Live in the Galleries: Bryan Hartley

Thursday, July 15 | 5-7pm

Come check out the new exhibition, Who Shot Rock and Roll and enjoy live music played by local musician Bryan Hartley.

Born in Memphis, Hartley began playing music and writing songs early on. After moving to Nashville a couple of years back, he returned to Memphis with a new lineup. His new band doesn’t officially have a name, but they sure have a following. Their folk-country-rock sound is beloved by old and young alike.

Bryan will be playing an acoustic set this Thursday with a second guitarist. Visitors can expect to hear original songs written by Hartley and his band, and some tribute covers to honor the photographs in the exhibition. Catch them play as a band on August 13 | 10pm at the Buccaneer.

For more information about this event, or to learn more about other Live in the Galleries performers, click here.


Flipside Memphis 2010: Free Short Films!

Saturday, July 10 | 1pm

Enjoy a hot summer Saturday indoors with a cold drink and a movie! Join us as we celebrate Live from Memphis and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau as they partner to create Flipside Memphis! Featuring short films about the underground Memphis scene that ranges from Molly Fontaine Lounge to Jerry Lawler, Flipside is sure to warm any Memphian’s soul.

Enjoy refreshments and art activities before the film at 1pm, and stay for the movies! For more information, click here.

Global Lens Film Series:Ocean of an Old Man

Thursday, July 8 | 7pm

Want insight into the lives of the people who experience nature and its consequences? Come to the Brooks to see yet another unique and magnificent film from around the world.

Written, directed, and produced by Indian filmmaker Rajesh Shera, Ocean of an Old Man canvases a smooth and calming scenery amongst a gripping narrative about loss. Set in India post-Tsunami, a school teacher suffers internally as he travels between reality and delusion as he searches for the bodies of his lost students.

In Hindi with English subtitles.

For more information about how to see this film, click here.

Who Shot Rock & Roll! It’s Almost Here! 

There’s been a strong buzz inside and outside of the Brooks with the museum’s newest exhibition, Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, and now we finally get to see it!

Working at the museum has its obvious benefits. I am allowed to express myself through my clothing, which is oftentimes vintage and weird. I get to talk about art all day, be creative and imaginative, and walk the halls of our beautiful galleries at my leisure.

However, whenever a new exhibition is being set up, no one can venture into the gallery space. I found this out the hard way when I wandered into a closed exhibition, only to be caught by our Exhibitions Director! She was very nice while I was very apologetic (and embarrassed)! Apparently, only exhibitions staff is allowed inside, leaving the rest of the museum staff just as anxious to see the new art as our visitors.

As the Brooks’ Visitor Services Manager, I am excited to welcome each guest with the same giddiness as they have when they come to see this exhibition. I love all of the exhibitions we’ve had here since I’ve started, but Who Shot Rock & Roll takes the cake for me. As a born and raised Memphian, I love and truly appreciate music — especially the history. I’ve gone on late night bicycle rides to Graceland with friends, driven to Mississippi at 2 a.m. to experience Graceland Too (my boyfriend, an honorary member, has been there four times), and gleefully taken my Nashville friends to eat Dyer’s burgers. Now when our friends visit us, I can bring them to the Brooks to learn and feel the Memphis music experience.

To learn more about the Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present exhibition, click here.

To schedule a group tour or to learn about docent-led tours, email Brenda Burgess at

To find out about all of the events scheduled during this exhibition, email or click here.

Reel to Real: Eric Jambor Presents

Thursday, June 17 | 7 pm

Come to the Brooks this Thursday for two great films: Leo’s Room, the next Global Lens installment, at 2pm and Reel to Real: Eric Jambor at 7pm!

Jambor, executive director for Indie Memphis and local filmmaker, will be showing his 1996 short film, “Gamalost,” which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and was awarded the Gold Award for best original dramatic short at WorldFest Charleston. Afterwards, Jambor will screen his choice for the feature presentation, Hard Core Logo (1996). A film about a band’s last chance attempt at success, Hard Core Logo delves into the lives of a punk rock group whose issues and personalities rise to the surface and fill the viewer’s eye with a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road.

The Reel to Real film series will surely whet your appetite for the new Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present exhibition opening on June 26th. C.Scott McCoy and Laura Jean Hocking are currently working on a documentary about the infamous Antenna Club and will be featured in the next R2R, Sunday, July 25th at 2pm. Then, we’ll have two more music-themed Reel to Reals with Scott Bomar who composed the music for Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan in August and Robert Gordon, author of It Came from Memphis and the Muddy Water bio, Can’t be Satisfied.

Become a Docent at the Brooks!

Brooks is looking for a few good guides!

Would you like to learn more about art and share your knowledge with others? If yes, please read on!

Founded in 1965, the Brooks Docent Program was established by the Brooks Museum League. Serving thousands of visitors each year, Brooks docents engage their audiences with the artwork on view and foster the development of visual and creative thinking skills, often providing the first contact many children and adults have with the visual arts. We strive to provide a positive, meaningful, and relevant experience with art.

What is a Docent? A docent is a museum-trained volunteer who conducts tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions for children or adults. The word docent is derived from the Latin word docere, meaning to teach. Volunteers receive a six-month training course in the museum’s permanent collection, art history, and touring techniques. The Brooks Education department is actively recruiting new docents for the next training program this fall beginning September, 2010.

Training consists of two half days per week during the six month program. Once the initial training is complete, each docent is asked to make a two-year commitment and select one day per week, from September through May, to conduct scheduled tours. In addition, attendance at monthly training meetings is required. Qualified candidates are interviewed and selected based on their ability to communicate information knowledgeably and enthusiastically.

Prior experience or an art background is not required. Anyone who has an interest in art and lifelong learning can be a docent. Though Brooks docents are as diverse as the artwork they present, they share the following:

• A love of art
• A passion for learning and teaching
• An ability to communicate effectively
• Enthusiasm, Creativity, and Flexibility


• Opportunities for continuing education and personal growth
• Support of an enthusiastic and dedicated docent peer group
• Ongoing training in teaching and learning theory, art and art history, and special exhibitions
• Art lectures, gallery talks, and curator tours
• Discounts on Museum membership, the Museum Store, and the Brushmark Restaurant
• An opportunity to serve the community—enriching lives and transforming others through the power of art

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer docent, call 901-544-6215, email or visit the Brooks website and download a docent application today!

Bicycle Film Festival: Memphis!!!

Friday, May 21 | 7pm
Friday, May 21 | 9pm
Saturday, May 22 | 1pm

Spanning across 37 cities all over the world, the Bicycle Film Festival is coming to Memphis for round two! Last year’s festival was amazing and memorable as we ushered in guests from all over the south! People from Nashville to New Orleans crashed couches just to see these hand-picked films, and this year’s festival promises to have something for everyone!

Did you know that May is officially National Bike Month? The Brooks, BFF and the Memphis Center City Commission collaborated with the League of American Bicyclists for a National Bike to Work Day weekend program! Starting with routes to take you to work via bicycle, and ending with a ride from downtown to the Brooks, you’ll arrive at the museum just in time for a cash bar and complimentary bicycle valet-oh yea, and the films! But wait, there’s more! After Friday’s films, hop on two wheels and head to Murphy’s for the Bikes Rock Afterparty-free with your BFF ticket stub.

Try to get to bed for some shut-eye because Saturday’s schedule is action packed! Head to the Brooks for another feature at 1pm. After the film, head over to First Congo Church for a family-friendly block party! Enjoy art activities, BMX demos, artist sales and the infamous bicycle polo!

We know this a lot of information, but have no fear, we have laid out links below!

For more information about how Memphis is participating in National Bike to Work Day click here.

For the complete Bicycle Film Festival schedule with names of films and more, click here.

Call 544-6208 or email for more information!

To volunteer for this event or others, contact!

DINE: Enjoy the Sunshine on the Brooks Terrace!

Take your favorite lady to lunch on Mother’s Day and enjoy a special brunch menu selected just for her! Make reservations today, because these chairs won’t be empty for long!

Mother’s Day Buffet
Sunday, May 9 | 11 am – 2:30 pm
For reservations call 901-544-6225

Download our regular lunch menu here!

Lunch : Wednesday-Friday 11am-2:30pm
Brunch : Saturday & Sunday 11am-2:30pm
Dinner: Thursday 5pm-9pm

Brooks Uncorked: Photos!

The Brooks welcomed over 500 guests and celebrated our first-ever sell-out Brooks Uncorked fundraiser! Thank you to all of our volunteers and guests who came out and represented the museum! Come support the arts with live music, silent and live auctions, and great food at the Patrons Dinner on May 7th and the Grand Auction on May 8th!

Check out more photos from this event on our Flickr.

Check out the official Art of Good Taste website and reserve your tickets today!

Getting to Canaletto by Curator of European and Decorative Art: Stanton Thomas

It’s been four years and about two months since I started working on the Canaletto project. I actually began it before I even arrived in Memphis to take a position at the museum. Our former director, Kaywin Feldman, called me at my home in Cleveland, Ohio, and told me that the Brooks was planning a Canaletto exhibition. And she told me that it was going to be my project, and that I needed to write a portion of a funding grant.

She had sent me files on the Brooks’ great painting by Canaletto, the View of the Grand Canal from the Campo San Vio. I was surprised by how little there was about George Proctor, the man who first owned the picture. So I chose to work on him and the painting’s ownership history.

I love working on ownership history, also known as provenance, it can reveal not just the names of owners, but facets of their lives and information about their families. My research on the ownership of the Canaletto painting began with reading wills. Thanks to the digital age, huge numbers of wills from the 1600s onwards are available online. It was fairly easy to find George Proctor’s, and those of his brother, sister, and nephew. Mr. Proctor outlived his brother, and inherited his property. Neither of them ever married, but devoted their time to developing their shipping business.

They were very successful. Since he had no heirs when Mr. died, he left everything to his sister’s oldest son. The will recorded that various friends and servants were left small things (watches, rings, etc.) and some pensions, but the bulk of the estate went to the nephew on the condition that he change his last name from Beauchamp, to Proctor-Beauchamp. The will also stipulated that the newly minted Mr. Proctor-Beauchamp should go on the Grand Tour with a sober, qualified, and reputable guide. Apparently Mr. Proctor wanted his heir to experience the benefits of travel throughout continental Europe, but only under the watch of a chaperone.

After reading the wills, and learning more about the Proctor and Proctor-Beauchamp families, I headed to Norwich, England. Located in East Anglia, Norwich is famous for its spectacular cathedral and medieval buildings, and the huge country houses scattered about the surrounding countryside.

The wills showed that Mr. Proctor (after retiring) had purchased an enormous estate and country house named Langley Park in East Anglia, and the internet revealed that the structure was still standing. It was an amazing experience to rent a car in Norwich and drive out into the English countryside to see the house. In particular, the rental agency had upgraded me to a “first class, luxury vehicle.” So I found myself suddenly driving on the wrong side of the road in a massive Mercedes.

It was a memorable experience, especially traversing the numerous roundabouts—features which I quickly renamed “moving circles of death.” Langley Park, Mr. Proctor’s house, is located near Loddon, a lovely country village. It is now a private boarding school, but it nonetheless looked much as must have did during Proctor’s time. Even more interesting than wandering through the man’s house was a beautiful portrait of him, still hanging in the west dining room. It showed him around the time he would have visited Venice.

While seeing Proctor’s house was interesting, the most fascinating discoveries about him lay in the Norwich Records Office. This regional archive preserves wills, land grants, inventories, and private papers from families and public institutions throughout East Anglia. It gave me great information about Proctor and his business ventures. I was even able to read his original account books, which recorded his banking transactions and food commodities trading. Even more interesting, the archives preserved his personal daybook–a pocket-sized leather-bound volume filled with his records of daily expenditures. Written in his own hand, it recorded his private purchases, which ranged from chocolate to picture frames, and horses to china. It was strange and wonderful to be able to leaf through pages he had written himself, and to hold a book that he would have carried with him in his coat pockets.

The most interesting information about Proctor came from private inventories preserved in the Norwich Art Museum. These recorded that Proctor commissioned the painting directly from Canaletto while visiting Venice in 1740, along with three other works. Of course, it was also great to visit Norwich. The art museum is located in a converted Norman Castle, and the entire city is largely unchanged from the medieval period.

Learning about George Proctor and his descendants was fascinating, as was the entire trip and indeed, the long, four-year journey to discover more about the history of our Canaletto. In addition to learning about a single painting, I have a much better understanding of daily life in the eighteenth century and the economies of daily life in country house. I am looking forward to applying this knowledge to my next project. And hoping that it won’t be as long as four years before it comes to fruition!

A special thanks to Stanton for his perspective and giving us the insight into a beautiful exhibit from its genesis into its public unveiling. Come check out the Venice in the Age of Canaletto exhibit which is on view until May 9, 2010.

NEW Canaletto Exhibition

EXHIBITION: Venice in the Age of Canaletto February 14 – May 19

The Brooks is proud to announce the arrival of Venice in the Age of Canaletto, a collaborative effort shared with the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The exhibition spans almost one-hundred years beginning with the artist’s birth in 1697, and ending in 1797 with the fall of the Venetian Republic.

Our very own Stanton Thomas, Associate Curator at the Brooks, wrote the catalogue Venice in the Age of Canaletto.

Born Giovanni Antonio Canal in Venice, Canaletto was famed for his Venetian landscapes and genre paintings. Proficient in etching and painting, Canaletto’s realistic works captured not only his city and the ‘floating’ architecture, but also the citizens and their experiences of life in Italy.

Also, as a special treat, Max Marmor, President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, will speak on the history of the Kress Collection of European art and the gift of paintings to the Brooks. Free with museum admission.

Wine + food + art = La Dolce Vita

I wanted to take a minute to write about our 2010 Art of Good Taste season, which will celebrate “La Dolce Vita” with Italian wine, food, and art.  If you’ve never been to any of our AGT events, you are in for a treat!

The Art of Good Taste comprises four main wine auction events, which serve as the museum’s biggest fundraisers of the year, and have raised almost 3 million dollars over the past decade!  All the proceeds go to fund our education programs and community outreach efforts, so you know your money is going towards a worthy cause… in addition to granting you great night out!

This year we’re excited to welcome seven vintners who are coming all the way from Italy to represent the different wines of their country!  We’ve got: Badia a Coltibuono (Chianti), La Valentina  (Montepulciano), Tenuta Sant’Antonio  (Amarone), Lageder (Alto Adige), Marco Felluga (Collio), Vietti  (Piedmont-Barolo), and Casanova di Neri (Montalcino, Brunello).

Wine tastes better paired with delicious food, right?  So, to compliment our winemakers, we are hosting celebrity chef and author Lidia Bastianich; award-winning chef Ken Vedrinksi of Charleston’s Sienna Restaurant; and Marc Orfaly, Executive Chef of the famous Pigalle in Boston; who will all work in concert with Brushmark Executive Chef Wally Joe and Chef de Cuisine Andrew Adams.

Tell me more, you say?  Well, here are the details about the events: 

Fleming’s Wine Dinner (Sun. 2/28 at 6 pm) features a five-course dinner by Chef William Kloos, and wines by Silver Oak and Twomey, and exciting live auction items.  Tickets are $150 per person and all inclusive.
Brooks Uncorked: A Taste of the Sweet Life (Fri. 4/16 at 7 pm) is one of the most lively events, featuring food by our favorite local restaurants, over 50 wines from around the world, and DJ Raiford on the terrace!  Tickets are $100 for general admission; $150 for VIP admission.
Patrons Dinner (Fri. 5/7 at 7 pm) This elegant, black-tie-optional evening features seven prominent winemakers from Italy, poured alongside a five course Italian meal, with a live auction. Tickets are $500 per person, all inclusive.  Tables are also available.
The Grand Auction & A Taste of Italy (Sat. 5/8 at 4 pm) This is an event to remember! Begin the afternoon with a tasting of Italian specialties from the finest local Italian restaurants, enjoy an abundance of fine wine, then move to the tent for the main event. The live auction features wine from some of the world’s most prestigious cellars, exclusive trips, tastings, dinners, artwork and jewelry.  Tickets are $150 per person, all inclusive.

For more information, check out our website at

FILM: British Television Advertising Awards

Don’t miss out! Three chances to watch this sell-out event!
Thursday, January 28 | 7pm
Friday, January 29 | 7pm
Sunday, January 31 | 2pm

The British Television Advertising Awards began as early as 1976 to recognize commercials and advertsing! In its fifth year at the Brooks, the BTAA will surely be a sell-out!

As one of the few American museums chosen to act as presenter, the Brooks will host three screenings. These shorts are funny and memorable and a great event to bring a date, friends, or family!

Check out a past winner from 2005:

Development Department:How Membership Makes the Difference

Why Membership?

We at the Brooks love our visitors. The more people experiencing our collections and activities, the better. We are extremely excited about everything we offer, from art to events, and nothing brings us more joy than to have the community participate in each activity. Visiting the Brooks introduces you to the world of art and gives you a glimpse of all that is going on. One only has to look at our packed Calendar of Events to see that we have something for everyone.

But as much as we love our visitors, there is something extra special about being a member at the Brooks. For instance, being a member gives you exclusive access, dining and shopping discounts, connects you to a deeper level, and makes you part of it all. Here are just a few of these perks we keep talking about:

Exclusive “Members-only” receptions every time we open a new exhibition
As a member, you get to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, surround yourself with fellow art-lovers and experience the collection before it becomes available to the public (as a side note, our next “Members-only” reception is on February 19 – hope you can join us!).

Members-only parties
The most popular being our Avant-Garde party in August, which always correlates with the summer exhibition. We are thrilled to have Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present on view during the summer, promising to make this year’s Avant-Garde party the best yet!

Discounts on films and Thursday night events
Members get discounted admission to the variety of films we are continually showing, which are guaranteed to be thought-provoking, humorous, moving, and informative.

Discounts in museum store and in the Brushmark restaurant
And who doesn’t love to shop and eat?

So come on over and share with us all that the Brooks has to offer!

This blog is written and posted by the nicest woman I know, Kiley Robinette, Development Associate.

CELEBRATE: Beaujolais Nouveau Release Party

Thursday, November 19 | 6pm – 8 pm
Vive le Beaujolais!


Come party like the French as the Brooks celebrates this annual wine drinking event, the Beaujolais Nouveau Release Party, where we’ll tap a barrel of Beaujolais to be enjoyed by all!

The third Thursday of November is the date when the year’s new vintage of Beaujolais is released and celebrated the world over.  Beaujolais is a very young wine — the grapes are harvested, fermented, and bottled within a few short months in order to meet the midnight-hour release time in late November.


Beaujolais is easy on the palette with its fair-bodied flavor and fruity accents.  It is made from the Gamay grape.  This wine is so unique, it is considered to be from its own singular region even though it is next door to several other established regions.

More interesting facts about Beaujolais Nouveau…


Complimenting the playfulness of the wine it celebrates, the Brooks event will take on a Parisian street fair atmosphere.  See la vie en rose as you stroll through the Brushmark to the tunes of Edith Piaf, sampling French food by Chefs Wally Joe and Andrew Adams.  Menu highlights include brie crêpes, smoked beef and gruyere baguettes, crawfish pastries, not to mention an assortment of desserts like nutella-strawberry crêpes or warm beignets.  All this while sipping on an abundance of the new Beaujolais — poured straight from the barrel!

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets ($25 for members; $30 for non-members, which is inclusive of  food, drink, tax & gratuity — can you beat that price!?).


After the party, Beaujolais revelers are also invited to visit the featured exhibition Masterpieces from Museo de Arte de Ponce while they are here; and to attend the 7:30 pm performance of Sartre’s No Exit, presented by University of Memphis Department of Theatre and Dance, free of charge.