Women at an Exhibition

Jerry Shaw Video Box

Commissioned by the Akron Art Museum to celebrate its collection, Women at an Exhibition is a collaborative work by composer Randall Woolf and filmmakers Mary Harron and John C. Walsh. Woolf's music blends traditional symphonic orchestration with electronically sampled sounds of women singing in musical styles ranging from country and western, gospel, new wave rock, blues and renaissance madrigals. Commissioned to accompany Woolf's composition, Harron and Walsh's video incorporates images of women from the museum's collection, including works by Ruth Bernhard, Harry Callahan, William Merritt Chase, Chuck Close, Walker Evans, Helen Levitt, Alfred Stieglitz and others. Woolf's piece had its world premiere in 2004 in a live performance by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and a chamber version debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2005 by the American Composers Orchestra. This commission was funded by American Composers Forum's Continental Harmony, a national program that links composers with communities. Women at an Exhibition was commissioned by the Akron Art Museum and premiered by the Akron Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ya-Hui Wang with support from Continental Harmony, which links communities with composers through the creation of original musical works. The program is a partnership of American Composers Forum and The National Endowment for the Arts, with funds provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation and additional support from the Target Foundation. Harron and Walsh's video is supported by the Akron Art Museum Acquisition Fund and Continental Harmony. Additional support was provided by Mrs. Cynthia Knight and Northeast Projections, Inc.