Given the monumental success of its theme
parks, Orlandos other attractions are often overlooked. But for
those in the know, there is plenty to do in the city beyond
Universal Studios-Islands of Adventure and Disney World, including
satisfying a craving for culture and the arts.
In 1924, decades
before Walt Disney discovered central Florida, a group of artists
in Orlando started the Orlando Museum of Art, and it remains a high
point on the cultural landscape of Florida, having earned generous
praise from a variety of publications, including Newsweek, the New
York Times, Art in America, ArtNews and American Art
The museum will
be presenting two exhibitions that are worthy of note to visitors
to Orlando during the next few months. From May 13 through Aug. 13,
the OMA will host a show called Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Mister
Seahorse and Other Friends: The Wonderful World of Eric Carle,
featuring the graphic work of Eric Carle, the author and
illustrator of childrens books.
The show will
feature more than 40 of Carles original works, which appeared in
books he created over his 35-year career, such as Brown Bear Brown
Bear, What Do You See?, The Very Quiet Cricket and The Grouchy
Though the books
were created to appeal to preschoolers, the real secret of their
success was that the artwork, as well as the quirky story lines,
were also appealing to parents. Extracted from book pages and seen
in their original form, which is much larger and more tactile than
was represented in the books, the illustrations are striking and
stand up well on their own.
A native of
Germany, Carle is known for his use of very bright colors, which he
said was a reaction to the drab colors he remembers from his
childhood. He developed a distinctive and audacious collage style
using hand- painted tissue paper cut and pasted in layers to form
the images of his characters.
easy and otherwise
But not all
artwork is mounted on walls. The OMA is also hosting a collection
of motorcycles in an exhibit called The Art of the Motorcycle,
which will run through July 23.
Not just for
motorcycle fans, the show takes a look into cycles both as design
products and as cultural icons, and explores their impact on
American culture of the 20th century.
Based on a 1998
show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the exhibit will feature
79 motorcycles chosen for mechanical innovation, aesthetic
excellence and cultural significance.
The influence of
the motorcycle on culture actually pre-dates the 20th century. The
oldest of the motorcycles on display is the Copeland Steam from
1884, based on a bicycle design that was popular at the time, with
a huge front wheel.
The first of
several successful steam-powered motorcycles, the Copeland Steam
was designed by a musician, and its steam engine was constructed
from whatever parts the inventor could pull together, including his
wifes knitting needles, the float from a toilet tank and part of a
featured in the exhibition include the Orient from 1900, the first
commercially produced motorcycle in the U.S.; the Cyclone Board
Tracker of 1914, known as the yellow speed demon and purportedly
the fastest bike of its period; and the BMW R32 of 1923, with a
sleek, German Bauhaus-influenced design.
Also in the show:
the Easy Rider Chopper from 1993, a replica of the lost original
from the 1969 film Easy Rider with Peter Fonda; and the Italian MV
Agusta F4 from 1998, designed by Massimo Tamburini in collaboration
with Italian automaker Ferrari.
The show -- which
also includes motorcycles from Indian, Triumph, Ducati, Honda,
Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha -- is broken into sub-exhibitions based
on chronological periods:
Motorcycle: 1868-1919, looks at motorcycles in the context of the
major innovations of the time, including the railroad, electricity
Age: 1922-1929 examines the emergence of a machine aesthetic.
Orders: 1930-1944 follows the progression of the machine ethos of
Postwar Mobility: 1946-1958 looks at motorcycles as instruments of
escape from conformist postwar society.
Culture/Counterculture: 1959-1969 looks at the motorcycle in the
context of the rebellious 1960s, rock music and street
From It All: 1969-1981 shows the motorcycle in the context of the
malaise of the 1970s.
then follows the motorcycle to the present with The Consumer Years:
1982-1989 and Retro/Revolutionary: 1990-2004.
Admission to the
museum is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, students and active
military personnel; $5 for children ages 6 to 18; and free for kids
under 5. Advance-sale tickets are available for $12.50. For more,
call (407) 896-4231 or visit www.omart.org.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].