In Their Own Words: Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecock, 1994, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic; painted with polyurethane enamel, 17 ft. 11 in. high x 15 ft. 1 in. crown diameter and 4 ft. nose cone diameter, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Photo by April Rinne via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecock, 1994, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic; painted with polyurethane enamel, 17 ft. 11 in. high x 15 ft. 1 in. crown diameter and 4 ft. nose cone diameter, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Photo by April Rinne via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.” Claes Oldenburg

Take Five: What’s So Great About Cubism?

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

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

Make the Time: Arnold Newman at the Harry Ransom Center

Exhibition with two photographs of Pablo Picasso by Arnold Newman, Photo by Pieter Musterd via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. Exhibition with two photographs of Pablo Picasso by Arnold Newman, Photo by Pieter Musterd via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Now through May 12th, you can visit the first major retrospective exhibition of Arnold Newman’s remarkable photographic portraits at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX.  The exhibition includes over 200 of his masterworks in which he captured his celebrated … Continue reading

In Their Own Words: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Neue Nationalgalerie, 1962-1968, Berlin, Photo by seier+seier via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Neue Nationalgalerie, 1962-1968, Berlin, Photo by seier+seier via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Just a Second: Pietà

Michelangelo, Pietà, 1498-1499, marble, 68.5" x 76.8", St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Michelangelo, Pietà, 1498-1499, marble, 68.5

Pietà (noun) A representation of a sorrowful Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus, usually found in sculpture.  The most famous example was sculpted by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres.  The Pietà was an unusual … Continue reading

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Art Heist No Longer is a Cold Case

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.

On March 18th 1990, as Bostonians were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, two thieves posing as police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, saying they were responding to a call.  The guard on duty allowed the thieves into the museum.  … Continue reading

In Their Own Words: Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami, Oval Buddha exhibited at the Palace of Versailles, 2007-2010, Photo by Magic Ketchup via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Takashi Murakami, Oval Buddha exhibited at the Palace of Versailles, 2007-2010, Photo by Magic Ketchup via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

“We want to see the newest things. That is because we want to see the future, even if only momentarily. It is the moment in which, even if we don’t completely understand what we have glimpsed, we are nonetheless touched … Continue reading

Rembrandt van Rijn: The Magnet in the Room

Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait, 1659, oil on canvas, 33 ¼” x 26”, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Image Courtesy of 1000Museums.com. Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait, 1659, oil on canvas, 33 ¼” x 26”, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Image Courtesy of 1000Museums.com.

When you walk into any gallery of 17th-century paintings and one by Rembrandt is in the room, you will be drawn to the Rembrandt.  His paintings glow.  In a word, they are “rich,” like a dessert can be rich.  They … Continue reading