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Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.

Did You Know?

Caravaggio did things his own way, which was a little more unorthodox (and violent) than most. He lived by his own complicated and severe honor code, in which missteps were met with oddly specific physical punishments. For example, a Roman waiter questioning the painter's meal got a plate smashed in his mouth. Caravaggio also night-stalked a young painter who had insulted him behind his back and attacked him with a sword. And…there’s more…much more.


Edmonia Lewis: A Muti-faceted Heritage

Edmonia Lewis - Old Arrow Maker - modeled 1866, carved 1872 - Marble - 21 1/2 x 13 5/8 x 13 3/8 in. (54.5 x 34.5 x 34.0 cm.) - Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, D.C.Artist Artist Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907) was an American sculptor whose Neoclassical works exploring religious and classical themes won contemporary praise and received renewed interest in the late 20th century. Born free in New York, she was the first woman of African-American and Native American heritage to achieve international fame and recognition as a sculptor in the fine arts world. After studying at Oberlin College she became a sculptor, working in Boston and Rome despite the social challenges posed by her race and gender. Her work is known for incorporating themes relating to black people and indigenous peoples of the Americas into Neoclassical-style sculpture.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha inspired Lewis to carve the Old Arrow Maker. Her evocative subjects often reflect her dual heritage; her father was African American and her mother Chippewa (Ojibwe). The cessation of hostilities between the Ojibwe and Dakota (after years of inter-tribal war that the poem and sculpture represent) might well refer to Lewis's hopes for reconciliation between the North and South after the Civil War. In the story, Hiawatha later marries Minnehaha with the wish that ". . . old feuds might be forgotten/ And old wounds be healed forever.”


Ad Reinhardt: Purifying Painting

Ad Reinhardt - One Year the Milkweed - 1944 - Oil on canvas - 94.2 x 119.3 cm (37 1/16 x 46 15/16 in.) - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967) was an abstract painter active in New York beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1960s. He was a member of the American Abstract Artists and was a part of the movement centered on the Betty Parsons Gallery that became known as abstract expressionism.

Although commonly associated with the Abstract Expressionists, his work had its origins in geometric abstraction, a rarity for an American artist. He increasingly sought to purify his painting of everything he saw as extraneous to art, and he rejected the movement's expressionism. Although Reinhardt was, in turn, rejected by many of his peers, he was later hailed as a prophet by Minimalists.


Quote of the Day

"Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos.” - Grace Hartigan


Arshile Gorky: A Unique Approach to Color and Form

Arshile Gorky - Portrait of Master Bill - 1929-36 Oil on canvas - Private Collection (click photo for larger image)Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) was an Armenian-American painter, who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. He spent most his life as a national of the United States. Along with Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Gorky has been hailed as one of the most powerful American painters of the 20th century. 

Gorky put the biomorphic  forms of the Surrealists through the process of emphasizing more lyrical color and personal content. He developed a unique approach to color and form. His work reflects both his past and the cultural and historical milieu of New York in the 1940s.