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…
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
by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton» View All