Art & Architecture

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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The Historical Role of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

Charles Rosen— Proust’s grandmother was a woman of extremely modest, unpretentious demeanour, who never ventured to contradict anyone’s literary judgement: But on matters of which the rules and principles had been taught her by her mother, on the way to cook certain dishes, to play the sonatas of Beethoven, and to

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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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A Personal Canon: Elise Archias on Five Influential Texts

The art history I write and teach is stuck in the mid-century modern period across much of the globe–roughly 1945-1970–because those years saw the end of a “modern” way of thinking and the start of a contemporary, or some would still say “postmodern,” outlook. I want to go back and

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To Describe a Life by Darby English

A quotation from the French philosopher and political activist Simone Weil is the first thing the reader encounters upon starting chapter one of To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror by Professor Darby English. These words encapsulate the complex questions about self-identity, agency, and force that Darby English

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Anne Brigman, Photographer

Kathleen Pyne — In 1916 Georgia O’Keeffe received from the admiring New York photographer Alfred Stieglitz a group of photogravures he had published several years earlier.  These pictures of nudes bound to dying trees or frolicking in refreshing mountain waters provoked O’Keeffe, in her own words, to an “absurd” level

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Torosaurus, Sea Form: What’s in a Name?

James Prosek— For an exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery and an accompanying book, both titled James Prosek: Art, Artifact, Artifice, I juxtaposed objects from the collections of the Gallery, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Yale Center for British Art and works made by me.

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A Personal Canon: Nicholas Adams on Five Influential Texts

Why would anyone write a book about the architect Gordon Bunshaft? The consensus is that he was a rude and unpleasant man and, though he was responsible for the design of prominent buildings (Beinecke Library, for one), there’s a chorus of disdain in the background saying that as the chief

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Architecture of the Islamic West: Innovative, Impressive and … Overlooked?

Some of the most outstanding examples of world architecture, such as the Mosque of Córdoba, the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo and the Alhambra Palace in Granada, belong to the Western Islamic tradition. This architectural style flourished for over a thousand years along the southern and western shores

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The Moment of Parallel Emancipations in Jamaica

Stanley Mirvis— Thirteen years ago, Yale’s Center for British Art, in collaboration with the Institute of Jamaica Museum, commemorated the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade with an exhibition focused on the 1834 emancipation of slaves. The exhibit centered on the work of the Jamaican artist Isaac Mendes

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