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…
June 1, 2016 | By Joan DeJean
Neptune and Triton by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, c. 1622– 1623, as installed in the newly reopened Europe 1600–1815 galleries at the V&A. Except as noted, all images © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
In December 2015 the Victoria and Albert Museum’s European galleries were opened to the public for the first time in nearly a decade. The prime space just off the museum’s grand entrance has been completely redesigned to uncover the original 1909 architecture of Aston Webb, and more than eleven hundred objects from the museum’s remarkable collections of art and design are now on display. Visitors descend stairs and immediately experience the power of the Italian baroque: Bernini’s monumental sculpture Neptune and Triton of about 1622–1623 dominates the first gallery.
The central rooms of the galleries known as Europe 1600–1815 introduce periods and styles in chronological order: the baroque with rich purple walls, pistachio green for the rococo, and …» More
May 11, 2016 |
The Library Court of the Yale Center for British Art, following its recent reinstallation. Photograph by Richard Caspole.
Traditional architecture can age gracefully but nothing is more dispiriting than modernism gone to seed. That may be especially true of Louis Kahn’s work because Kahn hid nothing; it was part of his bravery, and his ethics, to put every trick and technique on view, exposing it all with as much light as his walls could contain. If you revere his architecture as I do, you want the fit and finish of his final building, the Yale Center for British Art, which reopens on May 11 after an elaborate conservation project, to live up to the architect’s exceptional honesty by giving you his bravery unfiltered, undiluted, and with all of the serene thrills of 1977. And so it has.
Louis Kahn standing in front of the Yale Center for British Art under construction, in a photograph taken in February 1973. Yale Center for British Art, Institutional Archives.…» More
February 10, 2016 | Last October The Magazine ANTIQUES and our sister publications MODERN and Art in America joined forces with the venerable ARTnews. In November we moved from SoHo, our longtime home, to new offices just down from Madison Square Park and within sight of the Flatiron Building, built in 1902, the year ARTnews began publication.
By Eleanor H. Gustafson
The Flatiron Building, designed by Daniel Burnham (1846–1912), completed 1902, in a photograph of c. 1905 by the Detroit Publishing Company. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Prints and Photographs Division.
It’s a neighborhood that is currently food central for New York gastronomes and casual grazers. Bookended by the high end Eleven Madison Park on one side of the park and the mecca of Eataly on the other, there is the humble Shake Shack at the park’s core, where you can eat al fresco and look at some fine sculpture and architecture. For us this neighborhood constitutes the ideal conjunction of food and ar…» More
December 18, 2015 |
Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman by Margaret K. Hofer and Roberta J. M. Olson (New-York Historical Society in association with D. Giles). 376 pp., color and b/w illus.
There’s nowt so queer as folk,” according to the venerable English comment on the vagaries of human personality. Indeed, when the Polish-born American sculptor Elie Nadelman and his wife Viola Flannery married in 1919, the exceptional variety of objects that we now categorize as folk art were only beginning to be recognized as worthy of serious collecting in America.
Though the Nadelmans referred to their ac quisitions as “folk art” from the beginning of their collecting activities in 1920, the term itself didn’t enter widespread use until the next decade.
The Nadlemans had considerable money to spend because Viola had been left a sizeable estate by her first husband, and they started their collection by purchasing objects to furnish their houses. Among their first signif…» 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