As I'm sure all of you know by now, the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris caught on fire yesterday and suffered extensive damage. Yesterday's events made me appreciate what a true miracle it is that any ancient treasures survive at all. But just because they've gotten this far doesn't mean that they will always be around.
While at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks ago, a small religious diptych from 18th-century Ethiopia caught my eye. The Ethiopians have one of the oldest Christian traditions in the world. They have also produced many wonderful icons.
The World Between Two Empires shows art and artifacts made in the Middle East between about 100 BCE and 250 CE. It recently opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but I got to see it during preview days. I really enjoyed seeing beauty and culture that I didn't know much about before.
I just finished reading Thomas Hoving's King of the Confessors, which is about Hoving's adventures in acquiring what's now called The Cloisters Cross. Thanks to him, this English Romanesque carved ivory cross is one of the highlights of the Met Cloisters. The story is wild, and I couldn't put it down.
Over Christmas break, I saw Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place at the Bard College Graduate Center Gallery in Manhattan. The show's almost over, so instead of writing a review, I thought I would tell you what votives are and what I learned about them in the show.
This installment of Art That Inspires Me features a Japanese Buddhist statue that appeared on a poster sent to me by the Yale University Art Gallery.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington D.C. was the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post. She was a great hostess, philanthropist, and art collector. Her home is gorgeous and filled with treasures.
All Souls church in Biltmore Village, North Carolina was commissioned by George Vanderbilt and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. It used to be part of Biltmore Estate. It is home to beautiful stained glass by father-daughter team Maitland Armstrong and Helen Maitland Armstrong.
Heavenly Bodies is an exhibition of high fashion influenced by Catholicism. It features the likes of Chanel, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, and John Galliano. The exhibition takes place primarily in the museum's main galleries, where the fashion appears amongst works of medieval art.
If you've read about any type of western architecture, you've probably heard the term basilica. In the modern world, the word is often used to refer to a church, but the two words aren't synonyms. So, what's a basilica?