Artwork of the Week

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July 11 Art Minute: “Saint Helena, Empress”

Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

An embodiment of serenity and humility, this relief figure in profile–crowned with both a diadem and a halo–represents Saint Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine who was an influential early convert to Christianity. Acquired by the Museum in 1938 as a work by the renowned 15th-century Florentine sculptor Desiderio da Settignano, the sculpture had […]

July 3 Art Minute: The Triptolemus Painter, Kylix (drinking cup) with Athletes and Trainers

Posted on Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Both the interior and exterior of this kylix show athletes with their trainers. One side of the exterior shows young men with javelins. The interior and the other exterior side show boxers. Several of them are wrapping their hands with leather thongs. Unlike modern boxing gloves, the thongs were not meant to soften the blows, […]

June 26 Art Minute: The Creusa Painter, Volute Krater (mixing vessel) with Ariadne Crowning Dionysos

Posted on Monday, June 26th, 2017

On this large vessel used to mix wine and water, a young warrior takes leave of his wife and returns from battle victorious. On the side pictured here, Ariadne crowns her husband Dionysos, god of wine, rebirth, and the theater, with a laurel wreath while in a cave. Around them, Pan, the god of the […]

June 19 Art Minute: Vik Muniz, Chuck from the series Pictures of Color

Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

There is exactly the point where creativity rubs with possibility that you get that heat, friction that enables you to make really amazing things. What do you see when you look at Chuck? A photograph? A clever illusion created by color chips? The color chips themselves? Or all of the above? Vik Muniz likes to […]

June 12 Art Minute: Greek, from Athens, “Skyphos (Drinking Cup)”

Posted on Monday, June 12th, 2017

Abhorred by his deformed foot, the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, threw her son Hephaistos out of Olympus, home of the gods. Hephaistos, the metal-smith for the gods, sought revenge by making a trap for Hera in the form of a magnificent throne. When she sat in it, she was stuck and none of the […]

June 5 Art Minute: Charles Demuth, “The Bay, Provincetown”

Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2017

A leading American Modernist painter of the early 20th century, Charles Demuth was considered a master of the watercolor. Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as a child Demuth was encouraged by his parents to pursue his interest in art. He studied in Philadelphia at the Drexel Institute and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While […]

May 29 Art Minute: Ernesto Perriet, Bracelet in “Archaeological Style”

Posted on Monday, May 29th, 2017

Although many revival styles characterize the nineteenth century, none was more enduring nor found more sumptuous expression than antiquity-inspired jewelers’ work created in Rome. At the time this bracelet was created, Italy was not yet unified and Rome was an embattled metropolis under Papal and French protectorate. Increasing Italian nationalism may have been the underlying […]

May 22 Art Minute: Stanton MacDonald–Wright, Synchromy Blue–Green

Posted on Monday, May 22nd, 2017

“I strive to divest my art of all anecdote and illustrations and to purify it so that the emotions of the spectator can become entirely ‘aesthetic,’ as in listening to music.” —Stanton MacDonald-Wright, 1916 Synchromy Blue-Green encapsulates Stanton MacDonald-Wright’s interest in color theory and pure abstraction. MacDonald-Wright and a fellow American artist, Morgan Russell, founded […]

May 15 Art Minute: Spencer Finch, In-Between Colors

Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2017

These glowing chromatic designs by Spencer Finch build upon the tradition of many earlier artists known for their celebration of the beauty and mystery of light and color (see, for example, nearby works by Josef Albers and Julian Stanczak). Each grid design of In-Between Colors consists of one of six colors from the spectrum, produced […]

May 8 Art Minute: Frank Stella, La Lacronge IV

Posted on Monday, May 8th, 2017

Abstract paintings must be as real as those created by the 16th–century Italians. In the summer of 1967 abstract painter Frank Stella taught a workshop at the University of Saskatchewan. His time there inspired a series of paintings named for places in the Canadian province, including Lac La Ronge, a scenic lake. Stella had already […]