Tag Archives: Art History

The World of John Singleton Copley


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ben_franklins_worldWhat can the life of an artist reveal about the American Revolution and how most American men and women experienced it?

The Ben Franklin’s World podcast explores the life and times of John Singleton Copley with Jane Kamensky, a Professor of History at Harvard University and the author of A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton & Co, 2016) You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/106

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Empire State Plaza Art Collection Exhibition at NYS Museum


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the-the-1-by-grace-hartiganThe New York State Museum has opened a new exhibition featuring artwork from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection. The People’s Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection is organized in collaboration with the New York State Office of General Services, which curates the Plaza Art Collection. The exhibition features 20 works, including both paintings and sculpture, by 17 artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, David Smith, and Alexander Calder. The exhibition remains on view through September 3, 2017. Continue reading

NYS Council on the Arts Names New Executive Director


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nysca-logoThe New York State Council on the Arts has announced that Mara Manus has been appointed the agency’s new executive director.

Manus has served as executive director of the Public Theater in New York City as well as a program officer at the Ford Foundation. Previous roles also include Director of Playwrights of New York, Executive Director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Founding Director of the Arthur Miller Foundation and Southampton Arts Center.

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Historians Podcast: Trading Art For Lives


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast, Janet Lee Berg discusses her novel Rembrandt’s Shadow (Post Hill Press, 2016) Her book is based on the true story of her husband Bruce Berg’s family during the Holocaust in the Netherlands.  Two of his ancestors were art dealers who traded valuable paintings to the Nazis for Jewish lives.  Some family members relocated to New York State. Listen to the podcast here.     Continue reading

Lions Have An Albany Hudson-Fulton Celebration Past


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lions at the sprucesThe town of Williamstown, Massachusetts is currently restoring some artifacts from a pretty much forgotten celebration of two important events in New York State history.

In the fall of 1909, various activities took place from New York City up to Albany to commemorate Hendrick Hudson’s 1609 trip up the river that would come to bear his name, and also the 1809 steamboat trip on the river by Robert Fulton’s Clermont. Continue reading

New Exhibit of Maritime Art Open at Museum Ship Lilac


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Raincoat, metal, ink, thread, paper, strappingNow on view at the museum ship Lilac at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 in New York City is “Adam Payne: Full Steam Ahead,” an exhibit of maritime art in mixed media.  The exhibit continues through the end of September.

The works are inspired by Adam Payne’s love of history combined with an appreciation for everyday materials. The exhibit includes a series of life jackets begun in 2014 and sewn from old rain slickers, creating a symmetry between materials and form. These grew out of Payne’s longtime interest in nautical explorations and how places are changed by such maritime interventions. Each life jacket incorporates the name of a different “failed” explorer in a nod to this history. Continue reading

Art Deco Mailboxes: An Illustrated History


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art deco mailboxesArt Deco Mailboxes: An Illustrated Design History (W.W Norton & Co., 2015) by Karen Greene and Lynne Lavelle features a full-color photographic survey of early mailboxes, located in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and beyond. Many of these mailboxes have since been removed, forgotten, disused, or painted over, others are still in use, are polished daily, and hold a place of pride in lobbies throughout the country.

As American art deco architecture flourished in the 1920s and 1930s, mailboxes and their chutes became focal points in landmark buildings and public spaces such as the GE Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Woolworth Building, 29 Broadway, the St. Regis Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, and more. Continue reading