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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 (54)

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

Friday
Feb082019

William H. Johnson: A Major American Artist  

William H. Johnson - Soldiers’ Morning Bath - ca. 1941-1942 - tempera and pen and ink with pencil on paper - 16 x 20 1/4 in. - Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, D.C. (click photo for larger image)By almost any standard, William H. Johnson (1901–1970) can be considered a major American artist. Yet he died in poverty and obscurity. Johnson produced hundreds of works in a virtuosic, eclectic career that spanned several decades as well as several continents. It was not until very recently, however, that his work began to receive the attention it deserves.

Born in South Carolina to a poor African-American family, Johnson moved to New York at age seventeen. Working a variety of jobs, he saved enough money to pay for an art education at the prestigious National Academy of Design. His mastery of the academy's rigorous standards gained him both numerous awards and the respect of his teachers and fellow students.

Johnson spent the late 1920s in France, absorbing the lessons of modernism. As a result, his work became more expressive and emotional. During this same period, he met and fell in love with Danish artist Holcha Krake, whom he married in 1930. The couple spent most of the '30s in Scandinavia, where Johnson's interest in primitivism and folk art began to have a noticeable impact on his work.

Returning with Holcha to the U.S. in 1938, Johnson immersed himself in the traditions of Afro-America, producing work characterized by its stunning, eloquent, folk art simplicity. A Greenwich Village resident, he became a familiar, if somewhat aloof, figure on the New York art scene. He was also a well-established part of the African-American artistic community at a time when most black artists were still riding the crest of the Harlem Renaissance.

Although Johnson enjoyed a certain degree of success as an artist in this country and abroad, financial security remained elusive. Following his wife's death in 1944, Johnson's physical and mental health declined dramatically. In a tragic and drawn-out conclusion to a life of immense creativity, Johnson spent his last twenty-three years in a state hospital on Long Island. By the time of his death in 1970, he had slipped into obscurity. After his death, his entire life's work was almost disposed of to save storage fees, but it was rescued by friends at the last moment. Over a thousand paintings by Johnson are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Friday
Oct052018

William Glackens: A Rejection of Academic Dictates  

William Glackens - Hammerstein’s Roof Garden - c. 1901 - Oil on linen - 29 7/8 × 24 13/16 in. (75.9 × 63 cm) - Whitney Museum of American Art - New York, NY (click photo for larger image)American artist William J. Glackens (1870-1938) created paintings of street scenes and middle-class urban life that rejected the dictates of 19th-century academic art and introduced a matter-of-fact realism into the art of the United States.

Although he did not identify himself as part of the Ashcan School (discussed elsewhere on What About Art?), Glackens' attention to ordinary, modern, urban subjects and their unidealized presentation connects him to the core tenets of that movement. In documenting his world, he also incorporated the style of the Impressionists (particularly Renoir), as well as their interest in contemporary, urban leisure.

“Hammerstein's Roof Garden captures a fashionable entertainment venue, immediately placing the viewer in a specific and contemporary urban space. Such roof gardens were popular spots during the summer, when theaters were often closed due to the stifling heat. Recently opened by theater legend Oscar Hammerstein in 1899, this locale, the Paradise Roof Garden, was a popular destination for the sort of spectacular which we see here.

Positioning the viewer as a member of the audience, we see a row of fashionably dressed women who watch a pair of tightrope walkers. The costumes of the acrobats provide a jolt of color in an otherwise muted tonal palette. With this limited scene, Glackens gives us a sense of the immense space of the theater, its popularity, its clientele and its performances. Providing respectable entertainment, the presence of unchaperoned young women points to the modernity of this scene (previously, such unescorted adventures would have been unthinkable), further emphasized by the recognizable architecture and real-life locale.” (The Art Story) 

Friday
Aug242018

Isabel Bishop: Social Realist

Isabel Bishop - Lunch Counter - c. 1940 - Oil, egg tempera and pencil on hardboard - The Phillips Collection - Washington, D.C.American artist Isabel Bishop (1902-1988)  was a member of New York's 14th Street School, and is best known for her graphic art and urban subject matter. Bishop’s work shifted focus. In her early artwork, she had depicted realistically rendered nudes. But, in New York she began to draw, etch, and paint the distinctly urban subject matter that surrounded her. After moving to Union Square in 1926, she became enamored of the area and its inhabitants. Shop girls, straphangers, laborers, and derelicts became her models as they traversed. By capturing their motions and gestures in prints, Bishop produced the walking figures for which she is best known.

Bishop taught at the Art Students League as the only female full-time instructor from 1936 to 1937 and also at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, among others. She received awards and prizes including an American Academy of Arts and Letters award (1943), an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts presented by President Jimmy Carter (1979), and several honorary doctorates. She was the first woman to hold an executive position in the National Institute of Arts and Letters when she became vice-president in 1946.

Friday
Aug172018

William Morris Hunt: A Poetic Mood

William Morris Hunt - La Marguerite - 1853 - Oil on canvas - 46 x 35.5 in. - Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, MAAmerican artist William Morris Hunt (1824-1879) ( After leaving Paris, Hunt painted and used his family connections to establish art schools ) was born in Brattleboro, Vermont into a wealthy, well-positioned family. After three years at Harvard College, he left to join the wave of American artists who traveled to Europe during the nineteenth century. Cities like Munich, Düsseldorf, and Paris offered young artists superior teachers and examples of classical art as well as the latest trends. In Paris, Hunt studied with the influential Thomas Couture, who stressed the importance of sketching and preserving the freshness of one's first impressions. However, Hunt's most important encounter in Europe was with the French painter Jean-François Millet. Living near the village of Barbizon, Millet and several other artists painted rural landscapes infused with a poetic mood. These artists came to be known as the Barbizon School. In his painting and teaching, Hunt brought the Barbizon style back to America when he returned in 1856. His own work included portraits, murals, and scenes of everyday life.

The companionship of Millet had a lasting influence on Hunt's character and style, and his work grew in strength, in beauty and in seriousness. He was among the biggest proponents of the Barbizon school in America, and he more than any other turned the rising generation of American painters towards Paris. After leaving Paris, Hunt painted and used his family connections to establish several art schools.