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William Glackens: Forgotten Father of American Modernism?

With a $20,000 check and instructions to bring back “some good paintings” from friend and financier Dr. Albert C. Barnes, American artist William Glackens set off for Paris in 1912 with carte blanche to buy the very best modern art he could find. Show More Summary

A Critical Obsession: How and why those who dismiss Victorian art should take another look

Yesterday, Waldemar Januszcak, art critic for The Sunday Times, wrote a scathing review of “A Victorian Obsession,” an exhibition of 52 paintings by Frederick Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and Albert Moore, among others, on show at the Leighton House Museum. Subtitling his review “Droopy damsels in distress take center stage...” Mr. Januszczak belittles [...]

Harem Guard

The Harem Guard by the Czech painter Rudolf Weisse (1869-1930). Despite it's not a decidedly history painting the whole oriental exotic setting suggests a far away place even in history.

Daphne du Maurier's Cornwall

I have cited Daphne du Maurier (1907–1989) twice in recent blog posts. Firstly du Maurier was the cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who served as JM Barrie's inspiration for the characters in the play Peter Pan. Secondly Justine Picardie...Show More Summary

Viking Queen

Queen Astrid by the American illustrator N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945). Wyeth did this Wagnerian illustration for the book The World Of Music - Song Programs for Youth (1938).

Remembering Ruhleben prisoner of war camp, Berlin 1914-8

Of course prisoners of war and interned civilians are going to try to keep themselves busy and productive, throughout the years of their captivity. Otherwise they would go insane from mind­-numbing boredom, even before they had the chance to die from starvation or disease. Show More Summary

Chagall Vs Malevich in Russia: Vitebsk

Directed by Alexander Mitta, a film dramatisation of Marc Chagall’s life is being shown at the Australian Centre for Moving Images in Melbourne. The film Chagall-Malevich is based on the era of Chagall's short-lived role as commissar of arts in Vitebsk in 1917-18. Show More Summary

Steven Sebring and Coco Rocha’s Visual Manifesto of the Human Body

“Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it,” Madonna lied and “Vogue”-ed way back in 1990. Contrary to popular opinion, posing is hard work, made even harder by the requirement to look effortless.Show More Summary

How Prison Changed Egon Schiele’s Portraits for Better or Worse

“Bürgerschreck!” rang the accusations in German at Austrian painter Egon Schiele in April 1912. This “shocker of the bourgeois” found his home rifled by local constables searching for evidence of the immorality locals suspected of a man who lived with a woman not his wife and invited local children to pose for him. Show More Summary

Otto Dix and the catastrophic World War One.

In July 2014 the Albertinum in Dresden had an exhibition called Otto Dix. The War. The Dresden Triptych. Note the date - the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war.Prior to 1914, Expressionism in art was largely apolitical. Artists...Show More Summary

Tragic Love

Semiramis dying on Ninu’s grave by the Italian painter Augusto Valli (1867-1945). Valli depicts here the legendary Babylonian queen dying on her dead husbands tomb. But it seems also more an excuse to present a nude female body in an exotic setting.

The vexed relationship between Hollywood film companies and Nazi Germany

In writing about Ben Urwand’s important book The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler (Harvard UP 2013), Taylor Downing agreed that Hitler enjoyed watching films. As we can see from the photo. he watched a film every night after dinner with his men. Show More Summary

Keeping Your Online Activities from Prying Eyes

With all the things you have to stay on top of to make online dating worthwhile, privacy is usually one of the last things that come to mind. The unfortunate reality, however, proves that even just surfing sex dating website reviews can have unfortunately consequences if you happen to have a sensitive job or are otherwise already attached. Show More Summary

What’s Behind Frank Gehry’s Raised Middle Finger to Contemporary Architecture?

Architect Frank Gehry’s raised many controversial buildings over the years, but few as controversial as the middle finger he recently raised during a press conference in Spain. During a press conference for Gehry’s upcoming receipt of...Show More Summary

William Mortensen: The Anti-Christ of American Photography?

Photographer Ansel Adams, whose beautiful black and white landscapes full of mountains still grace both museum and office walls, called fellow photographer William Mortensen “the anti-Christ” for what he did to the art of photography. Show More Summary

Famous English Nude

Lady_Godiva by the French painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836–1911). As legend tells Lady Godiva was a 11th century English princess married to Leofric, the Earl of Mercia and lord of Coventry. She begged her husband to relieve the townspeople of the oppressive taxes and tolls. Show More Summary

Too many babies, grinding poverty, arsenic poisoning and a hanging in Sydney

In the book Last Woman Hanged, Caroline Overington exhaustively researched the case of Louisa Andrews Collins. She was a 41-year-old working-class mother of 10 children who was tried for murder four times and was the last woman to be hanged in NSW. Show More Summary

Art hotels in Hobart, Vancouver and New York

Art hotels provide traditional hotel accommodation and amenities, but they also offer something special. They display an interior of creat­ive exhibits, paintings, photos and draw­ings from a particular artist or style. Some art hotels operate on a single theme, while others may have one for each floor or each particular room. Show More Summary

Ever-Present Peril

The Sword of Damocles (1812) by the neoclassical British painter Richard Westall (1765-1836).

Performance Art and Modern Political Protest

“War is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means,” Carl von Clausewitz wrote in his famous book on battle strategy, On War. Many misquote that saying more pithily as “War is politics by other means,” but the idea that politics plays out on different battlefields remains true. Show More Summary

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