October 8, 2013
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April 16, 2013
During his nine-decade career, Hirschfeld generated more than 12,000 drawings that chronicled the history of entertainment in this country. His images have become the logo of the American theater. No other illustrator has captured so thoroughly the magic of the performing arts — the theater, the movies, the symphony and television, ballet and opera — and his iconic work has appeared on everything from marquees to U.S. postage stamps.
February 12, 2013
Amid the discarded garments, feather boas, parasols and scarves
littering the canopy bed, a young Cecil Beaton, just sent down from
Cambridge, watched his mother at her dressing table as she pinned a lily
to the bodice of her dress. He reveled in the delicacy of her beauty and
the pageantry of dressing up. The gown he had selected for her was pale
green matte crêpe and embroidered with crystals. She wore a diamond
headdress with leaves. As Cecil snapped pictures of her reflection in the
triptych mirror with his Brownie box camera, he repeated his mantra: “I
don’t have a middle-class bone in my body.”
May 10, 2012
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January 6, 2012
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October 9, 2011
Graffiti is hardwired into society. People have a natural impulse to leave their mark on public property, to tell the world they were here and, perhaps, what they think about it. Historically, graffiti serves many purposes. Victors of war have used it as territorial markers and gangs to stake out their turf. Politicians use it to spread their ideology while subversives use it to talk back to authorities without fear of reproach. Advertisers promote their products and criminals their unlawful services with graffiti. Lovers immortalize their devotion. The dislocated and alienated claim a sense of place. And artists gain a public audience. At its most basic level, graffiti is an affirmation of our own being; it is an announcement that “I was here.”
July 17, 2011
In order to achieve a higher awareness, Malevich believed that people had to abandon logic and that art was the gateway for doing so. He had felt an urgent need to release art from rationality: “I give warning of danger. Reason has imprisoned art in a box of square dimensions.”
July 1, 2011
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December 1, 2010
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September 1, 2010
Examination of the art of photographer Francesca Woodman, who committed suicide in 1981.
December 1, 2009
Many of Bellows’s friends described him as a man in a hurry. His artistic career bloomed early: at age twenty-six, five years after attending art school under the mentorship of Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Design. At thirty he displayed his paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was elevated by the Academy to full Academician the next year and was considered the country’s most accomplished lithographer-a meteoric rise by most artistic standards.
June 1, 2009
Before falling for photography, Clarence Laughlin had wanted to be a poet. As a young man he immersed himself in the French symbolists, particularly Baudelaire. Unable to sell his prose poems and wanting to quit his job as a bank teller, he bought an inexpensive camera, built a homemade darkroom and taught himself the fundamentals of photography. His goal was to be the Baudelaire of the camera. He called his early results “visual poems” and meant for the images to be explicated like poetry. For Laughlin, objects possessed an intricate web of psychological associations and a multitude of meanings.
December 1, 2008
During the height of her career, fashion illustration was dismissed by fine-art elitists as trivial or at best a “Cinderella art.” They claimed that the work did not spring from inspiration but rather from the client’s pocketbook and that it was ephemeral — timely rather than timeless. Yet over the decades the aesthetic beauty of the genre has withstood fine-art scrutiny, and fashion illustration is today recognized for its importance as a historical record of a society and style as well as for its popularity among collectors and connoisseurs.
June 1, 2008
In 1929 American theatrical and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes drafted “Airliner Number 4,” a plan for a nine-deck amphibian airliner with areas for deck games, shops and salons, an orchestra, a gymnasium and a solarium. He calculated that twenty engines would be needed to achieve cruising altitude. In Horizons (1932), a book on American streamlined design and urban planning, he carefully detailed the airliner’s projected fl ying time and fuel usage, along with the cost of building, equipping, furnishing and operating the plane. To fi nancial backers, the design seemed innovative but extravagant, and it was never built. 
September 1, 2007
Berlin artist George Grosz dressed with an air of art-school irony in a variety of costumes — a cowboy hat and spurs, a powdered face, rouged cheeks and lips and a padded, checkered jacket, or a rakish-looking Fedora and an American gangster-styled suit. But the role the young artist played most often was that of the dandified idler, with spats and walking stick, as he joined fellow artists at Café des Westerns to gossip, debate, play chess and drink coffee and spiked lemonade.
December 1, 2006
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In 1930, after Romaine Brooks sprained her leg, her doctor prescribed bed rest. The artist shut herself in her room in her Parisian apartment on rue Raymond and used the seclusion to begin her Memoir, No Pleasant Memories.
September 1, 2006
With the publication of This Side of Paradise in early 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Princeton dropout, failed U.S. amy officer and former middling advertising executive, achieved instant celebrity and became a spokesperson for his generation.
June 1, 2006
In [Schiele’s portraits] he rendered tortured emotional states against isolated, blank backgrounds. All of his stylized portraits reflected his own inner world. In fact, Egon Schiele’s art was a means to learn about his life, his loves, his sexuality.