HUGHIE LEE-SMITH AND THE POLITICS OF INTROSPECTION
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
The most highly acclaimed African American artist to have come out of Cleveland will be the subject of a free, illustrated Lunchtime (12 noon) talk at the Cleveland Museum of Art by David C. Hart, associate professor of Art History at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999) began his career at Karamu studying print-making under Langston Hughes, who with painter Charles Sallée’s help, found a scholarship to CIA for the budding artist. Lee-Smith (he hyphenated his last name in school to stand out from the sea of Smiths) has been called “one of the most gifted figural painters of his generation.” His “enigmatic, eerily quiet” paintings, in which the figures, often depicted with their backs to the viewer, are set against “desolate backdrops with foreboding skies,” had sprung, he came to realize, from the feelings of isolation and aloneness he experienced as an African American male. On another level, his work speaks powerfully to the inability of many present-day Americans to reach out to, and connect meaningfully with, their fellow human beings, especially of other races. Hughie Lee-Smith, it has been said, “found art lurking in loneliness.”
Admission is free, registration is encouraged here.
Schelomo, Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra
Friday-Saturday, October 7-8, 2022
Nikolai Szeps-Znaider leads the Cleveland Orchestra in a performance of Past Master Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra, with Mark Kosower as soloist. Also on the program: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) and Lamentation of the Disasters of War by Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand (b.1970), whose music has been called “strong and startlingly lovely” (Boston Globe). The final work in Bloch’s Jewish Cycle (1911-1916), Schelomo (the Jewish name for Solomon) retells, in wordless music, the life of that compelling figure, using things like the call of the shofar and rhythmic patterns taken from the psalms to convey the feel and character of his world. The cello becomes the voice of King Solomon, expressing contrasting emotions—from his sensuousness and passion and his hopes for humankind to his despair over the suffering and misery of the world.
Considered the composer’s greatest work, Schelomo was his attempt, said Bloch, to capture “the complex, ardent, agitated soul that vibrates for me in the Bible.”
Mandel Concert Hall at Severance Music Center.
Feb – June 2022
Charles Louis Sallee’s “Bedtime” Enters into a Conversation
February 20 – June 26, 2022
One of Cleveland Past Master Sallee’s most beloved paintings, Bedtime, is featured in Currents and Constellations: Black Art in Focus, a new show at the Cleveland Museum of Art that creates a visual “conversation” between art from the museum’s permanent collection and newer work by emerging and mid-career Black artists. In the focus gallery, five thematic groupings offer a window into a complex idea. Then, to generate new conversations, works will be temporarily relocated to four “satellite” areas of the permanent collection including American Painting and Sculpture, Abstract Expressionism, German Expressionism, and Contemporary Art.
Slavic Village Then and Now
Friday, April 8 & Sunday, April 10, 2022
The city’s highly regarded chamber orchestras, CityMusic Cleveland, presents a free concert, on 7 p.m. Friday, at Lakewood Congregational Church that will be repeated on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village that will feature the glorious Duet for Violin and Viola of Charles Vaclav Rychlik (1875–1962) and the Duo for Violin and Viola (Op. 7) by his fellow Czech Zoltan Kodály—along with the world premieres of new works by two contemporary women, Jasmine Barnes and Jessica Meyer, commissioned by CityMusic.
WEEKEND AT CASE CELEBRATES REDISCOVERED AUTHOR
Thursday, April 7, 2022
The three-day celebration and reconsideration of the works of Cleveland novelist and short story writer Constance Fenimore Woolson begins with a guided tour of the restored Hay-McKinney Mansion, one of the city’s legendary residences, now part of the Cleveland History Center. The 20,000 square foot, Italian Renaissance Revival home, located in what was once the fashionable Wade Allotment, a neighborhood of millionaires, built in 1911 by Clara Hay, daughter of railroad magnate Amasa Stone and wife of diplomat John Hay, personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln, then Secretary of State under presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. And the Constance Woolson connection? Clara’s sister, famed Cleveland figure Flora
Stone Mather, was the wife of Woolson’s sole nephew, Samuel Livingston Mather. And the Constance Fenimore Woolson Society is holding its national conference this weekend at nearby Glidden House and Case Western Reserve University, whose women’s division was long known (having been largely her creation) as Flora Stone Mather College for Women.
March 10, 2022
Chesnutt, Hughes and Himes:
Revisiting Three Black Cleveland Writers
Sunday, March 10, 2022
Teachers, students and the interested public are invited to join educators from Cleveland State University and Oberlin College for a webinar focusing on three renowned authors with deep ties to Cleveland. A roundtable discussion explores how their time in Cleveland shaped their writing and the impact of their works on our community,” says Frederick J. (“Jeff”) Karem, CSU Professor of English and Black Studies. Julie Burrell and Adrienne Gosselin, CSU associate professors in English and Black Studies, will talk, respectively, about Hughes’ relationship with Karamu and about Chesnutt; Oberlin Associate Professor Gillian Johns, who teaches courses in, among other things, African American detective fiction and modern African American literary humor and irony, will talk about Chester Himes. Karem leads the discussion and fields questions from Zoom participants. This event is free, but registration is required.
Feb. 28, 2022
Was Martha Wolfenstein the Next Great Jewish American Writer? Judge for Yourself.
February 28, 2022
Before her death at 36 in 1906, Wolfenstein’s touching, funny, insightful tales of life on the Judengasse of the 19th century Moravian village her father grew up in won national acclaim. The award-winning actress Dorothy Silver was in fact enthusiastically preparing, shortly before her death this past summer, to record three of Wolfenstein’s most delightful stories. (She was telling friends she’d discovered “the female Sholem Aleichem.”) Now, as a tribute to Dorothy, these three stories, read by Rabbi Rosie Haim and cantors Sarah Sager and Katherine Sebo under the direction of Interplay Jewish Theatre founder Faye Sholiton, have been recorded and produced by Radio on the Lake Theatre. And starting today, Dorothy’s birthday, they can be listened to and enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, alone or in a group, free of charge, at https://www.radioonthelaketheatre.org/ and www.interplaycleveland.com. Digital copies of these recordings are being donated to the Cleveland Public Library, where they will become a permanent part of the Special Collection—and able to be digitally checked out by patrons. At the urging of a committee of scholars who deemed them “culturally important and part of the knowledge base of civilization,” A Renegade, and Other Tales and Wolfenstein’s novel Idyls of the Gass are both back in print and can be ordered from your favorite bookstore.
Cleveland silent film festival and Colloquium
Sunday, February 13, 3 p.m.
From Hermit Club to Hollywood: Music by J.S. Zamecnik and Dvořák:
Join us for the kickoff event of the first-ever Cleveland Silent Film Festival! Isabel Trautwein leads members of the Cleveland Orchestra in a concert celebrating the music of J.S. Zamecnik, film music pioneer, Cleveland native, and protégé of renowned Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. The program includes Zamecnik chamber works written during studies with Dvořák in Prague, a masterwork from Dvořák’s American period, and colorful highlights from Zamecnik’s photoplay music that you’ll be able to hear accompanying scenes in Sunrise the following Sunday at the Cinematheque. The concert will take place at the Hermit Club theater in Playhouse Square, the organization with which Zamecnik began his theater music career as the music director of The Hermit Club Orchestra. Rodney Sauer, music director of The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, will sit in on piano for Zamecnik’s Trio for Violin, Piano and Cello.
Tickets $40; students & seniors $15. Consider supporting the festival with a $100 Supporter/Festival All-Access Pass, which covers admission for one to this concert and three films being shown February 18-20 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque that feature Zamecnik’s music (two accompanied live by the renowned Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, a five-piece ensemble nationally known for its definitive interpretations of historic film scores.
Proof of vaccinations/booster will be checked at door; mask must be worn at all times.
Tuesday, February 15, 7:30 p.m.
A program of short silent films accompanied live by Oberlin Conservatory of Music students with classic photoplay music researched and arranged under the tutelage of Rodney Sauer, director of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, at Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space (“The Coolest Performance Space in Oberlin”), 10. E. College Street.
Admission free. Vaccination and booster encouraged; six-foot social distancing and mask required indoors.
Wednesday, February 16, 8 p.m.
Buster Keaton’s 1928 silent classic STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (dir. Charles Reisner and Buster Keaton) is screened at Oberlin’s beautifully restored Apollo Theater (1913), to live accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Cast includes Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Tom McGuire, and Marion Byron. William “Steamboat Bill” Canfield (Torrence) eagerly awaits the son he hasn’t seen in years. He expects a husky, scrappy fellow like himself who will help him take on the competition from a luxurious new riverboat. Then “Jr.” (Keaton) arrives sporting a pencil-thin mustache and a beret and strumming a ukulele. Oh yeah, and there’s a cyclone. The film, known for Keaton’s most famous movie stunt, was selected in 2016 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. 71 min.
Admission Free. For Covid policy see https://www.apollotheater.org/covid-19/
Friday, February 18, 2022, 4 p.m.
Silent Film Scoring for Working Musicians: You’re invited to a colloquium at Case Western Reserve University’s Harkness Chapel inspired by the extraordinary career and music of J. S. Zamecnik, who penned many famed mood “cues” like “Mysterious Burglar Music” and the moving “Entreaty” and scored some forty films. Rodney Sauer, director of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, America’s premiere live accompanists of silent movies, will talk about the art of putting music to classic films from the Silent Era; followed by a Q and A led by Professor Daniel Goldmark, director of CWRU’s Center for Popular Music Studies, who authored the article on Zamecnik for the online Grove Dictionary of Music.
Admission free. Only fully vaccinated persons will be admitted; masks required indoors.
Friday, February 18, 7:00 pm
The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque screens WINGS (1927), a super-production about WWI fighter pilots starring Buddy Rogers, Richard Arlen, “It Girl” Clara Bow and a young Gary Cooper. The first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Wings focuses on two American flyboys who love the same woman, each other, and airplanes (not necessarily in that order). The thrilling aerial sequences and battle scenes are authentic as well as spectacular; director William A. Wellman spent the First World War as a member of the Lafayette Flying Corps, a group of American pilots who flew for the French. Wings was fully restored for Paramount Pictures’ 100th anniversary a decade ago. This restoration preserves not only the original 1927 color tinting but also J.S. Zamecnik’s original score, which was re-orchestrated and recorded. “[Justifies] almost every adjectival extravagance.” –Time Out Film Guide. DCP. 129 min.
Special admission $12; members, students, and those age 25 & under $9. No passes or twofers. For more information, go to cia.edu/cinematheque. Filmgoers can park for free in Lot 73 and in the Institute’s annex lot and should enter CIA via nearby Entrance C. All visitors to the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque are required to show proof of Covid vaccination and a photo ID upon entering CIA. Temperature taken with a touchless device; masks required for duration of visit.
Saturday, February 19
Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra founding director Rodney Sauer leads a workshop at the Cleveland Institute of Music on the art of silent film accompaniment (a growing employment opportunity for professional musicians) for interested CIM students.
Saturday, February 19, 7:30 pm
The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque presents THE WEDDING MARCH (1928). The celebrated Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, based in Colorado and led by silent-film music expert and pianist Rodney Sauer, will present a live performance of J.S. Zamecnik’s score for Erich von Stroheim’s lavish silent melodrama! Fay Wray, ZaSu Pitts, and von Stroheim himself star in the movie, which is set in pre-WWI Vienna. It tells of a spendthrift Prince who loves a beautiful peasant girl but prepares to marry the homely, club-footed daughter of a millionaire whose money he needs to sustain his extravagant lifestyle. Originally shot as a two-part epic but drastically cut by the studio (like the director’s previous Greed), The Wedding March survives only in a version derived exclusively from the work’s first part. (The second part, The Honeymoon, is lost.) “A mutilated masterpiece.” –Time Out Film Guide. “An astonishing portrait of decadent Imperial Austria that’s one of the greatest of all silent films.” –TV Guide. Restored DCP. 113 min. plus intermission.
Special admission $15; members, students, and those age 25 & under $12. For more information, go tocia.edu/cinematheque. No passes or twofers. Filmgoers can park for free in Lot 73 and in the Institute’s annex lot and should enter CIA via nearby Entrance C. All visitors to the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque are required to show proof of Covid vaccination and a photo ID upon entering CIA. Temperature taken with a touchless device; masks required for duration of visit.
Sunday, February 20, 3:30 p.m.
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra returns to The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque to accompany the 1927 masterpiece SUNRISE, a movie frequently cited as the pinnacle of silent screen art. The esteemed ensemble, conducted by Rodney Sauer, will perform its own score to this late silent work that is almost always heard with a recorded Hugo Riesenfeld soundtrack. Mont Alto’s score (one of the band’s favorites) is heavy on pieces by Zamecnik, which enhance most of the film’s most important themes: “Entreaty,” “The Awakening,” “The Sacrifice,” “Le Chant des Boulevards,” “Storm Music,” and “Dramatic Tension.” Sunrise (a.k.a. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans) is a moving fable in which a country bumpkin (George O’Brien), seduced by a vamp from the city, tries to murder his innocent, loving, and faithful wife (Janet Gaynor). But he relents, repents, and instead spends a romantic day with her in a glitzy, jazzy, modern metropolis. This lyrical masterpiece by the great German director F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) was voted the fifth best movie ever made by over 800 international critics and film professionals polled by Britain’s Sight & Sound magazine in 2012. It is not to be missed! “A breathtaking display of cinematic virtuosity…One of the masterworks of the art form.” –The New Yorker. DCP. 97 min. plus intermission.
Special admission $15; members, students, and those age 25 & under $12. No passes or twofers. For more information, go to cia.edu/cinematheque. Filmgoers can park for free in Lot 73 and in the Institute’s annex lot and should enter CIA via nearby Entrance C. All visitors to the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque are required to show proof of Covid vaccination and a photo ID upon entering CIA. Temperature taken with a touchless device; masks required for duration of visit.
Support for the 2022 Cleveland Silent Film Festival is provided by Lorain County Community Foundation, Cleveland Institute of Music, Local 4 Music Fund, and The Baker Nord Center for the Humanities and the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University.
For further information or interviews, contact: Emily Laurance, Oberlin Conservatory Visiting Associate Professor of Music History: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 4, 2021 – April 3, 2022
Honoring Our Past Masters: The Golden Age of Cleveland Art, 1900–1945
An exhibition of long unseen masterworks by some of Cleveland’s most famous artists graciously lent by private collections opens at the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society thanks to a partnership of CHS and Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Art History and Art, College of Arts and Sciences and curated by Case’s eminent art historian Henry Adams with assistance of eight graduate students earning academic credit. The artists represented include August Biehle, Margaret Bourke-White, Charles Burchfield, Clarence Carter, R. Guy Cowan, Clara Deike, Carl Gaertner, Raphael Gleitsmann, Joseph Jicha, Max Kalish, Henry Keller, Roy Lichtenstein, James Harley Minter, Elmer Ladislaw Novotny, Hugo Robus, Charles Sallée, Don Schreckengost, Viktor Schreckengost, Hughie Lee Smith, William Sommer, Rolf Stoll, Paul Travis, Abel Warshawsky and Frank Wilcox. Attendees will also be able to explore the adjoining Hay-McKinney Mansion, one of the city’s legendary residences from that era, decked out for the holidays just as it was 100 years ago. . .
Saturday, December 4, 2021 – April 3, 2022
Cleveland History Center
November 21, 2021
The East Cleveland Postman Who Became a Celebrated Composer
After the New York Critics named CIM student Howard Swanson’s 1950 Symphony No. 2 the most interesting composition of the season, it had 30 performances across the U.S, by most of America’s major orchestras, including Cleveland’s. This work of “dignity and engaging thoughtfulness” by one of our most distinguished African American composers returns to Severance Hall as the Cleveland Orchestra’s associate conductor Vinay Parameswaran and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra begin their new season. A recording of the concert will be aired on WCLV FMN 104.9 on January 1st, 2022, and will remain a permanent part of the station’s music library.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Mandel Hall at Severance
October 25, 2021
Sci-Fi Writing Workshop
Ursuline College and Lake Erie College are co-sponsoring a virtual two-part science fiction writing workshop exploring the works of the late Cleveland writer Andre (nee Alice) Norton. The sessions take place on two consecutive Mondays, October 25 and November 1, both from 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. Attendance at both sessions is encouraged. The workshop is free and open to the public with registration required.
Monday, October 25, 2021
7 PM – 9 PM