In 1962, Alice Neel (1900 – 1984) moved to her final apartment and studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Delimited by what was visible through a north-facing window, this scene in 107th and Broadway (1976) excludes the streets below that give the painting its title. Indeed, this absence animates the composition, whose dominant feature is the crisp shadow cast by the cusped moldings and straight edges of Neel’s apartment block on the whitewashed building across the street. The presence of people, too, is discernable only indirectly through the half-opened windows and partially shuttered blinds. Capturing the effects of sharp light on a hot summer day, this window onto the world becomes the occasion for a painterly exploration of color, form and structure.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Alice Neel: People Come First, Which Continues Through August 1st, 2021 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
Josef Hoffman designed this stylized Table Lamp in 1904, when artificial light sources were shifting from gas to electric, which challenged designers to innovate in accordance with the new technology.
Rather than putting shades around the bulbs, Hoffmann left the light source exposed. The suspended glass spheres echo the bulbs shape and draw further attention to the new technology as they catch and reflect the electric light. The lamp was manufactured by Konrad Schindel of Denmark.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
I’ve been fortunate to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art probably half a dozen times since it reopened last July, post-Covid lockdown, but the building’s roof garden only just reopened in April, for the debut of its latest site-specific commission. As Long As The Sun Lasts, by Philadelphia-based artist Alex Da Corte, is a whimsical mash up of Sesame Street and the works of Alexander Calder that could light up the rooftop even on the cloudiest day.
Richly-colored blown glass in the Bohemian taste, ornamented with cutting and engraving, attracted the American public beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. This whiskey decanter (from the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company), in a shape typical of the 1860s and 1870s, is distinguished by its brilliant faceting and detailed depiction of fruit, revealing the skill of the engraver, George Franklin Lapham . As a testament to its quality, Lapham signed and dated the work.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Symbols of speed and good fortune, Dolphins swim down the sides of this ocean-colored vase (1866–70s) from Salviati & Co. John Ruskin’s Stones of Venice created a wave of enthusiasm for the lost art of cristallo. Published from 1851 to 1853, Ruskin’s book proved a stroke of good luck for Venetians seeking to revive old glassblowing techniques.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
In 1880 Maria Berna, the American-born widow of a German diplomat, visited artist Arnold Böcklin in Florence, where she saw an unfinished version of this painting, Island Of The Dead (1880) — now in the Kunstmuseum Basel— on his easel. She commissioned the present work as a memorial to her husband, requesting the additions of the draped coffin and the shrouded female figure. Prodded by his dealer, Böcklin painted three other versions by 1886. This romantic image would become one of Germany’s most beloved, widely circulated through poor reproductions as well as a related etching in 1890 by Max Klinger (1857 – 1920).
Photographed In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
The 151st anniversary of the founding of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be celebrated with a custom Google Doodle, the creative treatment of the Google logo featured on the search engine’s homepage. The Met-inspired animated Doodle will launch in the United States at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and be viewable for 24 hours. The Doodle will appear in more than 20 countries.