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In a better world we would all be thronging the doors of the Newark Museum; in the best of worlds Ulysses Grant Dietz would be there to meet us, taking us through the galleries with fellow curators Christa Clarke and Katherine Anne Paul
The man who, more than any other, gave visual expression to American life during the Great Depression was not a painter, but a photographer who originally wanted to be a writer. As surely as Aubrey Beardsley’s graphic mastery defined London in the mauve nineties, Walker Evans’s stark photographs remain the most powerful and enduring images of America in its time of greatest hardship.
A summer day on a Cape Cod beach. Blue skies. Warm weather. A slight breeze. Strolling with my wife and four young children. A moment to relax, a time to unwind. Could it get any better? STOP! NOW! DON’T TOUCH THAT! I looked on with horror as my son was about to grasp an enormous gelatinous blob, its tentacles still distinguishable, stingers about to launch their toxic venom.
Glenn Adamson joins us this month as editor at large with an interesting mandate you can read about below. Glenn was most recently director of the Museum of Arts and Design. Before that he was head of research at the V&A, and curator of the Chipstone Foundation.
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.
"I once spent a year in Philadelphia. I think it was on a Sunday,” W. C. Fields said sometime in the early 1940s. Fields, born in Philadelphia and tied with fellow native Man Ray for recognition as Philadelphia’s merriest Dada prankster, was right about the city back then, but this is now. Philadelphia is booming, and so are its restaurants. Everybody, including critics who hated the town in the old days, knows you can get great food at great prices at any number of places. Here are ten or so. And because this is ANTIQUES, each comes with a bit of history.
Specializing in American and European paintings of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries and best known for its expertise in Philadelphia artists, the Schwarz Gallery on Chestnut Street is one of the city’s most esteemed art galleries. The success of the family-owned and family-run firm is all the more remarkable for the fact that its history has been so marked by contingency. Consider, for example, that not one of the members of the three generations of Schwarzes to operate the gallery actually planned to become a dealer. “My grandfather Frank Schwarz, who founded the company, had been studying to be a lawyer; and my dad was a pre-med student,” says Robert D. Schwarz Jr., who manages the gallery with his wife, Deepali Schwarz. “I graduated from college with a degree in computer science.”
The fruits of extensive research on Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s 1808 house and furniture for William and Mary Waln begin with their impact on the aesthetic of the city itself.
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was the most sought-after portraitist of the ancien régime. A retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art rightly calls attention to her extraordinary talent rather than her gender.