David Bowie’s Post-Modernist Space Oddities

From the Renaissance through the mid-19th century, Western artists applied the logic of perspective in their work and were judged by their skill in reproducing reality. But fundamental changes in technology, science and philosophy were occurring by the end of the 19th century, inducing a series of new aesthetic movements. Some were longer-lived than others. […]

Discovering American Arts and Crafts Woodblock Prints

In the late 19th century, the wave of Japonisme that washed over Western culture merged with the American Arts and Crafts reform movement — with its heightened interest in craftsmanship and the handmade — leading to the broad acceptance and popularity of color woodcuts. This centuries-old art of Japan inspired American artists to design beautiful, […]

Have You Met Arthur Wesley Dow?

Arthur Wesley Dow (1857, Ipswich, MA – 1922, NYC, NY) should be more widely recognized as a leader on the American art scene of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He worked in watercolor, oils and ink, was a printmaker, a photographer and a lifelong designer. But his real influence was carried forward by his students.   While […]

Exploring the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

Years in the planning, St. Petersburg FL’s magnificent MAACM is the only museum in the world dedicated to the American Arts and Crafts Movement. MAACM is a destination museum for devotees of the design and craftsmanship of the decorative arts in America in the decades flanking the turn of the 20th century. […]

Is She or Isn’t She A Vermeer?

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was an innkeeper and an art dealer, and in 1653 he became a master in the Saint Luke’s Guild in Delft. He would serve as head of that guild four times in the 1660s and 1670s. These demands on his time — plus the fact that his painting method was slow, meticulous […]

Discovering America’s First Modern Art Museum

How many people – even art geeks like us – can name America’s first museum of modern art?  We suspect most would also be hard pressed to say where The Phillips Collection is located! Or where Renoir’s well-known and well-loved Luncheon of the Boating Party hangs. It was a surprise to us that The Phillips […]

Exploring Byzantine Art at Dumbarton Oaks

Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss began acquiring Byzantine art in the early 1920s. Within a single decade — as a result of their pioneering interest, their refined taste, and the connoisseurship of their advisers – the importance of their collection was already such that they were invited to lend numerous objects to the first major […]

Exploring Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks

The peoples of the Pre-Columbian world created a long and varied history before Europeans arrived in the “New World.”  Much evidence of large-scale architecture, stunning works of art, and complex writing and record-keeping systems remains today, testament to the sophistication of those early civilizations. Ensconced behind high brick walls in residential Georgetown (Washington, DC), Dumbarton […]