of the first to compose with Moog synthesizers, is considered a founding father of electronic music. Listen to the album on Spotify.
Sonic artist Mileece translates the natural bioemissions of plants and their interaction with humans into harmonic soundscapes or “organic electronic music.” Learn more about Mileece’s process in the video.—Janette Hoffman, Acting Artistic Director and General Manager for the NCMA Amphitheater
Poetry and Short Story Connections
While The Garden Parasol offers a view of an early 20th-century woman at leisure, the turn of the century brought the emergence of more modern understandings of femininity. Head to NCMALearn to read a lyrical poem (and get ideas for writing your own) and a short story that challenges Victorian ideals.—Katherine White, Deputy Director
Click over to NCMALearn for some family activities, like creating your own sun-printed fabric, and listening to a podcast about Nobel winner Wangari Maathai, who planted trees across Kenya.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, Angie Faulk, Manager of Camps, and Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Color your own The Garden Parasol using our printable PDF. Download it, print it, and then tag us in your creation on social media @ncartmuseum.
Educational Lesson Plan
Invite students to decorate paper lanterns inspired by The Garden Parasol. Students will read and think about summer gardens and participate in a lantern walk through this NCMALearn lesson plan.—Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Looking for a dose of art between scrolling and jumping on a conference call? We created phone wallpapers featuring works of art from the NCMA's collection and views of the Museum Park. Save to your phone and change your wallpaper in your settings. See the wallpapers here.
Mindful Museum: Grounding with 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
The Garden Parasol is a feast for the eyes. This week’s mindfulness exercise activates the other senses, as well, in a strategy you can use at any time you feel overwhelmed.—Michelle Harrell, Director of Education
In the Garden, on the Blog
Is sipping tea in a frilly white dress under a glorious parasol not really your style? If your idea of creative expression is digging up dirt, this Circa post by Rachel Woods, curator of horticulture and sustainability at the NCMA, will have you rethinking ways to improve your backyard retreat.
Getting Started with Urban Gardening
One of the pleasures a garden can provide is the satisfaction of growing your own food. Bring delicious fruits and vegetables from your yard to your table! Whether you have a large yard or just a patio to work with, here are several ways to create a productive garden.—Rachel Woods, Curator of Horticulture and Sustainability, NCMA
El Anatsui, Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, discarded aluminum and copper wire, (irregular) 18 x 25 ft., Gift of Barbara and Sam Wells
Lines That Link Humanity is constructed from recycled liquor bottle caps and newspaper printing plates that were folded, hammered, crushed, and stitched together by a team of artists in El Anatsui’s Nigerian studio. In his choice of materials, Anatsui calls to mind the illicit trade of human bodies for liquor during the transatlantic slave trade. The significance for him lies not in the ingenuity of recycling, but in the power of human touch and the interconnected histories, fates, and circumstances of people and cultures worldwide. Indeed, this unique work is “site responsive,” and each time it is moved or reinstalled, a new layer of history and memory is embedded within the aluminum itself.
In our present moment of isolation and social distancing, it’s perhaps ironic to feature a work that hinges on our global connectivity and that relies on the transformative potential of human touch. At the same time, it allows us a moment to slow down and consider how connected we all still are, and how much we rely on one another.
The Art of Installing Lines That Link Humanity
NCMA Conservator Perry Hurt loves collaborating with El Anatsui every time he rehangs this masterwork. Watch to learn the artist's perspective on the changing nature of his wall sculptures.
Collaborative Community Project
Lines That Link Humanity, viewed up close, contains thousands of small pieces touched by countless human hands. from production, use, disposal, and back to creation anew. From a distance we see how all of those pieces are united to form a larger tapestry of colors to create a quiltlike artwork. In the spirit of celebrating our collective unity, we want to assemble the individual faces of our fellow North Carolinians into a mosaic of our own, as part of our way of holding together in community during this time of separation. Upload your most flattering, silliest, or most dramatic selfies (just make sure they’re appropriate for all audiences), and over the coming weeks we will use them to re-create a favorite from the Museum collection.
Learn about other African artists with Afripedia. Connect with artists from countries throughout Africa, and watch artists like Cyrus Kabiru who, like El Anatsui, creates art from recycled material, as well as Serge Attukwei Clottey, who makes art from plastic.
The recording below is an audio description of Lines That Link Humanity. Audio description is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is a means to inform them about visual content essential for comprehension.
The NCMA Offstage videos feature musicians from our annual summer concert series performing in unique locations around the Museum campus. This episode features Jake Shimabukuro playing “The Greatest Day” in front of Lines That Link Humanity before his 2018 concert with Kishi Bashi.
Poems That Link Humanity
Much like Anatsui bestows new meaning to common materials, poets across space and time offer new meaning to humble objects, emotions, and experiences. While many of these universal concepts underscore the hardships and challenges of the human condition, they also offer a sense of connection and interconnection, reminding us that we are not alone. Head to NCMALearn for the full list of poems and additional poetry activities for all ages.
These films evoke Lines That Link Humanity through interconnected histories and circumstances of people and cultures around the world.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
Waste Land (2010). Director: Lucy Walker. Artist Vik Muniz creates portraits from recycled materials of the catadores—garbage pickers—at the world’s largest landfill in Brazil. Rent on iTunes or Amazon Prime.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019). Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor. For the whole family. Based on the true story of a boy who saves his Malawian village from famine by building a wind turbine with materials found in a scrapyard. Watch on Netflix.
Fold Crumple Crush: The Art of El Anatsui (2011). Director: Susan Vogel. This short documentary gives us a look into the artist’s practice. Buy DVD. Watch on Ovid.
Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation (1988). Director: Godfrey Reggio. This second installment of the Qatsi trilogy reveals how people move to a universal drumbeat through their work and traditions. Rent on iTunes.
Baraka (1992). Director: Ron Fricke. Shot in 25 countries, this film is what the director calls "a guided meditation on humanity.” Rent on iTunes, Amazon Prime, or YouTube.
Click over NCMALearn for some family activities, like the loom-making activity below with North Carolina fiber artist Taylor McGee, and reading suggestions inspired by El Anatsui’s Lines That Link Humanity.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, Angie Faulk, Manager of Camps, and Emily Perreault, Pre-K Programs Educator
Color your own Lines That Link Humanity using our printable PDF. Download it, print it, and then tag us in your creation on social media @ncartmuseum.
The NCMA Teen Arts Council invites you to respond to their challenge. Using whatever medium feels right (drawing, photography, collage, sculpture, painting, etc.), show us:
What does it mean to be connected right now?
Who keeps you connected? Consider the people working to keep us connected daily: health care, sanitation, and restaurant workers, first responders …
Connection vs. connectivity: What does it mean to be “differently” connected to your friends and family?
Get inspired by @ma.ddalena, who drew this during a FaceTime conversation with friends. Then tag us @ncartmuseum so that we can share your work!
Educational Lesson Plan
How long did it take El Anatsui to create Lines That Link Humanity? Find out in the video below; then head to NCMALearn to find a lesson plan on textile weaving related to this work of art.
Mindful Museum: Well Wishes with Growga
In Lines That Link Humanity, El Anatsui reflects on the interconnection of our world and how all our lives are inextricably intertwined. In this loving kindness–inspired meditation practice presented by Growga, you can experience your connection to others, even from far away, and wish all other beings happiness, health, and safety. Suitable for ages 5 and up.—Bryanne Senor, Manager of Park Programs
Claude Monet, The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset, 1882–1883, oil on canvas, 23 13/16 x 32 3/16 in., Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina
Claude Monet’s stunningly atmospheric and brilliantly colored landscapes are among his most popular surviving works. The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset captures the famous, monumental cliffs in the resort town and fishing village of Étretat in northwestern France, just a short distance away from Monet’s hometown of Le Havre.
The natural beauty of the cliffs—called Elephant and Needle because of their distinctive shapes—captivated the artist. During three weeks in Étretat, he wrote almost daily to his future wife, Alice, that he was in awe of the cliffs and that they had seduced him. To paint this love letter to his native province of Normandy, Monet made sketches for weeks, braving the rough terrain and cold February weather to observe the cliffs at different times of day. Monet’s layered brushstrokes of complementary colors convey the impressionist obsession with capturing a specific moment of atmosphere and light.
The French impressionists painted like no other artists that came before them, thanks in large part to a dramatic change in paint materials during their lifetime. More than 20 new paint pigments were invented in the early 19th century, a result of the burgeoning new field of chemistry and the industrial revolution. The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset, with its classic “impressionist” technique, is a wonderful example of the new art, and analysis of the paint Monet used during the formative years of impressionism illustrate the impact of paint materials on the history of art. Learn more in the Zoom lecture below or through this Revolution in Paint overview.—Perry Hurt, Conservator
While we’re at home, here are some ways to travel around the world to Monet’s stomping grounds and even under the sea!—Felicia K. Ingram, Manager of Interpretation
View an online exhibition with Google Arts and Culture featuring the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. This tour highlights Étretat, a town on the north coast of France noted for the striking rock formations of its white cliffs.
Immerse yourself in the ocean with a moon jellyfish live stream from the North Carolina Museum of Science. What ocean animals do you think are in the waters at Étretat?
Circa, the Museum blog
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the NCMA’s West Building. Since West Building opened in 2010, millions of visitors have entered, and Architectural Record recognized it as one of the 125 most significant works of architecture since 1891. Like Monet, architect Thomas Phifer designed it with the progression of daylight in mind. Learn more in Seeing the Light in West Building.
Carolina Ballet performance of Monet
I began by thinking of the Water Lilies and how in my mind I often thought of them as upside-down ballerinas in tutus. After taking a trip to Paris and visiting the Musée Marmottan Monet, I was left with many vivid impressions … The wonderful movement and color of the pair of paintings from 1920, Path under the Rose Arches, draw you into the paintings’ vanishing point, the color and movement being so vivid that I imagined a riotous bacchanal-type dance.—Robert Weiss, Founding Artistic Director, Carolina Ballet
The recording below is an audio description of The Cliff, Etretat, Sunset by Claude Monet. Audio Description is narration for individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is a means to inform them about visual content essential for comprehension. It is helpful for visitors to get an idea of what a piece of art looks like through vivid language.
Like Monet’s paintings, this playlist toys with the concepts of light and time, including songs by The Lumineers, Dr. Dog, Arcade Fire, and more.—Janette Hoffman, Acting Artistic Director and General Manager for the NCMA Amphitheater
These films evoke Monet’s impressionist style, depict serene landscapes, and convey the power of art and imagination to transport us to a different state of mind.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs, and Michele Frederick, Associate Curator of European Art
I, Claude Monet (2017). Director: Phil Grabsky. Immersive art documentary told in Monet’s own words through his letters. Rent on Vimeo or watch free with your library card on Kanopy.
13 Lakes (2004). Director: James Benning. Experimental film with static shots of 13 lakes that appear like serene moving landscape paintings. Watch for free on YouTube.
Linnea in Monet’s Garden (1993). Directors: Christina Bjork, Lena Anderson. For the whole family. Animated short about Monet’s art and life. Watch free on YouTube.
Loving Vincent (2017). Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman. Beautiful experimental film made up of 65,000 oil paintings done in Van Gogh’s style. PG-13. Watch on Hulu or rent on Amazon Prime or YouTube.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013). Director: Isao Takahata. Family-friendly animated film that reminds us of Monet’s Japanese influences. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Buy on Amazon Prime or YouTube.
Monet by Carla Rachman. Rachman tells a lovely story about how she once stood in the street with four postcards: a Monet, a Turner, a Van Gogh, and a Leonardo da Vinci. “When I asked the people passing which one they’d like to own, they opted almost universally for the Monet—an image of the Japanese bridge.”
Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell is historical fiction about the love story between Claude Monet and Camille Doncieux.
What Painting Is by James Elkins. Elkins takes readers on an in-depth exploration of the alchemy of the painting process, including a thorough treatment of Monet.
Monet Paints a Day by Julie Danneberg. This book transports you to Étretat, in France, where Monet spends his days studying how light changes his environment.
The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw. This whimsical book follows a fox as he journeys to find the golden glow. See if he can capture light in the same way as Monet!
Brush with Greatness: Monet by Tamra B. Orr. While sweeping the platforms of a busy train station in Paris, Gabriel, the young narrator, shares his experience meeting Claude Monet.
Discover the magic and beauty in your world with art activities, books, and more inspired by Claude Monet’s The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset. Click over to NCMALearn to see the full list.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs, and Emily Perreault, PreK Programs Educator
Like Monet, many poets explore the concept of time through the passing of the day and the seasons. Often these progressions become a metaphor for the progression of life and life’s experiences. To complement The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset, we selected four poems that highlight these uses of imagery and metaphor. Head to NCMALearn for the full list of poetries and additional poetry activities for all ages. —Katherine White, Deputy Director
Color your own The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset using our printable PDF. Download it, print it, and then tag us in your creation on social media @ncartmuseum.
Educational Lesson Plan
Invite students to imagine that they can physically step into Monet’s The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset and use their senses to explore the landscape within the painting through this NCMALearn lesson plan.
Transport yourself and state of mind through engaging with this work of art, your senses, and nature. Follow along with a guided mindful observation, or learn about the practice of the “Sit Spot.” They’re great ways to connect with nature while staying close to home and taking a break from screens, and are appropriate for all ages.—Bryanne Senor, Manager of Park Programs
Mickalene Thomas, Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires, 2011, rhinestones, acrylic paint, and oil enamel on wood panel, 108 x 144 in., Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest)
Visitors sometimes ask if that’s Oprah at the center of Mickalene Thomas’s incredible Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires. It’s not, but it wouldn’t be out of line or thematically off. Thomas is inspired by iconic African American women who forged a path where none existed. In her multimedia installations, she pays direct homage to Donna Summer, Moms Mabley, Wanda Sykes, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, and Missy Elliott, among others, invoking “a call and response to a particular memory.”
Just like the media mogul herself, Thomas’s three women—modeled after the traditional art-historical representation of the Three Graces from ancient Greco-Roman art—are empowered, emotive, and fearless.
Everything about this work screams self-confidence: the women’s poses, their ultra-glam outfits, and even the bright colors and patterns that surround them. It’s one of the most positive and accepting views of womanhood in the NCMA collection, one that celebrates feminine strength, beauty, and power in all its variations.
It’s telling, too, that Mickalene Thomas has updated the Three Graces with a scene of three modern African American women ready for a night on the town. The Graces—mythological personifications of charm, beauty, and creativity—have typically been envisioned as white women (see Botticelli’s famous Primavera at the Uffizi Galleries, Florence). This retelling of the story modernizes mythology by attracting a broader audience and inviting diverse voices to respond.
Local Artist Connection
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, the NCMA programmed a weekend of interactive experiences led by women in the arts from across North Carolina. Durham-based artist, playwright, and performer Monet Noelle Marshall led a tour of work that spoke to her and offered inspiration, reflecting aspects of her work as a woman of color creating art today. Our conversation, filmed a year later, explores representation, art as time travel, technology, and the idea that “creativity is our emotional immunity” in times of crisis.
The Graces are presented in art throughout the ages as three women representing conventional values of charm, beauty, and creativity. You can see the Graces in La Primavera (Spring) (1477–82) by Sandro Botticelli. You can learn more about this great painting with Google Arts and Culture. Click “View in Street View” to explore the painting in the Ufizzi Gallery. Download the Google Arts and Culture App to take a full 360 tour of the Uffizzi.
Zoom Meeting Background
Looking for the perfect background for your Zoom meetings? Immerse yourself in works of art from the Museum Park or right alongside the Three Graces, like Jennifer Dasal, curator of modern and contemporary art, by downloading one of these images. When in Zoom, hit the arrow in the bottom left corner of your window and select "choose a virtual background." Pick your freshly downloaded choice, and voilà!
This Spotify playlist includes songs by Lizzo, Queen Latifah, and Chaka Khan, who performed at the Museum last summer.
These films evoke the aesthetics and concepts of representation, beauty, and power depicted in Three Graces.
Hair Love (2019). Director: Matthew A. Cherry. For the whole family. Won the 2020 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Watch free on YouTube.
Jewel’s Catch One (2016). Director: C. Fitz. Recommended by guest contributor Monet Marshall. Watch on Netflix.
Foxy Brown (1974). Director: Jack Hill. Blaxploitation film starring North Carolina–born Pam Grier. Rent on Itunes or Amazon Prime.
Hidden Figures (2016). Three black women in the starring roles demonstrate intellect, resilience, and confidence. Director: Theodore Melfi. Rent on Itunes, Amazon Prime, or YouTube.
Paris Is Burning (1990). Director: Jennie Livingston. Documentary about New York City ball culture and minority, gay, and transgender communities. Watch on Netflix.
Color your own Three Graces using our printable PDF. Download it, print it, and then tag us in your creation on social media @ncartmuseum.
Thomas’s art is vibrant, powerful, and fun to look at together! Find art-making ideas, book recommendations, and an audio play with a twist on NCMALearn.
The Three Graces represent values such as charm, beauty, and creativity, and by depicting them as modern African American women, Thomas shows the Three Graces do not have a single story. Here are poems that celebrate women and their creative, beautiful, and multifaceted nature. Find the full list of poetries and poerty actirivies on NCMALearn.
Discover or deepen your understanding of the personal power that resides within you. Below are guided reflections from Bryanne Senor, Manager of Park Programs, and associated somatic practices shared from Angela Griffin, a teacher at Raleigh’s Colors of Yoga studio; then enjoy more of Colors of Yoga’s virtual classes.
We have all been there, to a point of lacking confidence or feeling unworthy, maybe even feeling completely powerless. If it is not too uncomfortable, just for a few moments, invoke this feeling in your body. Your shoulders might round and your back slump. Your head might hang low and your feet might feel like they are not on solid ground. Maybe you have a pit in your stomach or vulnerability in your heart.
Now, let’s start to shift these feelings by shifting the body. If you can, stand up, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and find a stable stance in the legs. You can also find a similar steady and strong seated position. Take some deep and purposeful breaths as you roll your shoulders down your back, opening the front of your body, and eventually lift through your chest. Hold your head high. Reach through the top of your head and make your spine as long as it has ever been. Keep breathing deeply and begin to move your arms in a way that feels expansive and reminds you of your strength. Feel your inner power. Feel into your inherent reserves of worthiness, self-acceptance, and owning your story. This all resides within you. Cultivate confidence without external influences.
Land in your final “power pose” here and savour it. You can find your own shape, mirror the figures in Three Graces, or follow along with Colors of Yoga below.
Thomas Sayre, Gyre, 1999, three ellipses of concrete, colored with iron oxide, reinforced with steel, and mottled with dirt residue from earth casting,overall length 150 ft. Gift of Artsplosure, City of Raleigh, and various donors
Gyre: How do you say it?
Soft g. Think gyration. Gyre, as a verb, means to spin, revolve, or whirl. As a noun, it means a circular or spiral form: a ring or vortex.
The rings of the NCMA’s Gyre have inspired lovers for decades. Some romantics have even popped the question in front of North Carolina artist Thomas Sayre’s popular outdoor sculpture. As the adventure of marriage can be a whirlwind, we like this connection. What do you think of when you see the earth-cast rings of Gyre?
In this first edition of NCMA Recommends, our new weekly series inspired by the visitor favorites you submit, we offer some new ways to connect with this iconic NCMA work of art.
Local artist connection
Gyre is an example of Sayre's earth castings, which are 3-D pieces created by sculpting directly into the earth. Watch the video to learn more about the artist, who lives in Raleigh, and his process.—Linda Johnson Dougherty, Chief Curator and Curator of on Contemporary Art
Before Chapel Hill-based folk duo Mandolin Orange's two sold-out Museum concerts in 2019, they recorded this four-part video session under Gyre. Their sweet, modern, and earthy blend of American roots music brings the Park's sunshine right into your living room!—Janette Hoffman, Acting Artistic Director and General Manager for the NCMA Amphitheater
These two documentary films about land art introduce you to the movement, its pioneers, and its iconic works.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy (2017). Director: Thomas Riedelsheimer. Watch on Hulu.
Color your own Gyre using our printable PDF. Download it, print it, and then tag us in your create on social media @ncartmuseum.
The three rings that make up Gyre were created with help from the earth. Click over to NCMALearn for hands-on activities using rocks, sticks, and more, plus some storytime book recommendations.—Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs
Gyre was inspired by a poem by W. B. Yeats, who often explored the relationship between the spiral and the history of mankind. As more and more of us enjoy nature from the comfort of our homes, we selected four poems that remind us of nature’s beauty, offerings, and reliability. Ready to write your own? Head to NCMA Learn for a Gyre-Inspired Poetry Connections activity.—Katherine White, Deputy Director
We're launching a new weekly feature called NCMA Recommends. Each Friday, our staff will take a visitor-favorite work of art and share art-making, film, music, and educational recommendations that it inspires. You’ll enjoy artist interviews, virtual curator tours, mindfulness activities, and more, for all ages. Make sure you're signed up to our email list to get it in your inbox each Friday, check back to this page for the latest, or follow along on social media.
You put the people in Art + Nature + People. While the galleries are closed, we're hosting a virtual Q&A to compile your favorite works of art from the Museum collection. Your feedback will inform NCMA Recommends, a new weekly Museum From Home series that reveals connections between our collection and other arts, themes, and ideas, as well as a future exhibition featuring your picks! Fill out the short form or head to the Favorites highlight on our Instagram to share via social media, and we'll welcome you back with an exhibition you helped curate!
Located in Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Art opened in 1956 as the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by state legislation and funding. The NCMA stewards, studies, and exhibits the people’s collection and offers welcoming and diverse opportunities to connect with the arts, nature, and people. Our collection spans 5,000 years of art and our campus, including the Museum Park, sits on 164 acres. See for yourself in the video below.
In accordance with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 117, and to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, the NCMA is closed beginning March 17 until further notice. While the Museum Park remains open for walking, running, and biking, visitors should practice extreme caution and take strict social distancing measures. We ask Park visitors to respect the art and follow Park policies.
All Museum events, programs, and tours have been canceled or postponed through June 2020. Ticket holders can email email@example.com with questions.
Zoom Meeting Backgrounds
Looking for the perfect background for your Zoom meetings? Immerse yourself in works of art by downloading one of these images. When in Zoom, hit the arrow in the bottom left corner of your window and select "choose a virtual background." Pick your freshly downloaded choice, and voilà!
The lioness-headed Sekhmet, like many Egyptian deities, had a dual nature: She could not only bring pestilence but also ward off epidemics and illness. Sekhmet was the protector of the king and a healing deity, the “mistress of life” who could heal those who suffered.