Painting with fire

Art, Furniture & Decorative Arts

Enameling and the Cleveland school. The story of modern enameling in this country begins in the industrial heartland of the Midwest, amid blazing steel mills, smoky oil refineries, and congested railroad yards.1 From the late 1920s to the early 1940s, several forces coalesced to make Cleveland – at the time the fifth largest city in the nation – the preeminent …

Case History: Lost and found

Art

How a tsunami-tossed pair of sacred Japanese artifacts found their way across the Pacific and back home again. Surrounded by seagulls, the first kasagi discovered on the beach in Oceanside, Oregon, in March 2013. Photograph by Judson Randall. A wooden plaque mortised into the second kasagi to wash up in Oregon bore the name of the donor, Toshimi Takahashi, and …

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 …