BEST MUSEUM EDUCATIONAL SERIES

"Decades" at the Leepa-Rattner Museum

Now this is a great idea, and one that might inspire other museum directors to say, "Why didn't I think of that?"

"Decades" is the brainchild of Leepa-Rattner Museum Executive Director Lynn Whitelaw, former Curator of Education at the Tampa Museum of Art. The annual program, which began in October 2002, is designed to highlight social, political, cultural and artistic developments of the 20th century. Each year, a different decade will be featured, though not necessarily in chronological order. The first series focus was 1900 to 1910, a critical period for the development of the modernist movement. One thinks of phenomenal art evolution during this decade, with names like Picasso, Braque, Cezanne and Matisse. But Whitelaw's premise also involves related scholarly fields, so coordinated lectures and programming are part of each series. During the first round, held on Sunday afternoons, Whitelaw began with a talk on social and cultural issues. Other events included a panel discussion presented by seven St. Petersburg College faculty members (Tarpon Springs Campus). Presentations focused on broad concepts, movements and figures, plus multidisciplinary subjects like psychology, sociology, art, math, music, humanities, costume/fashion design and science. In addition, the Avenue Players Theatre presented two George Bernard Shaw plays, and Friends of Tarpon Springs Library co-sponsored a three-part film series. Discussion highlighted film as a developing international medium. Grapevine gossip is that people didn't want to leave the presentations.

"Decades," Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, St. Petersburg College, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs, 727-712-5762.

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