Category Archives: Take Five

Diego Velázquez, Juan de Pareja, 1650, oil on canvas, 2′ 8″ x 2′ 4″, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. © 2016 . All rights reserved.

Take Five: The Artist Project

The website for the Metropolitan Museum of Art has many interesting and inspiring pages to explore. A current favorite of mine is The Artist Project which has a series of videos of artists talking about various works of art in the museum. It … Continue reading

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893, Casein/waxed crayon and tempera on paper (cardboard), 35 7/8” x 29”, National Gallery, Oslo, Norway, Public Domain via Wikipedia. Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893, Casein/waxed crayon and tempera on paper (cardboard), 35 7/8” x 29”, National Gallery, Oslo, Norway, Public Domain via Wikipedia.

Take Five: Artificial Intelligence and Art History

The Washington Post recently printed an article describing an algorithm that Ahmed Elgammal from Rutgers University used to identify the creative worth of a work of art. Working at the school’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Associate Professor Elgammal devised a system … Continue reading

Lamassu from Khorsabad, ISIS Lamassu (winged bulls) from Khorsabad, restored and housed in the Louvre, Paris, Photo by gulfuroth via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.

The Art that ISIS Destroyed

In recent months, the media has released videotapes of members of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) destroying irreplaceable artifacts from ancient civilizations with sledgehammers and jackhammers inside the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Thankfully, many of these works … Continue reading

Jan Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c. 1660, oil on canvas, 17.9” x 16.1”, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Photo by jimmiehomeschoolmom via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Jan Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c. 1660, oil on canvas, 17.9” x 16.1”, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Photo by jimmiehomeschoolmom via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Take Five: Why Forgers Succeed

By now, you may have heard about Pei-Shen Qian, the Chinese artist living in Queens, NY who forged over 60 paintings by Abstract Expressionist artists such as Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock.  An art dealer from Long Island, … Continue reading

Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1910, oil on canvas, 39.4” x 28.7”, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Photo by teadrinker via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License. Generic Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1910, oil on canvas, 39.4” x 28.7”, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Photo by teadrinker via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License. Generic

Take Five: What’s So Great About Cubism?

By now you may have heard that cosmetics tycoon Leonard A. Lauder has promised the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York his large collection of Cubist art valued at over $1 billion.  This is an incredibly generous donation that … Continue reading

Donald Judd, 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986, aluminum, 41 x 51 x 72 inches each, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX, Photo by OneEighteen via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License. Donald Judd, 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986, aluminum, 41 x 51 x 72 inches each, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX, Photo by OneEighteen via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.

You Just Have to See It for Yourself

Paul Emsley, the artist who painted the portrait of Kate Middleton that was recently unveiled to the public and is now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London, felt a need make the statement that the painting doesn’t photograph … Continue reading

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, c. 1610, oil on canvas, 49.2” x 39.4”, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Take Five: David in Italy

We can learn a great deal by looking at the same subject in art as it is represented over time.  The similarities and differences speak volumes as to the true intentions of the artist and his or her cultural reality. … Continue reading

Albrecht Dürer, The Cook and His Wife, c. 1497, engraving, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, previously for sale at Sears for $225, framed. Albrecht Dürer, The Cook and His Wife, c. 1497, engraving, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, previously for sale at Sears for $225, framed.

Get Your Washer, Dryer, and Dürer at Sears

This is a true story. Between the years 1962 and 1971, you could buy original paintings and prints by artists including Rembrandt and Picasso at Sears. The department store wanted to change their image and did so, rather aggressively, by … Continue reading

Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, 2011, porcelain, Installation at the Tate Modern Tribune Hall, London, Photo by Marie A.-C., Creative Commons Attribution License via Flickr. © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Take Five: Ai Weiwei is Still Free, Sort of

One year ago today, China’s most famous artist, Ai Weiwei, was released from eighty-one days of detention with the Chinese government.  Theoretically, the government will return his passport today.  If they do, it is not clear if he will be … Continue reading

Jan Vermeer, The Concert, c. 1664, oil on canvas, 28½” x 25½”, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Jan Vermeer, The Concert, c. 1664, oil on canvas, 28½” x 25½”, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Turning up the Heat: The Feds Have Intensified Their Investigation of the Gardner Museum Heist

According to Boston.com, federal officials have intensified their activity in the investigation of the theft of several masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that occurred over two decades ago. On March 18th 1990, two thieves posing as police officers … Continue reading

Giotto di Bondone, Crucifixion, 1305-6, fresco, Arena Chapel, Padua, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Giotto di Bondone, Crucifixion, 1305-6, fresco, Arena Chapel, Padua, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Take Five: Intro to the Intro

 Whenever I teach the Introduction to the Visual Arts (or Art History 101), I always begin by making one point very clear: art does not exist in a vacuum. We can always learn something about the artist or the culture … Continue reading