The Mona Bismarck American Center is pleased to welcome back the Look & Learn program for a new season of exciting gallery-based English language workshops. These free interactive education programs for students of all ages are based around American art exhibitions and performances showing throughout Paris and are led by trained art educators. Look & Learn programs aim to broaden French students’ appreciation of American art and culture while creating a friendly environment where students feel comfortable expressing themselves in English.
The feedback on these tours has been extremely enthusiastic:
“(…) I am convinced that having a “native speaker” run the tours is an incredible added value. A linguistic exchange is immediately created encouraging the students to express themselves in English on issues that are relevant to an American context. This is the second year that I work with Danielle Berger Fortin and Madeline Diaz and the quality and nature of their approach revolutionizes our way of teaching.(…)”
Sonia El Khalfi-Abusalha, Professeur d’Anglais, Collège Jean Jaurès, Montreuil, décembre, 2015
Contact programmes[@]monabismarck.org for more information or to schedule a program for your school group.
Past tours and workshops
Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
October 2, 2015 – February 7, 2016
On the occasion of the first European showing of Shadows (1978-79) in all its totality, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is having an exceptional exhibit dedicated to Andy Warhol (1928-1987). With over 200 works, the exhibition emphasizes the serial dimension of Warhol’s work, an essential aspect of his process, and his ability to rethink the principles of art exhibition.
Photo: Bill Jacobson
Jeu de Paume
October 20, 2015 – February 24, 2016
The photographer Philippe Halsman (Riga, Lettonia, 1906 – New York, 1979) led a 40-year-long exemplary career, from his beginnings in Paris in the 1930s to the immense success of his New York studio between 1940 and 1970. This exhibition brings to light the ensemble of his work through almost 300 pieces which provide unique insight into the work and process of an exceptional and atypical photographer.
Photo: Marilyn Monroe, 1959 – Musée de l’Elysée. © 2015 P. Halsman Archive / Magnum Photos
October 7, 2015 – February 24, 2016
The exhibition revisits the fecund confrontation with Picasso’s work that contemporary artists engaged in after the 1960s. At times chronological and thematic, the exhibition retraces different moments of the critical and artistic reception of Picasso’s work, the stages of the creation of the myth associated with his name. The contemporary works of American artists such as Johns, Lichtenstein, Kippenberger, Warhol, Basquiat and Jeff Koons respond to Picasso’s main stylistic phases and certain emblematic works, such as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Guernica.
The Grand Palais and the Mona Bismarck American Center continue their collaboration within the framework of the Picasso Mania exhibition. English language guided tours of the exhibition may be reserved online on the ticketing system.
Singin’ in the Rain
Théâtre du Chatelet
November 27, 2015 – January 15, 2016
The sequence in which Gene Kelly dances in the rain embodies the golden age of Hollywood’s musical comedies. The song and its immediately memorizable melody has been covered and cited innumerable times. Nacio Herbert Brown and Arthur Freed’s composition has toured the world since its creation in 1929. In 1952, Freed, who had become an important Hollywood producer, put his songs end to end to write the film (in the same manner of An American in Paris a year earlier). The artistic team is led by the director Robert Carsen who put on Bernstein’s Candide at the Théâtre Châtelet (2006) and Lerner and Lowe’s My Fair Lady (2010).
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
May 28 – October 11, 2015
Following a remarkable donation of 45 works by the artist’s estate in 2012–2013, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is devoting an exhibition to a 20th-century legend: Henry Darger (1892-1973). Complemented by loans from international institutions, the exhibition recreates the imaginary world of an artist now recognized as one of the major representatives of Outsider Art. Self-taught and long a marginal figure on the art scene, Darger created a unique personal realm, a strangely singular mix of historical narrative and American popular culture.
American Icons: Masterworks from the SFMOMA and the Fisher Collection
April 8 – June 22, 2015
Look & Learn tours each Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.
This exhibition presents 60 emblematic works from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Fisher collection, one of the world’s largest private modern and contemporary art collections, now curated by the museum.
During a temporary closure for extensions, the SFMOMA has sent its fantastic collection of contemporary and modern artworks on tour. In France, the south-west gallery of the Grand Palais will host the greatest 20th-century American artists: Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Richard Diebenkorn, Chuck Close and many more.
Fashion Mix: Mode d’ici, créateurs d’ailleurs
Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration
December 9, 2014 – May 31, 2015
Fridays at 10 a.m.
From personal narratives to the history of fashion, Fashion Mix tells the immigration story – a story of foreign-born artisans and designers who helped make Paris the international capital of fashion that we know today. Fashion Mix is an exhibition in honor of the French fashion know-how that American, Russian, Armenian, Italian, Spanish and Japanese designers spread worldwide. From Marc Jacobs and Rick Owens, to Azzedine Alaïa and Issey Miyake, or even Cristóbal Balenciaga, foreign designers and artistic directors have revolutionized French fashion and enriched its history. The Look & Learn visits will concentrate on American designers and their historical and cultural context.
Musée du Jeu de Paume
February 24 – May 17, 2015
Look & Learn tours each Friday at 11:00 a.m.
The work of Taryn Simon results from rigorous research and investigation into the power and structure of secrecy and the precarious nature of survival. Combining photography, text, and graphic design, her conceptual projects address the production and circulation of knowledge and the politics of representation.
On view at the exhibition are experts from major projects, including “The Innocents” (2002), “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar” (2007), “Contraband” (2010), “A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII” (2011) and “The Picture Collection” (2013). These works address issues such as the gap between individual and group, perceptions of danger, bloodlines, and humanity’s perpetual desire to archive and organize visual information. It is the first monographic exhibition of the artist’s work in France.
Grayhawk Perkins & the Mezcal Jazz Unit
Mona Bismarck American Center
January 19, 2015
With the support of the Embassy of the United States in Paris, Grammy-nominated, New Orleans-born Native American Grayhawk Perkins, accompanied by the Mezcal Jazz Unit, will perform “13 Moons,” a unique blend of blues, jazz, folk and rock intertwined with tribal rhythms and themes. The compositions by Perkins, lead vocalist and lyricist, are based on traditional songs and refer to the 13 moons of the Native American calendar. Mixed with harmonies and rhythms from the world of jazz and rock, the result is an upbeat sound that appeals to a wide range of audiences.
Sessions will each be an hour long. Grayhawk Perkins will be story telling about the “13 moons” and discussing Native American culture. The visit will end with a short musical performance.
Musée du Jeu de Paume
October 14 – February 8, 2015
Students discovered American life in the United States during the 1960s through the black and white photographs of Garry Winogrand. Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., this exhibition gathered some of Winogrand’s most emblematic images as well as previously unreleased photographs found in his archives after his death in 1984.
“Central Park Zoo, New York” – 1967 © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Paris libéré, Paris photographié, Paris exposé
June 6 – February 8, 2015
In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Liberation, Musée Carnavalet featured images of wartime Paris with exclusive, diverse testimonies of the momentous occasion. Students had the opportunity to explore and discuss the impact of the Liberation from the French and American perspectives.
An American in Paris
Clarence Tokley (based in Paris), led the workshop in English for the students
Théâtre du Châtelet
November 22 – January 4, 2015
Students who attended a performance of “An American in Paris” at Théâtre du Châtelet continued their American musical experience with a workshop at the Mona Bismarck American Center, led by Clarence Tokley.
Through the use of various theatre and improvisation activities students explored the culture and relationships between the French and Americans in Paris at that time. Students had the used English and theatre as interactive tools to recreate and discuss moments and places that inspired the musical and film.
Clarence Tokley is an American teacher, filmmaker, writer and corporate coach based in Paris.
Superheroes: The Art of Alex Ross
Mona Bismarck American Center
March 5 – June 15, 2014
After a Look & Learn tour of the exhibition, students designed their own superheroes and described in English, its superpowers as well as its arch nemesis. The students’ works were exhibited in a gallery at the Mona Bismarck American Center for the duration of the Superheroes exhibition.
Yousuf Karsh : Icons of the 20th Century
Mona Bismarck American Center
October 16 – January 26, 2014
Students learned about the American and French icons of the last century who were captured in the images of Yousuf Karsh; many who were unfamiliar to today’s generation.
After a Look & Learn tour, students selected a photograph from the exhibit and stylized a portrait where they “became” the icon for one brief click of the shutter. Students subsequently researched their icon and wrote an essay in English, about how their chosen icon had an impact on the world. The photos and essays were exhibited at the Mona Bismarck American Center throughout the Karsh exhibition.