The Shy Museumgoer

ART + HISTORY

It’s polite to stare

Titian, detail of "Venus with a Mirror" (c.1555)
Detail of Titian’s Venus with a Mirror (c.1555)

When we thoughtfully run our eyes over a great work of art, we carry with us something we didn’t have before. We take with us the artist’s view of the world. Why is this valuable? Because it increases our ability to appreciate an array of human experiences. I hope you enjoy these compelling paintings. I promise to write regularly . . .

  • Why isn’t artist Norman Lewis famous?

    Why isn’t artist Norman Lewis famous?

    Abstract Expressionism, the first uniquely American art movement to achieve international influence, trumpets the limitlessness of artistic horizons. But limitless for whom? How many Black abstract expressionists can you name?

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  • Henri Matisse and that cursed armchair

    Henri Matisse and that cursed armchair

    Henri Matisse painted quiet moments of repose in order to catch his breath before returning to the turmoils of life. “Peace of mind” is what he craved and what he wanted to bestow on us. Does this mean he wasn’t quite serious enough as an artist?

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  • Stuart Davis was hip to the jive

    Stuart Davis was hip to the jive

    Can a painter take the same passionate risks as a jazz musician? For that matter, can the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra transform the colors, lines, and layers of a Stuart Davis painting into live music? Here’s a rare opportunity to compare notes.

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