April 1, 2009 | By Elle Shushan; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, April 2009.
The stunning events of July 1804 were almost unfathomable for the citizens of the new American republic. One Founding Father had fatally wounded another. Alexander Hamilton was dead and Aaron Burr would be indicted for murder. The duel and its aftermath marked a turning point in American culture.
Five days before the Burr-Hamilton duel, Edward Greene Malbone arrived for a week's stay in NewYork. Considered the finest miniaturist in the United States, Malbone was attractive, popular, already exceedingly successful, and only twenty-six years old. As Hamilton's massive funeral snaked up Broadway on July 14, he was meeting twenty-five year-old Anson Dickinson for the first time. A fledgling artist, Dickinson had commissioned Malbone to paint his miniature, hoping to learn by watching the more experienced artist at work (Fig. 1).1 So absorbed was Malbone in the painting "that he neither paused himself to view the pagea…» More
July 1, 2001 | By Michael R. Cunningham; from the Magazine ANTIQUES, July 2001
The idea of landscape in the West has historically been aligned with geography. The appearance of a given earthbound place in a painting or photograph normally initiates for the Western viewer an immediate response of physical orientation. We wish to understand the particular environmental conditions and perhaps the terrain of the place. Using personal experience, we gauge what it might hold in store for the actual-or the imaginary-viewer: its air, light, dampness or dryness, the presence of other beings, and so forth. Customarily, we associate ourselves with being there, feet on the ground, prepared for the elements and the delight or challenge of the site. Even if other, more evanescent qualities-such as light-constitute the central feature of a landscape image, as in some seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, we still inevitably parse the landscape setting in order to orient ourselves topographically so as to…» More
June 1, 1999 | By Leslie B. Grigsby. Originally published in June 1999.
The Longridge Collection of ceramics is English pottery Valhalla. Nestled in a New England house with rare English and Continental treen, medieval ivory and metalwork, and early furniture and carvings, this extraordinary collection of ceramics can be divided into two main groups: about 440 pieces of tinglazed earthenware (delftware) and 100 pieces of lead-glazed earthenware with slip decoration (slipware). Many of the pieces are quite rare, and all reflect the owner's fascination with bold shapes, decorative motifs, and inscriptions. Conspicuous is almost unheard of number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dated pots and dishes: 132 of delftware and 55 of slipware.
Many of the dated pieces in the collection can be organized by decorative subject: Chinese and Japanese (kakiemon) motifs and European themes, including neoclassical and commemorative designs, company arms, landscapes, and religious and everyday subje…» More
April 1, 1992 | By SHIRLEY BURY; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, April 1992.
The formidable skill of Parisian jewelers in interpreting the work of innovative designers was the prime cause of their international popularity. Although craftsmen elsewhere practiced the late eighteenth-century technique of open-backed, or à jour, setting, which allowed light to refract and reflect through the stones, greatly enhancing their brilliance, the contrast between the delicate French mounts and the geometrical shapes of the stones was particularly striking (see Pl. III).
The replacement of the Bourbon monarchy by the imperial regime of Napoléon I (1769-1821) did nothing to dim the reputation of the jewelers of Paris, whom the women of the Bonaparte family patronized before and after the overthrow of Napoléon at Waterloo in 1815 (see Pls. I, III, and Fig. 3). At a ball Napoléon III (1808-1873) gave in 1868, for example, his empress, Eugénie, a celebrated beauty, wore "green velvet, with a crown of emeralds…» More
June 1, 1987 | By GEOFFREY C. MUNN; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, June 1987.
Even if the word genius was used as sparingly as it should be, the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century jeweler René Lalique would always be so described. Rather than a craftsman with a leaning toward the artistic, he was an accomplished artist who chose to express himself primarily in jewelry.
The son of a merchant who dealt in pretty luxury goods called "articles de Paris," Lalique spent an uneventful childhood between school in Paris and holidays in the French countryside. It was undoubtedly there that he learned to see nature as a primary source of inspiration; and recording what he saw in the fields and streams was an easy task for a boy who, by the age of fifteen, was earning a steady income as a portrait miniaturist. His interests coincided perfectly with the revolution in the decorative arts known as art nouveau, which rejected eclecticism for a direct interpretation of the natural world. Europeans wo…» More
[Compiled by Claudia J. Nahson, Morris and Eva Feld Curator at the Jewish Museum, New York. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazin» View All