November 1, 2014 | For art lovers, the most interesting thing in Austin, Texas, is not the LBJ Presidential Library or the grandiose State House--impressive as both of them are--but the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Texas. A fine example of a university or college museum, it has strong collections of American and Latin American art, as well modern and contemporary. But what raises the Blanton far above most good university museums is its collection of Old Master paintings. What is so special about these works is that they come almost entirely from a single source, the famed Suida-Manning Collection, which the university acquired nearly intact in 1998 and around which it built the stylish Blanton Museum, which opened its doors in 2004.
Above: Saint Cecilia by Simon Vouet, c. 1626. Oil on canvas. The Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, the Suida-Manning Collection, 1999.
What is so special about the Suida-Manning Collection, relative to most o…» More
October 31, 2014 | By Amy a. Weinstein; originally published in January 2005.
Appealing to the imagination of children of all ages, the toy collection of the New-York Historical Society offers a miniature window into nineteenth-century American family life. The approximately three thousand objects that constitute the collection are made of wood, metal, paper, ceramic, and cloth and trace the social, economic, political, and military history of the nation. The collection documents how new toys were created in response to great events and as new materials and technologies were adapted by the European and American toy industries.1 Although the collection most clearly illuminates the leisure pursuits of wealthy and middle-class children, simpler versions of expensive toys made it possible for children living in less privileged circumstances to own toys of their own.
The growing presence of toys in the United States was in part an outgrowth of the emerging recognition of childhood as a special phase…» More
October 31, 2014 | When Virginia-born George Caleb Bingham was seven, his father lost most of the family's fortune, and they moved to Missouri to build a new life, settling first in Franklin, on the banks of the Missouri River, and later on a farm in Saline County. Who knows what would have caught his imagination had Bingham stayed in Virginia, but there is no question that life on and near the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers as the nation moved westward brought him lasting fame as a painter, providing him with subject matter that satisfied both his artistic aims and his belief in democracy. For the first time, Bingham's river pictures are being examined in depth in an exhibition organized by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, where it opens on October 2.
Above: The Wood-Boat by George Caleb Bingham 91811 - 1879), 1850. Saint Louis Art Museum.
At a time when images of the West proliferated--in paintings, prints, maps, magazine illustr…» More
October 31, 2014 | This year marks the 350th anniversary of NewJersey, a milestone celebrated across the state with events and programs highlighting innovation, diversity, and liberty. The Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton is marking the occasion with an exhibition that introduces all three themes. Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, 1726-1860 brings together 150 examples of needlework made in or by New Jersey schoolgirls and organizes them geographically to illustrate connections between the elaborate artworks and utilitarian objects crafted by girls of diverse religious, family, and socioeconomic backgrounds, from the Quaker schools in Burlington County to a luxurious silk-on-silk memorial to George Washington made at the prestigious Folwell School in Philadelphia by a New Jersey native.
Above: Needlework by Kiziah Sharp, Burlington County, New Jersey, 1825. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Diker.
Research for the show has made it possible to exhibit mul…» More
Montgomery Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts: "Alexander Archipenko: Dreizehn Steinzichnungen"; November 29 to January 18, 2015. "The Grand Tour: Prints from Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, and London"; to November 23. "Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined"; November 8 to January 4, 2015.
Tucson Tucson Museum of Art: "La Vida Fantastica: Selections from the Latin American Folk Art Collection"; to June 30, 2015.
Bentonville Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: "Born of Fire: Ceramic Art from Regional Collections"; to March 2, 2015. "John James Audubon and the Artist as Naturalist"; to January 5, 2015.
LosAngeles Autry National Center: "Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork"; to April 26, 2015.* "Route 66: The Road and the Romance"; to January 4, 2015.
J. Paul Getty Center: "Drawing in the Age of Rubens"; to January 11, 2015. "World War I: War of Images, Images of War"; November 18 to April 19, 20…» More
[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi» View All