FLASH POINT: FINAL DAYS FOR EDGERTON AT MFA
Sunday is the last day to view the small exhibition of Harold Edgerton's photographs in the second-floor gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts. Edgerton (1903-40) was the electrical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who refined the stroboscope and transformed photography using its high-speed flash. The technique deconstructed motion, allowing us to see every part of it as it happens. The human eye can blink every one-fortieth of a second; a camera shutter in the 1930s can function every one-hundreth of a second, and Edgerton's strobe could flash at one-millionth of a second. He wasn't the first to explore this type of photography but he became the best. We have seen his famous images before: bullets ripping through an apple and banana, a drop of milk forming a perfect coronet as it splashes, Bobby Jones' legendary golf swing captured in multiple images of perfection. And did you know: When a bat hits the ball, the bat bends; when a football is kicked, it collapses at the point of impact. It's the 1938 version of Deflategate. The exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE, continues through Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. $17, $15 seniors and $10 kids 7 and older and students with ID. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.
RINGLING MUSEUM: CIRCUS CELEBRITIES
Circuses as we know them began in the mid-19th century and had their most glorious years in the early 20th century. More than 100 of them toured the United States in railroad cars, setting up tented arenas in towns and cities across the country. Yes, the elephants and clowns were always beloved at the circus, but circus owners also needed marquee stars who could be recognized for their unique talents and acts, people who would stand out against the competition. The best appeared in the coveted center ring under the Big Top. Getting the word out in advance of their appearances, as well as news of the circus in general, was the job of posters plastered around the towns. They were off-set lithographs, an inexpensive printing technique that made posters a viable form of advertising.
The Circus Museum at the John and Mable Ringling Museum complex has a collection of posters featuring the most well-known performers, often presented both as portraits and in performance such as William Showles and Daisy Belmont, both with bareback horse acts, with the Sells Brothers and Barrett Circus circa 1890.
The exhibition continues at the Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, through Oct. 3. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday. Admission, which includes the art museum, circus museum and Ca d'Zan, is $25, $20 seniors and $5 students with ID and youths 6 to 17. (941) 359-5700. ringling.org.
NEW SHOW: SARTQ IN SARASOTA
Don't try to pronounce SARTQ. It's an artist collective in Sarasota meant to be seen, not heard. The letters are a combination of SRQ, the code of the Sarasota airport, and "art." The newish (Blank) Slate Gallery, 538 S Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, will feature a group show of about 25 works on a smallish scale.
Participating artists are Jeffery Cornwell, Elena De La Ville, Zachary Gilliland, Joni Younkins-Herzog, Tim Jaeger, Cassia Kite, Jenny Medved, Laine Nixon, Vicky Randall, Javier Rodriguez, Steven Strenk, and Jill Taffet.
The show opens Friday with a free reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and continues through Aug. 20. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Free. blankslategallery.com.