Leading Figures of the Renaissance

From the 14th through the 16th centuries, Europe crackled with energy. Introduction The period in Europe known as the Renaissance began in Italy around 1300. From the 14th through the 16th centuries, Europe crackled with energy. Trade and commerce boomed. Cities grew. Artists and writers experimented with their crafts and created wonderful works of art[…]

What Is Culture?

To an anthropologist, it means the patterns of human behaviour, and all that that entails. 01.01.2018 Introduction The word “culture” is used in different ways by different people. To some, it might mean a string quartet and the use of multiple utensils at dinner. To others, it might be used in a vague way when planning[…]

The Significance and Meaning of Street Art in the Middle East

A massive mural of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump engaged in a passionate kiss was unveiled Sunday morning, October 29, 2017, painted on the West Bank security barrier near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma Street art is a contemporary culture that is ever-growing and transitioning in significance and meaning.[…]

Grandville: Visions and Dreams in 19th-Century French Art

The Wanderings of a Comet, from Another World, 1844 / Internet Archive With its dreamlike inversions and kaleidoscopic cast of anthropomorphic objects, animals, and plants, the world of French artist J. J. Grandville is at once both delightful and disquieting. Patricia Mainardi explores the unique work of this 19th-century illustrator now recognised as a major precursor[…]

Urban Theory and Performative Streetscapes

dwell.com Looking at the urban social history of Accra through the singular Oxford Street, part of the city’s most vibrant and globalized commercial district. By Dr. Ato Quayson / 09.03.2014 Professor of Literature University of Toronto The news caused ripples on ghanaweb.com, the Ghanaian website that carries information and news on the country for both locals and those[…]

A Brief History of the Art Museum

Gallery in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich (photo: Dr. Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) When people think of museums, art museums most often come to mind—solemn places where visitors stand in silence contemplating neat rows of paintings. By Dr. Elizabeth Rodini / 07.10.2018 Professor of Art History Johns Hopkins University When people think of museums, art museums[…]

Early Applications of Linear Perspective

By Dr. Joseph Daubin / 08.09.2015 Distinguished University Professor of History The Graduate Center City University of New York Representing the body What renaissance artists had clearly achieved through the careful observation of nature, including studies of anatomical dissections, was the means to recreate the 3-dimensional physical reality of the human form on two-dimensional surfaces.[…]

A History of Surrealism

Visitors look at the painting The Visit from 1939 by Paul Delvaux during the 2011 exhibition Surrealism in Paris. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann As the longest-running avant-garde movement of the 20th century, Surrealism’s scope and richness is perhaps unparalleled in its influence of modern art and culture. By Dr. Natalya Lusty / 02.08.2016 Associate Professor of Gender and[…]

How World War I Sparked the Artistic Movement that Transformed Black America

Aaron Douglas. “Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery to Reconstruction.” Oil on canvas, 1934. The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division. Many associate post-World War I culture with Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s Lost Generation. But for black artists, writers and thinkers, the war changed the way they saw their past and their future. By Dr. Elizabeth J. West / 05.31.2017[…]

Why a Building and Its Rooms Should Have a Human Character

Renaissance master Andrea Palladio designed Villa La Rotonda with rooms of various characters, which at night served as viewing boxes for fireworks displays in the surrounding landscape. Bogna/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA Might we enjoy our homes more if their rooms were characterised by their sense of loftiness or intimacy or cheerfulness or melancholy rather than lifeless labels such as ‘media room’[…]

Living Life as an Artist: Nietzsche on Creativity

The tragedies of ancient Greece underpin Nietzsche’s understanding of what it means to be an artist. Hans Runge/Flickr Love or loathe him, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) offered a unique way of considering creativity. By Dr. Laura D’Olimpio / 02.04.2015 Senior Lecturer in Philosophy University of Notre Dame Australia Love or loathe him, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) offered a unique way of[…]

Exquisite Rot: Spalted Wood and the Lost Art of Intarsia

Geometric figure (1537), intarsia by Fra Damiano da Bergamo, from the Museum of the Basilica of Saint Dominic, Bologna, Italy — Wikimedia Commons The technique of intarsia — the fitting together of pieces of intricately cut wood to make often complex images — has produced some of the most awe-inspiring pieces of Renaissance craftsmanship. Daniel Elkind[…]

Music, Time and Long-Term Thinking: Brian Eno Expands the Vocabulary of Human Feeling

   By Austin Brown (left) and Alex Mensing (right) / 11.30.2017 Brian Eno’s creative activities defy categorization. Widely known as a musician and producer, Eno has expanded the frontiers of audio and visual art for decades, and posited new ways of approaching creativity in general. He is a thinker and speaker, activist and eccentric. He formulated[…]

Understanding, Defining, and Appreciating Art and Its History

Detail of The Effects of Good Government, a fresco in the City Hall of Siena by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 1338. / By Wikimedia Commons By Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.07.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction: Why Does It Matter? As a thought experiment, imagine what a society without art would be like? How would buildings look? Could any kind of visual[…]

How Identity and Culture Intersect in Art

Iranian fine art photographer Mehrdad Naragahi’s photography is the visual embodiment of Gabriel García Márquez ‘s magical realism. “We can be anywhere in our dreams.” Photo untitled from “The Fairyland” series. Provided by Naraghi through his website and used with permission. 04.16.2018 How does an artist tackle the questions of identity and home when they’re[…]

Frank Sinatra’s Paintings

Display of Frank Sinatra’s art at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles By Dr. Monica Bowen / 12.19.2017 Professor of Art History Seattle University I read recently that the Renaissance sculptor Benvenuto Cellini reminded Tony Bennett so much of Frank Sinatra that Tony once gave Frank a copy of The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini as a birthday gift. I scoffed[…]

Understanding the Hidden Dimensions of Modern Physics through the Arts

Can the arts be a bridge to other worlds? Daniel Parks, CC BY-NC Is a novella published 130 years ago our best bet for explaining the worlds of 4D and beyond? By Dr. Djuna Croon / 09.28.2015 Postdoctoral Associate in Physics and Astronomy Dartmouth College Sometimes, the hardest job for a theoretical physicist is telling the story. The work in this[…]

Latte Art Influences How Much We Pay for Coffee

Look tasty? Dan Lacher/Flickr, CC BY Do you like your coffee to have artistic flair? Recent research shows we’re likely to pay more for a coffee with latte art than a mere ‘flat’ white. By Dr. George Van Doorn / 11.25.2014 Lecturer in Psychology Federation University Australia It will come as no surprise that coffee culture is thriving in many western countries. Yet, although the amount of coffee we[…]

Inside the Photography of Ishiuchi Miyako

ひろしま/hiroshima #9 (Ogawa Ritsu), 2007, Ishiuchi Miyako. Chromogenic print. © Ishiuchi Miyako 70 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, the Japanese artist imbues women’s objects from the event with a ghostly presence. By Amanda Maddox / 08.06.2015 Assistant Curator, Department of Photographs J. Paul Getty Museum For the last eight years, Ishiuchi Miyako has traveled[…]

Photographing the Architecture of Decay

Casemate H667, 2006, Jane and Louise Wilson. Black and white Laser Chrome print. © Jane and Louise Wilson 2006 Through photographs, the artists document twentieth-century ruins and the faded ideologies that once animated them. By Lyra Kilston / 07.02.2017 Editor, Public Affairs Department J. Paul Getty Museum Bunkers, by their nature, are the peak of[…]

The History of Blackness in Art and Philosophical Thought

Robert Fludd’s black square representing the nothingness that was prior to the universe, from his Utriusque Cosmi(1617) — Wellcome Library Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour, or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to picture nothingness, Eugene Thacker reflects* on some of the ways[…]

An Archival Trail: ‘Concrete Art’ in Argentina

Installation view of Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros at the Getty Center How magazines, flyers, and pamphlets tell the story of Concrete art in Argentina. By Dr. Zanna Gilbert / 02.05.2018 Art Historian and Curator Former Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral C-MAP Fellow, The Museum of Modern Art[…]

Art as Solace in Dark Times

By Dr. Ruchama Johnston-Bloom / 12.21.2016 Assistant Director of Academic Affairs CAPA The Global Education Network Around this time of year, I often find myself telling people about the mixture of holidays I grew up celebrating as a child. My back-to-the-land hippie parents, one Jewish, one not, both fairly atheist, kept what they liked from[…]