Posts by artbooks

Ep. 80 – Exploring Black Visual Satire

Tracing a historical line from commedia dell’arte, Hogarth and others to modern and contemporary artists including Ollie Harrington, Robert Colescott, Spike Lee, and Kara Walker, we discuss Black visual satire with Duke professor Richard J. Powell. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify |

What’s New? The Second Edition of Designing Type

Designing Type by Karen Cheng was originally published in 2006. The book met with immediate and enthusiastic acclaim, including: “While there are a number of historical studies of the relationship of letterforms and type design, none of them can be considered as thorough and instructive as Karen Cheng’s recent Designing Type.

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Our Days Are Like Full Years

On a winter day in 1953, a mysterious man in a sheepskin coat stood out to Harriet Pattison, then a theater student at Yale. She would later learn he was the architect Louis Kahn. This chance encounter served as preamble to a 15-year romance, with Pattison becoming the architect’s closest

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Viva Mexico! Artist Visionaries and Rabble-rousers: Los tres grandes and Their Impact on America

Interview with Whitney Museum of American Art curator Barbara Haskell by David Ebony    The Whitney Museum of American Art’s groundbreaking and visually sumptuous survey, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945, arrived during a contentious time in the U.S. It opened on February 17, 2020, a charged political moment

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Experiments with Truth: A Never-Ending Process

Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence was never intended to be a show about Gandhi, one of the most controversial and influential figures of the twentieth century, or the complex iconography that developed around his persona. His concept and ideal of nonviolence, however, continues to be deeply relevant

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A Personal Canon: Abigail McEwen on Five Influential Texts

Juan A. Martínez, Cuban Art and National Identity: The Vanguardia Painters, 1927-1950 (1994) In his classic account of Cuba’s historic vanguardia generation, Martínez developed a social history of modern Cuban art that remains a standard reference today. Published fifty years after the seminal exhibition, Modern Cuban Painters (Museum of Modern Art, 1944),

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A 16th-Century Portuguese Plan of a Moroccan Palace

Jonathan Bloom– While writing my book Architecture of the Islamic West: North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, I came across a citation about a 16th-century annotated plan of the royal palace in Marrakesh.  It had been inserted into a manuscript in the Escorial written in 1585 by the Trinitarian friar

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Reflections on Africans in Gothic Sculpture, part 2

Images of Justice and Power Jacqueline E. Jung — In the choir of Magdeburg Cathedral, the black Saint Maurice, carved and painted around 1250, stands with his co-patron Catherine as complementary opposites; together they indicate the plenitude of this Christian ecclesia in both its Militant and Triumphant aspects. (Read more

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A Personal Canon: Susan A. Phillips on Five Influential Texts

One of my favorite things in life is an accidentally curated small shelf of books in a place like a hotel or a break room. When I was thirteen, my family and I lived in Rome for a year and wound up in an apartment with just such a collection.

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Reflections on Africans in Gothic Sculpture, part 1

Saint Maurice in Magdeburg  Jacqueline E. Jung — The stunning sandstone sculpture of Saint Maurice made for Magdeburg Cathedral around 1250 – representing the fabled fourth-century leader of the Roman army’s Theban Legion, who allowed himself and his men to be killed for their embrace of the new Christian faith

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