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Features From Previous Issues

From the Editor: Wings of Eagles

Take a look at the forbidding Aztec warrior at left, encased in an eagle suit, and then look at the Roman bronze eagle on page 70. Not exactly birds of a feather, art-historically and stylistically speaking. But according to the curators at the Getty Villa, they had a lot in common, at least in the minds of the 16th-century Aztecs and Spaniards who are the subjects of a fascinating exhibition that opens there late this month. Continue reading

Books: My Type

Atypographical design is the ultimate “art that conceals itself.” That means you’re not supposed to notice the font you’re reading, or rather, that you’re supposed to appreciate it only subliminally, without being distracted from the substance of the text. Unless, of course, you’re a typography geek. In that case, you definitely notice. Continue reading

Symphonies of Color

Seminal advances in abstract art aren’t usually thought of as coming from Americans, especially in the early modernist period, when the avant-garde of Europe was busy revolutionizing the visual vocabulary that had held sway for hundreds of years. Nonetheless, in 1913 Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Morgan Russell, two young American expatriates in Paris, created a technique and style they called Synchromism, which represents a major step in the direction of nonobjective painting. Continue reading

Monuments to the Obscure

One might imagine that at this late date there are no more discoveries to be made in the art world, or at least no discoveries outside the realm of what the trade likes to call “emerging artists.” And yet some more or less forgotten artists continue to emerge from the obscurity into which they have been cast by prejudice or by happenstance. In this issue, we consider a few of these. Continue reading

From the Editor: Ancestral Voices

By art-world tradition, the last week in January is Americana week in New York, when the auction houses hold dedicated sales of antique furniture, silver and various forms of vernacular art. The American Antiques Show, benefiting the American Folk Art Museum, takes place at the same time, as does the Winter Antiques Show, not limited to American material but rich in it nonetheless. Continue reading

Exhibitions: Down to a Science

Virtually everyone is familiar with the phrase, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.” Now The Walters Art Museum and the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University, both in Baltimore, are collaborating to determine what people like, and ultimately, why they like it. Continue reading

From the Editor: The Search for Authenticity

Sometimes hindsight isn’t 20–20, but that might not be a bad thing. In this issue, our columnist Jonathan Lopez writes about the academic painter James Tissot (see page 46), who is not much discussed nowadays. No matter. As Lopez shows, some of Tissot’s works, at least, provide an excellent case study of the ways in which, try as we might, we cannot recreate the past. Continue reading

Books: Winter’s Tales

Books are among the most inexhaustible of presents; long after the New Year they remain to give pleasure till next December and beyond. That is especially true of art books, and Art & Antiques’ editors have picked some choice volumes to delight and inform the collector and curious reader. Continue reading

From the Editor: Fifty Years Ago—and Tomorrow

As 2009 comes to a close (and not a moment too soon, for many in the art world), we are being asked, from several quarters, to cast our minds back 50 years to 1959. That’s not for nostalgic reasons, but in order to understand where we are today. According to author Fred Kaplan, 1959 was “the year everything changed.” Continue reading

Collecting: Made in the Shade

Mezzotint allows artists to portray the world in all its many shades of gray. The printmaking technique, invented in 1642, renders the infinite subtleties of the tones that lie between black and white in a manner ideal for reproducing oil paintings. “Most reproductive techniques until then relied on line,” says Sheila O’Connell, assistant keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum. “Mezzotint allows smoother transitions between line and shade.” Continue reading