Category Archives: Art

Communication.

This is one of my favorite paintings, the portrait of George Harley Drummond by Sir Henry Raeburn. It’s not a significant painting. I’m sure if you drew up a list of the top hundred paintings in the world, it wouldn’t … Continue reading

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Notes from our foreign correspondent*

This year: South America. One advantage that having a scientist spouse who goes to conferences in interesting places is that sometimes I get to tag along, which is why I am on Tierra del Fuego. Ushuaia, the small town I … Continue reading

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Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is burning. To quote the CNN commentator, “It was a reminder that there is still beauty in the world….  We all need beautiful things right now…. It is a reminder that there is something bigger in the world … Continue reading

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“What do you want, a bloody photograph?”

While Railfan* and I were discussing the Inquisition, I remembered my favorite document of that era, the transcript of Poalo Veronese’s trial for heresy for a painting of the Last Supper. It strongly resembles a Monty Python sketch.** The very … Continue reading

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In October, I saw an exhibit of Rene Magritte’s work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It was a lovely and thought-provoking show, and as is my wont I bought a mug. (Note to family: yes, I know … Continue reading

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Art: silly v. interesting.

I am not an artist, nor an art historian, but I do have my opinions. Among them: Jeff Koons annoys me. More accurately, the art of Jeff Koons annoys me. It seems to have an arrogance, a brattiness. It isn’t … Continue reading

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If you have seen the movie The Monuments Men (which I loved, although the critics didn’t), you know that the Nazis seized the Ghent altarpiece from St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The movie showed this as evidence of the evil … Continue reading

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Why bother?

I hate Barnett Newman. Actually, to be specific, I hate Barnett Newman’s work. (And do not get me started on Rothko.) I once sat for fifteen minutes in the Museum of Modern Art glaring at Vir Heroicus Sublimis, muttering and … Continue reading

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Eight.

Eight. Eight black and white paintings of young women with smooth and airbrushed skin, drawn from the pages of their school yearbook. Pretty young women, smiling, with the bouffant hairdos so common in the late sixties. I was confronted by … Continue reading

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Art matters. I know how much art matters because, while still recovering from pneumonia, I stupidly spent hours wandering around the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It began when the Rocket Scientist and I spent Sunday in SF to … Continue reading

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Barcelona

Traveling in Europe has challenges for someone like me who has an impossibly hard time with languages other than English. And in Barcelona, I not only don’t know one language, I don’t know two. When I was growing up, I … Continue reading

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Fin.

The Hermitage, Louvre, and Orsay: 1997. The Metropolitan (NYC): 2003. The Prado* and the Getty: 2004. The Art Institute of Chicago: 2006. The Uffizi and the Vatican: 2012. The Tate Modern: 2015. This was my list of the Top Ten … Continue reading

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Hola!

Back from Spain. Great trip. Too much to write about. Saw three museums in Madrid. Ate too much jamon. Fell down a small staircase. Discovered the limits of my mobility. Good times.

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New shoes.

I have never thought much about shoes.  I am of the “sensible flats” school of women’s footwear, and not solely because it reflects my personality. (Okay, you can stop with the eye-rolling, now.  You know who you are.) When I … Continue reading

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Art isn’t easy. Especially when it was stolen.

It seems that story of the art found last year in the Munich flat is not going to be straightforward. This art trove, consisting of painting designated “degenerate” by the Nazis, contained pieces by giants of twentieth century art such … Continue reading

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Guy Fawkes Day Randomness

It’s day celebrating the patron saint of Anonymous. It’s two days after the great fall, and I have spent most of the day in bed on opiates.  Part of this is that I have been sleeping a lot, but more … Continue reading

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Artists in residence.

I have left the Borg…  for another Borg.  The Droid 2 is now a paperweight.  I have left the Android universe, and am back in the Apple fold. The iPhone4 is now up and running.  In keeping with the naming … Continue reading

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For those who like art…

http://www.humo.be/filmpjes/235279/flashmob-brengt-de-nachtwacht-tot-leven This is freaking brilliant.

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Closing in.

Many people have “bucket lists” with numerous items on them.  Go skydiving, visit every state in the Union, run with the bulls at Pamplona, that sort of thing. I have one item on my list.  One, that’s it. I want … Continue reading

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Notes from an exhibition: the limits of Aestheticism.

Today I undertook the field trip I meant to have on my birthday but missed due to illness.  I went to the Palace of the Legion on Honor in San Francisco to see The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde … Continue reading

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