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Windows on the past: Watercolors of long-vanished houses and gardens

Editorial Staff Art

August 2008 | Earlier this year the New York Times ran a report on the “new” trend of homeowners hiring celebrated photographers to document their houses. Once at the mercy of shelter magazines to showcase their interiors, these people have bypassed those arbiters and commissioned photographs to be hung on their walls and assembled into sumptuously designed albums for their …

Asa Ames: New Discoveries

Editorial Staff Art

August 2009 | Sometime between 1849 and his death in 1851 a young carver named Asa Ames in Evans, Erie County, New York, decided to have his picture taken (Fig. 2). He opted for the daguerreotype process rather than a painted portrait, and he purchased a quarter-plate size though the composition he envisioned was complex for the small format. The …

The Hudson River School at Lake Placid Lodge

Editorial Staff Art

Visitors to the newly reopened Lake Placid Lodge in Lake Placid, New York, may be surprised to encounter a large collection of paintings, comprised mostly of works by members of the Hudson River school depicting Adirondack scenes. While many of the works are by artists whose names are probably not familiar to most-William Richardson Tyler, John Olson Hammerstad, Nelson Augustus …

The real Menil

Editorial Staff Art

September 2008 | It would be hard to refute the art world consensus that the most admired collector of the second half of the twentieth century was Dominique de Menil (Fig. 6), the French-born heiress to the Schlumberger oil drilling equipment fortune, whose eponymous private museum of 1982 to 1986, designed for her adopted hometown of Houston by Renzo Piano …

The purists Paul Follot and Maurice Dufrène

Editorial Staff Art

October 2009 | At the 1925 Exposition internationale des Arts décoratifs et Industriels modernes in Paris, the unquestioned star of the event was the furniture designer and ensemblier Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879–1933). Critics hailed his showcase pavilion—which he called the Hôtel du Collectionneur—as a masterwork, and as the design historian Alastair Duncan wrote decades later, “Had France of the 1920s …

George Harvey’s Anglo American atmospheric landscapes

Editorial Staff Art

October 2008 | The English-born artist George Harvey is primarily remembered for his spectacular watercolor landscapes, although he was also a painter in oils, a miniaturist, architect, poet, and writer. In the 1830s and early 1840s he created a series of forty “atmospherical” watercolor views of American scenery that he intended to have engraved and sold serially by subscription, a …

A Sense of Place: American art and the Seattle Art Museum

Editorial Staff Art

November 2009 | When and where the Seattle Art Museum was founded greatly shaped its collecting of American art—far from the art centers of the East Coast and comparatively late in this slowly developing city on the Pacific Northwest frontier. Long a student of Asian art, which his mother had also avidly collected, the museum’s founding director, Richard E. Fuller …

Seattle goes boom: The Seattle Art Museum becomes a mecca for American art

Editorial Staff Art

November 2009 | In addition to its seventy-fifth birthday, the Seattle Art Museum is celebrating donations of a billion dollars’ worth of art, including what some think is the best Edward Hopper in private hands (Fig. 11) and multiple Willem de Koonings, Mark Rothkos, and Gerhard Richters. Not bad for a place that didn’t have a European painting department until …

Ernest Blumenschein and the Indians

Editorial Staff Art

November 2009 | Ernest L. Blumenschein (Fig. 2) is recognized for multiple and magnificent contributions to American art and culture. Many of his most laudable accomplishments, and they were legion, seem to counterpose one another-he was a virtuoso violinist and a skilled shortstop; his Beaux-Arts training as a painter sustained his allegiance to representational academic art, yet he championed modernism …