Three years ago today was the worst day of my life. I had flown to my parents' home to travel back to Seattle with my ailing mother, as my parents were moving to Seattle. Even though she was quite ill, we had hope that she would continue her treatment in Seattle and have some more … Continue reading Personal Totems
In retrospect, I'm pretty sure the whole reason I majored in art history was because I saw art as a portal into other worlds. I loved looking at incredible images that evoked mood and told about the history of art and so on and so forth. But I always felt (and still do) that a … Continue reading The Last Tavern at the City Gates
A few days ago, I thought to myself, you know, our planet is on the brink of destruction. I should stop naval gazing and devote every last thing I write (not to mention every last thing I do in the real world) to the cause of our planet. Maybe it will do some good in … Continue reading Impotent Rage
M. Elizabeth Price, AKA Mary Elizabeth Price, was a prominent American painter in the early twentieth century. And yet I hadn't heard of her, nor do I remember ever seeing her work until I stumbled upon her Flower Border II (undated) quite by accident on the internet a few weeks ago. The work struck me … Continue reading M. Elizabeth Price
Among the culturally uncool things I love is the widely mocked 1994 movie Legends of the Fall. It gets a 57 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which constitutes a "splat," with reviewers calling it melodramatic, silly, bloated, and a soap-opera romance. But 87 percent of the general audience (and a few film critics too) enjoyed it. … Continue reading Melodramatic, Silly, and Bloated, but Oh So Good
Let me start by saying that I adore museums. For me they are spiritual and meditative places. I don't mean that to sound corny. I'm not shivering with awe when I step into a museum; it's just that they help to take me outside of myself and my everyday problems. At the same time, they … Continue reading Sometimes you need to de-museum your art.
In my fourteen plus years of training as an art historian I somehow never learned about the wonderful Horace Pippin. And then last week I stumbled across one of his paintings online: "The Getaway, The Fox (The get-a-way)" from 1939. Pippin's biography is fascinating. He was born near Philadelphia and educated in segregated schools in … Continue reading Mr. Pippin