The Shy Museumgoer


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 . . .

  • Charles Sheeler and machine-age anxiety

    Charles Sheeler and machine-age anxiety

    Charles Sheeler and Diego Rivera jumped at the chance to depict a revolutionary manufacturing complex nicknamed “The Rouge.” Do their paintings celebrate the potential of machines to liberate us from drudgery? Or do they warn us about the dangers of living in a technology-driven society?

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  • Who cancelled Berthe Morisot?

    Who cancelled Berthe Morisot?

    Berthe Morisot’s brushwork was audacious, even for a French Impressionist. Despite this, contemporary critics reviewed her work favorably. Today she is the least-known member of this popular group of painters. The lady (almost) vanished. Where did she go?

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  • George Bellows: Last stop, 59th Street

    George Bellows: Last stop, 59th Street

    “Bellows paints the city in undress,” grumbled the New York Daily News and they were right. Did the artist’s fidelity to the hard truth about urbanization interfere with his ability to create beautiful works of art?

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