Did Artists Lead the Way in Mathematics?

Is there a geometry lesson hidden in ‘The Last Supper’? Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Henry Adams / 04.27.2017 Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History Case Western Reserve University Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different disciplines – one devoted to abstract thought, the other to feeling. But sometimes the parallels between the[…]

The Borderless Wordplay of Concrete Poetry

Beba Coca Cola (Drink Coca Cola), 1957, Décio Pignatari. Screen print from Poesia concreta in Brasile (Milan: Archivio della Grazia di Nuova Scrittura, 1991). The Getty Research Institute, 45-13. Courtesy of the Estate of Décio Pignatari   By Dr. Lauren Graber (left) and Dr. Henar Rivière (right) / 04.05.2017 Graber: Research Assistant Rivière: Curatorial Department[…]

Are Fractal Patterns in Nature and Art Aesthetically Pleasing and Stress-Reducing?

A fern repeats its pattern at various scales. Michael, CC BY-NC By Dr. Richard Taylor / 03.30.2017 Professor of Physics Director of the Material Science Institute University of Oregon Humans are visual creatures. Objects we call “beautiful” or “aesthetic” are a crucial part of our humanity. Even the oldest known examples of rock and cave[…]

The Great Relief at Mamallapuram

Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna’s Penance, 7th-8th century, Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India (photo: Nireekshit, Wikimedia Commons) By Dr. Edward Fosmire / 04.06.2017 Professor of Art Santa Ana College Introduction A cat stands on one leg in imitation of a holy man while plump mice gather around. A family of elephants, with several calves in tow, approaches[…]

Pioneers of Posters in the United States

By Guity Novin / 03.23.2014 Graphic Designer, Artist Introduction The US history of posters is intimately connected with advertisement for commerce, politics, and war. Early settlers in the American colonies produced most of what they consumed at home, but a few precious goods were bought in stores. Newspapers were scarce — the first in America[…]

With New Technology, Mathematicians Turn Numbers into Art

Mathematical visualization techniques led the author to create this virtual scene, showing shapes from the realm of mathematics bursting into the physical world. Frank Farris, CC BY By Dr. Frank A. Farris / 04.04.2017 Associate Professor of Mathematics Santa Clara University Once upon a time, mathematicians imagined their job was to discover new mathematics and[…]

What is Concrete Poetry?

Augusto de Campos’s Lygia Fingers, a poem from 1953 for his wife-to-be, Lygia Azeredo, highlights the international tendencies of concrete poetry; it appeared in a portfolio of concrete poems by European and Brazilian artists issued by the German printer and publisher Hansjörg Mayer in 1964. From 13 visuelle Texte (Stuttgart: Edition H. Mayer, 1964). The[…]

Allan Sekula’s Papers Reveal His Art, Writing, and Thought Process

Dear Bill Gates, 1999, Allan Sekula. Photograph. The Getty Research Institute, 2016.M.22. © Allan Sekula Studio LLC. A partial gift from Sally Stein, in memory of her husband Allan Sekula Allan Sekula’s papers, newly acquired by the Getty Research Institute, document the visionary artist and critic’s meticulous process and socially engaged practice. By Sarah Zabrodski[…]

The History of Art in Judaism

Judaism: An Introduction   By Dr. Jessica Hammerman (left) and Dr. Shaina Hammerman (right) / 08.08.2015 Jessica Hammerman: Professor of History, Central Oregon Community College Shaina Hammerman: Professor of Jewish History and Culture, Lehrhaus Judaica Judaism is a monotheistic religion that emerged with the Israelites in the Eastern Mediterranean (Southern Levant) within the context of the[…]

The Metamorphoses of Danaë: From Venal to Virtuous to Voluptuous Woman

Danaë, 1621–23, Orazio Gentileschi. Oil on canvas, 63 5/8 x 89 1/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016.6 The mythological princess Danaë was one of the most divisive, ever-changing mythological figures in Western art By Davide Gasparotto / 03.01.2016 Senior Curator of Paintings J. Paul Getty Museum One of the most accomplished Italian artists[…]

African Art, Ancient to Modern

The Songhai (also Songhay or Sonrai) people of West Africa / Photo by Maria Magdalena Ruiz O’Farrill By Guity Novin / 03.23.2014 Graphic Designer, Artist Introduction The motives which guide the hands of the sculptors and architects of Black Africa, the strait jacket of ritual and symbolism in which the work of art is confined,[…]

Art of the Ancient Near East

The Standard of Ur War Panel, 2600 BCE / British Museum, London Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.04.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Mesopotamia The Mesopotamian Cultures Sumer was an ancient civilization in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages. Although the historical records in the region do not go back much further[…]

An Introduction to Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph

1:10 Hill and Adamson, “Newhaven Fishermen.” By Thomas Annan, 1845. Salted paper print. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937, Accession Number: 37.98.1.78. ©Metropolitan Museum. By Dr. Lionel Gossman / 05.28.2015 M. Taylore Pyne Professor of Romance Languages Princeton University From Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph Victorian Scotland was[…]

Keith Haring, ‘Subway Drawings’

Keith Haring, Untitled, 1984, chalk on paper, 88 1 /2 x 46 inches, photographer: Ivan Dalla Rana © Keith Haring Foundation By Dr. Amy Raffel / 02.24.2017 Art Historian Former Professor of Art History Lehman College An international art star, Keith Haring and his work have often been characterized as quintessentially of the eighties—an embodiment of[…]

Early Modern Needlework Pattern ‘Lace-Books’

  By David Brafman and Lisa Cambier / 07.19.2012 Brafman: Rare Books Curator, Getty Research Institute Cambier: Collection Development, Getty Research Institute Copies of pattern, model, and sample books for needlework are among the rarest of early modern printed books to survive intact. The reason is simple: virtually all such books were considered “working copies,”[…]

The History of Pastels in Art

Portrait of Gabriel Bernard de Rieux (detail), 1739–41, Maurice-Quentin de La Tour. Pastel and gouache on paper mounted on canvas. 79 × 59 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 94.PC.39. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program By Dr. Emily Beeny / 02.06.2017 Associate Curator of Drawings J. Paul Getty Museum Both/And From[…]

Edme Bouchardon’s Pocket-Sized Masterpieces

Self-Portrait, about 1730, Edme Bouchardon (French, 1698–1762). Red chalk, 19.8 x 13.5 cm. The Morgan Library & Museum, purchased in 1907. Photography by Graham S. Haber The French artist filled his pocket notebooks with sketches of inspirational artworks, and an intriguing self-portrait. By Anne-Lise Desmas / 01.10.2017 Curator and Department Head of Sculpture and Decorative[…]

Expressionism: An Introduction

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Reclining Nude in Front of Mirror, 1909-1910, oil on canvas, 83.3 x 95.5 cm (Brücke-Museum, Berlin) By Shawn Roggenkamp / 10.02.2016 Imagine a painting where the magentas scream, the greens glare, and coarse brushstrokes become more ominous the longer you look at them. Paintings like this, where the artist uses color, line, and visible techniques to evoke powerful[…]