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Art At The Movies: Next Up, Vermeer And Music


If you missed the Vermeer & Music: The Art of Love and Leisure at the National Gallery in London this summer -- it closed on Sept. 8 -- you'll have something of a chance to view it from afar tomorrow. That's when the latest effort by Exhibition: Great Art On Screen, which I wrote about here, goes up on the silver screen. The film will be in theaters near you Oct. 10, generally at 7:30 (but check the local time).  You can see the theater listing here. Or here, by state. The Vermeer exhibition was reviewed in The Guardian here, with a … [Read more...]

“Artist to Artist” – New Short Film Series


I've mentioned Art21 here before; it's the nonprofit that makes videos about artists. Its television series, "Art in the Twenty-First Century" won a Peabody Award, and it has other offerings, too. This week Art21 introduces something new: A series of short-format documentaries highlights leading contemporary visual artists in conversation with their peers, discussing the inspirations and ideas that drive their processes. The films have a distinctive format: each film follows a single artist/host as she engages with other artists in a shared … [Read more...]

Herb And Dorothy, The Sequel


Remember Herb and Dorothy Vogel? Of course you do. They are the New York couple, the postal clerk and the school librarian, who collected art using only his salary for years -- and eventually gave most of it away to the National Gallery in Washington and then to 50 museums, one each in every state. They were the subject of a documentary in 2009 called "Herb and Dorothy." I wrote about it then for The Art Newspaper, and to this day it is usually one of the most-viewed articles on my personal website. On Friday, a second documentary by Megumi … [Read more...]

Just Three More Days! MFA Lets You Listen And Learn Free


I'm writing just a quickie on this, because there's a time limit. About six weeks ago, I received an interesting press release from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, headlined MFA PUBLICATIONS DEBUTS ITS FIRST HIGHLIGHTS SERIES E-BOOKS, MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND ARTS OF KOREA. They were "full-color, multimedia-enhanced digital books," for $9.99 each. The musical instrument one seemed especially intriguing because it promised 25 audio and 23 video clips accompanying the text. It features more than 100 instruments in the museum's … [Read more...]

A New Attempt Toward “Understanding Art” On Video

Understanding Art-Hidden Lives

Making a great video about visual art is a challenge, so I'm glad producers keep doing it. In recent days, I've had an opportunity to sample a new DVD series called Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Masterpieces that takes a new tack. Made by Juliette Garcia and Stan Neumann, it has five episodes, each focusing on one artist with many works in the collection of the Louvre: Raphael, Rembrandt, Poussin, Watteau and Leonardo. Instead of telling the life of the artist, they essentially film the Louvre's study days, then take the "best parts" … [Read more...]

Art Exhibitions And The Movies: Problems And Prospects


A couple of weeks ago, I had a chat with Phil Grabsky, the British filmmaker who has started "Exhibition: Great Art on Screen," a series of what he calls "event films" that will bring some of the very best art exhibitions to the public via films analogous to the Metropolitan Opera's simulcasts (and post-produced filmings of live opera, as La Scala, among other opera companies, does it). Grabsky made Leonardo Live last year, and I mentioned his new effort in passing here at the end of January, while writing about the opening of Manet: … [Read more...]

Manet’s Star Rises In London


The Manet portraiture exhibition, which ended recently at the Toledo Museum of Art, has opened in London at the Royal Academy. It's getting the attention it deserves. For a start, on Jan. 20, The Telegraph reported that "Advance bookings for the show are among the highest in the Academy’s recent history, exceeding sales for its blockbuster Van Gogh exhibition in 2010. Several of the timed slots to see the show have already sold out." As a result, the RA is opening on five Sunday evenings from 6:30 to 10 p.m. for an "enhanced" visitor … [Read more...]

The NYTimes Looks For The Light


Before too much time passes, I want to call more attention to the feature published by The New York Times last Friday headlined Reflections. It was highlighted on Page One with a picture of Edward Hopper's Rooms by the Sea that was captioned Seeking Out the Bright to Battle the Cold? In it, the Times devoted considerable space to art works chosen by its four main art critics in which the artists captured light, which somehow was intended to help readers take their mind off the cold, dark winter days and the "indoor time still to come." I … [Read more...]

A Blow to Arts Television: Such As It Is


 Time Warner Cable has delivered a blow to Ovation, the independent arts television channel.  That's sad, even though Ovation has never lived up to the expections many had for it in the early '90s, when J. Carter Brown, the esteemed former director of the National Gallery of Art, agreed to become chairman of the fledgling network. As the New York Times told the story: "I will be Ovation's godfather," said Mr. Brown. "My role will be one of making connections and looking at the quality of the programming." Dr. Harold E. Morse, founder of the … [Read more...]

Does The Visual Art World Need Sharper Criticism? Yes.

Damaged IT Goods

Does the art world need a good hatchet job or two? That thought crossed my mind when I read A New Honor for the Hatchet Job, on The New York Times website: it outlines a prize, soon to be given by a British website called The Omnivore, which "will be presented to the author of the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past twelve months." The point, says The Omnivore, is "to raise the profile of professional critics and to promote integrity and wit in literary journalism." It didn't take me more than a few seconds to click … [Read more...]

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