Current & Coming | By Editorial staff

Strange bedfellows: Munch and Johns at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

November 7, 2016  |         

Self-Portrait (with Skeleton Arm) by Edvard Munch, 1895. Munch Museum, Oslo.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asked to name two artists least likely to be paired in a museum exhibition, you could do worse than to suggest Edvard Munch and Jasper Johns. The former is the father of expressionism, maker of The Scream and other paintings filled with anxiety and existential dread; the latter is best known for his cool and detached depictions of commonplace objects such as flags and targets—works that laid the foundation for pop art and other contemporary art movements. But a new show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts reveals unexpected links between the two artists, the most suggestive of which is a piece of bedding. The pattern of a coverlet in Munch’s late-life Self-Portrait Between the Clock and the Bed is nearly identical to a crosshatched motif that Johns used almost obsessively in his paintings of the mid 1970s to early 1980s. While the famously reticent Johns will not discus…» More

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Current & Coming | By Editorial staff

Alice Ravenel Hunger Smith and Middleton Place

November 3, 2016  |  Alice Ravenel Hunger Smith wrote in her Reminiscences that Middleton Place, the family seat of her Middleton ancestors, reminded her of "a jewel thrown down in the green woods."

Over time she filled three sketchbooks and created more than a dozen watercolors depicting life on the plantation, today a National Historic Landmark near Charleston, South Carolina. This year marks the 275th since Henry Middleton began the landscaped gardens there, the oldest and perhaps most important in America, and to celebrate the anniversary, a two-part exhibition of Smith's work will open this fall at Middleton Place and at the Edmonston-Alston house in Charleston.

Born in Charleston in 1876, Alice Smith maintained strong ties to Middleton Place throughout a lifetime of writing, painting, and drawing—a career instrumental in fueling the cultural renewal later called the Charleston Renaissance. Her art served to preserve the past and record the present with an eye to the future. Her watercolor…» More

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Current & Coming | By Editorial staff

Crowning achievements at the Currier

October 18, 2016  |  Since the early nineteenth century, Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States at 6,288 feet, has played muse to some of America’s most famous artists, including Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt. Dramatic views of the “Crown of New England” rendered by painters and photographers helped spur the growth of scenic tourism in New Hamphire’s The White Mountains, which rivaled Niagara Falls in popularity. By 1837 the Mount Washington House hotel charged $1.50 a night, and a trip on horseback to within three hundred feet from the summit could be had for $3.00—tidy sums in those days.

Glen Ellis Falls by Albert Bierstadt, c. 1869. Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University; photograph by Peter Jacobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Currier Museum of Art will celebrate they heyday of the summit’s allure for both artists and sightseers this fall with the exhibition Mount Washington: The Crown of New England. The show will include works by artists of the Hudson R…» More

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Current & Coming | By Editorial staff

Rhode Island gets its due

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

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Current & Coming | By Eleanor H. Gustafson

Women's work

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

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[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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