August 20, 2014 |
The staggering luxury of Downtown Abbey's turreted house and lush grounds have mesmerized audiences as much as any of the adventures of the Crawley family and their staff
The real Downton Abbey is Highclere Castle, located in Berkshire at a crossroads between Winchester and Oxford, Bristol and London. The property's thousand acres of parklands include the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, and the current house stands on foundations that for roughly eight hundred years held up the palace of the bishops of Winchester.
Since 1679 the property has belonged to the Herbert family. Henry Herbert (1741-1811), a grandson of the eighth Earl of Pembroke, inherited the estate from an uncle in 1769 and shortly afterwards commissioned Lancelot "Capability" Brown (1716-1783) to redesign the gardens, a project that included moving an extant folly and creating new ones.
In 1793 Herbert was granted the hereditary title o…» More
August 12, 2014 | In this, the quietest season of the year for the New York art world, when most of the commercial galleries are shuttered and the museums have been abandoned to the tourists, it behooves the critic to slow down for a few weeks and smell the flowers. By that I mean returning to the permanent collections and observing the recent addition of several significant objects. I refer in specific to two seventeenth-century paintings that have just entered the collections of the Metropolitan Museum: Saint Francis in Ecstasy by the Genoese master Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and The Sacrifice of Polyxena by Charles Le Brun.
These are not exactly blockbuster acquisitions and have not even been done the honor of a press release. Rather, when no one was looking, they quietly appeared out of nowhere, assuming their places among the immortals of the collection. One will not love the Old Master tradition because of these two works: rather one will love these two works because they form part o…» More
July 30, 2014 | Whatever my other sins might be, envy is not usually among them. And yet, I recently felt that unwelcome emotion as I leafed through a coffee table book devoted to, of all things, the private library of Carl Gustav Jung. To turn from those rows of solemn volumes to the calamitous misalliance of dust jackets and trade paperbacks that make up my library was to form no very flattering notion of the modern book business. What was so charming about Jung's collection was that, in addition to its sixteenth- and seventeenth-century volumes, it was made up chiefly of those austerely elegant German, French, and English editions that formed the bedrock of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century publishing.
As it happens, my own library may resemble Jung's a little more than do most of my contemporaries': for reasons of predilection and economy, I have been acquiring old books from the earliest moment when I had the money to do so. In younger years I haunted New York's great and ve…» More
July 30, 2014 |
In a refreshing new twist on how to bring new life to long-revered art and objects both the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam have invited philosophers to play the role of curator
DRESDEN CONSIDERS THE BOWL
Philosopher Wolfgang Scheppe has collaborated with the staff of the Dresden State Art Collections to present an exhibition in tribute to the American art historian George Kubler and his 1962 treatise The Shape of Time. The show focuses on a single form: the bowl. Ninety-nine examples drawn from many eras and cultures are presented in a long line and juxtaposed against a series of conceptual photographs, also of bowls, by the late Italian photographer Franco Vimercati. The human imagination cannot help but compare and contrast them according to the visual relationships created by their ordering. The bowl itself is revealed to be timeless and as utilitarian now as it was at the dawn of human c…» More
July 28, 2014 |
Do you remember the game License Plates, when vacation travel meant keeping your eyes peeled for car tags from as many states as possible? Well, this summer you can play Art Everywhere, looking for masterpieces of American art scattered across the American landscape.
In some fifty thousand outdoor locations across the country starting on August 4--in cities and towns large and small, on billboards and buses, train platforms and bus shelters--the Art Everywhere project will display reproductions of more than fifty great American artworks from the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Whitney Muse…» 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