Editor’s letter, May/June 2013

Nicole Anderson Opinion

Our cover shows an early and uncharacteristically jaunty paint­ing by George Ault, part of the Lunder Collection featured in the article about the Colby College Museum of Art. Elsewhere in the issue an example of Ault’s later, more hard-boiled style can be seen in Marica and Jan Vilcek’s collection of  early American modern­ism. Ault was by most accounts an impossible …

Editor’s letter, March/April 2013

Nicole Anderson Opinion

A few weeks ago the Connecticut congressman Joe Courtney registered dismay at one of the more significant departures from historical fact inSteven Spielberg’s Oscar-bound Lincoln. To dramatize the narrow margin by which the Thirteenth Amendment passed, the film’s screenwriter Tony Kushner shows two members of the Connecticut delegation voting against the abolition of slavery. As it happened, all four voted …

Editor’s letter, January/February 2013

Nicole Anderson Opinion

In the 1950s Robert Moses, New York’s bully-boy developer (a familiar type in these parts), had a suggestion for citizens who objected when he razed their neighborhoods: “Go to the Rockies,” he told them, implying that city life is bulldozers, cranes, and scaffolding and to resist them is to resist being urban and modern. Moses notwithstanding, modern life in New …

Editor’s Letter, November/December 2012

Nicole Anderson Opinion

Not long ago I planned to have some fun in these pages by running a sly taxonomy of the current television shows about old things-from the somewhat shopworn Antiques Roadshow down through Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Market Warriors and the rest of the Roadshow’s offspring. I expected to spare only Storage Wars, which I find the sunniest of guilty pleasures …

Editor’s Letter, September/October 2012

Nicole Anderson Opinion

Our country’s regional wars may be over, but in the 1960s when the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) began, they were very much alive. Southern writers for instance were still working through the story of loss while northerners remained dubious about the value of southern culture. MESDA took a different path. The idea that the South did not …

Editor’s Letter, July/August 2012

Nicole Anderson Opinion

  We have something to celebrate this summer in the resurgence of the American Folk Art Museum. Pronounced dead after selling its award-winning building on Fifty-ThirdStreet in Manhattan, the museum is noth­ing of the sort, as you will see in the articles grouped here under the rubric “Folk Art Rising.” At its tidy quarters on Lincoln Square, a smooth street-level …

Editor’s Letter, May/June 2012

Nicole Anderson Opinion

  Starting out in the intoxicating decade of the 1920s, Antiques began by running against the rhythm of its times, celebrating tradition in a decade fueled by the Americanization of the avant garde and the arrival of mass culture in radio, music, and film. The 1920s also witnessed the founding of several other magazines more specifically attuned to the spirit …

Editor’s Letter, March/April 2012

Nicole Anderson Opinion

There are days when I am sure that there is a constant worldwide conspiracy out there to pretend that the past does not exist. Fortunately I leave the office occasionally and find that this may not be true. I recently toured Camera Solo, the exhibition of Patti Smith’s photographs at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford with Susan Talbott, the museum’s …

Editor’s letter, January 2009

Editorial Staff Opinion

Several years ago I visited the Reverend Peter Gomes, Harvard University’s chaplain and professor of Christian morals, to interview him about the way he had furnished Sparks House, the residence Harvard provides for its preacher. I was struck by the exuberance of his rooms, their voluptuous colors—golds, reds, and greens­—their antiques—Yankee, French, Scottish, English—the dramatic spiral stairwell lined with wallpaper …