Art & Architecture

Paul Gauguin as Artist and Alchemist

The exhibition “Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist,” which was on view this summer at the Art Institute of Chicago, was called “exhaustive and exhilarating” in the Wall Street Journal and a “resounding, rollickingly diverse exhibition” in the New York Times. It wowed visitors with an unprecedented exploration of Gauguin’s works in various

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Out of the Shadows / Robert Hooke

John Gribbin— Who was the first person to realise that gravity is a universal force possessed by every object in the Universe, which attracts every other object? Isaac Newton, right? Wrong! Newton got the idea, and other insights which fed into his theory of gravity, from Robert Hooke, a seventeenth-century polymath

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Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900

During the second half of the nineteenth century, a remarkable number and variety of women artists were drawn to Paris.  Featuring thirty-seven women from eleven different countries, a new, beautiful, and important illustrated book, Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900, explores the strength of their creative achievements, and pays tribute to these pioneers

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The Most Important Fact

John Gribbin— The Universe began. The origin of everything we see about us – stars, planets, galaxies, people – can be traced back to a definite moment in time, 13.8 billion years ago. The ‘ultimate’ question that baffled philosophers, theologians and scientists for millennia has been answered in our lifetime.

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Introduction to the Eureka moment!

Gavin Weightman— Working backwards from the ‘eureka moment’ offers an intriguing perspective: we find the bicycle an inspiration for the aeroplane, a talking automaton suggesting the telephone, early television dependent on discoveries made with a blowpipe and the microchip manufactured with a printing technique that dates from the nineteenth century.

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James Joyce Goes to Denmark

Morten Høi Jensen— One day in mid-August 1936, the Danish modernist writer Tom Kristensen, author of the great novel Havoc (1928), stood in line in Politiken’s bookshop in central Copenhagen next to a tall, gaunt man with thick, black eyeglasses inquiring about a book in fluent, if accented, Danish. The

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First encounters: Marfa, Texas and the art of Donald Judd

David Raskin — I first traveled to Marfa, Texas for the Chinati Foundation and Judd Estate (now the Judd Foundation) open houses in October 1995, about a year and a half after Donald Judd’s death in February 1994. Marfa wasn’t yet at the top of the art world’s “must visit”

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A Jar’s Story

Glenn Adamson — “Keep the Corean pot in memory.” With those words, the great potter Bernard Leach imparted one of his most treasured possessions to another great potter, Lucie Rie, in February 1947. The object in question was a Moon Jar – so named for its whiteness and nearly perfect

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Alternative Facts, in Historical Perspective

Joshua Shannon– From its very first days, the Trump administration and its supporters have sought to justify certain statements, proposals, and actions (and indeed to assert Trump’s popularity) by issuing lies or falsehoods labeled “alternative facts.” The term was first offered, and then defended, by Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway, in

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Ep. 35 – How House Beautiful’s Powerful Female Editor Transformed Midcentury American Design

Interview with Monica Penick about her new book Tastemaker: Elizabeth Gordon, House Beautiful, and the Postwar American Home.