Category: art

Art News Roundup: Kind Of Blue Edition

Due to the Labor Day holiday, I didn’t have time to give you a post earlier this week, gentle reader. So let’s make up for that by giving you a larger-than-usual usual helping of stories from the worlds of art, architecture, design, archaeology, and collecting, which may prove to be of some interest. And we’ll begin with some jazz, which is always a good … Read More Art News Roundup: Kind Of Blue Edition

Art News Roundup: Delightful Discoveries Edition

After 1066, England was a rather unsettled place to live. The Normans under William the Conqueror had just invaded and killed Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon king, at the Battle of Hastings. Harold, who had only taken the throne nine months earlier in a move whose legality is still heavily debated today by historians – as indeed is William’s claim to the throne – … Read More Art News Roundup: Delightful Discoveries Edition

Bringing Back Baroque in Catalonia

The conventional wisdom concerning the Baroque period in Catalonia has always been, “There’s not much to look at.” For the past century or so, art historical emphasis has been placed on the area’s Romanesque, Gothic, and Early Renaissance periods of art and architecture, when the financial and naval power of the Catalans was at its height. With the economic decline that set in after … Read More Bringing Back Baroque in Catalonia

Art News Roundup: Mmmm’s The Word

At the moment I’m planning my travel schedule over the next six months, and am faced with the rather pleasant dilemma of having many excellent exhibitions I want to see, but a limited amount of time in which to see them. As I was commenting to my editor the other day, it’s interesting how, beginning in the 1970’s and up until a few years … Read More Art News Roundup: Mmmm’s The Word

Making Mies Happen: The Allure of Unbuilt Architecture

Although Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) has been dead for nearly fifty years, one Midwestern city is about to become home to perhaps the last building of his ever to be built. In 1952, Mies was commissioned to design a building for the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. Although plans were submitted to the University for approval, the project never … Read More Making Mies Happen: The Allure of Unbuilt Architecture

Art News Roundup: Chicken and Egg Edition

Much as I don’t care for the work of Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), even I was fascinated by the latest scientific discovery to be made concerning one of his completed masterpieces, because it raises significant questions about the chronology of his surviving work. Ahead of an immersive exhibition on the painting that will open this November, the National Gallery in London has released amazing … Read More Art News Roundup: Chicken and Egg Edition

The Witching Hour

Whether you’re talking about late-17th century Salem, or mid-20th century DC, people love a good witch hunt. In the Massachusetts colony, the fear of witchcraft was just as real to the people of that time, as the fear of insidious Communism was to people in the age of the Red Scare. Like worshiping the Devil, a practice of which Communism is merely a modern … Read More The Witching Hour

Art News Roundup: No Swimming Edition

If you’ve a fellow American who has traveled abroad in recent years, and visited artistic or historic sites, you’ll probably agree that there’s been an overwhelming increase in two factors at these locations which, at least at first glance, appear to be unrelated. There’s been a proliferation of international retail establishments in these areas, where chain stores and food outlets that you can find … Read More Art News Roundup: No Swimming Edition

Unpredictable: Human Nature Through Art

Over the weekend, I watched a documentary on the life of Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), the eldest son of James VI of Scotland and I of England; Henry would have succeeded to the British throne had he not predeceased his father. Although presented by a scholar, it wasn’t a formal history lecture, but rather an accessible presentation designed for a general … Read More Unpredictable: Human Nature Through Art

Art News Roundup: Lead Balloon Edition

Amidst the furor over the causes of the fire that ravaged the Cathedral Basilica of Notre Dame de Paris back in April, and lingering questions about how the church should be rebuilt, one very important, but until now relatively under-reported, aspect of the conflagration got lost in the shuffle: burning lead. Lead, as you probably know if you’ve ever had to do repair work … Read More Art News Roundup: Lead Balloon Edition

Aesthetics and the Gospel of Ugliness

There’s a frequent refrain in more traditional schools of thought when it comes to the arts that goes something like this: if people were only exposed to beauty, they would prefer it to the ugliness which has characterized much of painting and sculpture, architecture, film, and music for the past century or so. I don’t deny that there’s some truth to that notion, particularly … Read More Aesthetics and the Gospel of Ugliness

Art News Roundup: Taking Stock Edition

My American readers are probably familiar with the White House Historical Association, founded by former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, which helps coordinate the efforts of the National Park Service and several other government agencies to catalogue, conserve, and study the hundreds of artistic treasures in the permanent collection of the Executive Mansion. Over the past two centuries, the home has acquired everything from bronzes … Read More Art News Roundup: Taking Stock Edition