Art Museums

Studio journal 4/22/17

I worked on The Picnic and nothing else for the past few days. The Picnic has a painting surface that is difficult.  This doesn’t happen often anymore but it’s annoying when it does happen.  It slows everything down.  Luckily, an intermediate varnish solved the problem and things are more to my liking and moving swiftly…

I missed London’s National Gallery’s exhibit, Goya: The Portraits

I have always liked Goya. During my printmaking period, Goya’s prints were constantly before my mind. The highlight of my visit to New York’s Metropolitan last year was a Goya painting. This fall I hoped to attend London’s National Gallery’s exhibit, Goya: The Portraits. Unfortunately, I was not able to join my daughter in England where she was studying, and, so, missed the exhibition…

God Hates Renoir

I had to laugh when I read this article in the Independent.  The story is about the group calling themselves Renoir Sucks protesting in front of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Renoir Sucks’ main tenant is, well, that Renoir sucks. The group maintains that they are tired of the ‘irredeemable treacle of Pierre-Auguste Renoir diluting the collection.’ They are…

Visit to Chicago Institute of Art

My wife and I spent several hours in the Art Institute on Friday. We were in Chicago for an AFHU event at the Ritz-Carlton. It was our first visit to the museum and we didn’t attempt to see everything, which is impossible in one visit. Most of our time was spent with the European collections.…

How Art Became Irrelevant

Michael J. Lewis‘ long piece in Commentary titled, How Art Became Irrelevant, is a tour de force of cultural analysis.    In his well-written and long article (did I mention it is long?), Lewis’ breadth of knowledge provides a wealth of thoughtful observations and quotable passages. To buttress his main thesis, which I think is reasonably embodied in the…

‘Works of art may be offensive”

I read this laugh-out-loud piece in the NY Times. The blog post by Jeffrey Kindley is directed toward the college-age population of delicate hothouse plants who require trigger warnings on art and other cultural artifacts.  Columbia university students who found Ovid’s Metamorphosis ‘offensive and triggering’ provide a recent example. Surrounded by Disturbing Art I was triggered…


The new Whitney.

The Whitney Museum recently opened its new digs in Chelsea. My first (tiny) apartment in New York was in Chelsea (20th & 8th), of course, that was before Chelsea became an art center. I plan to pay my first visit this summer.

I read a slashing review, A Monument to Tastelessnessby THEODORE DALRYMPLE in the City Journal. Dalrymple is a doctor and an author. I enjoyed his book about Africa, Zanzibar to Timbuktu. The review, subtitled The new Whitney Museum looks like a torture chamber, is scathing. He also excoriates Michael Kimmelman’s piece in the NY Times, A New Whitney, saying, “I have seldom read a piece of criticism in which the fundamental question was avoided in so pusillanimous a fashion.”

As I have yet to visit the museum, I’ll withhold comment. Dalrymple is an incisive thinker. His experience as a doctor to the poorer classes in Africa and Europe infuse his writing with an interesting perspective, although his liberalism is old fashioned by today’s standards, That’s fine by me because so is mine.

Here is a different review–a typical art world fawning-type review–of the new museum.



Julian Barnes writes about his love for art and art museums in The Guardian. One point he makes, one which I agree with, is that you can go your own way but you must come to terms with modern art.  Although I do not share his passion for some of his favorite artists (Gustave Moreau, for example), his journey as a youthful art lover mirrors mine in many respects.