Sculpting Joy: Experiencing the artist and his art at the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation

Art

In the entranceway to the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, located in a town house in historic Greenwich Village, two sculptures by Chaim Gross welcome visitors to the place where he worked and lived. Together, they announce the hallmarks of his art.   The first is Family of Five Acrobats (1955), a bronze sculpture with a black patina that stands …

Women’s work

Editorial Staff Art

For the first time a woman has been nominated by a major party for the presidency of the United States. This summer’s U.S. Olympic team included more women than men. And American art museums are increasingly giving women their due. The Norton Museum of Art in Florida is a good example, as evidenced by its acquisitions of works by American …

That was another country

Art

Notes on Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949–1955 at the New-York Historical Society. Precisely because photography is thought to be the most objective of all mediums, it acquires over the course of years, and seemingly in spite of itself, a haunted quality that no other product of visual culture can claim to the same degree. Fig. 9. Leaving Penn Station, 1952. …

The Real American Grotesque

Art, Exhibitions

A group of circus posters at the Shelburne Museum illustrates the routine stereotypes and exploitative practices of circus owners as they battled one another for primacy. Fig. 3. History and Medical Description of the Two-Headed Girl, published by Warren, Johnson and Company, Buffalo New York, 1869. Pamphlet with woodcut illustrations, 7 by 5 inches. Shelburne Museum, Vermont, gift of the …

Paul Landacre’s world

Art

The brilliance of the master printmaker owed something to the patronage of Hollywood royalty but a great deal more to the dynamism of early California modernism. Fig. 1. Growing Corn by Paul Landacre (1893–1963), 1938. Wood engraving, 8 3/4 by 4 1/2 inches (image). Private collection. Fig. 2. Sapling Slim and Shadow Naked, 1928. Wood engraving, 8 by 5 7/8 …

Of Meissen men…and women at the Frick

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

Vitreous, white, and often delicately translucent, porcelain was invented in China as early as the seventh century, but Western attempts to reproduce the Chinese miracle failed until the dawn of the eighteenth century, when the Saxon ruler Augustus the Strong pressed into his service the young Berlin alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger and commanded him to enrich the Saxon coffers by …

Mr. Boyd and Mr. Miles: A New York State portrait artist deciphered

Art

Early nineteenth-century American portraiture includes a number of small profile likenesses in oil, pastel, and watercolor by artists such as C. B. J. F. de St. Mémin, James Sharples, Gerrit Schipper, and Jacob Eichholtz. All follow the European fashion for profiles, namely emulating those on Greek vases and Roman coinage, and are thus fitting for the neoclassical motifs and styles …

Whose history is it?

Art, Opinion

For years I’d heard people expressing doubts as to whether the Smithsonian Institution actually needed a tenant devoted to black American history and culture. These misgivings didn’t come from whites only, but from black and brown people too.  The more knowledgeable—or, anyway, least blinkered—of such skepticism circled around whether such a place wouldn’t be redundant since there was already a …

Critical Thinking: Confederate Flags and Monuments

Art, Opinion

There’s trouble on Monument Avenue. This grand boulevard in Richmond, Virginia, is the symbolic heart of the city. It is leafy and quiet, and lined with grand architecture dating largely from the early twentieth century. As its name suggests, it also features a series of monuments. One is dedicated to the tennis player Arthur Ashe. All the others pay tribute …