Uncompromising Truth

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

In 1841 the English art critic and social theorist John Ruskin hired a young valet by the name of John Hobbs. For the sake of propriety Ruskin resolved to address Hobbs as “George,” on the principle that a Victorian gentleman, even one with advanced political beliefs, should not have to share his name with a servant. Hobbs’s duties, although initially …

Color in a Higher Key: John La Farge

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

John La Farge and Paul Gauguin never met, which is just as well. Had they done so, these two painters, one an American academician, the other a French bohemian, would surely have despised one another. Indeed, even without meeting Gauguin, La Farge was comfortable dismissing him as “wild and stupid…[a man who] went into the wilderness and lived the simple …

Fantastic Mr. Shearer

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Fantastic Mr. Shearer A man with a mission, the elusive late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Virginia cabinetmaker John Shearer often professed his British loyalties in carving and inlay. Even when he did not, his furniture displays an idiosyncratic style that has long intrigued scholars and collectors-and made Shearer the subject of two articles in our April-May 2010 issue, written in …

The Emperor’s Secret Garden

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Fig. 1. Mural of an interior scene from the Yucuixuan (Bower of Purest Jade) in the Qianlong Garden, Beijing, c. 1776. Ink and colors on paper, 10 feet, 4 ¾ inches by 12 feet, ⅜ inch. Many artists from the ateliers of the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736–1796) contributed paintings to the scene, among them Yao Wenhan (active c. 1739–1752), who …

Charles Deas West

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

During the 1840s Charles Deas, a scion of the wealthy antebellum Izard family of South Carolina, painted dramatic images of the American West that captured the young nation’s uncertainty about its future—and the imagination of a vast viewing public. Late in the decade, however, he slid into insanity (he spent almost half of his fortyeight years in asylums), and both …

Helen Turner

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Orphaned at thirteen, Helen M. Turner overcame enormous obstacles to become one of the most successful American woman artists of the first half of the twentieth century. A daughter of the South, she worked in the impressionist style across a range of genres, specializing in subjects that portrayed the woman’s sphere, from still lifes of dressing-table tops to figures in …

Haute couture

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville is the only venue in the United States for an acclaimed traveling exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s world-renowned costume collection. The show, which opened in London in 2007 and has been seen in Australia, Hong Kong, and elsewhere, centers on the glamorous decade of Paris and London couture between …

French painting

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Visitors to the left coast this summer can get a taste of the left bank, thanks to exhibitions on view at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The de Young Museum is showing the stunning Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, which includes some one hundred iconic examples from that Paris museum, which is partially closed for …

Paris prepares for the 25th Biennale des Antiquaires

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Fall Preview: Paris prepares for the 25th Biennale des Antiquaires Preparations for the Biennale des Antiquaires, which will open on September 15 in Paris’s Grand Palais, are well underway. Although it is the twenty-fifth edition of the Biennale, it is the first under the direction of Hervé Aaron of Didier Aaron, who is the new president of France’s Syndicat National …

Normandy: An impressionist summer

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Normandy: An impressionist summer Upper and Lower Normandy join together for a massive summer-long celebration of impressionism at museums and cultural institutions throughout the two provinces. One highlight is the exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, which unites eleven of Claude Monet’s paintings of the cathedral and includes about thirty depictions of the city by Camille Pissarro. More …