Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: January 11

Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2013

New for the New Year, these recently installed figures by Jaume Plensa have already attracted a lot of attention. German for “mirror” or “looking glass,” Spiegel shows two identical giants, hugging their knees and facing one another, though they are technically faceless. They are nearly bodiless as well: the figures are hollow screens given shape […]

Artwork of the Week: January 4

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013

New for the New Year, see this striking installation in the newly installed Wolfe Gallery of Contemporary Art. Victorian in its sensibility, Petah Coyne’s elaborate hanging sculpture uses a chandelier as its core, encased in violet silk flowers dipped in black wax. Studded throughout are brightly hued taxidermy Golden and Lady Amherst pheasants. Dusky candles […]

Artwork of the Week: December 14

Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2012

The Artwork of the Week is celebrating the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” Following ancient precedent for images of powerful rulers, France’s Sun King, Louis XIV (reigned 1643–1715), is shown wearing Roman military dress and the imperial cloak and riding without saddle or stirrups (a reference to his control of the state). On his breastplate is […]

Artwork of the Week: December 7

Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2012

In 1781 Captain John Lennox set sail for India and China on a ship commissioned by the British East India Company. Lennox was enamored of the young Elizabeth Graham (1764–1832). According to family tradition, he took miniature portraits of both her and her twin sister, Christian (1764–1847), with him to China and commissioned reverse-painted mirror […]

Artwork of the Week: November 30

Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2012

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” One of the most important and influential African American photographers of the 20th century, James Van Der Zee worked as a commercial photographer documenting the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s in New York City with his portraits of Harlem citizens. […]

Artwork of the Week: November 16

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2012

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” A portrait doesn’t necessarily have to be of a person. This bright-eyed terrier—evidently a much beloved pet—is alive with the personality of an individual animal. Webbe depicted seemingly every hair on the dog, every blade of grass, and every blossom with microscopic focus. The White […]

Artwork of the Week: November 9

Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2012

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” Although the identities of the man and woman in this portrait are unknown, the painting was probably meant to commemorate their liaison, possibly even their marriage. The cupid-like boy holding an apple is an allusion to the theme of love, perhaps suggesting […]

Artwork of the Week: November 2

Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” Resplendent with pearls, gold, jewels, lace, red wig, and ostrich-feather fan, England’s Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558–1603) is a dazzling and commanding figure in this portrait. She had only a few official portraits painted throughout her reign, which then served as the […]

Artwork of the Week: October 26

Posted on Friday, October 26th, 2012

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” Painted around the time of her marriage to King Philip II of Spain, this portrait of Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of King Henri II of France, captures not only her noble bearing and splendid costume, but also a hint of a lively […]

Artwork of the Week: October 19

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.” Known for self-indulgence and a weak administration, Lucius Verus (130–169 CE, ruled 161–169 CE) was overshadowed by his extremely popular adopted brother Marcus Aurelius. The two shared imperial power for 8 years in the first joint administration in the history of the […]