Thursday, May 6, 2010

Elvis at 21 at Boca Museum of Art

Elvis Presley in His Prime at Boca Museum

When you think of Elvis Presley, fine art is not the first thing that usually springs to mind- Elvis’ portrait on black velvet, maybe.
Yet popular culture meets fine art in “Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer,” running through June 13 at Boca Raton Museum of Art in Mizner Park.
Wertheimer was just 26 when he accepted an assignment to travel with Elvis in the pivotal year 1956, when the popularity of the young Tennessean singer was morphing from budding star to boundary-breaking youthquake cultural icon.
Not only are Wertheimer’s black and white images technically brilliant, they are insightful in revealing the psychological transition from aw shucks country boy to revolutionary trend-setter.
Wertheimer’s images capture Presley’s stage magnetism, and more important, his sexual attractiveness beneath that magnetism. In his prime at age 21, Presley had the raw power to reduce any girl to tears, which is proven again and again in Wertheimer’s photographs.
I was a kid when Elvis was at his peak of popularity, and I didn’t quite understand why he drove all the little girls crazy. As Elvis began his long decline into bad movies and cheesy Las Vegas stage shows, I forgot what made Elvis special in the first place. With Wertheimer’s help I feel I have gained a belated understanding of this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Thanks for the memories.
“Rememberingstanleyboxer: a Retrospective 1946-2000” on the other hand is more what we expect from a fine art museum. Frankly I wasn’t that familiar with this American abstract expressionist painter, and this exhibit of 50 paintings and 13 sculptures serves as a handy primer.
So thanks for the education Boca Museum. Now I feel I know a little about this important American artist who is represented in virtually every important art museum in the USA.

Art Meets Fashion at Boca Museum Art School

Speaking of crossings boundaries, art meets fashion in the work of Nicole Napolitano and Rebecca Rolle, both students at the Art School of Boca Museum of Art at 801 W. Palmetto Park Road.
The girls fabricated dresses out of metal, vegetable and animal materials in dresses called “Mineral” made with metal, “Vegetable” made with tea bags and “Animal” made with feathers. You can see their handiwork on display through May 21 at the Art School. Both girls will attend New York’s prestigious Pratt Institute in the fall.
Call Boca Museum at 561-392-2500 or visit for more information.


  1. How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?:, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from