September 27, 2016 | Thanks to an active export market that sent its wares to the southern colonies, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean, furniture makers of Rhode Island enjoyed an influence far greater than their industry’s small size. The region’s superlative, and often misattributed, craftsmanship from the colonial and early Federal periods is the focus of a new exhibition, Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, at the Yale University Art Gallery. It is the culmination of more than a decade of research, writing, and mining material culture, helmed by Patricia E. Kane, the Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts. More than 130 objects and pieces of furniture will be on display, including high chests, chairs, bureau tables, desks, desk-and-bookcases, and clocks, which have been culled from different cultural institutions and private collections. The exhibition presents the most sweeping survey of its kind since the Rhode Island Historical Society…» More
September 27, 2016 | For the first time a woman has been nominated by a major party for the presidency of the United States. This summer’s U.S. Olympic team included more women than men. And American art museums are increasingly giving women their due. The Norton Museum of Art in Florida is a good example, as evidenced by its acquisitions of works by American painters Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Grace Hartigan, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby in the last year. We asked the Norton’s executive director, Hope Alswang, to tell us more about the museum’s interest in women artists.
Super Blue Omo by Njideka Akunyili Crosby (1983–), 2016. Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, purchase through the generosity of Jim and Irene Karp; photograph courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London © Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
The Norton’s three most recent acquisitions of art by women artists span a century, from 1913 to 2016. Other than that they are by women, is there a thread that connects them to eac…» More
September 9, 2016 | By Stephanie L. Herdrich, Metropolitan Museum of Art
John Singer Sargent’s Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children, a dazzling display of fin-desiècle opulence and bravura painting, is the focus of a dossier exhibition this fall at New York’s Jewish Museum. The exhibition explores the sitter’s identity and life as a privileged Jew in late Victorian London and affords visitors a rare opportunity to admire a much-loved work by the celebrated painter.
Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children by John Singer Sargent, 1896. Tate, London.
Adèle Meyer was the wife of a prominent international banker, and a vivacious society hostess and philanthropist committed to progressive women’s issues. She shared a passion for the performing arts—theater, music, and opera—with Sargent. He admired the stylish, self-assured young matriarch and portrayed her, accompanied by her children Elsie and Frank, with a confident poise.
In his studio Sargent conjured a sumptuous domestic interior à …» More
September 9, 2016 | This fall the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents two exhibitions about art and artistry that upended the cultural apple cart—albeit in vastly different times, places, ways, and contexts.
Our Lady of Sorrows by María Izquierdo, 1943. Private collection.
September 3 saw the debut of Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House—a showcase for a suite of furnishings designed by the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe and fabricated in 1808. In his designs for the ebonized and gilded seating pieces and tables—featured in our pages earlier this year (The Magazine ANTIQUES, March/April 2016)—Latrobe took direct inspiration from the furniture forms and decorative motifs of ancient Greece. Together with the magnificent town house Latrobe designed for clients William and Mary Waln, the lavish furniture shocked and awed staid Quaker Philadelphia society. But it also set a new aesthetic standard for both the city and the nation, as the show’s …» More
August 4, 2016 | Vitreous, white, and often delicately translucent, porcelain was invented in China as early as the seventh century, but Western attempts to reproduce the Chinese miracle failed until the dawn of the eighteenth century, when the Saxon ruler Augustus the Strong pressed into his service the young Berlin alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger and commanded him to enrich the Saxon coffers by producing gold from base metals. When Böttger failed at this, Augustus pressed him into porcelain experimentation, as assistant to the eminent philosopher-scientist Ehernfried Walter von Tschirnhaus, who had been conducting research in the field of glass and porcelain since the 1680s.
In 1708 Böttger fused a blend of fire-resistant white kaolin (discovered near Meissen) and a ground feldspathic stone (since called petuntse from the Chinese bi-dun-dzu or China stone) and thereby stumbled on the recipe for hard-paste porcelain like the Chinese.
Determined to monopolize Europe…
[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