Well the Missus and I trundled over to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design yesterday to catch Joana Vasconcelos Valkyrie Mumbet (through 2021; reservations required) in the recently renovated Stephen D. Paine Gallery and, say, it was swellbinding.
Renowned Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos premieres a new monumental site-specific installation. Known for her unprecedented multimedia works, Vasconcelos, in her first U.S. solo show, honors Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, an enslaved woman whose court battle for her freedom in 1781 helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts. The large-scale installation entitled Valkyrie Mumbet, is the newest in her Valkyries series, named after Norse female war goddesses, which pays homage to inspiring women.
(The National Women’s History Museum has a deep dive into the amazing story of Elizabeth Freeman.)
According to the website Lisboa Cool, Atelier Joana Vasconcelos features a team of 45 people “composed of artisans, seamstresses, electricians, carpenters, painters, architects, photographers to record Joana’s work, press officers to handle communication, the entire financial part of a company, and they also welcome trainees from various countries, whom Joana insists on paying.”
Here’s MAAM Executive Director Lisa Tung’s eye-popping curator tour of “Valkyrie Mumbet.”
Here’s a 3d tour that highlights all the spectacular details. But you really should see this monumental artwork in person. It’s a corker.