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 . . .

  • Alexandra Exter: One night in Kyiv

    Alexandra Exter: One night in Kyiv

    In her day, Ukrainian artist Alexandra Exter was one of the brightest stars in the European avant-garde. She knew Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Fernand Léger. We hear so much about them. Why do we hear so little about her?

    Read More

  • Pissarro’s unforgettable conversation

    Pissarro’s unforgettable conversation

    When the Prussian Army began marching toward Paris, Camille Pissarro packed up his family’s belongings and shuttered their home in Louveciennes, a small town outside the capital. It would be safer to move away than to stay. Here’s the harrowing story at the center of his painting “The Conversation, Louveciennes.”

    Read More

  • Decoding the mysterious art of Paul Klee

    Decoding the mysterious art of Paul Klee

    Unlike Picasso, Paul Klee doesn’t suffer from being taken way too seriously. But maybe it’s time his compositions carried more weight. For openers, his Bauhaus lectures contain more than 1,200 pages of personal research on color, shape, and pattern that are among the most detailed in art — equalled only by the observations of Leonardo da Vinci.

    Read More