Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seeing Art the Way Jane Austen Saw it

On May 24, 1813, just months after publishing Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen went to a show in search of her female hero. ''I dare say Mrs. D[arcy] will be in yellow,'' Austen wrote to her sister, fully expecting to find her heroine at the event—a retrospective of the painting of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the preeminent painter to the rich and powerful of late 18th century England. Austen came away disappointed at not finding a painted equivalent to her novel’s main draw, but modern viewers won’t be disappointed by an online recreation of the exhibition titled What Jane Saw, which will draw in not just the legions of Jane Austen fans but also anyone interested in the origins of the museum blockbuster as well as the beginnings of celebrity culture and its discontents. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of
"Seeing Art the Way Jane Austen Saw it."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Is Dying Detroit Trying to Murder its Museum?

How desperate can a city facing financial armageddon get? What’s the last resort for cities such as Detroit, wounded first by the failing American auto industry and then set bleeding like every other American city after the 2008 financial crash? Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr raised the possibility of selling the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, worth about $15 billion, to help pay off some of the city’s debt. Setting aside the complicated issue of whether a city even has the legal right to sell its museum’s collection like any other movable asset, does a city have the moral right to sell works of art? What would the long-term effect of making such a short-term decision? If dying Detroit murders its museum, will it lose its soul, and the soul of its people? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is Dying Detroit Trying to Murder its Museum?"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Animated Parable of Painting

What really matters in an art education? Do we teach every child to paint or sculpt? Do we school them in names and dates and places? Or do we somehow teach them the elusive and dangerous “truth” of what art is or should be? Jean-Francois Laguionie’s animated film The Painting (Le Tableau), distributed across the United States this month by GKIDS, Inc., uses the ages-old technique of allegory combined with the modern wonder of animation to tell the truth of what making and appreciating art really is. Dazzlingly designed, rapturously rendered, and devastatingly direct, The Painting pictures for an impressionable audience how art makes us more ideally human by making the medium itself move. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "An Animated Parable of Painting."

[Many thanks to GKIDS, Inc. for providing me with the image above from, a screener’s copy of, and other press materials related to The Painting (Le Tableau), which opened in New York City on May 10th and will expand to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, and other cities beginning May 24th.]