Super Stars

8 Oct

A few quick pictures from the exhibition Super Stars: Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum

27 Jackies for 27 years

26 Sep

Red Jackie, Andy Warhol, 1964


Nine Jackies, Andy Warhol, 1964

Blue Jackie, Andy Warhol, 1964

Twelve Jackies, Andy Warhol, 1965

Jackie, Ed Paschke, 1973

Jackie-O, Ed Paschke, 1985

Jackie Curtis and Ritta Red, Alice Neel, 1970

Jackie Curtis as a Boy, Alice Neel, 1972

27 Jackies for 27 years on my birthday!

Introducing “Praxis Makes Perfect”

23 Sep

I will be writing for a new column about emerging artists beginning this fall for Art21. My first post for “Praxis Makes Perfect” will be posted on the 13th of October. In the meantime, you can read the introductory post for the new column here.

Thank you again to Santtu Mustonen for designing the logo (above).

50 Museums in 50 Weeks

5 Sep
Delilah Shearing Samson’s Hair (detail), by the workshop of the Boucicaut Master.
Bible historiale; France, Paris, ca. 1415–20.
Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.394, f. 112 (detail). [source]

One month in…

Today I have been in New York for exactly one month! Last week I decided to set a goal to see (at least) fifty different museums during my first year, roughly one museum a week. I will track my progress on this blog with my highlights and occasionally some background information on various institutions or works of art.

This weekend I saw two museums: the Morgan Library & Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

First Stop: The Morgan Library & Museum

I chose the Morgan Library & Museum to be my first visit to a New York museums because of the current exhibition, “Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art”. In a previous post, I mention that Eero Saarinen’s list enumerating his favorite qualities about his bride-to-be, Aline Bernstein is included in this show.

While I did see Eero Saarinen’s charming note in person, I spent most of my time in another show at the Morgan. “Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands,” which closed yesterday, tracks the evolution of fashion trends in the Middle Ages in Northern Europe in over fifty manuscripts and printed books.

Geneviève Receiving King Mark’s Letter, by the Master of the Vienna Mamerot.
Romance of Tristan; France, Bourges? dated 1468.
Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.41, f. 24v (detail). [source]

A bit about the Morgan

“No price is too high for an object of unquestioned beauty and known authenticity.” -Pierpont Morgan

American financier Pierpont Morgan began collecting art in 1890, following the death of his father, Junius Morgan.Thirty-four years later J.P. Morgan, Jr. bequeathed his father’s library to the public.

As the collection grew, the institution likewise expanded beginning with the 1902-1906 Charles Follen McKim addition of the palazzo-style private library for Pierpont Morgan. In 1988 J.P. Morgan, Jr. purchased a mid-nineteenth-century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street and used this building as his personal residence. A few years later a garden court tied the buildings together. Lastly, in 2006 the Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano unveiled the most recent addition to the Morgan complex, a system of three diaphanous steel-and-glass pavilions.

View of new Madison Avenue entrance, Photography by Michel Denancé [source]

Top Pick from the MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art recently installed eight works by the late painter, Lucien Freud (1922-2011), on its second floor. The London-based artist’s lengthy career was dedicated to creating haunting and merciless paintings, drawings, and prints rooted in observation. The meticulously-crafted portrait below, Girl With Leaves, is from my favorite period of his work.

Lucian Freud, Girl with Leaves, 1948. Pastel on gray paper.
Purchase. © 2011 Lucian Freud [source]

Happy Birthday to Eero & Eliel Saarinen!

20 Aug

Aline and Eero Saarinen boating, ca. 1955. Photographer unknown.

Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, 1857-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Happy Birthday, Eero!

Eero Saarinen was born on this day, August 20 in 1910 in Kirkkonummi, Finland. Exactly forty-three years later Aline Bernstein Louchheim, Eero’s second wife, presented him with a handmade card entitled, “The Case-History of a Romance.”  On colored paper decorated with charming silver star stickers, the sentimental card traces the first eight months of the couple’s relationship, beginning with their initial encounter on January 28. On this Wednesday in 1953 Aline interviewed Eero for her article in the New York Times, “Now Saarinen the Son” (see below). Within a year the couple was married.

Aline's recounting of the how the couple fell in love has been added to the Archives of America Art and can be read in full here.


Eero shares a birthday with his father, Eliel Saarinen, who was born on August 20, 1873 in Rantasalmi, Finland. 

Eliel & Eero Saarinen at Hvitträsk, 1920

Queens-Finland-Cranbrook Connection

14 Aug

I finally have a new home, two and half months after I left Helsinki. I am now a new resident of the Queens borough of New York City.

With almost 2.3 million residents, Queens is roughly four times the size of Helsinki and the second most-populated borough behind Brooklyn’s 2.5 million people (according to the April 2010 census).  

As I have been slowly exploring my neighborhood for the past week, I remembered that there is one impressive tie to Finland and Cranbrook in Queens.

The Queens Borough is connected to both Finland and the Cranbrook Academy of Art by way of the John F. Kennedy International Airport. Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen, son of Cranbrook Founder Eliel Saarinen, designed the modernist concrete construction, the TWA terminal (1958-1962), shown below in a photo by Ezra Stoller.

FinnFest in San Diego

10 Aug

If you are in San Diego this weekend, you can see some of my work at FinnFest 2011.

“Inspiration and Collaboration in Art, Design, and Cultural Exchange in the Finnish Fulbright Experience”

Event Time: 

Thursday, August 11, 2011 – 12:00 – 16:30

Friday, August 12, 2011 – 10:00 – 16:30
Saturday, August 13, 2011 – 10:00 – 16:30
Event Location:
Royal Palm Salon 4

I am what is around me

17 Jul
Self Portrait, 2011, oil on board, 8 x 10 inches


I am what is around me.

Women understand this.
One is not duchess
A hundred yards from a carriage.

These, then are portraits:
A black vestibule;
A high bed sheltered by curtains.

These are merely instances.

–from my own tattered copy of Wallace Stevens, The Collected Poems, page 86

Vintage Books, New York, copyright 1982

Happy Birthday, Rembrandt!

15 Jul

July 15 is the birthday of the Dutch painter, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669).

Click to animate.

What I like about you

14 Jul
In 1954 Eero Saarinen, son of Eliel Saarinen and the architect of the TWA Terminal at JFK, made the following list of twelve favorable attributes of his wife, Aline Bernstein
Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, 1857-1972. [Source]

This list and many more can be seen at the Morgan Library & Museum at the current exhibition:

Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art
June 3 through October 2, 2011