Current & Coming | By Cynthia Drayton

A Century of Mourning Attire at the Met

October 27, 2014  |  Death Becomes Her, the Costume Institute's first fall exhibition in eight years, examines American and English bereavement rituals of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Period fashions and accessories, including hats, shawls, parasols, and jewelry, along with fashion plates, satirical illustrations, and mourning pictures reveal the formal rituals of bereavement, mostly observed by women. A woman's selection of mourning clothing demonstrated her status, taste, and level of propriety. Quotes from period publications flashed along the walls of the exhibit's main gallery demonstrate the range of attitudes by and towards women and their observation of mourning, which includes the social activist Julia Ward Howe's frustration at the inconvenience of spending money on black clothes, to etiquette manual author Robert de Valcourt's description of veiled widows as alluring and seductive.

The thirty ensembles are organized chronologically and show the progression of appropri…» More

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Current & Coming | By Cynthia Drayton

The PRB at the MMA

July 1, 2014  |  Five Metropolitan Museum of Art curatorial departments comprising European paintings, drawings and prints, photographs, European decorative arts, and the Watson Library along with several private lenders have collaborated to produce a small,well-focused exhibition, The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) was founded in 1848 by seven young artists and writers who rejected contemporary academic painting, and instead looked for inspiration in late medieval and early Renaissance art before Raphael; hence the name. By 1853 the group had disbanded. A brief time later artists William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, both former Oxford theology students, asked former PRB member Dante Gabrielle Rossetti to lead a revival of the movement and to create art that also embraced romanticism, medievalism, and literature.

The Love Song by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898),  1868-77. Oil on canvas, 45 by 61 3/8 inches. The Metropolitan Museum …» More

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Current & Coming | By Cynthia Drayton

Museum and Garden openings around the country

April 17, 2014  |  

CONNECTICUT

New Canaan:  Philip Johnson Glass House (May 1 - Nov. 30);Vukjiko Nakaya: Veil: The artist will use fog to create atmospheric effects in the Glass House's first site-specific artist project.

Night by Vincent Fecteau: Contemporary artists create a series of sculptures inspired by Giacometti's sculpture Night, which are displayed on the Mies van der Rohe coffee table where Giacometti's sculpture was displayed prior to being sent for repair to his studio in the mid-1960s. Giacometti died during the restoration and the sculpture was never returned to the Glass House.

Old Lyme:  Chadwick Studio and Rafal Landscape Center at the Florence Griswold Museum  (April 6 - Oct 31); the American impressionist painter William Chadwick used this structure as his studio from around 1920 until his death in 1962.

DELAWARE

WilmingtonNemours Mansion and Gardens (May 1 - Dec 31); designed by Carrère and Hastings in the late eighteenth-century French style, Nemours was built by Alfr…» More

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Current & Coming | By Cynthia Drayton

New exhibition of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes at the Frick Collection

February 20, 2014  |  New York City's Frick Collection recently opened an exhibition of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes from the collection of Janine and J. Tomilson Hill. Displayed are thirty-three statuettes, sculptures, and a relief by masters of the Italian, German, Dutch, and French schools of the late fifteenth into the eighteenth century. One highlight is a pair of bronzes titled Sleeping Hermaphrodite and Reclining Venus after terracotta models attributed to François Duquesnoy and Thibault Poissant commissioned by the celebrated seventeenth-century French sculptor François Girardon for his personal collection. An added pleasure for admirers of French decorative arts is that the gilded-wood couches supporting the bronzes are attributed to the versatile French designer Gilles-Marie Oppenord, Girardon's neighbor at the Louvre. Oppenord did a series of drawings of Girardon's sculpture collection, including these bronzes, in imaginary architectural settings, which were engraved and published by N…» More

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The Market | By Cynthia Drayton

Record-breaking folk art at Sotheby's

January 28, 2014  |  Sotheby's set a record on Saturday, January 25, with the sale of the Ralph O. Esmerian Collection of Folk Art. The 228 lots reached a total of $12,955,943 eclipsing the previous record set by Sotheby's in 1994 with the sale of the Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little Collection.

Saturday's top lot was the 1923 figure of Santa Claus by the Brooklyn-born artist Samuel Anderson Robb, which sold for $875,000, more than three times the pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. A rare carved pine pheasant hen weathervane once in the collection of the influential folk art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert achieved $449,000; and Ruth Whittier Shute and Samuel Addison Shute's c. 1832 portrait of Jeremiah H. Emerson of Nashua, New Hampshire, realized $665,000. The c.1816 double portrait of John Bickel and Caterina Bickel from Jonestown in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, painted by Jacob Maentel reached $401,000.

Santa Claus by Samuel Anderson Robb, New York, c. 1923. Sotheby's New York. 

 

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NYG 2013

by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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