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How can a museum challenge decades of gender imbalance in what it displays to the public? The Baltimore Museum of Art has a plan for 2020: Every painting, sculpture, and photograph it purchases for its permanent collection will be by women.
“We’re attempting to correct our own canon,” museum director Christopher Bedford told the Baltimore Sun. “We recognize the blind spots we have had in the past, and we are taking the initiative to do something about them.”
Every museum should do this, said Bianca Kovic, incoming executive director of the New York–based National Association of Women Artists.
Among the artwork the Baltimore museum has purchased: Planes, Rockets, and the Spaces in Between, a 2018 painting by Amy Sherald, best known for her portrait of Michelle Obama in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
Bedford said the Baltimore museum had no choice: “To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”
Here are more Recharge stories to get you through the week:
Her mind worked differently. When she awoke from surgery, Oscar-winning actor Mary Steenburgen couldn’t stop thinking about music. Everything was music. She wrote music and lyrics incessantly. And wouldn’t stop playing the accordion. Her family was worried. “I couldn’t get my mind into any other mode,” she acknowledged. Years later, refusing to trade on her stardom, she wrote songs using a pseudonym and landed a contract on the strength of her creativity, including one of the best movie songs of the year. (Indie Wire)
A helping hand. He was the only person working at Waffle House that night, after his expected help didn’t arrive—so first one customer, then another, began helping the employee, named Ben, with orders, dishes, coffee, and table cleaning. “It was just one of the most wild instances of really, really cool people just coming together,” said customer Ethan Crispo, who recorded the late-night scene at the Birmingham, Alabama, restaurant. The chain said it was grateful for the emergency support and urged one helper to fill out a job application. (al.com)
Therapy llamas. Readers, I made a vow that I wouldn’t clutter Recharge with cute pandas or with puppies that found their way back home. But I never said anything about the three 300-pound llamas that stroll through a Texas nursing home, getting petted by residents and pausing for selfies. One therapy llama, Knock, has walked to a hospice patient’s bed and waited while the patient reaches out for him. “It’s taken me several visits,’’ said llama owner Carol Rutledge, “to be able to get through it without getting emotional.” (New York Times)
I’ll leave you with this image of what the Interior Department’s Twitter feed calls alpenglow at the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in California. Please send links or tips for possible Recharge items to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a glowing week, and thanks for reading.
The mountains are blushing with alpenglow at Alabama Hills National Scenic Area.
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) November 16, 2019