Your Voices: Big thoughts for the BMA

 

You may have heard some of our #BMAvoices on the BMA’s blog lately: an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration.

We’d also like to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts about:

  1. Your favorite BMA artwork
  2. Your memory of the BMA
  3. A big idea for the BMA
  4. Or ask us anything!

Send us your thoughts through this blog, to Facebook or @artBMA using the #BMAvoices tag, or download the free app to send us an audio message and a selfie!

If you are using the app outside of the Baltimore area, search for “Baltimore” to find us in the app.

Here’s my contribution. I look forward to hearing yours!

BMA Voices: Examining Yayoi Kusama’s “No. Green. No. I.”, 1961.

Yayoi Kusama. No. Green. No. I. 1961. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Edith Ferry Hooper Bequest Fund, BMA 1996.11. © Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama. No. Green. No. I. 1961. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Edith Ferry Hooper Bequest Fund, BMA 1996.11. © Yayoi Kusama

Mary Sebera, The Stockman Family Foundation Senior Conservator, speaks about Yayoi Kusama’s No. Green. No. I., 1961.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: The mysteries of ancient mosaics

Sea Thiasos. Syria (present day Turkey). 2nd century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Antioch Subscription Fund, BMA 1937.123

Sea Thiasos. Syria (present day Turkey). 2nd century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Antioch Subscription Fund, BMA 1937.123

Angie Elliott, Associate Objects Conservator

Although my knowledge of centaurs isn’t extensive, I admit that I had never heard of an ichthyocentaur before seeing this mosaic. A human torso, horse legs, and fish fins make for an interesting creature. This is just one of the mythical creatures depicted in the Sea Thiasos mosaic. Erotes (cupids) mix with nereids (sea nymphs) that ride on long, curling centaur fish tails. It’s a spectacular scene that once graced the floor of a colonnade between a pool and dining room in a villa near the ancient city of Antioch in Turkey.

When I look at our ancient mosaics as a conservator, I often get caught up in the details of how they got from the floors of ancient villas to the walls of our museum. Can you imagine moving an entire floor across the world? The process included lifting, cleaning, and supporting the mosaics with new backings of iron rebar and concrete. They were then crated and padded out with mattresses to help cushion the journey across the ocean to the port of Baltimore. Once they arrived at the museum, they were transformed from floors to art objects displayed on walls for all to admire.

We see our mosaics in all of their glory directly in front of our eyes without having to walk on them or crouch down on the floor for a better look. How different must that experience be to the original context in which the mosaics were seen? The other mosaics that surrounded them are no longer by their sides and many of the less detailed geometric borders and backgrounds were left behind in the ground.

The Sea Thiasos went through many changes after it was no longer in use. It lived quietly just below the ground surviving events as large as earthquakes and as everyday as farming. It’s easy to imagine farmers finding mosaic tiles for years never knowing what was below them. Once archaeologists finally uncovered the mosaic many pieces were missing, including the entire Eros figure on the right and parts of the centaur in the center. Baltimore artists painstakingly recreated these missing figures in 1938 when the mosaics were installed. The missing parts are likely based on what was left of the mosaic and knowledge of similar scenes in antiquity – while never fully knowing if what they were doing was accurate.

mosaic_restoration_final3_small

Mosaics being restored in another campaign in the late 1950s.

I find myself wondering if these modern artistic restorations belong on these ancient mosaics. It’s hard to imagine recreating an entire figure on a painting or even a classical vase. As these restorations age and discolor, should they be removed or painted once again? How would you feel if the imagined Eros was suddenly missing?

Sea Thiasos. Syria (present day Turkey). 2nd century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Antioch Subscription Fund, BMA 1937.123

Sea Thiasos. Syria (present day Turkey). 2nd century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Antioch Subscription Fund, BMA 1937.123

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: Autumn’s bright light, the drift of falling leaves, and rush of a cold river

Japan. Imari style Dish Decorated with a Meandering River and Falling Maple Leaves. Late 17th early 18th century. The Baltimore  Museum of Art: Gift of Frederick Singley Koontz, Baltimore, in Memory of Laurance P. and Isabel S. Roberts, BMA 2006.54

Japan. Imari-style Dish Decorated with a Meandering River and Falling Maple Leaves. Late 17th-early 18th century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Frederick Singley Koontz, Baltimore, in Memory of Laurance P. and Isabel S. Roberts, BMA 2006.54

Frances Klapthor, Associate Curator for Asian Art

Beginning in the Heian period (794-1195), Japanese aristocrats sought to heighten their sensory perceptions through encounters with the natural world. Such experiences led to a greater appreciation of the moment and recognition of the fleeting nature of time (both fundamental Buddhist beliefs).

Beginning in the 18th century, the middle classes of the Edo period (1615-1868) came to share many elite pastimes, including travel to pilgrimage sites, literary and historical locales, and scenic vistas. Travelers sought out the cherry blossom clouds of spring as well as momijigari (“autumn foliage hunting”) for fiery red maple trees. A long season, extending from Hokkaido in the north in mid-September to Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto in late November to Kyushu in the south in mid-December, made viewing the dramatic foliage possible for large numbers of Japanese, whether in remote mountain areas or urban gardens, at hot springs or along riverbanks.

The decoration on this dish evokes autumn’s bright light, the drift of falling leaves, and rush of a cold river. Executed with thin lines and washes of pigment, the motif would have been especially appropriate for a meal or snack served in autumn when the equinox and full moon of fall were celebrated with formal feasts, samurai banquets, or a special meal.

A typical fall meal consisted of one soup and five side dishes – usually a selection of fish, vegetables, pickles, and rice. One early 18th century author, Shosekiken Soken, described not just food (“soup of red miso, daikon, mushrooms, small clams; fish and vegetable salad – horse mackerel, gingered chestnuts; sea bream grilled over cedar with onion; simmered mushrooms and citron, grilled quail and sardines”), but also the ambience of dining:

Taste may be the most important thing in the laws of cuisine, but taste is not restricted to just eating with the mouth. Methods of cutting, of preparation, of serving, the interior of the bowls, the serving ware, all of these matters require attention…

During the mid-18th century, refined restaurants serving wealthy merchants began to appear in Japan’s major cities, accompanied by inexpensive eating-houses and taverns for shopkeepers and craftsmen. The 1804 census recorded 6,165 eating-houses in Edo – not surprisingly restaurant guidebooks and cookbooks enjoyed their own popularity.

With the advent of international travel in the late 20th century and advanced mass transit within Japan, momijigari drew a global community to experience this phenomenon. And today, as with momijigari, Japan’s cuisine and culinary aesthetics have an international presence. Thus, we can admire a simple early 19th century porcelain dish that might have held a few pieces of grilled mackerel with ginger and been placed on an Edo book seller’s table in the tenth or eleventh month – in anticipation of the annual explosion of red maple leaves.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: “Which artwork would you take home?”

Blanket/Furnishing Cloth (Kpokpo). Gola or Mende peoples (Liberia or Sierra Leone). Before 1928.  The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased with exchange funds from Gift of Edith Black, Potomac, Maryland, in Memory of Jack Black; Gift of Robert and Mary Cumming, Baltimore; Gift of Joseph B. France, Washington, D.C.; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel L. Hendler; Gift of  Gilbert and Jean Jac, BMA 1998.480

Blanket/Furnishing Cloth (Kpokpo). Liberia or Sierra Leone. before 1928. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from Gift of Edith Black, Potomac, Maryland, in Memory of Jack Black; Gift of Robert and Mary Cumming, Baltimore; Gift of Joseph B. France, Washington, D.C.; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel L. Hendler; Gift of Gilbert and Jean Jackson, Washington, D.C.; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Howard A. Jackson, Massapequa, New York; Gift of Norman Jackson, New York; and Gift of the Jamosil Foundation, Alexandria, Virginia, BMA 1998.480 Gilbert and Jean Jac, BMA 1998.480

This post is by Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, former Associate Curator for African Art and Dept. Head of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia & the Pacific Islands. She recently took up a position as the Teel Curator of African and Oceanic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

When I first saw this furnishing blanket from Sierra Leone, I immediately wanted it for myself – I would love to hang the crisp gray-and-white, rectilinear pattern on my wall at home. The pattern is so au courant that it could easily provide inspiration for a mass retail chain, like Urban Outfitters or Crate & Barrel, or be highlighted on home décor blogs like Apartment Therapy. Contemporary in its appeal, this furnishing blanket dates from the 1920s or earlier.

The weaver who created this textile responded to fashions in home design among Mende homeowners that happen to be fashionable in the U.S. now. The two-tone graphic impact of the design seems simple, but belies its complex construction. The weaver first wove narrow strips and then sewed them together. When you look closely, you can see that the horizontal patterns were created by weaving darker threads on neighboring strips. This means that the weaver planned the entire pattern, wove it in perfectly measured 3.5 inch sections, and then aligned the gray areas during the sewing process. The high degree of planning and expertise that went into the execution of this pattern is a subtle assertion of skill. This tactile presentation of luxurious, careful, time-consuming craftsmanship makes this object as covetable today as it was in the past.

Art is distinctly not timeless. We art lovers treasure an object over a long time, and expect future generations to enjoy it as well, but the making of art and the pleasure in viewing it is time-bound. One of the great wonders of the museum is that it pulls together multiple different moments in time in a surprising way. The Museum collection is eclectic. The taste of many different ages is on display in this building, and all the different fashions compete with each other. The game some people play in a gallery—“Which artwork would you take home?”—is fantastic, because it places us on some common ground with the original owners and admirers of an artwork. Today, this Mende furnishing blanket is definitely my answer to the question!

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: A Baltimore artist with an international aesthetic

Charles H. Walther. Attic Plant. 1925. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.376

Charles H. Walther. Attic Plant. 1925. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.376

Laura Albans, Curatorial Assistant for the departments of European Painting and Sculpture and Conservation.

Charles Walther’s painting Attic Plant caught my attention when it came into the Museum’s conservation lab for some light cleaning in 2007 in preparation for a traveling exhibition. The work appealed in size and palette with its small canvas and compelling composition featuring a simple potted plant. I was also intrigued by Walther’s name. Every day, I drive up Walther Avenue to my Northeast Baltimore home. I would love to believe Walther Avenue was named after this regional artist; however, at the time of writing, I have yet to confirm it.

Walther’s techniques are reminiscent of the French masters Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse. He was intrigued with Matisse’s fauvist aesthetic of a bold and vibrant color palette. Although Attic Plant appears to use a more conservative palette, like Matisse, the American modernist uses an abstract background with definitive bold horizontal and vertical lines found in the French master’s earlier works. The tilted tabletop and patchy brushstrokes on the terracotta pot can be seen as lessons learned from Cézanne. With these similarities, it is easy to understand why Claribel Cone would have purchased this local artist’s painting.

Walther’s capacity to unite his personal artistic vision with an international aesthetic can be understood through a quick history on the local artist. Born in Baltimore, Walther studied and later became a professor at The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Taking a sabbatical from teaching, he traveled to Paris to study under Jean-Paul Laurens at the famed Académie Julian, where other notable artists studied, such as Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Louise Bourgeois, Stanley William Hayter, Käthe Kollwitz, Henri Matisse, and Édouard Vuillard.

Returning to his alma mater in 1908, Walther was interested in Modernism and experimented with Cubism, Fauvism, and Futurism. Attending the 1913 Armory Show in New York, his contemporaries Walter Pach, Maurice Prendergast, and Charles Sheeler implored Walther to join them in organizing the Society of Independent Artists. Instead, Walther chose to stay in Baltimore to impart the new modernist aesthetic to MICA students.

Walther courted controversy throughout his career. A 1914 exhibition of abstract works exhibited at the Peabody Institution scandalized Baltimore’s conservative public. Years later in 1929, Walther’s radical thinking, and avante-garde approach to art and teaching cost him his faculty position at MICA. However, he continued to teach out of his Middletown summer home in Western Maryland. These Middletown Valley courses became known as The Snallygaster School, which garnered the attention of Alfred Barr, the then young Director of the Museum of Modern Art, and Duncan Phillips, collector, critic, and founder of The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

The American modernist exhibited his work until his sudden death in 1938. He was killed in an automobile accident on Liberty Road, returning home from a fishing trip; Walther is buried at Druid Ridge Cemetery.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: Art education in Victor Delhez. Scherzo in Gold. 1948.

Victor Delhez. Scherzo in Gold. 1948. Plate XXI from the series "Dance of Death". The Baltimore Museum of Art: Print and Drawing Acquisition Fund, BMA 2011.156. © Victor Delhez

Victor Delhez. Scherzo in Gold. 1948. Plate XXI from the series “Dance of Death”. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Print and Drawing Acquisition Fund, BMA 2011.156. © Victor Delhez

Ann Shafer, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, discusses Victor Delhez. Scherzo in Gold. 1948. Plate XXI from the series “Dance of Death”.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: Woodcuts, color and the experience of the visual arts

Albrecht Dürer. Ecce Homo. c. 1498. From the series "The Large Passion". The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Alfred R. and Henry G. Riggs, in Memory of General Lawrason Riggs, BMA 1943.32.271

Albrecht Dürer. Ecce Homo. c. 1498. From the series “The Large Passion”. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Alfred R. and Henry G. Riggs, in Memory of General Lawrason Riggs, BMA 1943.32.271

Thomas Primeau, Director of Conservation and Paper Conservator

The development of the woodcut in Europe during the early 15th century allowed for the mass production and circulation of religious images printed on paper. Most early woodcuts consisted of simply carved outlines that, when printed in dark ink, produced images of limited detail. In order to make these plain pictures more eye-catching and naturalistic, bright colors in the form of water-based paints were brushed on by hand. Trees in the landscape became more recognizable with green leaves, and emotions were more deeply stirred when the blood dripping off the wounds of Christ were painted in deep red.

Color was an important, if not essential, aspect of many woodcuts during the first century of printmaking, however, in the early 16th century Albrecht Dürer began creating woodcuts which were so carefully designed and intricately carved that they were considered complete as black lines grounded on white paper. Erasmus of Rotterdam, a noted humanist and Dürer’s contemporary, celebrated him as “the Apelles of our age” who “could express absolutely anything in monochrome, that is, with black lines only,” and warned that: “if you were to add color (to his prints), you would spoil the effect.” Indeed, most Dürer prints that survive to this day are preserved in black and white and it is commonly considered inappropriate if color was added to them. Still, the earlier tradition of painting woodcuts persisted on into Dürer’s day and beyond, demonstrating how sustaining the desire to see color is to the experience of the visual arts.

In 1511, Dürer published 11 large scale woodcuts depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ. A key image from the series (below) depicts the moment when Jesus, having been scourged and then outfitted with a crown of thorns and a robe, is mockingly presented to the people of Jerusalem as the “King of the Jews.” In the uncolored impression above, the figures and the setting are rendered in fluid outlines given volume and texture with networks of finer lines and cross hatching. The horror of the moment is enhanced by deep shading that envelopes Christ and the mob standing before him. In coloring the print with a vibrant palette of bright blue, red, yellow, green and even gold and silver pigments, the image loses some of its moodiness, but the scene becomes more legible – the people in the crowd are easier to differentiate and the distant landscape comes into clearer view. The coloring also makes the image more visceral as the red paint forces the view to focus on the bleeding figure.

Dürer himself did not color this print, the paint was applied in a carefully controlled style that is more closely aligned with a tradition of manuscript illumination than the somewhat thinner brushwork found in Dürer’s watercolors, but it is likely that print was colored at a time close to Dürer’s lifetime. Chemical analysis of the paints used to color this woodcut indicate that the pigments were all appropriate for a 16th-century work of art, however one pigment, a deep blue cobalt-containing material known as smalt, was not in common use until after 1550. So although the print was colored early, it was illuminated several years after Dürer’s death, perhaps for a collector who wished to celebrate the great artist’s achievements by creating a uniquely enhanced print.

Which version do you prefer?

Albrecht Dürer. Ecce Homo. c. 1498. From the series "The Large Passion". The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of Charles W. Newhall III, and Todd Ruppert, Baltimore; and with exchange funds from Garrett Collection, and Gift of Theodore W. Strauel, Pound Ridge, New York, BMA 2000.91

Albrecht Dürer. Ecce Homo. c. 1498. From the series “The Large Passion”. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of Charles W. Newhall III, and Todd Ruppert, Baltimore; and with exchange funds from Garrett Collection, and Gift of Theodore W. Strauel, Pound Ridge, New York, BMA 2000.91

For more information on history of hand-colored prints, see the BMA Exhibition catalogue: Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color in Northern Renaissance & Baroque Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts. (2002)

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: An absolute masterpiece of Italian Futurism

Gino Severini. Dancer at Pigalle's. 1912. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of William A. Dickey, Jr., BMA 1957.6. © Gino Severini / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Gino Severini. Dancer at Pigalle’s. 1912. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of William A. Dickey, Jr., BMA 1957.6. © Gino Severini / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Oliver Shell, Associate Curator of European Painting & Sculpture

I chose this work because it is an absolute masterpiece of Italian Futurism, painted in 1912, the year in which this movement came onto the international scene with a notorious exhibition held at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris.

Gino Severini’s life followed an interesting pathway. He was born in the ancient, Tuscan hill town of Cortona but moved to the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris where he had a studio next to fellow Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. He befriended Picasso, Braque, Gris and others and became familiar with much of the Parisian avant-garde – eventually marrying Jeanne Fort, daughter of the influential symbolist poet Paul Fort. Through his friendship with the painter Umberto Boccioni he maintained important associations with the Italian Futurist movement (founded in 1909 by the poet F. T. Marinetti). It was Severini who suggested that his Futurist friends visit Paris to look at advanced Cubist art before potentially embarrassing themselves at their opening. We know that Boccioni and Carlo Carrà returned to Italy and quickly repainted their works to look more hard-edged and Cubist.

What differentiated the Futurists was their interest in the concept of simultaneity, the theory that nothing in the universe is static. They believed all perceptions of reality are shaped by the dynamic effects of time, perceivable only through intuition. This concept led Futurist painters to attempt to incorporate a sense of duration in their paintings. In Dancer at Pigalle’s, Severini seeks to capture the essence of a dancer’s movement as she twirls around, her dress spinning out in concentric circles. He builds up the canvas with gesso, literally creating a third dimension, which transforms the piece into a hybrid of painting and sculpture. Sculpture is more temporal than painting as the experience only unfolds as we move around the work. So this is another effort to add an element of duration to the viewer’s experience. Severini also attached sequins to the surface of the painting, collage elements that reinforce the palpable reality of the dancer’s dress. This granular reality contrasts dramatically with the structural decomposition of the interior of the dance hall and of the dancer’s figure– caused it seems by both the figure’s movement and by the powerful electric light. At least four linear beams of light (what the Futurists called “lines of force”) are aimed inward, focused on the dancer. At the same time, her energetic movements radiate outward, making the composition read as both centripetal and centrifugal in its motion.

The BMA has no other Italian Futurist paintings and there are very few venues in America besides MOMA where examples from this broadly influential avant-garde art movement can be seen.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

Books to Have and Hold

Books are so exciting these days, both in content and as objects to touch and explore. It seems like book design gets more thoughtful every season. Following are a few standouts, for one reason or another!

Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview
Henri Matisse with Pierre Courthion
Matisse wanted to call this Bavardages or chit-chat. Swiss art critic Pierre Courthion spoke with Matisse as he recovered from surgery over the course of months. This is the never before published interview – more an extended conversation – with the great master.  It is marvelous. Informal and personal, reading it transports you to a shared table with Matisse and a bottle of wine at a cafe. One can dream.chattingwithhenrimatisse

The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge
Manuel Lima
Tree diagrams – branched structures for organizing knowledge (think family tree) – have been used for more than eight centuries. It was the cover of this book that initially got my attention but once I cracked it open… wow! I wanted to see and know more. The variety and breadth of subject, from the medieval tree of virtue to the contemporary Blog Tree will engross and even inspire.
bookoftrees

Book from the Ground: from point to point
Xu Bing
Is one picture worth 1,000 words? Both an art form and a written language, contemporary artist Xu Bing’s tale is told entirely in pictograms (symbols and icons). Seven years in the making, the “novel” follows 24 hours in the life of a white collar worker in the city. It is an oddly compelling work whose beauty, in addition to its visual appeal, lies in the recognition of simple human needs and actions that we all share. This fills the artist’s stated “ideal of a single, universally understood language” with no translation needed.bookfromgroundup

Bruce Nauman: The True Artist
Peter Plagens
The book on Nauman – it’s all here – stories of his life, photos, scholarship, and most significantly, the work. And the work is astonishing in its range, including sculpture, performance, sound, video, and installation art. Author Plagens is a lifelong friend of the artist and the access and insight that provides shines through. Beautiful as an object in itself, this book has a raw neon stitched binding and folded cover.  Collectible: get one while you can!
brucenauman

Richard Diebenkorn: Abstractions on Paper
Edited by Bart Schneider
This is a visual gem of a book. Compact and strikingly well-illustrated, it consists solely (solely!) of gorgeous images with the occasional quote from the artist dropped in. Three periods of Diebenkorn’s career are covered through 88 works, most of which are previously unpublished: the early experiments, the Ocean Park years, and the final years in California. Luminous in all senses of the word.
diebenkorn

Maija Isola: art, fabric, marimekko: The story of a legendary designer of Marimekko
Edited by Kaoru Takahashi
Maija Isola was the creator of more than 500 print designs for the famed and enduring textile company Marimekko, including the instantly recognizable Unikko rose. This book is a small treasure that includes pages from the designer’s sketchbooks, and page after delightful page of exuberant color and cheering and inspirational patterns. Definitely one for the reference shelf.

marimekko

Whistler: A Life for Art’s Sake
Daniel E. Sutherland
James McNeill Whistler likely led one of the more controversial lives of any American artist.  He seemed to deliberately cultivate it.  Author Sutherland uses Whistler’s own words to dispel myths and clarify character in a very readable account of the artist and the times. This brilliant man of contradictions was, above all, passionate about his art. Includes many illustrations.

9780300203462

We carry all of these books in the BMA Pop-Up Shop. You can also order them online at shopartbma.org, or via the links above.

Happy reading!