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Get Thee to Cleveland For a Great Show

Lucky Cleveland! Since Nov. 18, residents and visitors to the Cleveland Museum of Art have been able to see six tapestries, woven in the mid 1570s, that have been under wraps, locked away, almost ever since then. For some 100 years, at least, they’ve been in the store rooms of the Uffizi Galery and before […]

Art Reviews–Or Observations–That Go Beyond

People regularly complain that art criticism displays an off-putting insider-y tone, complete with jargon–but that’s not what I am about to talk about here. I’m going to mention a few display touches and the like that I notice, when they are good, at exhibitions that I review but rarely–for space reasons–have the opportunity to write […]

Rembrandt: Master Market Manipulator

Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, which opened Sept. 16 at the Denver Art Museum, showcases the known glories of his work—but with an eye-opening twist. It displays Rembrandt a master market manipulator, as well as a great artist. We know, but rarely acknowledge in exhibitions, that many great artists were good at business too. Certainly, Renoir […]

Surprising (But Short) Chapter of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Life

Several days ago, I went to the New York Botanical Garden to see its summer exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i. It included several paintings I knew nothing about. And, as I soon discovered, from talking with friends and posts on Facebook and Instagram, neither did many other art-lovers. This isn’t all that surprising when you […]

Superlative Numbers At the Met. But Crazy Ones Too

Superlatives are in. Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art issued a press release saying it had welcomed its one-millionth visitor to its special Costume Institute exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination–proclaiming it, weeks before the show closes, “the Costume Institute’s most attended show ever and The Met’s third overall most attended” exhibit. Really? […]

Giving Hedda Sterne Another Chance

Hedda Sterne is not a name you hear very often, so I was pleased last spring when I learned that the Amon Carter Museum of American Art was giving her a solo exhibition. It would be a small one, and of lithographs, not paintings, but still I wanted to see it. We’re in a moment […]

Sargent With A Local Twist And Double Narrative

The Art Institute of Chicago’s major summer exhibition, John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age, is probably a crowd-pleaser–though I haven’t checked the numbers. Sargent is usually a big draw–I remember when, to cite one example, the show of his watercolors at the Brooklyn Museum outdrew a large show of El Anatsui, which was a […]

YBAs of the 19th Century

You will recall the hubbub created in London (and elsewhere) by the Young British Artists in the late 1980s and ’90s–led by Damien Hirst and including Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume, Fiona Rae, and Steve Park, among others, they rebelled against the art world’s customs. Their 19th Century counterparts were, of course, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, led […]

Want a Spanish Art Surprise? There’s One In San Antonio

So you think you know Spanish art? You’ve been to the Prado and the Hispanic Society, etc., etc. and you’re pretty familiar with it. Unless, of course, you are a real expert in the Spanish art, an exhibit at the San Antonio Museum of Art should suggest otherwise. To cel­e­brate San An­to­nio’s found­ing 300 years […]

Color Wins The Day At the Cooper-Hewitt

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color, now on view, is exactly the kind of exhibition I expect and like to see from the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum–which, frankly, came as a bit of a surprise. Since the Cooper Hewitt reopened in 2014 after a three-year renovation,  it has been a bit of a […]

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