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Archive for the ‘Modern & Contemporary Art’ Category

It wasn’t a particularly auspicious start. On February 6, 1799, an announcement appeared on the front page of the Diario de Madrid advertising Los Caprichos:

A series of prints of whimsical subjects, invented and etched by Don Francisco Goya. The artist, persuaded that the censure of human errors and vices—though it seems to belong properly to oratory and poetry—may also be the object of painting, has chosen as appropriate subjects for his work, among the multitude of extravagances and follies which are common throughout civilized society, and among vulgar prejudices and frauds rooted in custom, ignorance, or interest, those which he has believed to be most apt to provide an occasion for ridicule and at the same time to exercise his imagination.[1]

The advertisement goes on to assure potential collectors that the subjects of the prints are imaginary and that “in none of the compositions constituting this series has the artist proposed to ridicule the particular defects of this or that individual…”

It closes with the address where the prints can be bought—the ironically named No. 1 Calle del Desengaño, or Street of Disillusion #1—and the price: 320 reales for the set, the equivalent of one ounce of gold. The unusual venue, a perfume and liquor store near Goya’s apartment, was the result of the artist not being able to find a regular bookshop to handle the sale, according to Goya biographer Robert Hughes.

The venture was a resounding failure. Only 27 sets of the edition of 300 sold, and Goya withdrew Los Caprichos from public sale shortly after their release, afraid of falling foul of the Inquisition. It was a substantial monetary loss for the artist.

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Jacob Lawrence, The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 3: In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry, 1940 – 1941. Image and original data provided by The Phillips Collection, © 2005 Estate of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS)

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 3: In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry, 1940 – 1941. Image and original data provided by The Phillips Collection, © 2005 Estate of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS)

Jacob Lawrence painted “The Migration of the Negro,” a series of 60 small panels describing the passage of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North, in 1940 and 1941. The works combined the vibrancy of modernism, the content of history painting, and the urgency of political art. The electrifying results catapulted the young artist into fame and the history books.

Lawrence saw the series as a single work, but a year after its completion the Museum of Modern Art acquired the even-numbered pictures and the Phillips Collection in Washington the others, and opportunities to see all the paintings together have been rare. Which is a pity. As art critic Holland Cotter wrote in The New York Times“…only in the complete series can we fully grasp the sinewy moral texture of art that is in the business of neither easy uplift nor single-minded protest.”

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Oliverio Toscani, Double Portrait of Andy Warhol, 1974, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photo © MFAH, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / BILDKUNST, Bonn

Oliverio Toscani, Double Portrait of Andy Warhol, 1974, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photo © MFAH, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / BILDKUNST, Bonn

Artstor and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have released more than 5,000 images from the permanent collection in the Digital Library.

The images in this release include works by artists such as Diane Arbus, Alexander Archipenko, Robert Arneson, Uta Barth, George Condo, Delacroix, Dan Graham, William Klein, Dorothea Lange, Annie Leibovitz, Roy Lichenstein, Brice Marden, Claes Oldenburg, José Clemente Orozco, Irving Penn, José Guadalupe Posada, Frederic Remington, Gerhard Richter, Diego Rivera, Milton Rogovin, Ed Ruscha, Andres Serrano, Jennifer Steinkamp, Rufino Tamayo, James Turrell, Peter Voulkos, Joel Peter Witkin, Minor White, Rachel Whiteread, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many more.

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Chinese | Covered Box with Design of Scholar and Attendant in a Landscape, late 16th-early 17th century | Image and original data provided by Saint Louis Art Museum, slam.org/

Chinese | Covered Box with Design of Scholar and Attendant in a Landscape, late 16th-early 17th century | Image and original data provided by Saint Louis Art Museum, slam.org/

More than 800 additional images of works from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s permanent collection of world art are now available in the Digital Library.

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saca-logoArtstor Digital Library and San Anto Cultural Arts have made available more than 60 images of murals created as part of the organization’s Community Mural/Public Art Program.

San Anto Cultural Arts (SACA) is a nonprofit learning space that promotes and encourages organic and cultural self-expression in San Antonio, Texas. A small group of community residents established the organization in 1993 in the heart of the city’s Westside community, near the Alazan-Apache Housing Projects.

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Albert Winslow Barker, Girl with basket, 1910 or 1916. Bryn Mawr College: Albert Winslow Barker Collection

Albert Winslow Barker, Girl with basket, 1910 or 1916. Bryn Mawr College: Albert Winslow Barker Collection

Bryn Mawr College’s Albert Winslow Barker Collection in Shared Shelf Commons brings back to light the work of an unfairly neglected American lithographer of the 1930s and uncovers his little-known photographs. And there is much to admire.

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Katsushika Hokusai, Soccer, early 19th century, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin State Museums. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

Katsushika Hokusai, Soccer, early 19th century, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin State Museums. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz
bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

By all accounts, Americans are becoming enthusiastic about soccer in unprecedented numbers. Rumor even has it that a handful of Artstor employees may have sneaked into a conference room yesterday to watch the US team confront Germany (though, when asked about the story, everyone seemed too busy with work to comment).

Of course, the game has long been popular around the world, as you can see from this slideshow of images ranging from the 17th to the 20th century, and from countries including Italy, France, Japan, Ghana, and yes, the United States.

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