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  • 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.

Entries in American Art (58)

Monday
Aug122019

Henry Percy Gray

Henry Percy Gray - Landscape with Oaks and Stream - 1927 - Watercolor on canvas - Private collection (click photo for larger image)American artist Henry Percy Gray (1869-1952) was born into a San Francisco family with broad literary and artistic tastes. He studied at the San Francisco School of Design. While he had some early Impressionistic tendencies, his basic approach to composition and color was derived from the Barbizon School and Tonalism, which were emphasized at the School of Design. 

In 1895 Gray moved to New York City where he spent 11 years working as head of the art department for the New York Journal.  While in NYC he studied at the Art Students League and with William Merritt Chase.  Gray returned to San Francisco in 1906 and joined the art department of the Examiner where he remained until about 1915.  By that time he had established himself as a professional landscape painter. 

From 1918-23 Gray maintained a studio in San Francisco's old Monkey Block (now the Transamerica Pyramid), which also served as his living quarters. Around 1910, he began signing his paintings in script instead of the block letters he had used since student days. 

In 1923 Gray married and settled in Monterey, where the newlyweds purchased for their home—and had rebuilt on another site—the historic Casa Bonifacio. Working from his studio attached to the house, Gray attained total mastery of his watercolor technique. In 1939 they sold the home, and after two years in San Francisco, settled in San Anselmo in Marin County. 

Gray is primarily known for his romantic and lush depictions of the Northern California landscape.

Monday
Jul082019

The Cone Sisters: Matisse’s “Two Baltimore Ladies”

Photograph of Claribel Cone, Gertrude Stein, Etta Cone - 1903 - Cone family pictures, The Baltimore Museum of Art (click photo for larger image)Claribel Cone (1864-1929) and Etta Cone (1870-1949), bolstered by their wealthy brothers (founders of Cone Mills), became ardent supporters of Henri Matisse in the 1910s. (You can read more about Matisse here on What About Art?) While the nature of the artist’s relationship with the sisters is unclear, the truth of their inspiration is undeniable.

Five-hundred works by Matisse in the Cone Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art form the largest and most representative group of his works of art in the world. The Cone sisters also purchased and acquired many of Picasso's works (whom they’d met through Gertrude Stein). In addition, they purchased fine arts by American artists, more than 1,000 prints, illustrated books, and drawings. Prior to the museum’s receipt of the collection, it became so large that it overtook their homes. Claribel (who was also a physician and researcher) rented a second apartment to hold what she called her “museum”.

The sisters developed relationships with some of the most famous artists of their day. Etta Cone even played an active role in Matisse’s Large Reclining Nude of 1935. ­­While he was painting the work, Matisse had it photographed and sent 22 photographs to Etta in Baltimore. 

After Claribel’s death, Etta commissioned Matisse to paint her sister’s portrait. Instead, she received four drawings of Claribel and six of Etta, which Matisse gave Etta as a gift, to express his gratitude to the sisters who had been such strong supporters of his work.

While the collection remained private until Etta's death, she occasionally loaned pieces to museums to exhibit. Claribel had willed her paintings to Etta, stipulating that these pieces should eventually be given to the Baltimore Museum of Art "if the spirit of appreciation of modern art in Baltimore should improve.” It is to that museum that the bulk of the collection eventually was given.

Monday
Jun242019

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.”

Friday
Mar292019

Mary Frank: The Emotional Impact of Memory and Loss

Mary Frank - Persephone - 1985 - Terracotta - 27 x 73 x 40 in (68.6 x 185.4 x 101.6 cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY (click photo for larger image)Mary Frank (born 1933) is a British-born American artist “best known for her abstract paintings and sculptures which depict the emotional impact of memory and loss”. Frank has developed a unique process of creating art in which she works with the medium until the form of the piece reveals itself to her. (The great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo, claimed to have worked his sculptures this way, as well.)

During World War II, Frank was sent from London to live with her mother’s parents in Brooklyn, where she remained for several years. As an art student, she studied under German painter Max Beckmann at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, as well as under Hans Hofmann, at his private studio school in Greenwich Village. (Both of these artists are discussed elsewhere on What About Art?.

Although Frank was trained as a painter, she was inspired to pursue sculpture after purchasing her first kiln in 1969. Since then, she has been recognized for her dramatic and emotive sculptures of animals and human subjects. Today, her works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Art at Yale University in New Haven, CT, among others. Frank lives and works between Lake Hill, NY and New York, NY

Friday
Feb152019

OAC ‘Art Speaks’ Presents “Scribbler”: Allison Midgley, Sol LeWitt Apprentice 

(click photo for larger image)

“My friend asked, You’re coming up this weekend, right? Only that chance question led to my participation in the installation of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG) at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo NY. My talk will center on the experience, the installation process, its influence on my own work, and my growing appreciation for this major American artist.” 

OAC Vice-President Allison Midgley is an Ossining resident and a trainer, artist, and teacher. Currently, in her role as the Westchester Library System Senior Technology Training Coordinator, she coordinates and delivers support to library staff in system software, digital literacy, existing and emerging technologies, and innovation and maker program professional development. 

Allison received her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Education from the University of Dallas in Irving, TX. In addition to participating in a variety of print editioning projects, in 2010 she was privileged to participate in the installation of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing # 1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG) at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Most recent exhibitions include A Round Now In a Square Time collaborative show with Sheila Kalkbrenner at the David A. Howe Public Library in Wellsville, NY (2013) and Moments: Before/During/After at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library (2016). 

Through mixed media, photos, and combinations of traditional and emerging technologies, she investigates ordinariness and time; light, surfaces, and textures; and shifts in literal and figurative perspective and focus.

Join us at the OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery on Sunday, March 3rd @ 2 PM, to enjoy this exciting presentation.

The OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery is located at 117 Main Street - 2nd Floor - Ossining, NY

FREE Admission / Light Refreshments / Donations Welcome