Dorothy Napangardi: Floor and Family
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Dorothy Napangardi, “Yuparli (Bush Banana),” 1993. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas (Australian, Warlpiri people, Western Desert, Northern Territory). Private collection I recently found a video of the Australian Aboriginal artist Dorothy Napangardi at work: she is seated on the ground, sitting on top of the canvas, and carefully painting each line and dot. This process of working on a canvas has only existed for roughly about half of a century; before this point, Aboriginal artists would depict the ancient stories and symbols from the primordial Dreaming period on rock cave walls or in th ..read more
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Formal Elements and Personality
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Standard of Ur, Battle (War) side view, 2550-2400 BCE. Image courtesy Smarthistory It’s the beginning of the school quarter, and I’m interested in knowing what formal elements have an impact on my students. I’m really influenced by the composition of a work of art, and I know that this has to do with my own personality. I’m an organized and neat person, and so I think a lot about the way that things are arranged and ordered (both literally and metaphorically) in my life. As a result, I notice the arrangement of shapes and forms a lot, and I like to consider whether that arrangement is appeal ..read more
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Van Eyck Brothers as “Just Judges”
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Earlier this week I discovered a new(ish) Smarthistory video about Karel Van Mander, an early 17th-century biographer of painters who is sometimes referred to as the “Northern Vasari.” The video spends some time featuring a print which depicts the painter Jan Van Eyck. This portrait appeared in Van Mander’s publication Het Schilderboeck. Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem: Paschier van Wesbusch, 1604), first edition in two volumes with added illustrations, 21 x 16.7 x 5.8 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Image courtesy of Steven Zucker and Smarthistory via Fickr. The video repor ..read more
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Ansel Adams, Structure, and Music
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Ansel Adams. The Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. 1942. Image via Wikipedia, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration Earlier last week, I taught my students about Ansel Adams’s photography. In preparation for our class discussion, I watched this documentary on Ansel Adams from the Master Photographers series (1980). I learned while watching that Adams had trained to become a concert pianist but ultimately decided to become a photographer. It was interesting to hear him discuss photography in comparison to music. In explaining the range of ..read more
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Artists and Candle Hats
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
This school year I’ve been volunteering at my child’s elementary school, making videos for the Meet the Masters curriculum and helping out with art projects in a few classrooms. So far we have done the Van Gogh unit as a school, and I’ve also created some videos for the Hokusai project coming up in January. It’s been fun to do, although I have been finding some errors and misleading information in both the Van Gogh and Hokusai units. Someone needs to hire an art historian to fact-check the Meet the Masters curriculum! The Van Gogh unit inaccurately states that Van Gogh wore a hat with candles ..read more
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The 1928 Flood in the Tate
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Paul Delaroche, “The Execution of Lady Jane Grey,” 1834. Oil on canvas, 246 cm × 297 cm (97 in × 117 in). National Gallery, London. Image courtesy Wikipedia Yesterday I was watching an episode of “Fake or Fortune” that discusses a flood of the Thames River in January of 1928 (see 31:05 in the video episode linked above). The flood filled the lower galleries of the Tate up to eight feet of water and many paintings were damaged. One of these paintings was The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (shown above) which did sustain some damage and tears, but clearly was not destroyed. Instead ..read more
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William Morris and Children’s Classics
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Yesterday I finished listening to an audiobook of The  Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I have loved that story since I was a girl and it was fun for me to revisit the book. While I was looking up some favorite quotes from the text, I came across a Puffin classic collector’s series which incorporates William Morris designs into the covers of the books. All of the covers are designed by Liz Catchpole, who collaborated with the V&A Museum in order to choose Morris designs from the museum’s collection. This is the cover for  The Secret Garden in the series: Cover of ..read more
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Nicholas Galanin: Layers and Splits
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Nicholas Galanin, “Ism #1,” 2013. 19″ x 32″, digital photographic print. Image courtesy of the artist At the end of last month, I heard Dr. Christopher Green give a presentation that included some works of art by Nicholas Galanin, who is a Tlingtit-Unanagax contemporary artist. I was particularly struck by the digital photographic print Ism #1, which features the famous icon of Christ from the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai. However, in Galanin’s image, the face of Jesus has been covered with a Tlingit shaman’s mask (and not an actual shaman’s mask, which the Tlingit consider pe ..read more
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Braque’s “Homage to J. S. Bach”
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
2M ago
Braque, “Homage to J S Bach,” winter 1911-12. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 28 3/4″ (54 x 73 cm). Link to MoMa image   Last week one of my students selected to write about Georges Braque’s “Homage to J. S. Bach” for their weekly assignment. I think that this painting is clever in several different ways, including how the signature of Braque seems to also be a witty reference to the similarity between the artist’s last name and the last name of the famous Baroque composer. Braque includes musical instrument or references to music ins several of his paintings, and he himself was a gifted m ..read more
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Formal Elements and Personality
Alberti’s Window
by Alberti's Window
8M ago
Standard of Ur, Battle (War) side view, 2550-2400 BCE. Image courtesy Smarthistory It’s the beginning of the school quarter, and I’m interested in knowing what formal elements have an impact on my students. I’m really influenced by the composition of a work of art, and I know that this has to do with my own personality. I’m an organized and neat person, and so I think a lot about the way that things are arranged and ordered (both literally and metaphorically) in my life. As a result, I notice the arrangement of shapes and forms a lot, and I like to consider whether that arrangement is appeal ..read more
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