Limited edition postcard featuring CAA student Jim Poole wearing a Cage Bag as a mask on Cranbrook’s campus, 1974. Courtesy Stephen Milanowski.
In 1974, artist-composer John Cage traveled to Cranbrook for the opening of the museum exhibition Music-Mushrooms-Manuscripts. His visit prompted an incredible spate of creative production among CAA students, including this postcard. Part of a limited edition set created as part of Cage’s visit, the card features CAA student Jim Poole wearing a “Cage Bag” as a mask. The Cage bags (paper bags featuring silk-screened images of John Cage’s face) were made to be used in a performance of Cage’s compositions held on campus.
If this all seems confusing, don’t worry – you can get some clarity on this amazing, confusing, and exciting time period by visiting Cranbrook Art Museum on Sunday, March 23. Shelley Selim, the 2013-2015 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Fellow, will be lecturing on John Cage’s visit to Cranbrook as well as discussing Mushroom Book and Sounds of Venice, two Cage works currently on display in the Cranbrook Art Museum exhibition My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process. The lecture starts at 4 pm, and immediately following will be a performance of Sounds of Venice by Detroit musician and composer Joel Peterson (check out his amazing gallery/restaurant/performance space Trinosophes, across from Eastern Market). For more information, check out Cranbrook Art Museum’s website. You can also read more about the Cage visit in Shelley’s amazing blog entry, hosted hereon our sister blog Cranbrook Sightings. And if you haven’t yet seen My Brain Is in My Inkstand, be sure to catch it soon–the exhibition closes on March 30!