Sunday, March 08, 2015

Working for Royalty

Bread Fruit, 1955 menu cover by John Kelly for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Oahu.

Kelly's family arrived on the Islands in 1923 for a short visit and stayed. He was a printmaker and during his career created some of the most beloved images of the Hawaiian Islands.

Traveling to Paradise

Angel Fish, menu cover, 1939 by Frank Macintosh for the S.S. Lurline, Matson Line.

Before the advent of jet engine travel tourists made the trip to Hawaii by cruise liner. The S.S. Lurline owned by the Matson line was the flagship of the line. Frank Macintosh created lovely idealized scenes of Hawaiian life in the art deco style.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Rediscovered preparatory work for one of Constable's most celebrated masterpieces soars to $5.2 million

Rediscovered preparatory work for one of Constable's most celebrated masterpieces soars to $5.2 million

Another Version

Salisbury Cathedral from Lower Marsh Close, 1820 by John Constable, National Gallery, Washington D.C.

This version was painted after the first one was thought to be "too dark" by the family. The spire is 404 feet tall, the tallest church spire in England. It is a Gothic style structure completed in the 1300's.

Out of the Background

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds, ca. 1825 by John Constable, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This one is a favorite of mine because the cathedral is so clear and detailed.


Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831 by John Constable, National Gallery London.

This version of the cathedral is the most "romantic" with the horse and cart in the foreground and the rainbow in the background, which was apparently a later addition to the work.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Good News

The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1566, Detroit Institute of Arts.

The New York Times reports that the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is no longer in danger of being sold as part of the Bankruptcy filed by the City of Detroit. This is very good news for not only the DIA, Detroit and Michigan, but for any art lover that enjoys access to masterpieces through public museums. Do yourself a favor and visit this collection if you can, there are some very fine pieces and you won't regret it.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Capturing Beauty

There is an exhibition of the work of Sandusky, OH artist Charles Courtney Curran at The Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh, now through February 1, 2015. He studied in Paris and split his time between New York and North Central Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. The exhibition is titled Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal and his definitely captures an idealized and beautiful life full of lovely settings and people, but don't we all like a look into an ideal world once in a while?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Price We Pay

Isabella and the Pot of Basil by William Holman Hunt, 1868

Many years ago a friend and I attempted to visit The Delaware Art Museum. We drove up from Baltimore during the day and when we arrived at the museum, we found the building was closed because a protestor had chained himself to the front entrance to protest the DuPont Annual Meeting taking place inside the museum. Now, at that time in the early 1990's the DAM had the best collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the US and having just completed a thesis on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, I was anxious to see their collection - I never got to.

I read an article in the New York Times in August that the Delaware Art Museum was arbitrarily and against the advice of the American Association of Museum Directors, divesting themselves of many of the most important pieces in their collection based on monetary, rather than curatorial, decisions. My feelings about the museum came to the surface again, disappointment and disbelief.

The image above is the painting they sold which they anticipated getting upwards of 13 million for, but it only realized 4.2 million (before auction commissions) I wonder if they think it was worth it now. The word is that two more pieces of the collection will go up for sale soon to pay a debt incurred for a construction project, soon there will be less to adorn those new walls.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saving The Past for the Future

St. Hedwig by Joseph Felix Męcina-Krzesz, 1914, Location of Original Unknown.
The Museum of Divine Statues in Lakewood, OH is housed in the old St. Hedwig Catholic Church and this lithograph image of the Saint for whom it is named was gifted to the museum. The museum features rescued and restored Catholic religious statuary from many of the churches in the area that have been closed in the last few years. It also has a fine collection of stained glass, as well as, furnishings, fixtures, and other artwork from many area churches. 
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