More Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer painted people, but he was not a portraitist. He painted mountains and rivers, but he was not a landscape artist. He painted activities, but he was not a genre artist. In 19th-century American art, there was no one like him. He stands alone. He was a storyteller, but he rarely told you what […]

American Art at SBMA

The post-van Gogh rehang of the permanent galleries at SBMA features a selection of largely 19th-century American painting (perhaps in fulfillment of the 1958 commitment to Preston Morton in consideration of her gift of 50 paintings). While maybe a third were seen in the 2012 exhibition, “Scenery, Story, Spirit,” most of the others are new […]

Homer at the Met

Ever since the George Floyd tragedy, cultural and media institutions have been making up for a century of neglect by spotlighting Black-related art and artists. The relatively staid Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has ridden the wave, first with a new “Afrofuturist” period room, then a dossier exhibition around Why Born Enslaved!, a […]

Jasper Johns

The opening galleries at both the Whitney and Philadelphia were full of people and Jasper Johns’s greatest hits from the late ’50s: targets, flags, numbers and maps. By the end, the crowds had dissipated and one wondered if the same could be said for Johns’s art. I admit that I had struggled, during the latter […]

American Masterpieces

At some point you go to so many museums it loses the thrill, and you wonder if you’re going just because it’s there and it’s a comfortable habit. In the span of a month, I went to the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery in Washington; […]

Thomas Cole @ Met

Thomas Cole is a crucial, but transitional, figure in the history of American landscape art, bridging the European world of myth and legend with the American world of boundless nature. This can be seen, most famously, in his five-part Course of Empire series in which the unspoiled world of the Native American gives way to […]

Cult of the Machine

The “Cult of the Machine” at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum spotlighted American artists’ fascination with the industrial boom roughly between the World Wars, when machines equaled progress and the future and, therefore, became a new vocabulary for the decorative and visual arts. I was hooked immediately by Morton Livingston Schamberg’s nonsense machines, precisely drawn and […]

Sargent at the Met

[fusion_text] In presenting an exhibition of works by John Singer Sargent, the Met has outdone itself again – or maybe I should say “overdone it again.” Going in, I was not a particular fan of Sargent, although I do consider “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit” a definite inclusion on my list of favorite 25 […]

More American Art at the Met

[fusion_text]I was thrilled to visit the Members’ Dining and Lounge area on the 4th floor of the Metropolitan Museum last night (10/2/15) and find it hung with some of my favorites. A trademark A.T. Bricher hung over one couch, a Tonalist Childe Hassam over another, and a typical Hugh Bolton Jones over a third. Smaller works […]