Art & Architecture

A Personal Canon: Witold Rybczynski on Five Influential Texts

The five titles I have chosen are a mixed bag, but then so are the more than twenty books I have written over the last four decades, covering architecture, furniture, tools, urbanism, real estate, history, and biography. Yet when I look at my library, much reduced since our last downsizing

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Artemisia’s Fame, Present and Past

Jesse Locker — 2020 was, without a doubt, a terrible year for most of us; however, it was a very good year for the seventeenth-century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi. The exhibition “Artemisia” at the National Gallery, London, despite being delayed for months and then interrupted by lockdowns, nevertheless sparked a

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Empire and the origins of the panorama

Tim Barringer– Jeff Wall’s photograph Restoration of 1993—a luminous transparency almost five meters wide—reveals the spectacular scale and complex mechanics of nineteenth-century panoramic paintings. The word “panorama” was coined in 1791 to describe circular painted canvases, some reaching 300 feet in length and 50 feet high. Installed in specially-constructed buildings,

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More than Meets the Eye: American Furniture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley— After several years of research and writing, the first publication on the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s revered collection of American furniture dating from 1650 to 1840 has arrived. Focusing only on the highlights—297 to be exact—this catalogue is debuting long after the publication of similar volumes on

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Reflections on Africans in Gothic Sculpture, part 3

Erasure, Submission, Apotheosis Jacqueline E. Jung — Though hardly numerous, images of African men – often dressed in military garb, and always acting on behalf of established institutional powers – played vital roles in the sculptural programs of French and German Gothic cathedrals. At Magdeburg, St. Maurice was a well-armed

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The Lost Last Supper

Cees Nooteboom— When you hear the word inquisition, you think of Spain, heretics in strange tall pointed hats, the stake, forced confessions, horrifying images that make the words Holy Inquisition a cruel oxymoron. It is less well known that there were also inquisitors in Venice who could make life rather

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Klee and Kandinsky Side by Side

Michael Peppiatt— Even if Paris lost its prominence as the art centre of the world around the mid-twentieth century (with existentialism waning and Abstract Expressionism on the rise), everything in the French capital operated as if nothing had changed a decade later when I began writing gallery ‘round-ups’ for various

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An Evergreen Politics: Representations of Women in the Posters of the Medu Art Ensemble

Antawan I. Byrd and Felicia Mings— In South Africa separate and unequal access to education, health, and economic opportunity long predated the 1948 implementation of apartheid law—as did resistance to such conditions on the part of Black, Indian, and Colored (multiracial) women. Starting in the early twentieth century, women rallied

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A Personal Canon: Anthony Alofsin on Six Influential Texts

The books I have selected represent works that have figured into my thinking and writing for my scholarly publications. Obviously, some are acknowledgements to my teachers who taught as much by example as by text. Others just called for admiration. This selection comes from one shelf of my library while

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The Frank Lloyd Wright We Didn’t Know

Anthony Alofsin— When you think about Frank Lloyd Wright, you think of him as the architect of the prairies and Chicago, but there’s another story—Wright and New York—that reveals a person and a life we’ve never known. Between 1925 and 1932 the city turned him around, moving him from personal

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