Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Photography in New York

October 14, 2009  |  The New York dealer of fine photographs Hans P. Kraus Jr. celebrates his gallery's twenty-fifth anniversary this year with a display of iconic works entitled Silver Anniversary: 25 Photographs, 1835 to 1914, opening today. Even readers who are less familiar with photography dealers will recall Kraus's impressive booth at the 2009 Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory, which re-created the 1905 interior of Alfred Stieglitz's legendary gallery 291 in New York with works by many of the same photographers who had exhibited there.

The new exhibition traces the history of photography from its birth in the mid-1830s to the early twentieth century and is divided into three sections. The first, "The Period of Discovery," covers roughly 1835 to 1845 and explores the earliest efforts at photography in both England and France, including William Henry Fox Talbot's photogenic drawing negative Tripod in the Cloisters of Lacock Abbey (c. 1835-1836) and the earliest known print of his…» More

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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Wine as inspiration

August 24, 2009  |  Since classical Greece, philosophers have been extolling the virtues of a glass of good wine. Socrates supposedly advised: "So far as drinking is concerned, you have my hearty approval; for wine does of a truth moisten the soul and lull our griefs to sleep." According to the thirteenth-century theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas: "Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of good wine." And during the trials of our country's early days, Benjamin Franklin professed that "wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."

A Case for Wine: From King Tut to Today, on view at the Art Institute of Chicago to September 20, traces the history of wine's cultivation and consumption in both religious and secular contexts through a selection of vessels whose origins range from ancient Greece to twentieth-century Chicago. The exhibition begins with one of the museum's most famous pieces, the so-called Chicago Painter's Vase, a Greek stamnos …» More

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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

American impressionism

August 21, 2009  |  American impressionism, in particular Connecticut impressionism, is the focus of the current exhibition at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, which has recently been promised the major gift of the collection of its trustee Clement C. Moore. The collection, which will be on view through October 18, includes major works by notable members of the Lyme Art Colony, including Childe Hassam, Willard Leroy Metcalf, and William Chadwick that have never been shown publicly.

Lyme in Mind: The Clement C. Moore Collection was organized by Amy Kurt Lansing, the curator at the Florence Griswold Museum, who also wrote the accompanying catalogue.
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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Bessie Potter Vonnoh

August 5, 2009  |  The eminent American sculptor of domestic and feminine subjects, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, is the subject of a retrospective exhibition—long overdue—on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum through September 6. Featuring some thirty-five pieces of her small sculpture and garden statuary from 1895 to 1930, most in bronze but a handful in terra cotta, as well as portraits of the artist painted by her husband Robert Vonnoh, Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women explores the range of her production and spotlights her conception of women as both icons of beauty and moral guardians of family and home.

Vonnoh began her formal training in 1886, enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago where she took modeling classes with the French-trained sculptor Lorado Taft, whom she later assisted with the sculpture for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. In 1895 she traveled to Paris where she visited Auguste Rodin, and, like many of her contemporaries, was inspired by the impressionist practice of taking modern life as subject matter for fine art. Maternal scenes, such as her 1896 bronze A Young Mother, and compositions of modern-day women and girls reading and dancing, as in her 1898 Daydreams, became her primary subjects. But while many painters of her day dwelt on the same themes, Vonnoh was recognized as the first sculptor in the United States to render such everyday subjects, earning her membership in the most prestigious professional societies, as well as awards, critical acclaim, and lucrative patronage.
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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Massachusetts quilts

July 20, 2009  |  Recently more than two dozen of the most significant quilts discovered to date by the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project went on view at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell in the exhibition Massachusetts—Our Common Wealth: Quilts from the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project, which runs through September 20. So far, some six thousand quilts have been documented as a result of this fifteen-year-long effort to find and record examples made throughout the state's history.  

As the quilt and textile scholar Lynne Z. Bassett writes in the exhibition's accompanying catalogue, it is not known when Massachusetts women began to make their own bed quilts, but from the early 1700s teachers of needlework advertising in Boston papers offered instruction in quilting in the English and French styles. A distinctive Massachusetts style of quilting emerged by about the mid-eighteenth century. No longer confined to the rigid framed center medallion designs of British whole-cloth q…» More

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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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