Poetry and painting

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Among this year’s best surprises is the moving exhibition Bold, Cautious, True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era, which opened during the summer at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, and remains on view at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York, through January 24, 2010. Taking its title from a Whitman …

The taste for Gothic

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

To wealthy American collectors during the Gilded Age, the appeal of medieval and early Renaissance art was considerable. Seeing themselves as the new aristocracy and wanting to re-create for themselves the prestige and trappings of European nobility, they sought objects that they felt embodied the chivalry, piety, luxury, romance, and magnificence of that distant age. Gothic Art in the Gilded …

Virginia vernacular

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

The ladder-back, windsor, and fancy chairs made in western Virginia from the eighteenth to the twentieth century represent a unique contribution to the history of furniture making in the United States. This month more than forty important examples, mostly from private collections, will go on view in the exhibition Come In and Have a Seat: Vernacular Chairs of the Shenandoah …

Cartier and America

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Organized to celebrate the firm’s one hundred years in the United States, Cartier and America, which opened last month at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, explores the history of the house of Cartier from its first great successes as the “king of jewelers and the jeweler to kings” at the end of the nineteenth century through the 1960s and 1970s, …

Holiday Sparkle

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Keeping winter doldrums at bay during Europe’s darkest days, the Sun King lights up London and Versailles; the Magi gleam with baroque opulence in Basel; the stars illuminate the Vatican; and Dionysian ecstasies fire up Berlin. London A sumptuous Cucci cabinet on offer at Christie’s creates a splashy finale to the auction season. As 2009 draws to a close, the …

American paintings at auction

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

On the horizon are the fall sales of American paintings, drawings, and sculpture at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York. Among the highlights to be offered at Christie’s, on December 2, is Andrew Wyeth’s 1960  Above the Narrows, a painting the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once referred to as “bleak” and “inexplicably barren,” featuring a young boy …

Multiple modernisms on exhibit in New York

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

Early twentieth—century modernism-particularly that of Austria and Germany—seems to be all over New York this fall, with two exhibitions at the Guggenheim—Kandinsky, and Gabriel Munter and Vasily Kandisnky 1902-14: A life in Photographs—one at the Museum of Modern Art—Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, and yet another at the Neue Galerie: From Klimt to Klee: Masterworks from the Serge Sebarsky Collection, …

Eye candy

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Having immersed himself in bygone foodways and culinary techniques for decades, author, food historian, and master of antiquated cookery Ivan Day is the man to call when England’s great historic house museums look to re-create the grand feasts of earlier centuries. He has whipped up historically accurate food and settings at Chatsworth, Waddesdon Manor, Hardwick Hall, and many others. While …

My MESDA

Editorial Staff Exhibitions, Furniture & Decorative Arts

Sometimes you have to move every object in a collection to fully appreciate it.  In January the curatorial team at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts did just that.  We moved virtually every exhibited object in the museum’s galleries and opened our new 45-minute guided tour, called Southernisms: People and Places, in one week’s time.  Exhausted, and with sore …

Blockbuster shows in London and Paris

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Moctezuma The British Museum inaugurates a fall blockbuster season with a sweeping exhibition on the last Aztec ruler. Anticipating the 2010 bicentennial of Mexican independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, the British Museum completes its four-part series on great rulers with the first major show devoted to the Aztec emperor Moc­tezuma II. That the museum has chosen to …