Manet/Velazquez at the Met (2003)

This was an extraordinary exhibition – in fact, three exhibitions in one. First, Velazquez and the Spanish Old Masters; second, Manet and his contemporaries; third, the Great American Portraitists. Like all major Metropolitan exhibitions these days, it was too big, and the “story” it told could have been better presented in half the space. But […]

These Are A Few of My Favorite Frames

Next to the paintings, what I like best are frames, and the MIA collection has some great ones. In case you’ve never picked out your own favorites, here are mine. First, you will note that my list ends around 1900, because that seems to be when framing, as a decorative art, started its decline to […]

Birdwatching at the MIA

You are all here for a lecture on James James Audubon, the great American bird artist. He is the first great bird art in America, but artists have been portraying birds long before his time and all over the world. What I propose is that we all go on safari together, to discover how birds […]

Pretty Women in Sculpture

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of sculptures on display at the MIA, and it would take us days to explore them all. So, since we have just under an hour together, I thought I would concentrate on one particular sculptural subject, one that will nevertheless take us all over the museum, and even then […]

A Meditation on Beauty

      We ran across a fascinating exhibition in Berlin last year called “Beauty” (more exactly, “Schonheit”), in which an Italian diplomat selected 100 objects from the various German national collections. My favorite display lined up three female busts: the famous one of Queen Nefertiti, a Florentine Renaissance marble, and a 13th-century terra cotta from […]