Rare New York Yankees artifacts await at the next Baker Museum exhibit


Common objectives of ball teams, children playing, a community beach clean-up: All join the “Esprit de Corps” theme that permeates the new season of the Baker Museum.

Museum season, announced on Friday August 6, has incorporated a sort of arm tie all its own. Exhibits that travel in different directions appear together for wide appeal to visitors. Choose your interest: entertainment, romance, community.

The most entertaining will be “Baseball Heroes”, a preview of the collection of Neapolitan philanthropist Jay Baker. Baker, an avid fan of the New York Yankees, has a collection that the museum considers one of the “most extraordinary outside of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.” It contains, among many other pieces:

  • Mickey Mantle’s first signed contract
  • The Yankees jersey Don Larsen wore for the perfect match he threw in the World Series, the only one in history
  • Balls signed by legends such as Babe Ruth and other equipment from legendary players

It will also feature multimedia facets, including a recorded interview with Baker.

“Viewers don’t have to be Yankees fans to enjoy this exhibit,” said Courtney McNeil, director and chief curator of the museum. “This exhibit is designed to appeal to any baseball fan, from the super fan to the sport’s most laid-back aficionado.”

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The COVID-19 shutdown gave McNeil, who joined the museum on January 18, time to focus on the 2021-22 season with his staff. As a result, she was able to direct two-thirds of her programming, she said.

Two other exhibits align with “Baseball Heroes”: one is another local sharing, this time by Jay and Patty Baker, of their art, “Love in All Forms: Selections from the Art Collection of Patty and Jay Baker” . It offers works ranging from the abstract sculpture of Henry Moore to the impressionist Claude Monet through the neat appearance of an art deco portrait of Tamara de Lempicka. It will also include a video interview, this one with the two Baker’s.

Both are at the museum from October 16 to May 15.

"Great soul," Emil Bisttram (American, born Romania, 1895 -1976) circa 1941. Oil on Masonite, 35 1/2 by 26 1/2 inches.

The second, geographically aligned with the first, is a look at life on the streets of New York City by photographer Helen Levitt. Levitt’s right-angle viewfinder allowed him to look in one direction but take pictures in another. His subjects were largely unaware of his presence and gave him fresh, unfiltered glances at people – on the subway, on their steps, on the move. Children playing were favorite subjects.

This exhibition was organized by Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia, where McNeil previously worked. It is at the museum from September 7 to December 7. 5.

Another exhibit, which McNeil hopes to involve in Naples, is “Pam Longobardi: Ocean Gleaning”. It shows the artist’s reuse of marine litter in tightly formed and stylized shapes and sculptures. Among the works will be an installation created directly from trash the Atlanta artist finds on beaches in southwest Florida.

“I have always been impressed, not only by the beauty of his works and the gallery’s experience of seeing them, but (that) his artistic practice supports the creation of these works,” McNeil said.

“She not only thinks of working in isolation cleaning beaches to obtain her materials, but also of working with communities to sensitize them to the importance of not using single-use plastics and the ramifications of not throwing away plastic from them. appropriate manner. “

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Longobardi, professor of regents at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University, has been using ocean plastics that she has found as a base material for over 10 years.

She once made a trip to Naples to glean material for a site-specific installation in the Baker Museum’s third-floor extension gallery. The museum is also partnering with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for events around the exhibit. Student workshops, community beach clean-up and more are part of it.

“As has been the heart of it, and one of our common goals, is for some of the material from this beach clean-up to produce something that ends up in the exhibit,” said Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and President of Artis — Naples, which is the museum’s umbrella organization. “So people could have a say in the exhibit by cleaning up the beach.”

Two other exhibitions with the scent of romanticism are coming next spring. “The Transcendental Painting Group”, a look at the 1930s alternative painting style that emphasized symbols and images over the physical world. It was a fleeting but influential school, creating a liberating model for modern artists.

"Swerving";  Pam Longobardi (American, born 1958), 2019. Over 500 oceanic plastic objects from Alaska, Greece, California, Hawaii, Gulf of Mexico and Costa Rica;  Steel specimen pins.  96 by 54 by 8 inches

The exhibition was organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California. At the same time, “Invisible Thread” opens, a look at contemporary art with a transcendent and spiritual tone. It was organized by Artis — Naples, The Baker Museum, through guest curator Aaron Levi Garvey.

Both exhibitions will take place from March 26 to July 24. Several other exhibitions, including a focus on subjects from the permanent collection and the Florida Contemporary exhibition, are also in the season.

Harriet Howard Heithaus covers the arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News / naplesnews.com. Contact her at 239-213-6091

What: The Baker Museum opens with new exhibits and lectures on them on September 7 Or: 5833, boulevard Pelican Bay, Naples

When: September 7, opening with photographs “Helen Levitt: In the Street” from New York and “Subject Matters: Selections from the Permanent Collection”

Iinformation: 239-597-1100; artisnaples.org

Something else: Souvenir shop, regular guided tours

Covid-19 Protocols: Face masks are currently mandatory. These may change as per Florida Department of Health guidelines and CDC guidelines; for the full policy, click on the protocols banner on the artisnaples.org home page

Security protocols: Bags should not exceed approximately 14 x 6 x 4 inches. No backpacks, suitcases or beach bags.

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