Artwork of the Week

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Mar. 12 Art Minute: Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun, The Comtesse de Cérès

Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2018

Hints of a lively personality shine through in this portrait of Anne-Marie-Thérèse de Rabudy Montoussin, contesse deo Cérès (1759-1834). The young countess, fashionably dressed in black lace-trimmed shawl, ostrich-plumed hat, and powdered hair, has just finished writing a letter and is folding it to send. By placing her subject in a domestic interior engaged in […]

Mar. 5 Art Minute: Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Kitchen

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2018

At first glance you may assume this work is paint on canvas or board. But look carefully—most of the image is composed of inlayed wood. Alison Taylor has become well-known for reinvigorating the Renaissance craft of marquetry or intarsia wood inlay, which she combines with painting. Describing this synthesis, Taylor explains, “What interests me is […]

Feb. 26 Art Minute: Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Disciples on the Sea

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2018

“[M]y effort has been not only to put the Biblical incident in the original setting…but at the same time give the human touch…to convey to my public the reverence and elevation these subjects impart to me…”                                                                                                 Henry Ossawa Tanner The thickness of the paint cleverly imitates the swelling of the waves in this […]

Feb. 19 Art Minute: El Anatsui, When I last wrote to you

Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2018

El Anatsui has become well known for his wall-sized tapestries made out of metal strips, milk can lids, and bottle caps. This work represents important earlier explorations for the artist. These wood pieces are made of repurposed wooden slats, playing with ideas of death and rebirth, which are recurrent themes in Anatsui’s work. The carved […]

Feb. 12 Art Minute: Elizabeth Catlett, A Second Generation

Posted on Monday, February 12th, 2018

In 1992 Elizabeth Catlett published a portfolio of six color lithographs based on the 1937 poem For My People by Margaret Walker (1915-1998). Walker was a talented, powerful voice of America whose writing emphasized the rich heritage of African American culture. “When she speaks of and for her people, older voices are mixed with hers—the voices […]

Feb. 5 Art Minute: Therman Statom, HYRDA

Posted on Monday, February 5th, 2018

What does a museum mean to an individual, to a community? In October 1995, Therman Statom asked himself this question a he visited the Toledo Museum of Art to participate in an artist residency program. Statom returned to his studio in California and continued to reflect on the Museum’s collection and environment. They became the […]

Jan. 29 Art Minute: Honoré Daumier, Children Under a Tree

Posted on Monday, January 29th, 2018

Though a prolific painter, Honoré Daumier was best known for his printmaking, specifically his lithographed caricatures and satirical political cartoons. His paintings, however-which brought him almost no recognition during his lifetime-had little of the bite of social satire that characterized his prints. Instead, his paintings frequently portrayed the everyday life of the working people of […]

Jan. 22 Art Minute: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Adoration of the Magi

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018

As the leading painter in the Catholic city of Seville, Spain, Murillo was commissioned to paint almost exclusively for the churches and religious orders in the area. Because of his frequent travels to Madrid and Seville’s heavy involvement in international commerce, Murillo was introduced to many different artists and styles of painting. In this painting […]

Jan. 15 Art Minute: Washington Alston, Italian Landscape

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018

As a young artist in 1801, Washington Allston studied at London’s Royal Academy under American painter Benjamin West. He then lived for a time in Rome before returning to Boston in 1808. Allston painted Italian Landscape in England during a second stay in Europe (1811-1818) as a remembrance and reverie of his time in Rome. […]

Jan. 8 Art Minute: Nicolas de Largillière, Portrait of a Man

Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018

Although the identities of the man and women in this portrait are unknown, the painting was probably meant to commemorate their liaison, possibly even their marriage. The cherub holding an apple (is he a portrait of a specific child?) is an allusion to the theme of love, perhaps suggesting the judgment of Paris who awarded […]