The Art History Newsletter

Museums Category Archives

A Trip across France with Matisse’s Brain

17 May 2012 | Modern, Museums

Now at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Matisse. Paires et séries is a small jewel box of an exhibition, studded with fifty-four paintings, thirty-four drawings, and five collages. Rich, intelligent, and uncluttered, it is that rare understated blockbuster that encourages close looking and deep thinking about the creative process. I left it inspired to view [...]


Leonardo and Richter

17 December 2011 | Contemporary, Current Events, Museums, Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan The National Gallery, London, 9 November 2011 – 5 February 2012 Gerhard Richter: Panorama Tate Modern, London, 6 October 2011 – 8 January 2012 Two great exhibitions currently taking place in London, Leonardo Da Vinci: Court Painter at Milan at The National Gallery (until 5 February [...]


Tinterow and Bourriaud Move On

8 December 2011 | Museums

A variety of pluripotentates (not a word, but should be) have changed jobs recently. Among them: Gary Tinterow is the new director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which has the third largest art-museum endowment in the U.S. The Houston Chronicle welcomed the appointment: Known as a scholar, Tinterow also has a flair for [...]


Stein and Picasso

26 July 2011 | Modern, Museums, Photography, Teaching

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde San Francisco Museum of Modern Art May 21-September 6   Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco May 12-September 6   Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris De Young Museum, San Francisco June 11 – October 9   What is an [...]


Art in the Streets

26 April 2011 | Contemporary, Museums, News, Outsider

Following the Né dans la rue show in 2009 at the Fondation Cartier, MOCA is presenting the first major US museum survey of street art, Art in the Streets. You might be familiar with the show via the controversy surrounding Blu’s mural but, scandal aside, it is an extensive, wide-ranging exhibition and should significantly contribute [...]


Verano español en San Francisco

7 April 2011 | Conferences, Modern, Museums

It’s going to be a summer of Spanish expatriates in the bay area; Balenciaga and Spain is currently on view at the De Young, followed shortly by Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso Paris, while SFMoMA has organized The Steins Collect: Matisee, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde beginning next month. Together this looks to [...]


Obit: Françoise Cachin

12 February 2011 | Museums

Françoise Cachin, founding director of the Musée d’Orsay, died in Paris last weekend at age 74. She was the granddaughter of Neo-Impressionist painter Paul Signac and a specialist in Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. After leading the Musée d’Orsay for eight years, Cachin went on to serve as Director of Museums in France. William Grimes writes in the [...]


China’s Other Avant-Garde

11 January 2011 | Asia, Awards, Books, Museums

On to the third and final nominee for the Alfred Barr, Jr., Award: The exhibition catalogue Tracing the Past, Drawing the Future: Master Ink Painters in Twentieth-Century China, edited by Xiaoneng Yang, is another doorstop of a volume, 450 pages on heavy paper, on which feature a variety of gorgeous and painstakingly assembled illustrations. “All [...]


‘Kantha’ wins

6 January 2011 | Awards, Books, Museums

CAA announced its twelve Awards for Distinction, including one for Kantha, saying that the book constitutes a model of how to make a catalogue about specific collections that far outreaches the task of honoring the collectors in question. Offering acute insights into an important region and an understudied medium, Kantha not only celebrates a lively [...]


Kanthas & Sycophancy

5 January 2011 | Asia, Books, Museums

The College Art Association today announces the winner of the Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for best exhibition catalogue. I’m in the midst of reviewing the shortlist, selected this year by: Anna Chave, Graduate Center, CUNY (chair) Andrea Bayer, Metropolitan Museum of Art Virginia Fields, LACMA Erica Hirshler, MFA Boston Anne Woollett, J. Paul Getty [...]


The Online Museum, and the Pseudo-democracy of the Web

31 December 2010 | Current Events, Museums, Teaching

A post from earlier this month on the Getty’s blog points out some curiosities about how some artworks get viewed online more frequently than others. No surprise that Van Gogh takes first place. However, it is interesting that numbers two (Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime by Pierre Paul Prud’hon, 1805-06) and three (Two Women [...]


Mrs. Delany and Her Catalogue

21 December 2010 | Baroque/Neoclassical, Books, Museums

The College Art Association has announced the shortlist for this year’s Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for museum scholarship: Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, eds., Mrs. Delany and Her Circle Darielle Mason, ed., Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection and the Stella Kramrisch Collection of the Philadelphia Museum [...]


Filling the Void

17 December 2010 | Books, Islamic, Modern, Museums

Qatar has just opened Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art. Before its opening Meris Lutz wrote in The Los Angeles Times: It will also serve as a research center, an exciting prospect for the regional arts community … The inaugural exhibition, titled, “Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art,” will include works culled from Mathaf’s [...]


Cosmopolitan Lucknow

15 December 2010 | Books, Museums

A current exhibition at LACMA is challenging the notion of “hybridity” in the Indian city of Lucknow. Lucknow was a courtly city of great wealth between the declining Mughal power and the rising British Colonial one. At its height in the mid-nineteenth century, two-thirds of its population were artisans, leaving a vast cultural legacy. Commonly [...]


Hide / Seek Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery Becoming Contentious

2 December 2010 | Americas, Current Events, Film, Modern, Museums

The National Portrait Gallery’s innovative exhibition of images of and by queer people in America, HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, is becoming controversial.  The exhibit was altered by pulling a video by David Wojnarowicz and it may close before the scheduled date.  The story has been picked up by The Washington Post as well [...]


Abajo ‘Hispanic’ y ‘Baroque’

12 November 2010 | Baroque/Neoclassical, Contemporary, Museums

At the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Jorge Luis Marzo and Tere Badia have put together an exhibition and catalogue titled “THE BAROQUE (D)EF(F)ECT: Politics of the Hispanic Image,” a deconstruction of the words “Baroque” and “Hispanic” and their implication that there is a “homogeneous framework shared by Spain and Latin America”: [W]ho built [...]


Is Your Museum Homophobic?

8 November 2010 | Modern, Museums

Brett Zongker of the Associated Press writes on “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” a new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery: “There’s been an entire history hiding in plain sight,” said Portrait Gallery historian and curator David C. Ward. “Telling the history of art without the history of gay people is like [...]


The Art of Disaster

27 October 2010 | Books, Museums

Much recent contemporary art focuses on disaster. Journalist Paul Reyes recently wrote (and was interviewed) about “foreclosure photography.” Since 2001, a group of ten photographers and writers named Collectif Argos has documented “climate refugees.” Richard Misrach has depicted the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Edward Burtynsky the BP oil spill. A recent interdisciplinary conference at UC [...]


Non-visual art

26 October 2010 | Books, Museums

Various recent books and exhibitions have examined art’s interaction with the non-visual senses. “The Record,” now at Duke’s Nasher Museum, “is the first museum exhibition to explore the culture of vinyl records within the history of contemporary art.” Patrizia Di Bello and Gabriel Kourea recently edited Art, History and the Senses: 1830 to the Present [...]



19 October 2010 | Museums

Over at L’atelier des icônes, Louise Merzeau writes: In the form of a “digital odyssey to the heart of painting,” the exhibition “Révélations” at the Petit Palais confronts us with the most poverty-stricken discourse on art and the art of looking. Produced and financed entirely by the screen manufacturer Samsung (for the Journées du Patrimoine), [...]