Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1961 biographical novel about Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). I'm glad that people kept pushing me towards this book until I couldn't resist anymore; I enjoyed it greatly and recommend it highly. Here's why.
For Black History Month, I wrote an article for DailyArt Magazine about African-American and Native-American sculptor Edmonia Lewis (c. 1844-1907). Click through to read it!
The Hyde Collection is a world-class art collection in the unassuming Adirondack town of Glens Falls, New York. It really was the most delightful little surprise, and I had a wonderful visit.
The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City is all about Himalayan art - works from Tibet, Nepal, India, China, and the surrounding areas. It's a really unique and interesting place, where I learned about religion and symbolism that's very different from what I'm used to.
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.
The Wadsworth Athenaeum, in Hartford, CT, is one of America's oldest art museums. It was founded by Daniel Wadsworth in 1842. However, it has been expanded several times since them. The museum has a little bit of everything, from paintings to porcelain, ancient Egyptian to contemporary European. It's a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon.
For those of you new to the art-viewing, museum-going experience, do you feel unsure what to see first? If so, I can make a few suggestions. I've come up with three areas that I think are particularly accessible and enjoyable to new viewers. You'll find them in most major museums, and they also happen to be among my favorites.
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.
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.
El Anatsui (b. 1944) is a Nigerian artist who creates beautiful, tapestry-like works out of found materials like bottle caps and scrap metal. I've been lucky enough to see his work at a few different museums.