Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

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Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art in association with Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002. 297 pp.; many color ills.; some b/w ills. Paper $35.00 (0271022353)
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, October 6, 2002–January 5, 2003; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, February 14–May 18, 2003
Who knew? Certainly there were documents from the sixteenth century around the publishing house of Christopher Plantin in Antwerp that mentioned payments to artists who added color to intaglio prints. At the same time in Germany, a quite respectable living was made in the print trade by individuals known as Briefmaler, or print colorists, who were included among the depicted professions in Jost Amman’s Book of Trades (Frankfurt, 1568). Not to mention all those surviving woodcuts... Full Review
December 31, 2002
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Allison Smith
Watson-Guptill, 2002. 288 pp.; 170 color ills.; 50 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (0823016331)
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, October 6, 2002–January 5, 2003; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, February 14–May 18, 2003
Tate Britain, London, November 1, 2001–January 27, 2002; Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany, March 1–June 2, 2002; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, September 6, 2002–January 5, 2003; Kobe City Museum, Kobe, Japan, February–May 2003; Geidai Museum (University Art Museum), Tokyo, Japan, June–August 2003.
The Victorian Nude was an unusual choice for the inaugural exhibition at Tate Britain since it treated a subject rarely identified with nineteenth-century British culture. After all, despite a pile of books in recent years revealing the scope of Victorian sexuality, the popular correlation between prudery and the Victorian age remains strong. By choosing the saucy word “Exposed” for the exhibition’s title, the museum drew attention to the subject’s previously neglected character and to... Full Review
November 7, 2002
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Karen Wilkin and Bruce Guenther
Princeton University Press, 2000. 180 pp.; 220 b/w ills. Cloth $49.95 (0691090491)
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, July 14–September 16, 2001; Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, January 26–February 23, 2003; Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC, March 15–June 17, 2003
Time always takes revenge on a critic. Any writer with an acute sense of the contemporary in art is bound to appear dated eventually, so the recent exhibition and catalogue of Clement Greenberg's private collection at the Portland Art Museum necessarily raises the question of taste: Here it is the critic who is up for judgment. It is easy to notice the fallibility of Greenberg's choices, and in a way too obvious. Would Charles Baudelaire or Denis Diderot come off any better if we saw a show... Full Review
July 23, 2002
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Mariët Westermann
Exh. cat. Zwolle, Netherlands: Waanders in association with Denver Art Museum and The Newark Museum, 2000. 240 pp.; many color ills.; many b/w ills. $29.95 (0914738461)
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, October 17, 2001–January 20, 2002; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, March 2–May 26, 2002
According to Witold Rybczynski's Home: A Short History of an Idea (New York: Viking, 1986), private spaces in households are a Dutch seventeenth-century invention, despite their commonplace nature today. A serious new exhibition and a handsomely produced accompanying catalogue set out to explore this premise by showing Dutch representations of household interiors, as well as actual period furnishings. The exhibition organizer and catalogue supervisor, Mariët Westermann, is far from... Full Review
May 8, 2002
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Nadine M. Orenstein, ed.
Exh. cat. Yale University Press in association with Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. 336 pp.; 108 color ills.; 166 b/w ills. $60.00 (0300090145)
Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 24–August 5, 2001; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 25–December 2, 2001
See also: Hans Mielke, "Pieter Bruegel: Die Zeichnungen":http://caareviews.org/reviews/250, reviewed by Dorothy Limouze As the European Cultural Capital of the year 2001, Rotterdam had something quite special to offer—a sensational exhibition, the likes of which will scarcely, if ever, occur again. Almost all of the total graphic work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–69) was on view this past summer at the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum in the Netherlands. This splendid show... Full Review
September 19, 2001
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Walter Liedtke, Michiel C. Plomp, and Axel Ruger
Exh. cat. Yale University Press in association with Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001. 640 pp.; 225 color ills.; 526 b/w ills. $75.00 (0870999737)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, March 8–May 27, 2001; The National Gallery, London, June 20–September 16, 2001
By invoking the name of this well-known Dutch cultural idol in the title of their magnificent exhibition and catalogue, the organizers of Vermeer and the Delft School assured historically packed houses for both of the museums that hosted this show. As visitors realized upon entering, however, the show did not focus narrowly upon the genius Vermeer, who produced only about sixteen of the 159 works on display. Rather, its scope was broadly historical, examining the rise of Vermeer's... Full Review
July 16, 2001
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Barbara Butts, Lee Hendrix, and Scott Wolf
Getty Trust Publications, 2000. 330 pp.; 178 color ills.; 127 b/w ills. Cloth $125.00 (0892365781)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, July 11–September 24, 2000; The Saint Louis Art Museum, November 4, 2000–January 7, 2001
Painting on Light: Drawings and Stained Glass in the Age of Dürer and Holbein was a stunning exhibition of 152 drawings and examples of stained glass (see the exhibition review by Christiane Andersson in Burlington Magazine CXLII no. 1173, December 2000, pp. 801–803). The Los Angeles venue included a two-day international symposium (September 15–16, 2000). The exhibition was also seen at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Perhaps the single greatest achievement of this ambitious... Full Review
February 19, 2001
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Pierre Rosenberg
Exh. cat. Yale University Press, 1999. 360 pp.; 99 color ills.; 35 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (0300083483)
Royal Academy of the Arts, London, March 11–May 29, 2000; in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 27–September 3, 2000.
Emblazoned on the cover of the Louvre's new Chardin exhibition catalogue is the image of a girl child holding a racquet and shuttlecock but curiously made-up and dressed like an adult woman. Her cheeks are rouged, her hair is powdered and she wears a circlet of ribbon tied enticingly around a slim white neck. In contrast to the solemn abstract beauty of Basket of Wild Strawberries splashed on the Louvre's 1979 Chardin exhibition catalogue, this detail, taken from Girl with... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Theodore Stebbins
Yale University Press, 2000. 496 pp.; 84 color ills.; 690 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0300081839)
Theodore Stebbins
Yale University Press, 1999. 208 pp.; 112 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0300081693)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May 28–August 13, 2000; National Gallery of Art, February 13–May 7, 2000; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, September 29, 1999–January 17, 2000.
Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904) marched to a different drum than his fellow American painters in the second half of the nineteenth century. When confreres explored mountain ranges, he discovered marshlands; when they settled in New York City to establish reputations, he continued a peripatetic existence; when others were repeating tired variations on a single theme, he struck out in new directions. His marsh scenes, storm paintings, orchid and hummingbird pictures, and late reclining floral... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Maureen Hennessey
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1999. Cloth (0810963922)
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, November 6, 1999–January 30, 2000; Chicago Historical Society, February 26–May 21, 2000; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., June 17–September 24, 2000; San Diego Museum of Art, October 28–December 31, 2000; Phoenix Art Museum, February 24-May 6, 2001; The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, June 9–October 8, 2001; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, November 7, 2001–February 11, 2002
Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director of the Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, forthrightly states her agenda in her essay "The People's Painter": "Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People invites reflection on Rockwell as a force in twentieth-century American art and culture" (24). Moffatt reorients the critical debate by emphasizing Rockwell's cultural influence, rather than dithering about his status as either an artist or an illustrator. The admixture of popular culture... Full Review
June 26, 2000
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