Archive for the ‘art history’ Category

Bill Chance posts daily about his discoveries in Dallas. He bikes around the city recoring the highlights of art and food. His commentary and photography shows his surroundings in a very personal way.

This post informs about a talented woman sculptor. He reprints the article from the Washington Post detailing the conservation of her sculpture at the Folger Library (D.C.), her education and awards.


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I visited the Neslson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City last week.  Guess what I found?  Other posts…….. The Obama Chair House in Kansas City Cool Stuff Outside the Nelson Atkins Museum Connections at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art…


More memories…

Married a Kansas City guy and not only connected with my grandmother’s youngest sister, Addie Morris, and the rest of my family there. Never in my ‘lives’ in Chicago did I go to the museum of medieval military gear. So when I put the must-dos in K. C.  a priority was to go to the Nelson museum of Art to see the collection there.

It seems strange to say that trip included four children. We wont forget that visit for two reasons. One, the Asian collection  connsisted of the most beautiful and delicate wire weaving and ivory miniatures indescribingly complex. And in the next room, on the walls, were cars smashed and wrecked together.  The contrasts were without logic. What had we become over the years?

The second deep memory was eating in the cafeteria. We got trays for each of us while the children waited at the table. The servers seemed amused by us. They insisted on bringing all of the trays to us while they stared. One gentleman explained, we never see black families come to the museum. We see adults but no children with their parents. We are so proud is why we are helping you. 

We seemed like family after that.


When my in-laws died a few years later, we found ourselves dealing with their estate and the bank. They insisted they would come to the house and assess values prior to a sale. My husband, an only child, was devastated. How could we let strangers pull through and sell his property. I called the Nelson Museum for a reference to get things packed, stored and then shipped to our home in MA. I knew value but not how to assess what to take and what to let go. 

Surprisingly, they made all of the arrangements. Packing each selection with loving care, building wooden crates and finally bringing the valued and sentimental things to our door. I shall never forget the help they gave us.

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Cropped screenshot of Count Basie and his band...


My education in Detroit went from the third grade and ended in McMichael Jr. High. In that year and one-half in the Jr.High, I learned to swim and dive off the high board. A group of my classmates and I spent three to four days a week touring historic and cultural institutions. If it was an experiment, it made a huge difference in my life.

We went to Deerfield to learn about the automobile workers, to the Detroit Art Institute to see the Diego murals. Also Symphonies and libraries. It would have been impossible to test us on the value to our future lives.

A friend from elementary school was in our group. She and I bonded over reading only books that had two copies. Each day we compared and headed back to get a new reading adventure. Our favorite started with one word on the page, Supercillious. It rolls off your tongue.

Boys included: Billy Williams, who later toured with Count Basie, Governour Morriss, and my cousin were among the boys. Louise Smith, and Carol, (she and her sister Barbara were Breck models) were among the girls. I saw Governour on William Buckley‘s television show and he had a Phd.

Now the city of Detroit and its marvelous Art Institute are in danger of losing its one-of-a-kind cultural institution. Please think of the children who may never see the Diego murals or the African artifacts which are available now. Once art collections are dispersed, their best contributions will be lost.

Search online:

YourDictionary.com for definition of title.

Breck model portraits.

Related articles

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"Looking toward Fisk University"

The Shadow

Larsen Home, Front View
For details see Nella Larson written by Thadious Davis

"Little Theater, Fisk U.
Made using former slave quarters

"The Johnson House"
Built by Sinclair Oil for the Johnsons

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An example of work by Wade Guyton Untitled (20...

An example of work by Wade Guyton Untitled (2008) Epson UltraChrome Inkjet prints on linen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery

Noble Sissle photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, ...

Noble Sissle photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, photographer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wade Guyton was a featured artist in this Sunday’s New York Times Arts section. His evolving as an artist who designs on the MAC computers and prints his works out on the largest inkjet printer made by Epson.

It is always fascinating to learn about art as process and innovation through the growth of the individual. Guyton hails from a small place in TN. (Lake City) and yet has quickly become an artist to watch.

Who knew?

As late as the 1980s, art associations and museums grappled with “Is photography ART?”  It was impossible to exhibit paintings and photographs in the same association. There was passion on both sides. This was long before manipulation using the computer.  The blogs today post works that are light years past that period. Shoot and print is enhanced in the cameras leaving the clarity and beauty of black and white landscapes (Ansel Adams) and portraits (Carl Van Vechten) as antiques and collectables. The resurgence of typewriters by texters may bring back an appetite for film.

The history of art defines innovators who contributed to new schools of art. Guyton’s explorations are being viewed in this category.

To read the entire article:



Carl Van  Vechten was a New York photographer who had many friends in the Harlem Renaissance. He became a friend of Fisk University through artists like Aaron Douglas and Georgia O’Keeffe. The former gymnasium, now an art museum, is named for him.

One can live in a place like New York and never know this unique history.

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Bettye W. Harwell

Current reading:

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

This is the story of an 18th century English woman, Mary Delany who, at age 72, invents collage. The author has woven together the facts of her life and the history of the period in which she lived with an interpretation of the flower ‘mosaicks’.

Along with these wonderfully detailed ideas, the author interspersed her own life. Using her access to Mary’s letters, books that were written soon after her death and photographs of the very old works on paper, the author tells a compelling story.

Blogging as a Resource

The other writer’s are very generous in sharing things that interest them or that may be of interest to others bloggers. That is how I came across this book. Published in 2010 by Bloombury, it is well worth reading for the description of Mary’s methods, about art theory, about the details of aristocratic women’s lives and the wonderful photography. The artwork reminds of the delicate glass flowers at Harvard University. Much study was entailed in that project.  Mary Delany was her own teacher.

The book also has me thinking about my shock after reading the sexual interpretations of Georgia O’Keefe’s work. Why, I wondered was it necessary to examine the artist and her work so intimately? Could the paintings of flowers, so advanced as portraits, be enough? The botanist will learn from Mary Delany’s work. I cannot question the author too much because of her book design. It is amazing that the works have survived. Still, as I am only halfway through, there is enough for the artist’s eye.

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Art and Lovers

Did you see the Charlie Rose (TV) interview when he was talking with Picasso’s companion, Francoise Gilot? She is lively and was a talented artist before moving in with him. They had a ten-year relationship from 1943 – 1953. Pablo Picasso had already had three wives or mistresses. She lived with him for three years.

It was chilling to hear her say she knew she must take up as little space as possible. She felt that the materials needed for painting in oil would have caused a problem. Therefore, she adapted her art to do only drawings. Working on papr she could put the studies in a drawer out of sight.

I wondered if he would have seen her as a competitor. They did, she said coyly, share a passionate relationship.


The occasion for this interview was to describe the works by Picasso and Francoise now being shown at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC. This exhibit is an opportunity to see the varied works of Picasso and hers, produced during their relationship. She explained how his work developed during that  period and what her works meant.

Who knew?

The interviews by Rose are always done in a relaxed manner which hide the thoughtful efforts of preparation. It is interesting to see the women artists getting their due.  Artworks from the exhibit are on the gallery website.


Personal Note

Some of Picasso’s ceramics are in this show. They are more like small statues. (We were able to find the Picasso Museum in Paris, France located in a small villa. No one we spoke to knew exactly where it was. Determination and luck found us at a courtyard with a few buildings. Inside were some of his less famous works, including painted plates and small figurative ceramics. His inventiveness carried over into any materials he used.)

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