The last foreign military invasion of the United States (which included the burning of the White House) took place two centuries ago. Half a century ago, a different kind of British Invasion brought us the Beatles and the Stones. This year, America faces yet another foreign invasion on a small scale physically, but on a mammoth scale culturally. Show More Summary
I know a lot about Spanish culture in South America and rather less about the Inca’s Machu Picchu in Peru. But I know nothing about the splendid cultures that PRE-dated the Incas. Now the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is hosting a major international exhibition, Gold and the Incas: Lost Worlds of Peru, from Dec 2013 until April 2014. Show More Summary
The Battle of the Lech in 955 by the German painter Michael Echter (1812-1879). To paint as much brave German warriors as possible and to achieve the popular pyramidal choreography Echter put the foot soldiers ahead of the attacking knights which no partly clever commander would have done.
Formal drama emerged in Britain by and for the church, perhaps to gain the interest of the common people. The medieval church did anything to attract congregants’ attention; they added sculptures, painted altarpieces, wall frescoes,...Show More Summary
Any biographer writing about a familiar subject faces the same towering problem—how do I make this person seem new and modern? When writing about an artist such as Norman Rockwell, whose art acts for many as a visual time capsule of early and mid-20 th century Americana, that issue becomes doubly difficult to surmount. Show More Summary
Sometimes the toughest shadow to escape is one you cast over yourself. When artist Art Spiegelman began publishing Maus in 1980 in chapter form in the indie comics magazine Raw, which he co-founded with his wife Françoise Mouly, he couldn’t...Show More Summary
Among the most famous artwork in Rome's Villa Borghese are Caravaggio paintings that span the career of this brilliant but volatile painter. And each one of them has fascinating art history behind it. Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio...Show More Summary
Cromwell in the Battle of Naseby in 1645 (1851) by the English painter Charles Landseer (1799-1879). Lanseer depicted here not the battle action but the victors and the spoils. In front there is a dead women a hint to the over 100 women camp-followers the parliamentarian troops also hacked to death believing they were Irish.
Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia that contributed to the Centenary of Canberra celebrations and explored life in 1913. It used contemporary objects, photos, advertisements, paintings and toys; cars and trams vied for space in the exhibition, with figures dressed in the fashions of the period. Show More Summary
I saw the film Aftermath (2012), spoken in Polish with English subtitles. The two main characters, Franek (Ireneusz Czop) and Jozek Kalina (Maciej Stuhr), were sons of a poor farmer in a small village in Poland. Franek had immigrated to Chicago in 1980 and did not even return to his homeland when his parents died. Show More Summary
Lisowczycy by the Polish painter Juliusz Fortunat Kossak (1824-1899). The Lisowczycy were a irregular unit of Polish–Lithuanian light cavalry in the 17th-century. The Lisowczycy took part in many battles across Europe and the historical accounts of the period characterized them as extremely agile, warlike, and bloodthirsty. Show More Summary
We all love visual shorthand for our lives, whether it’s the Apple logo for technology or a flag for patriotism. Just as Thomas Nast’s version of Santa Claus endures as the quintessential Christmas image, Norman Rockwell’s classic painting...Show More Summary
Like most children on the planet, I was read Beatrix Potter books as a child. But why did a grown woman dedicate herself to animal stories? Beatrix Potter was born in London in 1866, to two independently weathly parents. She was educated at home by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. Show More Summary
There's a reason art history considers the 1913 "International Exhibition of Modern Art", or "Armory Show", one of the most significant art exhibitions ever held. The period between 1890 and 1914, known now as the era of "Modernism",...Show More Summary
Aix-en-Provence is a French university town that dates its first royal charter back to 1409. The new town is interesting but it is the old town, with its narrow windy streets and its noble homes dating from the 16th, 17th and C18th, that tourists love. Show More Summary
When we look at the sculpture of Auguste Rodin, we can’t help but feel what his figures feel. Every inch of those sculpted bodies “speaks” the language of passion, whether it be of joy, love, yearning, or anguish. In a recent study of...Show More Summary
This week we mark the loss half a century ago of President John F. Kennedy. For that generation, Kennedy’s death was the “where were you” moment. For our generation, the “where were you” moment is September 11 th. In the middle of all that devastation, few knew that we “lost” JFK in that moment, too. Show More Summary
Michelangelo Visited in His Studio by Pope Julius II ( 1859) by the French painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889). Here the great genius contemplating his impressive statues visited by the most important patron of arts. What would Cabanel say with that?
Adam and Eve (c. 1620) by the Italian painter Guido Reni (1575-1642). This painting from the heyday of the baroque era is nearly perfectly composed. The two perfect bodies like a pair of scales, the evil snake in the center and the the fatal apple. The lion, the rey among the animals, seems already very upset.
There are two connections to the artist Judy Cassab that I want to explore. The first is a review of a book that I wrote, published in the Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal of Nov 2006. It is presented here in full. The second is the major exhibition Judy Cassab, A Celebration commencing this week at the Eva Breuer Art Gallery in Sydney. Show More Summary