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The Voracious Collector

That headline could apply to dozens of people, especially nowadays in this age of competitive, ostentatious collecting of contemporary and modern art. But I was referring to J. P. Morgan, who in his lifetime purchased more than 20,000 works of art, including rare books and manuscripts.  And he did it all in the space of […]

So You Think You Know Zurbaran?

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University is currently exhibiting Zurbarán: Jacob and His Twelve Sons, Paintings From Auckland Castle, a noteworthy exhibition for a couple of reasons. First, the paintings are totally fresh to the American audience–only one of the 13, Benjamin, has been shown in the U.S. That was exactly 30 years ago, when […]

What Museum Visitors Want to Know

Museums are mysterious to many people outside the art world (and maybe to people in the art world, I don’t know!). That’s why I highlighted Ask A Curator Day here last week, and why I asked to hear from curators who participated. One museum–prompted by a curator there–stepped up. The Fine Arts Museums of San […]

The Maltese Icon–No, Not That One

If you’re an art-lover (and writer) headed toward Malta, as I was last June, the first artwork that comes to mind is Caravaggio’s masterpiece in the Valetta cathedral, The Beheading of St John the Baptist. Brilliantly conceived and titanic in size–12 ft by 17 ft–it is the only work Caravaggio ever signed. It hangs in a separate room […]

Kusama in Seattle, Post Script, And On to LA

When, on a recent day, The Broad museum announced that “due to overwhelming demand” additional tickets for the coming Yayoi Kusama exhibition would be available on Oct. 2, it added this to the statement: “Tickets are expected to go extremely quickly and everyone who wants an opportunity to purchase must be in our waiting room […]

Coming Soon: Ask A Curator Day

I’m not sure how I missed Ask A Curator Day in years past; I think it’s a splendid idea. Maybe because it seems to be publicized most ardently on Twitter, and I do not have a Twitter account. In any case, I read about this year’s, which takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 13, on Facebook. […]

Three Small(ish) Exhibitions That Deserve More Notice

Planning your fall outings to special exhibitions? The season about to begin has a wealth of fascinating shows–many devoted to artists or topics that are due for much more exposure and attention. Let me highlight a few here that. I’ll bet, won’t get the attention they may deserve: Tomorrow, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in […]

Voyeurism At The Balenciaga Exhibition

Summer has simply sped by and I haven’t even really gone on vacation yet (that’s coming up at the end of September). There was that trip to London (and Malta) in May, as you may recall, which now seems so long ago. But I did intend to write here about my visit on that trip […]

Should Museums Compare and Contrast Cultures?

It seems to be a trend these days for art museums (and some galleries) to mix and match cultures and, sometimes, time periods. Sometimes, this is about breaking down so-called false hierarchies in art history (I do not believe they are always false), sometimes it’s about appealing to new audiences, and sometimes it’s simply about […]

How To Create An Art-Lover

While at the Guggenheim Museum yesterday, seeing Visionaries: Creating A Modern Guggenheim, I witnessed an awesome sight–but it wasn’t the art. It was a little girl, still in a stroller, with a sketchbook in hand, attempting to copy a painting by Bonnard. Her mother (presumably) was sitting nearby, but the girl was working on her […]

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