Connecting Through Abraham

Rembrandt van Rijn, Abraham Entertaining the Angels, 1656, etching and drypoint, 6 ½” x 5 ½”, Image via Wikiart, artwork in the Public Domain. Rembrandt van Rijn, Abraham Entertaining the Angels, 1656, etching and drypoint, 6 ½” x 5 ½”, Image via Wikiart, artwork in the Public Domain.

Abraham is an example of faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each of the three monotheistic religions, meaning that followers believe there is just one God, either emphasizes Abraham or traces their origins to the tribal patriarch. Jews believe that … Continue reading

The Earliest Nativity

The Nativity, Sarcophagus lid, c. 408 CE, Basilica of St. Ambrose, Milan, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. The Nativity, Sarcophagus lid, c. 408 CE, Basilica of St. Ambrose, Milan, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The earliest Nativity scene in art is carved into a sarcophagus lid once thought to be for a Roman general, Stilicho, who died in 408 CE. The ox and the ass and two birds are the only figures that appear in addition … Continue reading

One Step at a Time

Morton Broffman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrives in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25th 1965 at the culmination of the Selma to Montgomery March, 1965, silver gelatin print. Morton Broffman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrives in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25th 1965 at the culmination of the Selma to Montgomery March, 1965, silver gelatin print.

When I write about photographs, I typically discuss the work of art, or the object, but today I want to write about an image. This is an image of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. leading thousands of demonstrators from Selma, … Continue reading

Which One?

Norman Rockwell, Which One?, 1944, oil on canvas, 37" x 29", Private Collection. Norman Rockwell, Which One?, 1944, oil on canvas, 37" x 29", Private Collection.

If you still have a sense of humor after Election Day, and you are willing to drop about $5 million, you can bid on Norman Rockwell’s Which One?, which goes up on the auction block at Sotheby’s on November 21st. … Continue reading

They Called Her George

Grace Hartigan, Grand Street Brides, 1954, oil on canvas, 73” x 102”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Grace Hartigan, Grand Street Brides, 1954, oil on canvas, 73” x 102”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Grace Hartigan exhibited under the name George Hartigan, following in the footsteps of female writers George Eliot and George Sand, so that she would be taken seriously as an artist. She was from the second generation of Abstract Expressionist artists, … Continue reading

Just a Second: Grisaille

Hieronymus Bosch, Arrest of Christ and Christ Carrying the Cross from the Exterior of the Triptych of The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1505-1506, oil on panel, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Artwork in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Hieronymus Bosch, Arrest of Christ and Christ Carrying the Cross from the Exterior of the Triptych of The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1505-1506, oil on panel, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Artwork in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

French for the word gray, grisaille is the technique of painting in a muted monochrome palette. As would be expected, this technique often was used for the underpainting of a work of art; however, in the 15th century artists painted many exteriors of … Continue reading

Make the Time: Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

Agnes Martin, Aspiration, 1960, ink on paper, 11 ¾” x 9 ⅜”, Photo by J R via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Agnes Martin, Aspiration, 1960, ink on paper, 11 ¾” x 9 ⅜”, Photo by J R via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Tomorrow a major retrospective of artwork by Agnes Martin (1912-2004) will open in the famous rotunda at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It is a brilliant space to enjoy the subtle variations in her minimalist and expressive … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Caravaggio

Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-99, oil on canvas, 57" x 77", Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome, Photo in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-99, oil on canvas, 57

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio would have been 545 years old today. He actually only lived to be 38 years old, which is somewhat miraculous considering his tumultuous life. We know more about him from law books than anything else. He was brought to … Continue reading

Elizabeth Murray is the Mother of the Day

Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978, Oil on canvas, 101 3/16 × 127 in., Whitney Museum of Art, NY, Photo by rocor via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic License. Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978, Oil on canvas, 101 3/16 × 127 in., Whitney Museum of Art, NY, Photo by rocor via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic License.

Today is National Lazy Mom’s Day, so in honor of moms I’d like to share with you a painting that presents the unique perception of a mother. This painting by American artist Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007) presents the joyous play of … Continue reading