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Museum gotta see ‘um
September 20, 2013, 05:00 AM By Susan Cohn Daily Journal

Muldoon Elder’s King Henry VIII in the Opera ‘Anna Bolena.’ Oil on Belgian Linen. On display at the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame through Nov. 24.

GEOMETRIC OBSESSIONS AND ABSTRACTIONS BY MULDOON ELDER, AND PUNK ALCHEMY BY ERIC MADSEN OPEN THE FALL EXHIBITION SEASON AT THE PENINSULA MUSEUM OF ART IN BURLINGAME. The Peninsula Museum of Art, which showcases trailblazing regional artists, currently presents the works of Muldoon Elder and Eric Madsen. Elder, a painter, poet, filmmaker and writer, has been an integral part of the Bay Area arts scene for more than 50 years. Elder founded the Vorpal Gallery in San Francisco in 1962 and was primarily responsible for developing the careers of many artists who were little known at the time, including M.C. Escher and Yozo Hamaguchi. Elder’s documentary films have garnered 13 international movie awards, including an Academy Award in 1969 for Best Live-Action Short, and Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival in 1970, both for “The Magic Machines.” Eric Madsen’s work bridges the gap between artistic exploration and scientific investigation, including, in his words, “the slippery human subjectivity underlying both processes.” “Punk Alchemy” includes Madsen’s large 2-D images, achieved by capturing chemical interactions: alchemy. The word “punk” in the exhibition title refers to the music Madsen listens to while creating his alchemical images – music that effectively separates his consciousness from reality.

Visit for more information regarding exhibits, classes and events, or by calling the Peninsula Museum of Art 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday at 692-2101. Geometric Obsessions and Abstractions by Muldoon Elder and Punk Alchemy by Eric Madsen run through Nov. 24. 1777 California Drive, Burlingame. Free.


PHILIPPINE BASKETRY OF THE LUZON CORDILLERA AT SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT MUSEUM. Located between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is an archipelago of about 7,100 islands, of which 2,000 are inhabited. The two largest islands, Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south, comprise about 65 percent of the total land area of the archipelago. The mountainous northern part of the Philippine island of Luzon is referred to as the Cordillera Central. For centuries, basketry has formed an essential part of all aspects of daily life in this area. The San Francisco Airport Museum now presents Philippine Basketry of the Luzon Cordillera from the Fowler Museum at UCLA, an exhibition of baskets from this region, including those from the Ifugao, Bontoc, Tinguian, Ibaloi, Kalinga and Kankanay peoples.

Baskets range in form and size, from portable lunch containers to woven jars. Winnowing trays, carrying baskets and covered containers allowed people to harvest, transport, store and serve food and crops. Basketry hats and rain capes protected against sun and rain. Traps and sieves helped in catching fish, shellfish and insects. Assorted basketry bags and pouches contained personal items, such as tobacco. Hunters embarked on expeditions with woven backpacks filled with provisions to be consumed along the way, which they replaced with meat after a successful hunt. Basket making is gender specific among some groups. For instance, both Ifugao men and women engage in basket making, while among the Kalinga, men do all of the weaving. Baskets are made of bamboo, rattan or a combination of the two. The most frequently utilized construction technique entails plaiting, although wickerwork, twining or coiling are also employed. Since the late 1950s, baskets have become less common in the daily lives of the people of the Cordillera, as containers made from materials such as plastic or aluminum now serve the same purpose as traditional baskets. These replacements are affordable, easy to obtain and often regarded as superior or more practical. Presently, many traditional basket forms survive solely because of tourists’ interest in Philippine crafts.

SFO Museum Curator of Exhibitions Nicole Mullen said, “SFO Museum is delighted to have the opportunity to display the Fowler Museum’s remarkable collection of Philippine basketry from the Luzon Cordillera. Once created for everyday use, here they can be appreciated for their exceptional beauty and craftsmanship.”

Philippine Basketry of the Luzon Cordillera From the Fowler Museum at UCLA is located in the SFO International Terminal through Jan. 2014. There is no charge to view this exhibition, which is located pre-security. More information may be found at


NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR’S WIEGAND GALLERY HOLDS SEPT. 29 PUBLIC RECEPTION FOR FACULTY EXHIBITION. A public reception is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 29 to mark the opening of the Notre Dame de Namur Faculty Art Exhibition, which runs through Oct. 26. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. during the exhibition. Admission is free. 1500 Ralston Ave. Belmont. Visitor parking is limited to two hours. If visiting for a longer period of time, a Day Pass must be purchased from the Day Pass Machines. or 508-3595.

Susan Cohn can be reached at or



Tags: museum, exhibition, basketry, cordillera, philippine, baskets,

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