How Opera, Fairy Tales, Trees, and Lullabies Led to Nazism

Midnight in Paris--a film that takes us back to Jazz Age Paris and the Lost Generation. And then the city in the Belle Epoque. It could just as well have been turn-of-the-century Vienna, 1950s New York, Victorian London, Hollywood in the silver screen era, or Silicon Valley in the 70s.  Today, I want to share …

Continue reading How Opera, Fairy Tales, Trees, and Lullabies Led to Nazism

Monday at the Museum: Taking Tea at the Met

Monday seems like the perfect day of the week to dive down the proverbial rabbit hole, perhaps into a museum's collection. There are plenty of items awaiting individual discovery, like these eleven tea-related objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First, a tea service by Eero Saarinen's father, Eliel. This futuristic set would sit pretty …

Continue reading Monday at the Museum: Taking Tea at the Met

L’art de la bohème in Turn-of-the-Century Montmartre

Now what many Parisians consider an arrondissement almost wholly belonging to tourists, Montmartre was once a bucolic village on a hill where artists flocked to escape from the city. Something about this cross between city and country inspired the beautiful and, often, the absurd. Picasso got his start in Montmartre before gaining popularity, Van Gogh created …

Continue reading L’art de la bohème in Turn-of-the-Century Montmartre

The Unsung Concept Artist Behind Disney’s Mid-Century Blockbusters

Disney's teams of animators and designers are known around the world for their unparalleled creative, innovative artistic vision and, historically, most of these great talents were men. But as it turns out, one of the most influential concept artists in the Disney arsenal was a woman named Mary Blair. Disney lovers everywhere have her to …

Continue reading The Unsung Concept Artist Behind Disney’s Mid-Century Blockbusters

On the Radar: Kurokawa’s Takara Beautilion Pavilion at Japan’s EXPO ’70

Famous architect Kisho Kurokawa designed this groovy building for a world's fair in Osaka called EXPO '70--the first to be held in Japan. Kurokawa took a great interest in philosophy and idealized, himself, that every culture has two traditions: the visible and the invisible. He focused the majority of his work on Japan's "invisible" traditions, …

Continue reading On the Radar: Kurokawa’s Takara Beautilion Pavilion at Japan’s EXPO ’70

On the Radar: Gerhard Richter’s Emotional Photo-Painting of His Aunt

For those familiar with Gerhard Richter, he is often associated with his abstract, colorful "squeegee" works. A large portion of his artistic production, however, consists of photo paintings that include his trademark "blur." In this particular painting--one of his early works--Richter copied a photo of his Aunt Marianne holding Richter as an infant. His Aunt …

Continue reading On the Radar: Gerhard Richter’s Emotional Photo-Painting of His Aunt

How Backwoods North Carolina Became the Frontier of the Avant-Garde

What do Robert De Niro's dad, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg have in common? If you answered "Black Mountain College," you'd be correct. They and many other artistic greats of the mid-20th century attended or taught at the progressive institution created by four educators who were dismissed from Rollins College for their unconventional teachings and …

Continue reading How Backwoods North Carolina Became the Frontier of the Avant-Garde