Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: July 27

Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012

In this frank and intimate portrait, artist Jared French (1905–1988) gazes candidly out at the viewer. Paul Cadmus painted it while he and French were traveling in Europe. At the time the two were involved in a relationship. Cadmus depicts French holding a copy of Ulysses by Irish author James Joyce (1882–1941). From its publication […]

Artwork of the Week: July 20

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012

The rapid spread of Islam after its establishment in the 7th century unified a vast region from India to Spain, and brought stability to the administrative disarray left by the fall of the Roman and Sasanian empires. With this new peace, trade expanded, crisscrossing the Islamic world and beyond. Potters and other artists also traveled, […]

Artwork of the Week: July 13

Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2012

Imagine a warrior’s eyes peering out at you through this Corinthian-style helmet. No doubt that daunting sight often prevented observers from noticing the helmet’s streamlined design or the “Egyptian” shape of its eye-holes that imitated the dark kohl outline used to protect the eyes from harsh glare. After being used in battle, such helmets may […]

Artwork of the Week: July 6

Posted on Friday, July 6th, 2012

Ohara Koson was a master of the kachoga print—images of the natural world, but particularly of birds and flowers. Over his career he produced more than 450 designs of birds. One of Koson’s favorite subjects, the jungle crow was revered in Japanese folklore as a messenger of the gods. Koson’s keen sense of design is […]

Artwork of the Week: June 29

Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2012

African American designer Art Smith frequently used symbols from West African tribal jewelry as elements in his own designs. The solid brass portion of this necklace, for example, resembles jewelry worn by members of the Asante court of Ghana. Smith’s elegant design with its curved forms emphasizes the relationship between body and jewelry.

Artwork of the Week: June 22

Posted on Friday, June 22nd, 2012

In the 19th century, the wonders of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (“America’s Alps”) and the Sierra Nevadas in California were largely known to Americans in the East only through travelers’ accounts and paintings by intrepid artists. Though not the first artist to paint these mountains, Bierstadt’s majestic paintings spurred tourism to the West and helped spark […]

Artwork of the Week: June 15

Posted on Friday, June 15th, 2012

Radio Light uses a specially designed radio transmitter to light the sculpture. The looping tubes of colored glass are filled with mercury and argon gas. The glass is placed on antenna plates that are connected to the radio transmitter by wires. Both the radio and glass need to be tuned to achieve the maximum frequency of […]

Artwork of the Week: June 8

Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2012

Of the “found art” elements of her sculpture, Louise Nevelson said, “I began to see things, almost anything along the street as art…That’s why I pick up old wood that had a life, that cars have gone over and the nails have been crushed…All [my] objects are retranslated—that’s the magic.” See how many “retranslated” discarded […]

Artwork of the Week: June 1

Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012

Evening is one of five paintings commissioned from Claude-Joseph Vernet by Ralph Howard, later 1st Viscount Wicklow of Dublin, while he was on the Grand Tour of Europe in 1751–52. It is one of a set of four idealized marine paintings depicting different times of day, a favorite theme of Vernet’s.

Artwork of the Week: May 25

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012

For more than a decade beginning in 1891, William Merritt Chase ran a school in Shinnecock Hills on the shore of eastern Long Island for the instruction of painting out-of-doors. Here Chase has included his wife and two daughters in a vista of the brilliantly illuminated coast, with the shimmering sea in the distance.