Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: December 6

Posted on Friday, December 6th, 2013

Created as a social commentary on 18th-century consumerism, this print is the last in a set of eight engraved by William Hogarth. The series, A Rake’s Progress, centers on a prosperous merchant’s heir and his reckless lifestyle of extravagance. Here, the heir’s overindulgence has led to him being committed to the infamous London mental institution […]

Artwork of the Week: November 29

Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013

Including a turkey, rooster, hen, three bantam Polish hudins, and their offspring, this painting celebrates the type of fowl owned by wealthy landowners in 17th-century Holland. Melchior d’Hondecoeter was known for his bird pieces of both domestic and exotic birds. He seemingly inherited this joy of animal painting from his artist father, grandfather, and uncle, […]

Artwork of the Week: November 22

Posted on Friday, November 22nd, 2013

This vessel and similar examples came from a workshop that was located near Jerusalem, where the products were sold to pilgrims traveling from all parts of the Mediterranean world, including Egypt. It may have held oil, water, or soil from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The symbols on the six sides of this type of […]

Artwork of the Week: November 15

Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2013

Beginning as a poster designer, commercial artist, and, briefly, an animator for the Walt Disney Studios, Wayne Thiebaud eventually settled on painting. Starting in the mid-1950s, he focused on painting ordinary and often “blue collar” objects, notably his images of diner foods: hot dogs, pies, ice cream, and hamburgers. Thiebaud painted this typical American truck […]

Artwork of the Week: November 8

Posted on Friday, November 8th, 2013

Gerrit Rietveld considered himself a furniture maker, but he would later also become recognized as an innovative architect. As a member of the Dutch artists’ group De Stijl (The Style), Rietveld embraced the purity of form alongside artists such as Piet Mondrian. In De Stijl, artists utilized primary colors and black and white along with […]

Artwork of the Week: November 1

Posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013

Spending much of his childhood in Ohio after the age of 14, Hiram Powers became very familiar with the diverse collection of Cincinnati’s Western Museum (a forerunner to the Cincinnati Museum Center), eventually performing installation work for the museum before his career as a sculptor took off. In 1837 he moved to Florence, Italy, where […]

Artwork of the Week: October 25

Posted on Friday, October 25th, 2013

A well known and common image in Japanese art is depicted on this lacquered picnic box:  wooden planks placed among swampy ground surrounded by fields of irises.More specifically, this box shows one of the three most scenic gardens of the city of Okayama. This picnic set is complete with four food containers, a serving tray, […]

Artwork of the Week: October 18

Posted on Friday, October 18th, 2013

With the ruling authorities deeming them barbaric, tattoos were banned in Japan around 1868.  Subsequently, the depiction of tattoos in Japanese art disappeared.  It was not until 1948, when tattoos were again legalized, that they began to return as subject matter for graphic arts; today they are again popular. Scottish artist Paul Binnie, who works […]

Artwork of the Week: October 11

Posted on Friday, October 11th, 2013

Part of a recent gift from donor Richard Silverman, this netsuke would have served as a way to fasten a box for belongings to a man’s kimono sash. Shorter than two inches tall, this intricately-carved piece of ivory is a ryusa netsuke, which means that it is cut through to the other side to allow […]

Artwork of the Week: October 4

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2013

Depicted here is the Kabuki onnagata, or female role specialist, Nakamura Jakuemon III (1875–1927) in the role of Oshichi. He is joined by two assistants called kurogo, barely visible hiding under their black robes and hoods (they were meant to blend into the background as they helped with costume and prop changes during a performance). […]