Friday, July 5, 2019

Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, Indiana: Digital Rembrandt

This is the first response received to the invitation to participate in the Global Tribute to Rembrandt.

Each participating museum will have a designated blog post that will be updated as photos of museum facade and museum food are linked by cyberangels flying between them ready to ascend from the Land of Israel on a digital flight back to the museum. 

Those museums that have a"Digitized Homage to Rembrandt" serigraph, lithograph, or etching by Mel Alexenberg in their collections can make them come to life after lying dormant in storage for decades by juxtaposing it with composite images created in today’s language of smartphones and social media.

These artworks created in the 1980's were acknowledged as pioneering exemplars of computer-generated printmaking. In 1987, Gary Kulik, Chairman of the Department of Social & Cultural History at the Smithsonian wrote: "It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge, on behalf of the National Museum of American History, the receipt of 'Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels.'  This Lithograph from a computer-generated image is a most valuable addition to our collection."  

Perhaps there is spiritual significance that museums that offer art also offer food.  

Below is correspondence from Brian D. Byrn, Director of Midwest Museum of American Art, in 2019 and 1986.

July 3, 2019. It is good to know you are actively working and reaching new heights of technological acclaim. I remember when you donated the work in 1986. It was a groundbreaking moment since it was the first computer-generated image acquired by MMAA. I have been Curator for 38 years and was recently appointed Director in 2017.

Your artwork is listed in our permanent collection as:
 ALEXENBERG, Mel, (b. 1937- ),“Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels”, 1986, computer generated lithograph, (86.36.00), Gift of Pratt Graphics Center, Brooklyn, NY

I will take time and study all the materials you have sent more closely. In the meantime I have attached some images of MMAA. We do not have a cafeteria on site but we do sponsor some amazing catered receptions for members. You can see more of our activities at our website: www.MidwestMuseum.US. You can also see us on Instagram and Facebook.

It was really good to hear from you. Brian D. Byrn, Director of MMAA

December 12, 1986. Thank you for your interest in our collection. Your lithograph will be a welcome addition to our growing contemporary print collection.  I look forward to further information on the “High Tech/High Touch” exhibition in the future. Enclosed please find a gift agreement for the donation of "Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels." By our records, we received the gift as of November 13,1986.

Sincerely, Brian D. Byrn, Curator of Exhibitions/Education

"Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels" serigraph by Mel Alexenberg, 1986

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