The Shy Museumgoer

ART + HISTORY

When we thoughtfully run our eyes over a great painting, we carry with us something we didn’t have before. We take with us the artist’s way of looking at the world. Why is this valuable? Because it increases our potential to see the world, and human experience, in different ways.

Thank you for spending time on this site. I promise to regularly post stories about some great paintings….

  • 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. But did the artist’s fidelity to the hard truth necessarily thwart his ability to create beautiful and meaningful paintings?

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  • Leonardo’s brazenly feminist portrait

    Leonardo’s brazenly feminist portrait

    During the Italian Renaissance women were often seen as something other than themselves. In works of art, they were depicted as ideals, symbols, and allegories — even in their own portraits. Then one day Leonardo da Vinci said goodbye to all that.

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  • A home office fit for a genius

    A home office fit for a genius

    For centuries, the whole point of having your portrait painted was to reinforce your official role in society. It had little to do with our modern, lonely desire to feel seen for who we really are. Do we still believe a person can be described from a single viewpoint in one place? Will multimedia replace the painted portrait?

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