My parents' country house was built nearly a century ago, and though it's a country house, it has many of the trappings of an upscale city dwelling. There are formal spaces with slick, polished wood floors, large glass windows with delicate carving around the moldings, and rich fabrics with tulips and rosettes adorning the floors … Continue reading Pyotr Konchalovsky, First Snow. Blue Dacha, 1938
Everyone told her it would be cold, but she thought perhaps the snow and ice might wait a while. At least give her a chance to settle in before greeting her. But that, of course, was not to be. Their caravan had been on the move for months now, and she felt that she had … Continue reading Pieter Breugel the Elder, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565
I'm not sure how long the house has been abandoned, but since childhood it has felt like the old home had been given over to the forest eons ago. My friends and I would meet there after school. We would pretend it was a palace, a dungeon, a pirate ship, and sometimes—when my little sister … Continue reading Isaak Brodsky, Fallen Leaves, 1929
I am hard stone pulled from the earth. For millennia I was pressed and squeezed and heated. My universe was dark and compact. I was limestone, and then as the earth roiled and shifted around me, year after year, millennium after century after epoch, I became what you now see. A "metamorphic rock," a stunning … Continue reading Winged Victory of Samothrace, 220–185 BCE
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
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
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.