Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Oh, PHIZ!!" Exclaimed Saul Steinberg, "Nick Poussin & Malvina Hoffman Are Playing Greig Again!"


- Brooklyn Museum’s Populism Hasn’t Lured Crowds: "When it opened a new glass entrance in 2004 meant to beckon the masses, the Brooklyn Museum said it hoped to triple attendance in 10 years by concentrating on a local audience. It had stopped worrying about competing with Manhattan museums or about its image — despite its world-class collections — as a poor man’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. But six years in, the effort to build an audience is not working. Attendance in 2009 dropped 23 percent from the year before..." read more-

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June 15, 1594: Nicolas Poussin, French painter, was born. "Nicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century. Until the 20th century he remained the major inspiration for such classically-oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David and Paul Cézanne. He spent most of his working life in Rome, except for a short period when Cardinal Richelieu ordered him back to France to serve as First Painter to the King."

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June 15, 1815: Phiz [Hablot Knight Browne], English illustrator of Dickens works, and others, is born. "Hablot Knight Browne was an English artist, famous as Phiz, the illustrator of the best-known books by Charles Dickens, Charles Lever and Harrison Ainsworth in their original editions. His talents in other directions of art were of a very ordinary kind, but as an interpreter and illustrator of Dickens's characters, "Phiz", as he always signed his drawings, was exceptional, surpassing his rivals Cruikshank and Leech."

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June 15, 1843: Edvard Grieg, Norwegian composer, was born. "Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist who composed in the Romantic period. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces. Grieg is renowned as a nationalist composer, drawing inspiration from Norwegian folk music. Early works include a symphony (which he later suppressed) and a piano sonata. He also wrote three sonatas for violin and piano and a cello sonata. His many short pieces for piano — often based on Norwegian folk tunes and dances — led some to call him the "Chopin of the North"."

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June 15, 1887: Malvina Hoffman, American sculptor, was born. "Hoffman was well known for her life-size bronze sculptures of people. She also worked in plaster and marble. Portrait busts of significant individuals of that time and depictions of people in their everyday lives were frequent works executed by Hoffman. Dancers were the subjects of the works that brought her earliest recognition and she continued to sculpt dancers throughout her career, some individuals repeatedly, such as Anna Pavlova. She was highly skilled in foundry techniques as well, often casting her own works and she wrote a definite book on historical and technical aspects of sculpture, 'Sculpture Inside and Out'."

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June 15, 1914: Saul Steinberg, New York cartoonist/illustrator, was born. "Saul Steinberg was a Romanian-born American cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his work for The New Yorker. Although best remembered for his commercial work, Steinberg did exhibit his work throughout his career at fine art museums and galleries. He married Romanian born abstract expressionist painter Hedda Sterne in 1944. In 1946, Steinberg, along with artists such as Arshile Gorky, Isamu Noguchi, and Robert Motherwell, was exhibited in the critically acclaimed "Fourteen Americans" show at The Museum of Modern Art. He has also enjoyed a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1978) and another posthumous one at the Institute for Modern Art in Valencia (IVAM), Spain (2002)."

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“Set in Stone. The Face in Medieval Sculpture”
Edited by Charles T. Little.
Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006

“Faces in Medieval sculpture are explorations of human identity, marked not only by evolving nuances of style but also by the ongoing drama of European history. Created from materials as diverse as marble, limestone, polychromed wood, and silver gilt, the eighty-one sculpted heads featured in this beautifully illustrated volume date from the third century A.D. through the early 1500s and represent French, German, Italian, Spanish, Byzantine, English, and other medieval sculptural traditions. Each sculpture bears eloquent witness to its own history, whether it was removed from its original context for ideological reasons or because of changing tastes.


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