Artwork of the Week

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Nov. 11 Art Minute: René Lalique, “Poppy Necklace”

Posted on Friday, November 11th, 2016

The flowing curves and naturalism of this expressive floral pendant define it as a quintessential jewel of the Art Nouveau style. It was designed and produced by the French artist-jeweler René Lalique, who had operated a studio in Paris since 1890. Trained in Paris and London within the rigid practices of the nineteenth-century goldsmith’s trade, […]

Nov. 4 Art Minute: Andrew Wyeth, ‘The Hunter’

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016

In The Hunter, painted as an illustration for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post and the work that brought the artist to national attention, Wyeth used a startling and unusual point of view—that of the hunted bird—to give this otherwise ordinary scene of a hunter in a fall landscape a heightened sense of drama. The viewer is […]

Oct. 28 Art Minute: John George Brown, ‘The Country Gallants’

Posted on Friday, October 28th, 2016

As industrialization and urbanization changed the landscape and society in the mid-1800s, America’s past became the object of romantic nostalgia. Scenes of simple, idealistic rural life like this one were sought by middleclass city dwellers. Born in England, but settling in New York in 1853, John George Brown was one of the most successful painters […]

Oct. 21 Art Minute: Jasper Francis Cropsey, ‘Starrucca Viaduct, Pennsylvania’

Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2016

Jasper Francis Cropsey’s views of fiery autumn scenes captured the forests, mountains, and valleys of the northeast in a celebration of America’s unique, often untouched, natural beauty. As the nation grew, the human presence increasingly intruded on this natural beauty. Images of the railroad often symbolized this growth, seen both as a sign of progress […]

Oct. 14 Art Minute: Pierre-Étienne-Théodore Rousseau, ‘Under the Birches, Evening’

Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2016

The majestic trees and extraordinary light of this painting are hallmarks of Théodore Rousseau’s landscapes. A partially obscured parish priest travels on horseback along a country lane through the late October countryside, lit by the last rays of the setting sun. Rousseau captures this fading light as a fiery glow igniting the colors of autumn. […]

Oct. 7 Art Minute: Gustave Courbet, Landscape Near Ornans

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016

“To paint a land you have to know it. I know my land and I paint it. That undergrowth—it comes from our land. That river—it’s the Loue…Those rocks, those are in Ornans…Go look, you’ll recognize all my paintings.” –Gustave Courbet Gustave Courbet painted the jagged rock formations and rugged ravines around Ornans, France, with a […]

Sept. 30 Art Minute: Paul Manship, ‘Dancer and Gazelles’

Posted on Friday, September 30th, 2016

Fluid, graceful motion defines Paul Manship’s Dancer and Gazelles, its sinuous contours and abstract elegance reflecting Manship’s free interpretation of artistic sources. With its streamlined forms and its references to classical subjects, Manship’s sculpture was an important precursor to the Art Deco style. He deftly straddled the traditional taste for decorative beauty and the modernist appreciation […]

Sept. 23 Art Minute: Nancy Graves, ‘Geologic Map of the Sinus Iridum Quadrangle of the Moon, No. 8’

Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Nancy Graves combines abstraction with natural phenomena in order to convey her dual interest in art and science, along with her fascination with the transmission of visual information. Following upon an earlier series of drawings and paintings related to maps and charts of the ocean floor and Antarctica, in 1972 Graves produced a series of […]

Sept. 16 Art Minute: Arthur Hughes, ‘Ophelia (“And He Will Not Come Back Again”)’

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2016

The sad madness and death of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet was a favorite subject of the group of British artists who called themselves the Pre-Raphaelites. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which included William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, frequently depicted literary subjects, placing an emphasis on emotional and symbolic content. Though not an original member of the […]

Sept. 9 Art Minute: Vija Celmins, ‘Untitled (Ocean)’

Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016

Celmins’ meticulous renderings of the natural environment in a reduced palette of gray represent the physical world at its most impersonal and neutral. Though her elemental views of vast space resist romantic notions of nature, they nevertheless retain an inherent elusive mystery and poetic resonance. Untitled (Ocean) is one of four lithograph scenes that Celmins […]