Museum Offers A Spicy Wed. Night It's A Bonus Of Music, Film And Talks For The Regular Price. Snacks And Supper Are Available.

Posted: January 04, 1993

The Philadelphia Art Museum has been doing its hugely successful Wednesday evening openings for 15 months now, but it's never done one like the one it's going to do this Wednesday night.

It's called "Nude Wednesday," and the public is invited (dress optional, but recommended). In fact, the point of the whole thing is to get the public in the doors of the museum. Since the Wednesday night specials started in September 1991, they've been a big hit.

And that's before they got naked.

Wednesday will feature a sketching demonstration of a nude - Augustus St. Gaudens' bronze statue of Diana, who looms, all 13 feet of her, over the stairs.

And a French movie about a gay couple.

And there's a Nude Descending a Staircase, by a Frenchman named Marcel Duchamp.

And there's a course in art history on "Revealing Garments: The History of Women's Underwear."

It's the first in the next round of 26 Wednesday-evening openings at the museum called "Around the World on Wednesday Nights." The program is aimed at bringing to the museum people who've thought of coming but couldn't make it during the day, as well as at people who haven't thought of coming but who might be attracted by the variety of events.

Every Wednesday evening, the museum offers a mixture of films, music, tours, lectures, storytellers, poetry readers and demonstrations - all for the price of admission to the museum (adults, $6; seniors, students and children, $3). Food and drink will be available in the Great Stair Hall, buffet dinners in the museum restaurant.

"I hadn't been here for 20 years until they started doing the Wednesday nights," said John Jastisan - a systems analyst who lives in King of Prussia and works in University City - at one Wednesday night program last fall.

On the average, more than a thousand people have been showing up Wednesday nights at the museum, although attendance drifted off a bit during the Christmas season, according to Bernice Connolly, the museum's Wednesday night coordinator.

The program has been so successful since its 1991 inception that the museum intends to keep it going indefinitely. The evening openings don't pay for themselves - the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been picking up the difference between income and outgo - but they have side benefits.

In the last 15 months, memberships at the museum have increased by 1,800, and the museum attributes the growth in large part to the Wednesday night openings, said Robert Montgomery Scott, museum president.

The museum shop also has done more than $100,000 in business on Wednesday nights since the beginning, Connolly reports.

The themes of several evening programs will be tied in with this spring's exhibit of Camille Pissarro's cityscapes. Gathered from around the world, the 75 Paris scenes have not been seen together since the French impressionist's death in 1903. Joachim Pissarro, the painter's great-grandson, was guest curator of the exhibit, which was organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The exhibit will open March 7 and continue through June 6.

"Around the World" films begin at 7:10 in the Van Pelt Auditorium. Talks on works of art are at 6 and 7. Guided tours are offered throughout the evening. For information, call 215-684-7866.

Here's the schedule for the next 26 weeks:

JAN. 6: NUDE WEDNESDAY, Film: La Cage aux Folles (1979), directed by Edouard Molinaro, with Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault; French with English subtitles. Music: Ajde International Folk Band. Performance: Terry Beck of the Terry Beck Troupe and Lina Early of the Pennsylvania Ballet Society. Art spotlight: "Disrobing Modernism: Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase," with Jan Niehaus, research assistant. Art history course: ''Revealing Garments: The History of Women's Underwear." Demonstration: sketching by Irene Rudyj. Poetry Readings: Ed Brown. Meet expressionist painter Barbara Grant in Art Sales & Rental Gallery.

JAN. 13: MARTIN LUTHER KING AND THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Film Long Walk Home (1990), directed by Richard Pierce, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek. Music: Diaspora Dance Theater. Art spotlight: Edgefield stoneware face vessels, with Jack Lindsey, curator of American decorative arts. Art-history course: "Revealing Garments." Storytellers: Audrey Murrell Roll and Beryl Evans.

JAN. 20: JAPAN Utamaro and His Five Women (1946), directed by Kenzi Mizoguchi; Japanese with English subtitles. Music: Jazz with Herman DeJong & Friends joined by Father John D'Amico on piano. Performance: Hoh Daiko Japanese Drummers. Spotlight: the prints of Yoshitoshi, with John Ittman, curator of prints. Art-history course: "Revealing Garments." Demonstrations: origami and ribbon-weaving by Fusaye and Shige Kazaoka, calligraphy by Towa Morris.

JAN. 27: CHINESE NEW YEAR Raise the Red Lantern (1992), directed by Zhang Yimou; Mandarin with English subtitles. Music: Post Hip with Ken Ulansey and Keith Allen. Performance: lion dance with Cheung's Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy. Spotlight: the great couch or bed of state in the Chinese palace hall, with Ann McPhail. Art-history course: "Revealing Garments." Demonstration: brush- painting and calligraphy, with Mimi Schaaf. Gallery demonstration: tai chi.

FEB. 3: CELEBRATING AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), directed by John Korty, starring Cicely Tyson and Richard Dysart. Music: Diane Brown and First Class. Spotlight: artist Faith Ringgold's quilt "Tarbeach," with Jean Woodley, museum educator. Demonstration: wood carving by Furman Humphrey. Slide lecture: "The Art of Faith Ringgold," with Nashormeh Wilkie Lindo.

FEB. 10: VALENTINE'S DAY, Fatal Attraction (1987), directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Music: jazz with Herman DeJong & Friends, with Father John D'Amico on piano. Performance: Renaissance and baroque love songs with Martha McDonald Trio. Spotlight: Antoine Coypel's Bacchus and Ariadne on the Isle of Naxos, with Christopher Riopelle, associate curator of European painting. Storyteller: Bernice Sherman. Slide lecture by furniture designer Thomas Moser, founder and president of Thomas Moser Cabinetmakers.

FEB. 17: MARDI GRAS Black Orpheus (1959), directed by Marcel Camus; Portuguese with English subtitles. Music: Ted and the Tritones Band. Spotlight: Thomas Couture's The Thorny Path, with Joseph Rishel, curator of European painting. Demonstration: mask-making by Cindy Farnham. Storyteller: Barbara Baumgartner.

FEB. 24: PUERTO RICAN HERITAGE El Super (1979), directed by Leon Ichaso and Orlando Juimenez-Leal; Spanish with English subtitles. Music: Trio International. Spotlight: Rafael Ferrer's South Pole, with Glenn Tomlinson, staff lecturer, and in Spanish with Frances Prieto-Pouget. Slide lecture: the art of Puerto Rico with Susana Level, director of El Museo del Barrio.

MARCH 3: BEATRICE WOOD AND CERAMICS Beatrice Wood: Mama of Dada (East Coast premiere of new movie), directed by Tom Neff. Music: jazz with Herman DeJong & Friends with Father John D'Amico on piano. Performance: Harkapella Vocal Quartet. Spotlight: the works of Beatrice Wood, with Darrel Sewell, curator of American Art. Art-history course: "Camille Pissaro: The Quiet Revolutionary."

MARCH 10: FLOWERS IN ART Black Narcissus (1947), directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Deborah Kerr and Flora Robson. Music: Liz Darby, piano. Performance: dulcimer player, guitarist and songwriter Jackie Koresko. Spotlight: Dutch 17th-century still life by Christoffel van den Berg, with Elizabeth Anderson, associate director of education. Art-history course: ''Camille Pissarro: The Quiet Revolutionary."

MARCH 17: THE EMERALD ISLAND My Left Foot (1989), directed by Jim Sheridan, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Music: Tell Me Ma Band. Performance: Joe Dunn, Irish tenor. Spotlight: Henry P. McIlhenny as a collector, with Joseph Rishel, curator of European painting. Storyteller: Ray Gray. Art-history course: ''Camille Pissarro: The Quiet Revolutionary."

MARCH 24: PISSARRO AND THE CITY Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953), directed by Jacques Tati; English-language version. Music: soprano Connie Koppie and pianist Liz Darby. Performance: Monique Legare International Dance Company. Spotlight: Rodin originals and copies, with Sally Malenka, assistant

conservator, decorative arts and sculpture.

MARCH 31: APRIL FOOL Bedazzled (1968), starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Music: the Wild Bunch Band. Spotlight: "Osiris Vegefrogged," glazed earthenware by David Gilhooly, with Amy Jared, museum educator. Storyteller: Bill Wood.

APRIL 7: APRIL IN PARIS Paris, 1900 (1947), Nicole Vedres documentary in English. Music: Liz Darby, piano. Performance: members of the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company. Spotlight: funerals, fetes and fireworks - Charles- Nicholas Coshin's festival prints, with Carter Foster, curatorial intern of the National Endowment for the Arts.

APRIL 14: ITALY Enchanted April (1992), directed by Mike Newell, starring Joan Plowright. Music: the Chamber Music Company. Performance: Piccolo Opera Company of Philadelphia. Spotlight: 20th-century Italian lamps, with Kathryn Heisinger, curator of European decorative arts after 1700. Storyteller: Lee Ellen Marvin. Demonstration: sculptural reproductions in gold and silver plate: Federico Quondamatteo of Bari, Italy. Art history-course: ''Masterpieces in Context."

APRIL 21: ANTIQUES Boudu Saved From Drowning (1932), directed by Jean Renoir; French, with English subtitles. Music: jazz with Herman DeJong & Friends and Father John D'Amico on piano. Performance: Savoy Company. Spotlight: new museum acquisitions, with Jack Lindsey, curator of American decorative arts. Demonstration: Wooden-duck carving by Leon Ayars and Carl Kirstein. Art-history course: "Masterpieces in Context."

APRIL 28: THE VICTORIAN ERA Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), directed by Vincent Minnelli, starring Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien. Music: songs and stories from times past, with Jan and John Haigis. Performance: Jamison Dance Academy. Spotlight: Victorian Philadelphia furniture, with Elizabeth Anderson, associate curator of education. Art-history course: "Masterpieces in Context."

MAY 5: SEBASTIAO SALGADO AND BRAZIL XICA (1975), directed by Carlos Diegues; Portuguese, with English subtitles. Music: Minas Brazilian Music Duo. Spotlight: photographs by Sebastiao Salgado, with Glenn Tomlinson, staff lecturer. Art-history course: "The History of Photojournalism."

MAY 12: PISSARRO AND THE FRENCH MARKET L'Atalante (1934, restored 1990), directed by Jean Vigo; French, with English subtitles. Music: Jeannine Mermet. Spotlight: "The Four Seasons Revealed: The Conservation of Four French sculptures," with Michelle Barger, assistant conservator. Art-history course: ''The History of Photojournalism."

MAY 19: GERMANY Wings of Desire (1987), directed by Wim Wenders; German and French, with English subtitles. Music: J.T.'s Bavarian Band. Performance: G.T.V. Almrausch folk dancers. Spotlight: "The Menagerie of Augusta the Strong," with Donna Corbin, assistant curator of European decorative arts after 1700. Demonstrations: hand-stitched expressionistic portraiture by Janice Moezzi; decorative artist Susan Kafitz. Storyteller: John Schantz. Art- history course: "The History of Photojournalism."

MAY 26: WAR AND PEACE Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott. Performance: members of the G.A.R. Civil War Museum. Spotlight: the field armor of Maximilian II, with Barbara Bassett, museum educator. Art-history course: "The History of Photojournalism."

JUNE 2: PISSARRO AND HIS IMPRESSIONIST FRIENDS Camille Claudel (1988)), directed by Bruno Nuytten; French, with English subtitles. Music: Oakmont Trio. Performance: Alliance Francaise Choir. Spotlight: Paul Cezanne's The Bather, with Joseph Fishel, curator of European painting. Poetry readings: Pamela Perkins-Frederick. Slide lecture: "The Gardens of the Impressionists," with Derek Fell.

JUNE 9: CONTEMPORARY ART Alphaville (1965), directed by Jean-Luc Godard; French, with English subtitles. Music: the Jassical Duo. Spotlight: paintings by Jasper Johns, with Glenn Tomlinson, staff lecturer. Storyteller: Ted Fink. Poetry readings: Ed Brown.

JUNE 16: SPAIN El Sur (1983), directed by Victor Erice; Spanish, with English subtitles. Music: Post Hip with Ken Ulansey and Keith Allen. Performance: flamenco dancing with Flamenco Ole. Spotlight: Self Portrait With Pallet by Pablo Picasso, with Danielle Rice, curator of education.

JUNE 23: A SUMMER BEACH PARTY Jaws (1975), directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw. Music: the Barrettes Band. Spotlight: Renoir's Great Bathers, with Christopher Riopelle, associate curator of European painting.

JUNE 30: ITALY NOW Everybody's Fine (1990), directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, starring Marcello Mastroianni; Italian, with English subtitles. Music: Italian swing band of Sal Iadonisi. Performance: Ballerini e Voci d'Italia. Spotlight: Enzo Cucchi's Entry Into the Port of a Ship With a Red Rose Aboard, with John Ravenal, assistant curator of 20th-century art. Storyteller: Debra Ann Pieri.

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