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[…]

When is a Table Not a Table?

How could this unusual object be a table? By Tristan Bravinder / 08.29.2016 Social Media Producer Getty Research Institute In 1986 the Getty Museum acquired an unusual object. Its previous owner of almost 40 years called it simply “Side Table.” Visually speaking, this word choice is quite odd. Laurel branches sprout from a rocky center.[…]

Heinrich Geissler’s Groundbreaking Archive

By Isabella Zuralski / 12.02.2014 Senior Special Collections Cataloguer Getty Research Institute The difference between “German drawings” and “drawings from Germany” may seem self-evident today, but such a distinction only exists thanks to the work of art historian Heinrich Geissler, whose archive is housed at the Getty Research Institute. The chief curator of prints and[…]

The Bug That Had the World Seeing Red

Page from the Codex Zouche-Nuttall, 1200–1521 A.D., Mixtec. Painted deer skin, 19 x 23.5 cm. / The British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1 (BM Add. MSS 39671). Creative Commons How a Mesoamerican insect created the globe’s most coveted color By Amy Butler Greenfield / 01.04.2017 Once there was a color so valuable that emperors and conquistadors coveted[…]

A Visual Glossary of Hindu Architecture

Prambanan temple ruins, built c.mid-9th century CE / Wikimedia Commons By Mark Cartwright / 12.19.2016 Historian Adisthana – the decorative raised platform on which a temple is built. The Brihadishvara Temple (side view), Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. c. 1010-1025 CE. The temple is, at 65 m high, one of the largest Chola period buildings. Alasa kanya –[…]

Art History: Thinking and Talking about Art

Image from Art Institute of Chicago Museum What is Art? Overview Art is a highly diverse range of human activities engaged in creating visual, auditory, or performed artifacts— artworks—that express the author’s imaginative or technical skill, and are intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. The oldest documented forms of art are visual[…]

The Reception of African Art in the West

Detail, Man’s Prestige Cloth, early 20th century, Akan peoples, Asante group, silk and cotton, 289.6 x 172.7 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) By Dr. Peri Klemm / 12.23.2016 Professor of Art History University of California, Northbridge When early European explorers brought back souvenirs from their trips to the African continent they were regarded as[…]