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ICYMI: Art Is Better Than…

Sex, food, drugs, art–are they all the same? Do they provide the same kind of pleasure and engagement? No, says Julia F. Christensen, a neuroscientist at the Warburg Institute, University of London. She says–and I seriously hope she is correct–that art engages the brain in a special way that can “help overwrite the detrimental effects […]

Why Max Hollein Was Inevitable as Met’s Director

Put yourself in the position of a member of the Metropolitan Museum’s search committee: Despite all the pressure to choose anyone but another white male–somewhat wrong-headed pressure, imho–I think you’d have picked Max Hollein (at left) to be the next director of the museum too. For many reasons–as I will outline. I’ve commented favorably and […]

Getting Picasso Right: You Think It’s Easy?

In London a few weeks back, I was fortunate to be there on the day of the press preview for Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy at the Tate Modern. You might think. at first, that doing a Picasso show is easy–few artists have better name recognition  and for a long time, Picasso was like gold, […]

TEFAF Maastricht: Changing, But the Same

The world’s best art fair–Tefaf Maastricht. whose 275 participating galleries show the art of seven millennia, all told–got underway last Thursday, as usual. Fair organizers are keen to point out what’s different this year: for example, a smaller by-invitation-only crowd on its annual day of free-flowing food and drink, and another by-invitation only access day […]

Misunderstood and Maligned

Poor Grant Wood. Seventy-years after his death, his work is widely known–thanks to American Gothic–but equally widely misunderstood, under-appreciated and, recalling the old insult to George W. Bush,misunderestimated. Wanda Corn tried to set the record straight in 1983, but if her excellent exhibition convinced some people–and I think it did–the effect didn’t last. That’s because, I […]

Take Another Trip! The Paston Treasure Beckons

I’ll bet most, if not all, of you have never heard of a large painting called The Paston Treasure, c. 1663. Neither had I, until I saw a little picture of this 8 feet by 5.4 feet work. As I guess then, it’s a real gem, a unique painting in more than one way. It’s now […]

Magnificent Gesu Exhibit: Ask and You Shall Receive

As great projects often do, the amazing exhibition on view at the Fairfield University Art Museum began with an impossible dream. Seeking ideas for a show to mark the university’s 75th anniversary this year, museum director Linda Wolk-Simon convened an exhibition committee, among show members was Xavier Salomon, chief curator at the Frick Collection. Salomon […]

See It Now–Michel Sittow, Extraordinary Painter

Hats off to Estonia, which in celebrating the 100th anniversary of its proclamation as an independent republic in 1918, following the dissolution of the Russian Empire, decided to honor its genius painter–Michel Sittow (c. 1469-1525)–with his first monographic exhibition. And we Americans are lucky for that, because the National Gallery of Art happens to own […]

Ken Burns, Collector, Gets An Exhibition

There’s nothing like a celebrity, even a person behind the camera instead of in front of it, to attract attention–sometimes even deservedly so. I think that is the case for an exhibition opening Friday, Jan. 19, at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  “Uncovered: The Ken Burns Collection” will display 28 quilts to […]

Museum Admissions, Deaccessions: Let’s Get Real

I have not waded into either of the debates that are raging across the art museum world at the moment. So far, I’ve avoided commenting on the deaccessions planned by the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass., which has been tied up in the court system for months, and the LaSalle University Art Museum in Philadelphia, […]

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