Articles

Posted 01/20/12

Ahead of the curve: The Newark Museum now and then

In a better world we would all be thronging the doors of the Newark Museum; in the best of worlds Ulysses Grant Dietz would be there to meet us, taking us through the galleries with fellow curators Christa Clarke and Katherine Anne Paul

Posted 08/23/16

The Real American Grotesque

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.

Posted 08/18/16

Paul Landacre’s world

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.

Posted 08/09/16

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

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 of the new republic. 

Posted 07/28/16

Whose history is it?

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 National Museum of American History on the National Mall, where you could  find some of the same things the newer place was going to display. 

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