That was another country

Art

Notes on Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949–1955 at the New-York Historical Society. Precisely because photography is thought to be the most objective of all mediums, it acquires over the course of years, and seemingly in spite of itself, a haunted quality that no other product of visual culture can claim to the same degree. Fig. 9. Leaving Penn Station, 1952. …

Walker Evans: early and late

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

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 …

A Rich and Beautiful Sadness

James Gardner Art, Exhibitions

Silence, stillness, and darkness in the paintings of the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi In one of his most famous works, the esteemed art historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner sought to define “The Englishness of English Art.” If anyone were to under take a comparable inquiry into the Danishness of Danish art, the painter Vilhelm Hammershøi could well stand as the palmary …

One Off

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

“There has never been another artist like George Caleb Bingham”   Fig. 1. The Jolly Flatboatmen by Bingham, 1846. Oil on canvas, 38 by 48 ½ inches. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Patrons’ Permanent Fund. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, most American artists were “outsider” artists, in the sense that these denizens of the New World stood …

Habsburg flash and filigree

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

The splendor of the house of Habsburg was always inversely proportionate to its prowess on the field of battle. Under Maximilian I of Austria and his grandson Charles V of Spain, the dynasty waged continuous battles from Cuzco to Constantinople and from Scandinavia to the shores of Africa. During this time, the external manifestations of its magnificence were fairly restrained, …