Kerry James Marshall, at the Met Breuer exhibition until January 29, boldly claims center stage in American art with his show entitled “Mastry.” A Chicago-based painter, Marshall seizes the spotlight at the center of conversations about American art at the center of the country’s art scene in New York. His mastery unfurls over a grand expanse of work, complemented by his own selections from the Metropolitan Museum’s collections, a curated sidebar that testifies to his confident deployment of art history in his own work. History, genre, cityscape, portrait – Marshall draws from the visual riches of the past, transforming Western art traditions into his own language. His cityscapes suggest how his paintings reclaim space. Continue reading
A century ago, an emerging North Country artist made a name for herself in Jefferson County, but it was the many names she wore through seven decades that made her story so difficult to trace. She began life in North Dakota in 1883 as Phoebe Alice Weeks. During her marriage (around 1910) to Carl Warren, she was known as Phoebe W. Warren. During her second marriage, to Lewis Perry Hazlewood of Sackets Harbor in 1916, she was known as Phoebe Hazlewood (often misspelled as Hazelwood), but her middle name appeared variously as Alice, Weeks, and Warren, or the initials “A” or “W.” Decades later, there was a third marriage to Henry Morse, during which she again was described by various names, the most common of which were Phoebe Hazlewood Morse and Phoebe Weeks Morse.
What’s most important of course, is that she did in fact make a name for herself in the art world. From the time she was very young, Phoebe gravitated towards artwork created by cutting out paper shapes, which were then displayed over an offsetting background. For instance, a cutout from black paper was presented over a background of white paper. The method was known generally as silhouette. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, Annette Libeskind Berkovits, author of In the Unlikeliest of Places (Laurier, 2016). The memoir tells the story of her father, Nachman Libeskind, who survived the Nazis in Poland and the gulags of the Soviet Union, ending up as a respected artist in the United States.
Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
What 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
The 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
The 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.
This 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
The 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
Now 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
This week on “The Historians” podcast the guest is journalist David Kinney, co-author of The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich. (HarperCollins, 2015) The co-author is retired FBI expert on cultural property crime Robert Wittman. You can listen to the podcast here. Continue reading