New York: Hot on the heels of its blockbuster Van Gogh (Cypresses) exhibition, the Met has trotted out two of the big four “Impressionists” to draw more crowds and open their wallets. (I put “Impressionists” in quotes because neither Manet nor Degas would have accepted the classification, and their styles differ significantly from the light-infused, […]

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

A worldwide traveling exhibition of blown-up images of the 34 frescoes that make up the Sistine Chapel ceiling, plus The Last Judgment, lit down in Santa Barbara’s Old Mission for the summer, yielding surprises good and bad. The images themselves were less than great, having the look of overenlarged low-resolution photos. (I don’t know how […]

Boston MFA

I’ve always found the MFA to be just about the hardest art museum to navigate. It also used to be the fustiest. On a day visit last week I found numerous design improvements, in line with user-friendly trends; but with many galleries closed for reinstallation or upgrading I was just as confused going from one […]


A quick shout-out to LACMA for putting on at least four very interesting temporary exhibitions while the main campus is closed for construction (2024 seems an optimistic completion date). The main attraction for me was the show of the Transcendental Painting Group (TPG) that came from the Crocker in Sacramento and is, apparently, the first […]

Van Gogh’s Cypresses

I approach a themed show at the Met with some skepticism: are the curators making, let alone creating, a point in order to justify amassing loans for a blockbuster show? From a museological viewpoint, it is no longer enough, or professionally justifiable, to say, “Here are a lot of van Goghs for your viewing pleasure” […]