Pakal: The Original Starman

Sarcophagus Lid, Pakal Transitioning from Life to Death, c. 675 BCE, Temple of the Inscriptions, Palenque, Chiapas, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Beneath the stepped pyramid of the Temple of Inscriptions, down a steep stairway and in a small chamber, rests the tomb of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal. The ancient Mayan king Pakal, part political leader and part living god, ascended to the … Continue reading

Happy Autumn from Asher B. Durand

Asher Brown Durand, Kindred Spirits, 1849, 46.1” x 36.2”, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

This iconic painting by Asher B. Durand depicts the artist’s mentor and close friend, Thomas Cole, the leader of the Hudson River School, in conversation with the poet William Cullen Bryant. The pair stands at a distance from Kaaterskill Falls … Continue reading

Make the Time: Oscar Muñoz in Paris

Oscar Muñoz, Narciso (en proceso),
1995-2011, 
Charcoal dust and paper on water, Plexiglas, 6 elements
, 10 x 50 x 50 cm each, Photo by Julian Pierre via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

If you are fortunate enough to visit Paris within the next week, make a point of seeing “Oscar Muñoz: Protographies” at Jeu de Paume. Muñoz, the emblematic artist from Colombia, investigates the capacity images have to preserve memory. The artist explores the … Continue reading

Just a Second: Kitsch

Thomas Kinkade, A Peaceful Retreat, 2002, available in several sizes in different media, Photo by Glen Dahlman via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Kitsch (noun or adjective) German for “trash,” kitsch is art that is overly sentimental and vulgar. Kitsch is considered in poor taste because it is a pale and formulaic imitation of genuine achievements in the fine and applied arts. Conversely, … Continue reading

Sainte-Chapelle If You Love Blue

Sainte-Chapelle, 1241-1248, Île de la Cité, Paris, Photo by Didier B, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic via Wikipedia.

Built by French King Louis IX, a.k.a. St. Louis, in the mid-13th century, Sainte-Chapelle almost itself is a reliquary rather than a chapel to house reliquaries. The space is connected to the Royal Palace so that the royal family could simply walk into … Continue reading

Prendergast and Summertime

Maurice Prendergast, The Bathers, c. 1918-1923, oil on canvas, 17.5

Let this painting of bathers by American Post-Impressionist artist Maurice Prendergast inspire you to revel in the last days of summer! See you in September.

Happy Birthday Judith Leyster

Judith Leyster, Boy Playing a Flute, c. 1635, oil on canvas, 28.7

Judith Leyster Painter, Dutch Golden Age Judith Leyster, born July 28th, 1609 in Haarlem, was one of the few successful women artists working prior to the 20th century. She was the first female member of the Haarlem Guild of St. … Continue reading

In Their Own Words: Thomas Jefferson

John Trumbull, Thomas Jefferson, 1788, oil on panel, 4.8" x 3", The White House, Washington, DC, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.”   Thomas Jefferson Happy Independence … Continue reading

Make the Time: The Fuhrman Family Collection at The Contemporary Austin

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled, 1992, Photo by Rosalyn Davis via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Works of art from Glenn and Amanda Furhman’s blue-chip collection of contemporary art currently are on view at The Contemporary Austin. The exhibition features the human figure, primarily in sculpture, each a type of investigation of the roles into which … Continue reading

The Winchester Psalter: No Way Out

An Angel Unlocking the Door of Hell, Winchester Psalter (Psalter of Henry of Blois), between1121-1161, 12.6” x 8.8”, British Library, London, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication License, Wikimedia Commons.

The lavishly illustrated Winchester Psalter likely was created for Henry of Blois, brother of Stephen, King of England, in the 12th century. This manuscript from the Romanesque era has 80 unusual and innovative illustrations, including the frightening scene of an … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron, The Angel at the Tomb, 1869-70, Royal Photographic Society, Bath, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

British photographer Julia Margaret Pattle was born on June 11th, 1815 in Calcutta, India to Adeline de l’Etang, a French aristocrat, and James Pattle, a British official of the East India Company. In 1838, in Calcutta, she married Charles Hay … Continue reading

Getting Slick with the Apoxyomenos

Roman copy of the Apoxyomenos by Lysippos, original c. 330 BCE, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican City, Rome, Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons.

The Apoxyomenos, or the “Scraper,” is a popular subject in ancient Greek art that depicts athletes cleaning themselves by rubbing olive oil on their bodies and then scraping it off with a curved metal scraper, called a strigil. This particular … Continue reading