Art Appreciation 101

Ask the Scholarly Skater

I recently polled my Facebook friends about their burning art-related questions. I got four great questions, for which I hope I gave four good answers. Do you have an art question you want answered? Let me know in the comments!   Question: Why do Greek and Roman gods always appear naked? Answer: Different cultures and religions… Continue reading Ask the Scholarly Skater

Art History

Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)

It wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't write at least once about creepy creatures in art. (Did you really think I wasn't going to do it this year?) Well, HeadStuff just posted my article "Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art", in which I take a look at how imaginings of witches, vampires, demons, and… Continue reading Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Pohjola Building, Helsinki, Finland

The 1901 Pohjola building in Helsinki, Finland is decorated with many grotesques representing figures from Finland's mythology. The word "Pohjola" itself refers to a place in the myth Kalevala,which is Finland's national epic, and the people and animals on the building are presumably from that epic. Pohjola may also refer to the name of the insurance company… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Pohjola Building, Helsinki, Finland

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Casa della Vittoria, Turin, Italy

This dragon grotesque and his twin live on the Casa della Vittoria in Turin, Italy. The building is also sometimes called Casa dei Draghi, presumably because of decorations like this one. ("Drago" is the Italian work for "dragon".) I'm having trouble finding out more about the building, on account of the fact that my Italian is currently a bit rusty,… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Casa della Vittoria, Turin, Italy

American Art · Architecture

Glamour, Modernism, and the City that Never Sleeps: Art Deco in 1920s New York

"New York is an Art Deco city - indeed, the Deco city [...] The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center were crowning achievements of the late 1920s and early 1930s, and remain the dominant celebrities of the midtown skyline. Deco lobbies, theatres, jazz bars, restaurants, and details also hide and surprise at eye… Continue reading Glamour, Modernism, and the City that Never Sleeps: Art Deco in 1920s New York