Art & Architecture

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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Annie Swan Coburn—Mystery Collector

Gloria Groom— In April 1932, the Art Institute of Chicago, under the auspices of the Antiquarian Society, showed some thirty-nine Impressionist and modern paintings, plus works on paper by American, British and French artists, belonging to the collection of Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn. The Antiquarians (the oldest support group for

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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 |

Kerry James Marshall’s “SOB, SOB” and David Dabydeen’s Philosophical Aesthetics​

Abigail Zitin— I remember it being at eye level; else how would it have caught my eye? I had gone to see Mastry, an exhibition of works by the African-American painter Kerry James Marshall, at the Met Breuer in January 2017. The painting in question, like most of Marshall’s, is large: six feet

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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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