Art & Architecture

Ansel Adams, in the beginning

A short Q and A with the author of a new book that explores the little-known early career of one of America’s most celebrated and beloved photographers: Making a Photographer: The Early Work of Ansel Adams. Yale University Press: Your book offers a different perspective on the entire arc of

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A Personal Canon: Katie Hornstein on Five Influential Texts

My recent book, Picturing War in France, is ostensibly about war imagery produced during the first half of the nineteenth century in France.  It is also a book about questions of taste, quality, and the hallowed canon of art history.  The subject of war imagery allowed me to challenge my

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Horace Pippin’s Self Portraits

Anne Monahan — Horace Pippin (1888-1946) painted two self-portraits in the 1940s on his way to becoming the decade’s most successful black artist. Both evince an indifference to illusionistic perspective in line with modern aesthetics, even as his self-taught pedigree appealed to those wary of avant garde styles and politics.

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A Personal Canon: K. L. H. Wells on Five Influential Texts

My development as an art historian has been profoundly shaped by the legacy of modernism and its relationship to decoration, craft, and design. In chronological order, here are five books that have motivated my thinking on the importance of applied arts in the conceptualization of modernism.  Mark Wigley, White Walls,

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Indigenous Agency and the Contingency of Empire

Kate Fullagar— December 10, 1776: one day—three vastly distant corners of the world. In the southern-most peaks of the American Appalachians, a Cherokee warrior called Ostenaco sits before the fire in his winter house, churning over the biggest decision of his eventful life—to concede defeat to the revolutionaries or to

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A Personal Canon: Benjamin Anderson on Five Influential Texts

Art history may have or be an archive (even a canon!), but it is also a process of translation, remediation, and remaking. Here are five nodes in a network: Robert Wood’s Palmyra (1753): a transfer from architecture to print. In 1751, funded and accompanied by slave-owner and planter James “Jamaica”

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Mechanics, Choreography, and Gender Roles

Emily Coates and Sarah Demers— The relationship between forces described in Newton’s 3rd Law enables us to perform all of our daily actions—sitting, standing, walking, running, skipping, jumping. Whereas physicists can predict the average forces involved in each of these actions, suggesting a certain consistency in their value and interpretation,

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A Personal Canon: Patricia Mainardi on Five Influential Texts

In thinking about writing that has been important to me, I chose publications that did not simply tell me something previously unknown but rather shaped my conceptual framework by opening new ways of thinking about issues. These stand out: Maurice Merleau-Ponty, “Eye and Mind”, translated by Carleton Dallery, in The

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Resilient Design: Innovation for Future Uncertainty

Jon Coaffee— Recent scientific research has revealed that we have drastically underestimated the threat of climate change, with the impacts of sea level rise and extreme weather abnormalities likely to be felt most dramatically in large urban conurbations. Almost exactly seven years after Hurricane Sandy hit the US Eastern seaboard causing devastation

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Ep. 78 – L.A. graffiti in a whole new light

Susan A. Phillips talks about her deeply researched study of Los Angeles graffiti that includes marks made by hobos, prisoners, pachucos, surfers, punks, grips, taggers, seafarers, and more. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud