“I knew him when he was a very young man,” Allen said. “He has accomplished so much in his career.”
Another show — “Flash Back — November 22, 1963” commemorating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination — is curated by Jaime DeSimone. Allen remembers giving DeSimone her first job at the Addison eight or nine years ago. He said he has watched her career flourish from a young assistant curator to now an exhibition curator at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.
“When I look back on the young people who have been part of my life at the beginning of their careers, it gives me a sense of pride,” Allen said. “So many have gone on and done so well, whether as artists in the case of Jim and curators as Jaime.
“It’s gratifying to me to have these two very successful people in the arts, to have them in my life at some point in my career ... to see them flourish and do well.”
Beyond being his final exhibitions as director, Allen said the fall shows will take on added meaning for him at the end of the year. Before he formally departs from Andover, Allen will enter Addison not as its director, but to celebrate his marriage. The gallery will serve as the backdrop for his upcoming wedding reception.
The four new fall exhibitions at the Addison Gallery of American Art feature a mix of painting, photography and mixed-media works exploring a range of subjects — from the meaning of the word “family” in the 21st century to the way that people understand and interpret the natural world to how the media influences one’s perceptions of dramatic events
The shows run through early January. Here’s a quick look:
“Flash Back — November 22, 1963:” Presented on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, it investigates the lasting impact of a painful episode in American history through works of art that appropriate, manipulate and at times distort images that document the time.