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Category Archives: Art

Red House – The Birth of Arth and Crafts

The nineteen-year-old Jane Burden agreed to marry Morris. His friend, the architect Philip Webb whose acquaintance Morris had made during his year at Street’s architectural firm, was commissioned to build Red House, their first married home. Red House is distinctly medieval in appearance. Moreover, the location of Red House was no coincidence. It was built along the path the pilgrims would have taken on their way to Canterbury, in Chaucher’s Canterbury Tales.

Red House defines the early Arts & Crafts style — with its steep roof, brock fireplaces, and ordinary materials such as stones and tiles. William and Jane were dissatisfied with the type and quality of the mass-produced furnishing they found in the shops. Morris and Burne-Jones had commissioned some pieces of furniture when they shared bachelor quarters in London, but Red House was largely unfurnished.

And now reader, look around this English room of yours, about which you have been proud so often, because the work of it was so good and strong, and the ornaments of it so finished. Examine again all those accurate mouldings, and perfect polishing, and unerring adjustments of the seasoned wood and tempered steel. Many a time you have exulted over them, and thought how great England was, because her slightest work was done so thoroughly.

Morris resolved to furnish Red House himself. He paid attention to every detail, designing and handpainting the tiles in the garden porch, the ‘Pilgrim’s Rest’. The furnishing and decoration of Red House became a usual weekend activity for the Morrises and their friends, Edward-Burne Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Lizzie Siddal, architect Philip Webb and others.

It was one evening after a dinner at Red House that the group of friends formed the partnership of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Co., a business venture built on the rejection of machine-produced decorations in favor of hand-craftsmanship. The Firm initially focused on stained glass and Firm windows are still common in England’s 19th century churches. The ‘Morris Chair’, designed by Philip Webb, is still available by catalog and online. Morris wallpaper and textile patterns are still sold in high-end shops.

But to smother their soul with them, to blight and hew into rotting pollars the suckling branches of their human intelligence, to make the flesh and skin which, after the worm’s work on it, is to see God, into leathern thongs to yoke machinery with, — this is to be slavemasters indeed… (Ruskin, Nature of the Gothic)

The defining characteristics of English Arts and Crafts are a return general simplicity of design and hand decoration of items with images and symbols that have a meaning for the user. For Morris, these included medieval themes and there is indeed a link to the ethos of the medieval artisan guilds, but as his interests grew, so did the subject matter. Persian designs and themes, the influence of old Iceland tapestries on his designs, drawing on the beauty of the natural surroundings and his personal history growing up as a child riding his pony through Epping Forest, mythic and fairy tale themes — all of these were drawn into the circle of Arts and Crafts subjects.

What is Arts and Crafts?

Arts & Crafts is more a philosophy of design than a set of characteristics. At the center of the Arts and Crafts Movement is something holy, a reactionary vision standing against materialism. The the spirit of Arts and Crafts is a kind of kairos, the moment when the spiritual breaks through or incarnates the spiritual into the material worlds of architecture, furnishings and the decorative arts — and it is from that center of understanding that we can trace its lineage and its future.

John Ruskin and William Morris

Although it was William Morris whose name became known as the cornerstone of the Arts and Crafts movement, it was John Ruskin’s second chapter on the Nature of the Gothic in his book, The Stones of Venice wherein he expounded the Arts and Crafts heresy against 19th century industrialization:

You must either make a tool of the creature, or a man of him. You cannot make both. Men were not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions. If you will have that precision out of them, and make their fingers measure degrees like cog-wheels and their arms strike curves like compasses, you must unhumanize them…. — a heap of sawdust, so far its intellectual work in this world is concurred: saved only by its Heart, which cannot go into the forms of cogs and compasses, but expands, after the ten years are over, into fireside humanity.

Entering Exeter College at Oxford in 1852, William Morris intended to take holy orders. At Oxford, he met Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and joined a group called ‘The Brotherhood’ whose members were strongly influenced by Ruskin’s praise of the creative imagination expressed by medieval artisans:

On the other hand, if you will make a man of the working creature, you cannot make a tool. Let him but begin to imagine, to think, to try to do anything worth doing: and the engine-turned precision is lost at once. Out comes all his roughness, all dullness, all his incapability; shame upon shame, failure upon failure; pause after pause: but out comes the whole majesty of him also; and we know the height of it only when we see the clouds settling upon him. And whether the clouds be bright or dark, there will be transfiguration behind and within them.

After spending a summer touring the the cathedrals of northern France, and being particularly stricken at the beauty of Reims Cathedral, Morris returned to England resolved to study architecture. He took up an apprenticeship at the architectural offices of George Edmund Street, a leading Gothic revival architect. Within a year, on the advice of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, he abandoned architecture in favor of painting. It was during this brief time as a painter that he made the acquaintance of Jane Burden, later persuaded by Rossetti to model for their small circle of painters.

Dutch Old Masters on world tour

The largest private collection of 17th-century Dutch painting will tour the globe, starting in February 2017. The first survey of the Leiden Collection, assembled by the US commodities magnate Thomas Kaplan and his wife Daphne Recanati Kaplan, is due to open at the Musée du Louvre (22 February-20 May) as part of a season at the museum celebrating the Dutch Golden Age. A larger presentation of around 60 works is scheduled to travel to the Long Museum in Shanghai, the National Museum in Beijing and the Louvre Abu Dhabi later this year and in 2018.

The travelling show includes the largest number of paintings by Rembrandt ever shown in China and marks the first time Vermeer has ever been shown there, according to Kaplan. He says he views the tour as an opportunity “to build bridges at a time when so many are being burned all over the world”.

The Kaplans have assembled the Leiden Collection at breakneck speed—over just 14 years—with the assistance of Old Master dealers Johnny van Haeften, Otto Naumann and Salomon Lilian. (The collection also has a three-person in-house research and registrar team.) Since 2003, they have acquired more than 200 works, including 13 Rembrandts—11 paintings and two drawings, the largest number in private hands—and the only privately owned paintings by Vermeer and Carel Fabritius.

“For a period of almost five years, we were collecting on average a painting a week,” Kaplan says. “There are only 30 or so Rembrandts in private hands. If people are willing to sell me Rembrandt for less than the price of Warhol, I was thrilled to be able to collect what we loved.”

The Kaplans have lent works from their collection to museums anonymously for years, but recently decided to make their passion public. On 23 January, ahead of the opening of the travelling exhibition, they will launch a free online catalogue dedicated to their holdings. “Any delusion I might have had that we would be able to retain some level of anonymity was not going to happen,” Kaplan says. “We decided to go with it and explain why these artists are still so relevant in the modern world.”

The catalogue includes high-resolution images, essays by scholars, detailed provenance information and technical studies of each work. Visitors to the site can search by artist, date, medium or subject, and all images are available for download in high resolution free of charge. Arthur Wheelock, the curator of Northern Baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has served as an advisor to the project since 2009.

Dominique Surh, the curator of the Leiden Collection, says the Kaplans’ holdings represent “a remarkable genealogy” of the Dutch Golden Age. “Rembrandt had a huge workshop and many of his pupils are represented in the collection, and in some cases, their pupils’ pupils.”

To mark the Louvre presentation, the Kaplans have also donated the painting Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well (c. 1645-46) by Rembrandt’s student Ferdinand Bol to the French museum. Kaplan bought the Biblical scene at auction in 2009 for €1.3m with fees; he had no idea he was bidding against the Louvre. “It was always our policy that if we knew a museum was going for a painting and had the money for it, we would not try to take it away from them,” Kaplan says.

When he discovered who had been on the other side of the bidding war, he offered the work to the Louvre on long-term loan. The museum—which generally does not present loans in its permanent collection spaces—made an exception for the work and put it on display in its Dutch galleries in 2010. Now, it will become a permanent fixture. “It was an accident that we had it in the first place,” Kaplan says.

Paris blockbuster Modern art collection extended

French billionaire Bernard Arnault’s Fondation Louis Vuitton has announced that it is extending its blockbuster exhibition in Paris of Impressionist and Modernist masterpieces collected by the pre-revolutionary Russian arts patron Sergei Shchukin. Icons of Modern Art, which opened to the public on 22 October and was initially scheduled to run through 20 February, will remain on view until 5 March. The opening hours will also be extended in the final week from 7am to 11pm.

Featuring 130 works by artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Gauguin, the show has already drawn over 600,000 visitors, the foundation said in a press release on 9 January. The display brings Shchukin’s collection together for the first time since it was seized by the Soviet state after the Bolshevik Revolution and ultimately divided between the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

Shchukin’s French grandson, André-MarcDelocque Fourcaud, worked for years to organise an exhibition of the collection and finally succeeded with the backing of Arnault, the chief executive of the luxury firm LVMH. Putin did not attend the show’s opening after Russia’s international relations deteriorated due to events in Syria, but he thanked the luxury goods titan and art collector personally at the Kremlin on 24 November. A photograph of their meeting was posted on the Kremlin’s website, which stated that the “president expressed gratitude to Mr Arnault” for organising the exhibition.

Career of Arts Education

An Arts Education Coordinator works full or part-time in an art institution such as an art gallery, art museum, or experimental art center.

The main objective of working as an Arts Education Coordinator is to coordinate and assist with educational programs and interactive encounters between visitors and the art and artists.

Education Needed to Be an Arts Education Coordinator

To be hired as an Arts Education Coordinator, it is typically required to have a Bachelor’s degree with having studied subjects such as art, communications, education and marketing.

Duties Required to Be an Arts Education Coordinator

An Arts Education Coordinator acts as the institution’s advocate and administrator to the art institution’s staff, by supporting exhibitions and events, educational outreach and community programs, and working with the wide range of the art institution’s visitors of all age groups.

The administrative Arts Education Coordinator focuses on specific areas pertaining to the operation of various programs, and includes promoting activities and events, scheduling, and maintaining the various gallery spaces.

An Arts Education Coordinator works closely with the art institution’s departments such as: Collections, Education, Exhibition, Marketing and Visitor Services, and also with artists and the community.

An Arts Education Coordinator helps make art accessible to visitors and helps to make visitors feel welcome when exposed to new art and ideas for the first time. As a result, having a friendly and accepting attitude to visitors is extremely important, as guiding and introducing visitors to interactive artworks and providing them with a positive experience is key.

In addition to guiding the audience, an Arts Education Coordinator manages visitor flow, and safety rules and policies, and makes sure the necessary supplies are stocked in the gallery for visitor usage.

Maintenance logistics is part of the job and includes taking care of the lighting, repairs, cleaning and set-up, volunteers and staff. Coordinating all the schedules of staff, volunteers, and interns, the Coordinator may also be in charge of the main calendar for all events and programs.

An Arts Education Coordinator is in charge of the marketing and updates the website, calendar listings, promotional materials, and social media. Analyzing and collecting data in order to update databases, document statistics, attendance, and budgets is a big part of the job.

Skills Required to Be an Arts Education Coordinator

Besides being highly organized and a multi-tasker, an Arts Education Coordinator speaks and writes well and has good technological and computer skills. Other skills include a strong knowledge of museums and marketing, and how to work with diverse groups of visitors ranging from small children to adults.

Career Opportunities for Arts Education Coordinators

There are jobs in museums available for Arts Education Coordinators. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, overall employment of museum staff is “projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.”

The Bureau does not post specific statistics for Museum Rentals Manager jobs, but the available managerial jobs would just be a small portion of the amount the BLS posts on their site.

Everybody Knows … Elizabeth Murray

While she achieved a good deal of recognition in her lifetime, Elizabeth Murray, the subject of this fine yet too-short documentary, remains an American artist who hasn’t quite gotten her due. One hopes “Everybody Knows … Elizabeth Murray” changes that at least a little.

This cogent, fascinating portrait of the artist, who died in 2007 at 66, was made over several years by Kristi Zea, best known for her work as a production designer on notable films directed by Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme (among them “Goodfellas” and “The Silence of the Lambs”). The movie shows the great variety of Murray’s always vivid, colorful work, and culminates with a triumph not just for Murray but also, as the film takes pains to point out, for women in American art: a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (An exhibition of her work is at the gallery Canada through Jan. 29.)

Murray comes across as personable, friendly, extremely thoughtful and wholly admirable. The movie, perhaps without intending to, demonstrates that one needn’t be a prickly person to be a wonderful artist. Meryl Streep, reading from Murray’s journals, does well communicating her emotional and intellectual acuity. While remaining upbeat about the artist’s legacy, “Everybody Knows” is underscored by a sense of just how much the art world lost when Murray left it.

This brief feature is accompanied at Film Forum by a 30-minute short,“The 100 Years Show,” a lively look at the Cuban-born artist Carmen Herrera, an art-world “discovery” as she approached her centenary. Now 101, she finally received a solo exhibition at a major New York museum (the Whitney Museum of American Art) last year.

Deadpool on List of Nominess

La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight,” three films that have been pulling in top honors all awards season, were among the Producers Guild Award nominees announced Tuesday. The list of 10 also included “Deadpool,” which was a huge hit at the box office but not so much among prize-givers.

Contending for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award, the producers’ equivalent of best picture, are:

“Arrival”

“Deadpool”

“Fences”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”

“Hidden Figures”

“La La Land”

“Lion”

“Manchester by the Sea”

“Moonlight”

The Producers Guild also revealed its animation nominees on Tuesday: “Finding Dory,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Moana,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Zootopia,” which won the Golden Globe on Sunday.

The guild had previously announced its best documentary nominees: “Dancer,” “The Eagle Huntress,” “Life, Animated,” “O.J.: Made in America” and “Tower.” All except “Dancer” are on the shortlist for the Oscar for best documentary feature.

The PGAs have a strong track record of picking a feature winner that goes on to take the best-picture Oscar as well. That was the case from 2007 through 2014, more or less. In 2013 there was a tie but one of the guild’s winners, “12 Years a Slave,” did win the Oscar. Last year, though, the producers crowned “The Big Short,” while “Spotlight” nabbed the Oscar.

So if you’re hoping the PGAs will provide insight into the Oscars, you might want to wait until the guilds’ winners are clear. The PGA Awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 28. The next night will be the Screen Actors Guild Awards (nominees were announced last month). Then on Feb. 4 comes the Directors Guild, which will reveal its nominees later this week.ness

The Deco Dreams of Brazil’s

Some Brazilians write off Goiânia, far from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as their version of Midwestern flyover country. But farming and ranching generates much of the country’s wealth and influences Brazilian culture these days, even if the region sometimes neglects its own complex and sophisticated history.

Goiânia’s creators envisioned the city as an outpost of civilization preceding the so-called March to the West that began in 1940 and prioritized the colonization of Brazil’s vast interior. Brasília, the futuristic federal capital inaugurated in 1960, was perhaps the ultimate example of this push.

As envisaged by the pioneering architect Attílio Corrêa Lima, Goiânia seems to have had a more inviting feel than Brasília’s austere modernism. Here’s the same gazebo in the early 1940s, back when Goiânia was planned for just 50,000 residents.

More than 1.4 million people now live in Goiânia, which is emerging as a bastion of the conservative views reshapingBrazilian politics. With its cavernous steakhouses and clubs featuring sertanejo universitário (Brazil’s version of upscale country music), Goiânia exemplifies the ranching aspirations of much of Brazil’s heartland.

Some landmarks persist, albeit in graffiti-splattered disrepair, like the Grande Hotel.

The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss stayed in the hotel in 1937, describing it as “a square box of cement, with the look of an air terminus or a miniature fort; one might have called it a bastion of civilization.”

In his celebrated work, “Tristes Tropiques,” Lévi-Strauss wondered why Brazil’s leaders were “grabbing at the desert” to build the city instead of hewing to the charming old state capitol, Goiás Velho, founded in 1727.

What might he make now of Goiânia, with developers laying waste to Art Deco buildings, replacing them with the nondescript high-rises that occupy cities around Brazil?

In the shadow of those towers in Goiânia, I glimpsed how Brazil is shifting. For inspiration Brazilians once looked to France, the cradle of Art Deco. But while walking around Goiânia, I came across establishments like the China Construction Bank, reflecting the trade ties connecting Brazil’s farm belt to the global economy.

On the same street, patrons flowed into the flashy Detroit Steakhouse. The eatery didn’t seem to be striving for associations with the American city known for blight (and, yes,resurgence), but rather the positive, can-do vibe that the United States still holds for many people in Midwestern Brazil.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what Goiânia would look like if it had preserved more of its earliest architectural creations. Might it have resembled Asmara, the capital of closed-off Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, known for its well-preserved Art Deco treasures built by Italian occupiers in the 1930s? Or like a Miami Beach on the savannas of Brazil?

Either way, Goiânia, only about 80 years old, is still clutching for some history. The main plaza downtown is named officially for Mr. Corrêa Lima, the architect. But most people call it the Praça do Bandeirante, after the São Paulo explorers who went into the back country on slave-hunting missions.

Brazil was searching for myths in 1942 when the authorities unveiled the statue of Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva, an 18th-century bandeirante. To this day he is better known as Anhangüera, “Old Devil” in the Tupi indigenous language, a name evoking the brutal methods conquerors used to take possession of the lands on which Goiânia was built.

Three lucky artists work in Alexander Calder’s Loire Valley studio

Three artists have been chosen this year to move in to Alexander Calder’s former home studio in Saché, in France’s Loire Valley, which the artist designed and built in 1962. The three-month Atelier Calder residencies, organised in collaboration with the US-based Calder Foundation, provide artists who produce three-dimensional works with a stipend for living expenses, funding and technical support to create new work. “Our mission is to offer the time and space to make work, so although we do open the studio to the public for two days at the end of each artist’s stay, our emphasis is not on exhibiting,” the Calder Foundation’s president, Alexander S.C. Rower, told The Art Newspaper over email.

The spring 2017 artist-in-residence is the Tehran-born, Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan, whose previous works explore the domestic space and domesticated landscapes, including site-specific ephemeral installations, drawing, video and performance. Akhavan’s exhibitions this year have included the group shows Making Nature: How We See Animals at the Wellcome Collection in London, and But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The Vancouver-born, New York-based artist Rochelle Goldberg, who is the summer 2017 artist-in-residence, creates sculpture in both organic and inorganic material, including live chia grass, steel, crude oil and ceramic. She had a solo show, The Plastic Thirsty, at the Sculpture Center in New York this year and was included in the group show Mirror Cells at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The fall 2017 artist-in-residence is the Prague-born and based Eva Kot’átková, who showed work at the Parcours sector at Art Basel Miami Beach in June. Other exhibitions include the group show Bedlam: the Asylum and Beyond (until 15 January 2017) at the Wellcome Collection in London and a solo show at the Maccarone gallery in New York. She works in a variety of media, including sculpture, collage, performance, installation and film.

10 Museum Acquisitions of 2016

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Orazio Gentileschi’s Danaë
The J. Paul Getty Museum paid a record $30.5m at auction for this Baroque painting of Zeus sneaking into the bedroom of a princess as a shower of gold coins (1621). Another work from the three-part series, Lot and His Daughters (1622), has been in the Getty’s collection since 1988. Their reunion “not only makes art-historical sense but multiplies the visual impact of both works”, says Timothy Potts, the Getty Museum’s director.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Post-Impressionist art collection
The US collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays pledged around 600 post-Impressionist works by artists including Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Odilon Redon. The gift is the most important a French museum has received from a foreigner since 1945. The Musée d’Orsay has promised to display the entire collection in a dedicated gallery space.

Museo del Prado, Madrid
Fra Angelico’s The Virgin of the Pomegranate
Strengthening its collection of early Renaissance Italian art, the Prado purchased this 15th-century Florentine painting of Christ and the Virgin Mary—one of the last great works by the artist in private hands—from the 19th Duke of Alba de Tormes. The Spanish aristocrat also donated another Renaissance work that the museum recently attributed to Fra Angelico.

Centre Pompidou, Paris
20th-century Russian art
More than 250 works of Russian and Soviet art from the second half of the 20th century were donated by a group of artists and their heirs as well as the Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin and other private collectors. The additions aim to fill the blanks in the Pompidou’s “map of international Conceptualism”, says the museum’s curator Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov.Atelier von Behr’s Hands (1930s) (Photo: © NMPFT/Royal Photographic Society/Science & Society Picture Library)

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Royal Photographic Society collection
In a controversial move, more than 400,000 photographs housed at the National Media Museum (NMM) in Bradford, UK, were transferred to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The collection includes early daguerreotypes as well as albums and cameras, many from the Royal Photographic Society collection. The transfer is said to “create the world’s foremost collection on the art of photography” in London, but local politicians described it as a “cultural rape” of Bradford.

Royal Museums Greenwich, London
Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
This portrait of Elizabeth I (around 1590) was acquired by Royal Museums Greenwich after a £10.3m national fundraising appeal. Painted by an unknown artist to mark England’s victory over the Spanish Armada, the work is considered a masterpiece of the English Renaissance. It is on show in the newly renovated Queen’s House, built on the site of the palace where Elizabeth I was born.

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Minimal and conceptual art
The Düsseldorf state museums began negotiations to acquire the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer collection in 2009; the half-purchase, half-gift was finally completed this year. The collection of more than 200 works by artists including Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman and Sol LeWitt will dramatically expand the museums’ holdings of post-war American painting, conceptual art and Minimalism.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
American art bequest
The bequest from the late philanthropist and art collector Daniel W. Dietrich II includes more than 50 works of American art by Cy Twombly, Philip Guston and Agnes Martin, as well as a $10m endowment to support contemporary art programmes. Edward Hopper’s Road and Trees (1962), the first painting by the US artist to enter the collection, complements the museum’s extensive holdings of Hopper’s graphic works.

Museum of Modern Art, New York
Latin American art donation
The Museum of Modern Art cemented its position as a leading centre for the study of Latin American art with this gift of 102 Modern works by Brazilian, Venezuelan, Argentinian and Uruguayan artists from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Gustavo Cisneros. The couple also endowed a new research institute at the museum dedicated to Latin American art.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
James Goldstein House
This John Lautner-designed Modernist home near Beverly Hills is the first work of architecture to enter the museum’s collection. The house, owned by the eccentric real estate investor James Goldstein, was featured in the Coen brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski. Goldstein will donate the estate and its contents as well as a $17m endowment upon his death.