Category: Women

Books # 24 and 25 in 2018: “Renoir’s Dancer” by Catherine Hewitt and “Picasso and the Painting that Shocked the World” by Miles J. Unger

Posted August 5th, 2018
Books # 24 and 25 in 2018: “Renoir’s Dancer” by Catherine Hewitt and “Picasso and the Painting that Shocked the World” by Miles J. Unger

I have been reading a lot of books that focus on art and Paris from the 1890s into the first decades of the 20th century and these two followed one on the other. What is truly fascinating after a sequence that included Corbett’s Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin, McAuliffe’s Twilight of the Belle-Époque and…

Books # 14 & 15 in 2018: Stories in “The Weardale Sagas” by Elizabeth Gill

Posted May 8th, 2018
Books # 14 & 15 in 2018: Stories in “The Weardale Sagas” by Elizabeth Gill

Y’know how it goes with social media. One thing leads to another and suddenly you are Facebook Friends with someone you haven’t seen or communicated with in forty-nine years. Elizabeth Gill joined the class of 1969 at Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, as an exchange student on the English-Speaking Union. I didn’t know…

Book #9 in 2018: “You Must Change Your Life” by Rachel Corbett

Posted March 3rd, 2018
Book #9 in 2018: “You Must Change Your Life” by Rachel Corbett

It’s been a big year for the sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) in museums. Sadly, I missed Séraphin Soudbinine: From Rodin’s Assistant to Ceramic Artist and Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter, both of which were at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Kiefer – Rodin closes at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia in a…

Portraits of a Presidency

Posted February 15th, 2018
Portraits of a Presidency

On February 12, 2018, the portraits of the 44th President and First Lady of the United States were unveiled. How do I like them? Let me, as it were, count the ways. The paintings are modern. The artists who made them (Kehinde Wiley, b. 1977, and Amy Sherald, b. 1973) are young-ish. Both are figurative…

The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

Posted March 7th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

It was August 13, 2015, exactly six months and twenty-one days ago as I write this, that I published my anxiety about the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America. I was told not to worry, that he was a farce, that his campaign would…

The Mouth That Would Be President

Posted August 13th, 2015
The Mouth That Would Be President

I can’t get him off my mind. Normally I spend precisely none of my time thinking about him, watching his television shows or envying him his wealth. He’s bumptious and loud, though, someone more skilled in getting attention than a spoiled toddler in a toy store and the media keep ratcheting up the volume. I…

The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

Posted October 23rd, 2013
The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

I want to be snarky. I want to be elitist and scorn cultural credibility bought by Walmart money. I am not altogether succeeding. Fact is, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is pretty damned amazing. It has the best collection of American moderns that I have seen anywhere other than the Boston Museum of…

The Middle 3: New Economy, New South?

Posted October 20th, 2013
The Middle 3: New Economy, New South?

The ride from Kansas City, Kansas, to Bentonville, Arkansas, was all gentle terrain underneath low cloud cover, soft cottony batting with tufts reaching down toward us, picked out by warm light. There is little to see, not even much autumn color in the trees that rim the fields. My Dear One selected the “Country-Folk” playlist…

Serendipity: Chicago 2

Posted May 19th, 2013
Serendipity: Chicago 2

The only available time slot for the trip fell after exams, papers and final grades and before my Young English Friend’s presumed departure on Monday. The Cubbies were in town hosting the Mets and there were games on Friday and Saturday afternoon. The best flights on Southwest (nonstop and cheap fares) offered few options and…

Wrought with Steadfast Will

Posted April 18th, 2013
Wrought with Steadfast Will

I read the new history of my school, Emma Willard School in Troy, New York and paid particular attention to the summary of my own era within those “grey walls protecting.” I am struck by the paradox of the book’s enveloping familiarity and its utter strangeness. Was this the place I spent four crucial years…