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I’m Back…With A Masterpiece

Europe beckoned–that is where I have been. Not to the art sales in London, but rather to Berlin and then to Bulgaria for a week. I saw a lot of art–fantastic art in Berlin, of course, and some interesting things in Bulgaria. I’ll share some of that here in the future. But while I was […]

Painters’ Paintings: Who Owned What When

You never know what might spark the idea for an exhibition, and at the National Gallery in London it was a 2011 gift left to the U.K. by Lucian Freud. He bequeathed a work called Italian Woman by Corot, which he had purchased 10 years earlier “no doubt drawn to its solid brushwork and intense physical […]

“We All Paint in Delacroix’s Language”

Paul Cezanne said that. He also said that Delacroix’s palette was “the most beautiful” in France. That headline is the end of a short video made by the National Gallery in London; that sentence is the pitch to it. Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art is currently on view at the NG, and one aspect […]

The Spirit of Alma Thomas — UPDATED

Talk about a life: Alma Thomas was born in Georgia in the 1890s, one of the most vicious decades of the Jim Crow South. She told a reporter in 1972 that when she was young, blacks like her could not enter museums. Yet that year she became the first African-American woman to be honored with […]

Becoming An Art Convert In Spain–And Why

Earlier this year, I made an art pilgrimage to Valladolid, the home of Spain’s National Museum of Sculpture. So much Spanish Renaissance and Baroque sculpture resides and stays in Spain, sometimes because it can’t leave and sometimes because there is no demand to borrow it, and I had felt remiss in not having seen enough Spanish […]

The Broad Museum Answers Back

Several days ago, I asked here if any other art museums in the U.S. were spending as much money buying art as the Crystal Bridges Museum. I had added up the announced purchases over the past year or so by Crystal Bridges and it came to more than $150 million. I could think of only […]

What’s Up With The Met’s Lauder Center?

That was the question on my mind when I proposed a story on it for the annual New York Times special section on museums, which was part of today’s paper. The result is headlined A Gift That Could Rewrite Art History in the paper (it’s different–and too “newsy” a headline on the web–bt that’s journalism today. Interestingly, […]

Why Otis Kaye?

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published my review of a little show up at the New Britain Museum of American Art: paintings by Otis Kaye. Kaye (1885-1974) is not very well known–in fact, that’s how I began my review. I commend the New Britain museum for taking the show, which was organized, oddly enough, […]

Menil Repurposes Sacred Space For Contemporary Art

When the Byzantine Fresco Chapel at the Menil Collection in Houston opened in 1997, it displayed a group of 13th-century Greek Orthodox frescoes. But after restoration of the works, which the Menil had rescued from looters for the Church of Cyprus, the museum returned the frescoes to Cyprus as a donation when the agreed loan […]

Mass MoCA Closes In On Its Original Promise

“It’s really exciting to see a lot of the promise of that project being realized,” Michael Govan told me the other day. I was telling him that, tomorrow, the Massachusetts Museum of Contempory Art plans to announce six new partnerships with artists and artists’ foundations that will fill 90,000 square feet. That’s a huge chunk […]

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