Future Beauty at the Seattle Art Museum

Friday, August 09th, 2013

I have always enjoyed fashion exhibits at museums, but putting one on at an art museum can be tricky. “Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion” at the Seattle Art Museum finds a nice balance in its presentation of the garments.

Many years ago I went to the Philadelphia Art Museum to see “Bested Dressed: 250 Years of Style” and while living in the D.C. area I saw “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and “Wedding Belles: Bridal Fashions from the Marjorie Merriweather Post Family, 1874 – 1958” at Hillwood Estate. That is in addition to an enumerable visits to the “First Ladies” display at the Smithsonian American History Museum. Generally what supports these exhibits is a large amount of contextual material. Between the wall text, photography and accessories the human inside the dresses is always there.

Interestingly this idea is where Seattle Weekly writer Brian Miller and I have a difference of opinion. Among other things, he feels that the removal of movement and of the living body leaves the exhibit static. That is exactly what I find interesting about “Future Beauty”, I have no context and no distractions from the materials used and the artistic approach taken when looking at each piece. So often the question that I have when looking at a fashion show is “who would wear this?” The who however is not the important element and SAM along with the Kyoto Costume Institute have suggested in there arrangement of the pieces what that important element is.

In the first gallery it is suggested that we think about shadows. Later the focus shifts to transformation, street culture and unconventional materials. Honestly the visitor could walk through the exhibit looking beyond any of the wall text and enjoy the designs as sculptural forms and different approaches to clothing a body. That is one of the key points that they exhibit is attempting to share about Japanese fashion, the designers started to take a different approach than the European and American designers as to how fashion interacted with the body.

Where I found the exhibit least interesting was where I could “see” the individual. Several of the pieces which focused on the street style of Japan looked as if they were missing something, they were missing the living body. In those instances the exhibit became a costume display, rather than the only place some of these designs would ever really work. A book which turns into a dress – what is that? Could I wear it, would anyone wear it? it actually make sense. I started to think about the Japanese love of vending machines and how maybe this was a perfect idea. You stop at a vending machine purchase a book dress, which then can easily fit into your bag and later you have that fabulous dress to change into. When you are done recycle the book and never have to overcrowd your closet with dresses that you know you are only going to wear that one time only. Sounds perfect for bridesmaids dresses, then again maybe it should remain in the art gallery as a beautiful arrangement of colors and shapes.

This brings me back to the first gallery, on my first visit to the exhibit my focus was just to look and ignored the curatorial suggestions, on my second visit I looked at what Manchanda and the other curatorial staff had done. In that first gallery I looked for all the shadows and the multi-layered way of thinking about shadows. The pieces were all dark or light, elements needed to create shadows. Then there were the galleries lights which created shadowed designs on the floor. My favorite example was a Yohji Yamamoto dress with coat. When the galleries lights hit the waves of the skirt they produced an rhythm of shadows on the white flooring. The repeated lines of light and dark then referencing back to the shadow effects created by the repeated stitching on the dress. Looking at other pieces the textures of the materials used create shadows and interesting contrasts of the same color. These are the elements of design and art which make the piece look wonderful as it walks down the runway but can only really be appreciated on close inspection. To think about it “Project Runway” has even started to bring the designs down off the stage so that these levels of detail can be understood.

While I am pleased with the reduction of context, I must agree with Brian Miller on one point. Being that the exhibit covers thirty years and is placing the pieces on display as being a contrast to other fashion produced some visual clue as to this contrast is needed. When I really stopped to think about it and tried to remember 1980s fashion, the black and white designs of Yamamoto and Watanaba are far from the neon colors I remember. How true my memory is to what was walking the American and European runways at the time, that is a different thing all together.



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My New World

Thursday, August 08th, 2013

So I have not blogged in a while. My world is completely new. Graduation has come and gone, I have changed my license, sold my car and said goodbye to friends that have been part of my life for MANY years. My fancy piece of paper arrived in the mail at my Seattle home confirming that the degree really is mine and now it is up to me to make those years of studying into a job. Has there been a time in the last 15 years when the job market has not been poor?

Only a few things have even been close to what I think would be a good start, internships are just as hard to find as jobs and even volunteering requires a bit of searching. At least while I wait for the planets to align and the right job to work its way into my life I have some hope that my research will become something. In October I am going to the SECAC conference to present my research on Peppino Mangravite’s post office murals. For one weekend I can stand in front of a room of people and be an expert. This experience was something that many months ago I wrote about wanting to have. So with another birthday recently past and most of my goals from last year realized maybe it is time to turn my focus to the goals for the next year. Maybe this will be the year where I post once a month?

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Admission Costs

Friday, April 05th, 2013

The MET just posted a release about their admissions policy, in reading it a few things struck me about our society today. First is our inability to trust the idea that the admission amount listed is voluntary. We are conditioned to believe that nothing is free. Since we live in a society where there is a cover charge to enter a small cramped room, packed with people and then pay outlandish prices for drinks, I guess it is expected that we would question how we could enter a museum and pay nothing.

When I went to the MET many years back, I asked how much it was to get in and was told that it was whatever I felt comfortable paying. Even standing there hearing this I had a hard time believing it. However, it was 4:30 pm and the museum was closing in an hour so I paid something like $5 and enjoyed my visit.

The second thing is the failure to read. The MET’s web site lists the “recommended” prices along with this statement “To help cover the costs of exhibitions, we ask that you please pay the full recommended amount.” The issue it seems is that people believe it should be written in such a way that society is not required to think about the meaning of the word “recommended” or to consider why there is even an admission fee suggested.

Ultimately it makes me sad, true I would visit every art museum in the world given the chance, but I fear that so many of the MET’s visitors are not visiting the museum to enjoy what is on display. They are at the MET because that is one of the things you do when you are in New York. Visit Times Square, see Central Park, maybe go to a Broadway show and go to one of the museums. It is sad because if you are someone that visits museums fairly regularly this concept of free admission, reduced rates or voluntary admission is not that surprising. For example;

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art – “First Sunday of the month and Wednesday after 5:00 p.m.: pay what you wish”
  • Seattle Art Museum – “Suggested General Admission Prices” and “First Thursdays: Free to all, First Friday: Free to Seniors (age 62+), Second Fridays, 5–9 pm: Free to Teens (ages 13–19) with ID”
  • The Art Institute of Chicago – “Free Thursday Evenings: Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.” and Chicago and Illinois residents have lower admission prices all the time.
  • Corcoran Galley of Art – “Military Active Duty enjoy free admission year-round”
  • The Phillips Collection – “Museum Collection Only: Tuesday–Friday By donation”
  • Guggenheim Museum – “PAY WHAT YOU WISH: Saturdays from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm (last ticket issued at 7:15 pm)”
  • Miami Art Museum – “Admission is FREE every Second Saturday of the month.”

Never mind that most every museum offers student discounts and senior discounts. Also, if you are a member at one museum most likely you have reciprocal membership benefits, which offers free or discounted admission to over 500 museums internationally. Really people just take the time to read the information and understand that museums try to make their exhibits accessible to all. Hey, I am concerned about my expenses and at times a trip to the museum can seem the best area to cut my spending, but that is why I do a little research before I go, but then again I am not going to check the tourist site of my list and I guess that is the difference.

Okay, rant over.

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It is a Blog World

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The fact that I am not a consistent blogger should not come as a surprise. When I started my blog I made the decision that I wanted it to be about art. Anything personal I decided to post on my blog had to relate to art. It was and is not my intention for my blog to be offer insight into my thoughts on politics or issues in our society, it is not here to be a daily recap of how “perfect” my life is, offer people the latest update on my workout schedule or use t how awesome my cats are. You have to understand this is hard because my cats are pretty awesome. Anyway, with conversations about art being the goal of my blog as I have gotten bogged down in school it gets really hard to step away and write for “fun.”  

So between my slow updating of content and the restrictive focus it may mean that no one in fact reads my blog, and while I understand that then kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a blog, I am not sure I really want readers enough to change my concept yet. 

Anyway, among the things that I do need to update on my blog one of the smaller things was my blog roll. It has been out of date for a while with dead blogs remaining on the list and some of the art blogs I look often  were missing. So now I have a new and improved blog roll, places where people do consistently update their blog. A few of the new blogs include Artdaily (which is actually a little too prolific for my taste), Artfixdaily, SAM, and The Jealous Curator

I really like the jealous curator, the curator makes me wish that I was in the position to be an art collector. While not every post is about work that I would hang in my house, far too many are and others, like these yarn bombing mushrooms, just so much fun that I cannot help but smile.

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New Curator at Tacoma Art Museum

Saturday, February 02nd, 2013

One great surprise for me in spending time in Seattle is the different art. In D.C. there is exposure to some very major names in art history and the Smithsonian American Art Museum does provide access to a wide range of American artists but I was very excited to see that the Tacoma Art Museum will have a new curator.

I have never been a “western” fan, however there is a lot to learn about our country by looking at the work of Bierstadt and Remington. Reading the release I am very excited and look forward to the next time I can visit the museum and see all the new work and how Fry will present it to the public.

New Curator of Western American Art appointed for Haub Collection at Tacoma Art Museum.

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Rape of Europa

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Forever ago I had seen the book Rape of Europa in a museum book store and wanted to read it immediately. Unfortunately as I normally have at least five books I am in the middle of reading at a time I did not purchase the book and waited until I had an opening in my reading. The perfect time arrived last January when I had a semester off from school, between a trip to Virginia and slow time at SAM coat check I finished the book.

While so many horrible things happened during World War II,  I can understand that many may not think that protecting art should be a priority. The fact that many people felt this way is made clear in the book. What else is made clear is the fact that the Nazi officers really loved art and this was the perfect time for them to build up their private collections. Anyone who has any knowledge of Hitler’s biography knows that he had applied to art school and was not accepted. A action that clearly changed history, but as the book shows perhaps saved the city of Paris. Personally I found the book a little hard to read, I am not really that great with names and in no way a WWII scholar. Often I got lost in who was taking what collection and hiding it from someone else. This is something that most every review of the book comments about. I ended up reading it in terms of “important bad guy” is taking things from the Louvre and “good guy” is trying to prevent the removal.

Again, it may be hard to think of the importance of a painting or one sculpture compared to a human life. As I read the book I was continually reminded that the protection of these items was what some individuals were able to offer to the world during the war. Many individuals were not in a position to hide people or physically fight, they could however make it hard for the Nazi generals to get what they were after while trying to protect the belongings of friends and family members that the Nazi’s had sent to concentration camps. It comes down to the idea that those people could prevent some of Hitler’s goals from being reached. He would not wipe years of history away by destroying records, buildings and works of art. The idea that Hitler was not just trying to remove the Jewish people, he was trying to remove any evidence that they had existed is clear when you look at what he was willing to destroy.

Personally the most remarkable individual in the book was Rose Valland. While working at the Nazi art depositories in Paris she secretly recorded as much information as possible about where each of the items came from and where they were being sent to. This information was passed on to the resistance and allied military in order to help protect train loads of art from being destroyed. At the end of the war her records helped to locate items hidden by Nazi officers and return work to rightful owners.

Even though I struggled through it I think it is worth a five star rating for the amount of research and detail that Lynn Nicholas but into it. What really made it all connect for me however was the combination of the book and the movie. The movie either cut a lot of the names out or it was easier to attach the name with a face and understand who was doing what. The Nicholas is interviewed as are  several of the monuments men, giving the idea even more reality. In total the movie focused more on the larger idea, with the best line being that the “Nazis’ were some of the greatest art thieves ever.” The movie also took more time to look at the repatriation of the art, with Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer – also known as the Gold Portrait - introducing the movie and working as its conclusion.

After reading the book I have taken more notice of the little messages here and their related to repatriation. I was impressed to see that the Seattle Art Museum lists on their web site this very issue and an article on art daily that reminded me that works are still finding there way back to families. Now I want to read The Monuments Men, which is being made into a movie by George Clooney.


Monuments Men Foundation


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Alphonse Mucha

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Several years ago I found mixed in with my childhood drawings a set of Alphonse Mucha posters. I remember seeing the set tucked away when I was younger but have no memory of where they came from or why they were not displayed. The posters were beautiful, clean reproductions on nice card stock. While they were clearly mass produced, packed as a set of twelve, they were not the digitally printed versions that seem to fill stores today.  A quest to find out more about the artist was started and eventually I picked two of the posters, an advertisement for ‘Job’ cigarette paper and Fruit to frame.

Fast forward to mid-August and I was standing in front of original Mucha prints. Beautiful designs on delicate pieces of paper were you could see in the inks overlapping and the publisher house marks. They were even more remarkable than I could have ever imagined. At that point, already having driven from Seattle, Washington to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I had seen many interesting and remarkable things. To put it in perspective, the chance to see Alphonse Mucha: Inspirations of Art Nouveau at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and to experience his work in person was more jaw dropping than looking at Mount Rushmore.

Arrival at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

Many years of on and off researching had brought me to Iowa. After numerous visits to the foundation’s web site the only opportunity to see his work appeared to be a trip to Prague. Then last year that I noticed an exhibit would be in the United States, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not only is this the first exhibit in the United States in over twelve years, at the end of the year the exhibit will be divided up again. Many of the pieces will return to their homes in London or Prague, while the rest  would travel to Japan for a smaller exhibit of his work next year.

The exhibit in Cedar Rapids includes a total of 230 pieces including; a childhood drawing, family portraits, a large sample of his photography, well known posters and paintings, and even a few pieces of jewelry. What struck me the most looking at his posters was how he used inks. These prints are beautiful in exhibit catalogs and “coffee table books,” and I have read them all. None have ever done this work justice. It is amazing at the amount of metallic ink he used. The prints pop with silver and gold ink in a way reproductions have never fully captured. Mucha clearly understood the printing process. He was able to create colors and gradations  perfectly in a time before digital printers, when most press runs only used four colors of ink.

Promotional image for the exhibit © Mucha Foundation

Mucha was also a master of creating light. It can be seen in his decorative panels The Moon and Stars where light appears to radiate from the paper. The stars burst on the panels, lighting the figures against the navy backgrounds. In other panels the light escapes from their hands. This creation of light could also be seen in his painting The Light of Hope, a piece when looked at online or in books is completely washed out. In person the light glowed from the woman’s hands.

The exhibit did touch on the period at the beginning of the 20th century when Mucha worked in the United States. It was as the Art Nouveau style was coming to an end in Paris but the American market was still very interested  However, it was also a time in which Mucha himself was losing interest in the style. He spent his time in the U.S. trying to find a balance between the marketability of the “Mucha” style and moving on stylistically. From this period the exhibit did displayed samples of product packaging and the press clippings which surrounded his arrival in the U.S.

Many of Mucha’s photographs on display acted as preparations for his posters and paintings, a technique used by many of his contemporary artists. Of these preparatory photographs some which include Mucha himself holding a poses. Not all the photography on display was used for preparatory studies. Many capture his friends, including a famous image of Paul Gauguin at a piano, and family. What was not as well represented in the exhibit was Mucha’s photography of cities. Some of his photographs, have proven to be important to modern scholars, particularly those that captured pre-revolutionary Russia.

As can be expected, the scale of his master work, the Slav Epic, restricted its travel from Prague. The museum as a result used large video displays to illustrate the scale of these canvases. It was a well presented display of the massive series. In addition to offering photographs of the pieces in place, sketches and preliminary drawings for the panels along with the video allowed the viewer to stand next to the images and understand the scale.

I know that his ability as a “fine artist” was often questioned. He was seen only as a poster designer or decorative artist by many of his contemporaries. As I have said, I do believe he was a master poster artist, however after having looked at his paintings and preparatory sketches I find this idea that he was only a poster artist even more foolish than before. I can see how his painting style was not forward looking when compared to other artists of the period. A period which saw artists like Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky and Gauguin pushing painting in a very different direction than Mucha.

I recommend this exhibit immensely and am hopeful that it will not be the last of Mucha’s work to visit the United States. A huge amount of respect goes to everyone involved in bringing this exhibit together and personal thanks to the Mucha Foundation for lending the pieces, particularly such valuable pieces so that I was able to see them.


General Biography of Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse (Alfons) Maria Mucha was born in the present day Czech Republic, in 1860. At 18 he applied to, and was rejected admission to the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. Determined to continue in the arts, Mucha found work painting theater sets in Vienna. When the theater burnt down, Mucha initially supported himself selling sketches. Over the next 12 years he earned money illustrating magazines, painting portraits, decorating a Count’s castle and working at print shops in Paris. In December of 1894, he was asked to design a poster for Sarah Bernhardt’s play Gismonda. This poster eventually positioned him as the top poster artist in Paris and lead to the October 1920 edition of the Bulletin of Art Institute of Chicago’s statement that he “ranks first before Chéret.” Bernhardt signed Mucha to a five year contract to design not only posters, but theater sets, costumes and jewelry for her. In addition, his new commissions were numerous, he continued to illustrate for magazines, published several series of decorative panels, painted murals for the 1900 Paris International Exhibition’s Bosnia-Herzegovina pavilion and designed jewelry for Georges Fouquet, who ultimately hired Mucha to design his store.

While traveling through Eastern Europe in order to create sketches for the pavilion’s design, Mucha became inspired to create art for his native people. By 1904, Mucha looked at a trip to American as a chance to move his style away from Art Nouveau style and escape the heavy workload he had in Paris. He spent the next 10 years traveling between Europe and the United States hoping to earn mural and portrait commissions while also securing a patron for this dream. The American media and consumers were fascinated by him, and he was quickly invited to society gatherings. Mucha received the commission to design the German Theater in New York, gave lectures at the Art Institute of Chicago and received several portrait commissions, however finding work was inconsistent. He was unable to escape the Art Nouveau and in searching for a new style, Mucha was slow in painting portraits, many of his other commissions failed to come to fruition, and in some cases he was never paid. Eventually, Mucha found a patron in Charles Crane, who agreed to finance his dream project.

Returning to Prague in 1910, Mucha began painting the Slav Epic.  The 20 murals form a cycle depicting historically significant periods in Slavic history, each averaging 25 by 19 feet apiece. After the project’s completion in 1928, Crane and Mucha gave the massive panels to the Czech people. Mucha remained in Prague and continued to paint until he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1939. He died in July of that year; his “epic” was hidden in a monastery during World War II and almost forgotten.

Mucha was in fact very popular in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. Information on Mucha’s activities including; lunches he attended, speaking engagements and new commissions were included on a regular basis in the New York Times, Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago and American Art News from 1905 until 1922. Then he all but disappeared, the first publication of his biography was in 1963, by his son Jiri Mucha. Mainly he has been ignored in studies within the western art canon, only included in art historical texts as with a one-line description of his work as a poster artist during the Art Nouveau period in Paris. This is not surprising as the Art History surveys tend to over look the period all together. The predominance of big names like Cézanne and Gauguin appear to present that only painting was of artistic importance during the period. Larger texts (Janson’s and Gardner’s) do include the movement with Post-Impressionism and Symbolism as a push away from the industrial progress of the period. Their focus however is Art Nouveau Architecture, connecting the buildings of Victor Horta with the artistic style of Gauguin, with a paragraph on the works of Gaudi and Mackintosh before moving the advancements in American architecture and photography. The name Mucha is completely removed from the period.

Having spent time reading every book and article I could able to find on Mucha it is very clear that the focus has been on his biography, his images of women (unsurprisingly in feminist studies and social historical research starting in the 1960s) and his influence on the decorative arts. Only more recently have they started to look a little deeper, into his photographic work and paintings. I am hopeful that the recent controversy and move of the Slav Epic will lead to more study on the series of paintings and the influence they have on the people of Eastern Europe.

(I apologize to all for the lack of documentation; I have listed here however all the sources I have looked at over the years in learning about Mucha.)



Adams, Laurie Schneider. A History of Western Art. 2nd ed. William C Brown Pub, 1997.
Alphonse Mucha.
Hoo: Grange, 2005.
“American Art News, Vol. 18, no. 28.” American Art News 18, no. 28 (May 1, 1920): 1-10.
“American Art News, Vol. 18, no. 9.” American Art News 18, no. 9 (December 20, 1919): 1-8.
“American Art News, Vol. 19, no. 13.” American Art News 19, no. 13 (January 8, 1921): 1-8.
“American Art News, Vol. 19, no. 14.” American Art News 19, no. 14 (January 15, 1921): 1-10.
“Alphonse Mucha, illustrations from Le Pater (1889) | Artnouveau.AT”, n.d. http://www.szecesszio.com/2010/02/26/alphonse-mucha-illustrations-from-le-pater-1889/.
“Announcement: Exhibitions, Lectures, Musicales, Receptions, for the Remainder of the Season of 1907-8.” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1907-1951) 1, no. 2 (January 1, 1908): 23-24.
“Artquest / Artlaw / Copyright / Using other artists work / Is Your Copying Right?”, n.d. http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/is-your-copying-right-1.
Arwas, Victor. Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau. London; New York: Academy Editions; St. Martin’s Press, 1985.
Arwas, Victor, Jana Brabcova-Orlikova, and Anna Dvorak. Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau. Yale University Press, 1998.
Brown, Stephen. “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bakhtin!: Literary Theory, Postmodern Advertising, and the Gender Agenda.” Journal of Advertising 28, no. 1 (1999): 11.
Daley, Anna. “Alphonse Mucha in Gilded Age America, 1904-1921.” Thesis, 2007. http://si-pddr.si.edu/jspui/handle/10088/8790.
Davies, Penelope J.E., Walter B. Denny, Frima Fox Hofrichter, Joseph F. Jacobs, Ann M. Roberts, and David L. Simon. Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition. 8th ed. Prentice Hall, 2010.
“Exhibitions.” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1907-1951) 14, no. 7 (October 1, 1920): 95-96.
Grosvenor Gallery. Alphonse Mucha: [exhibition] 2 September-17 October, 1970, Grosvenor Gallery. London: The Gallery, 1970.
Jones, I. “Alphonse Mucha by Agnes Husslein-Arco (ED.).” Art Book -London- 17, no. 3 (2010): 33-33-34.
Keefe, John. “The Art Nouveau in Belgium and France, 1885-1915.” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1973-1982) 70, no. 5 (1976): 2.
“Lecture on Mucha and Art Nouveau”, n.d. http://records.viu.ca/~Johnstoi/praguepage/muchalecture.htm.
“Market Scene: Japanese Buyers Rue Their Brush With Wealth: Color them blue. The speculative art bubble has burst, causing bankruptcies, unveiling fraud and tipping the trade balance. – Los Angeles Times”, n.d., http://articles.latimes.com/1993-01-12/news/wr-1353_1_japanese-art.
Meggs, Phillip. A History of Graphic Design. 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1999.
Mitchell, Dolores. “The ‘New Woman’ as Prometheus: Women Artists Depict Women Smoking.” Woman’s Art Journal 12, no. 1 (1991): 3.
Morgan, Ann Lee. “Review: [untitled].” Design Issues 2, no. 1 (April 1, 1985): 85-90.
Mucha, Alphonse. Alfons Mucha. 1st ed. Prague Czech Republic; New York: TORST; Available through D.A.P., 2000.
Mucha, Alphonse. Mucha’s figures decoratives: 40 plates. (New York: Dover publications, 1981).
“Mucha Foundation”, n.d. http://www.muchafoundation.org/MFoundation.aspx.
Mucha, Jiri. Alphonse Maria Mucha:His Life and Art. Rizzoli, 1989.
“Mucha Posters at the Arts.” New York Times, April 8, 1906.
Mucha, Sarah. Mucha. Frances Lincoln, 2005.
Myzelev, A. “Sarah Mucha, ed. Alphonse Mucha.” SLAVIC AND EAST EUROPEAN JOURNAL 51, no. 4 (2007): 822.
“New German Theatre Plans: Meeting of Those Interested – Prof. Mucha New Scenic Manager.” New York Times, April 25, 1907.
“Novelties in New Theatre.” New York Times, September 27, 1908.
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.;Musée Fabre.;Hypo-Kulturstiftung (Munich, Germany)., and Alphonse Mucha. Alphonse Mucha. Munich ;;New York: Prestel, 2009.
Roberts, Keith. “London.” The Burlington Magazine 105, no. 724 (July 1, 1963): 337-330.
Press, Parkstone. Mucha. Parkstone Press, 2011.
Reade, Brian. Art nouveau and Alphonse Mucha. London: H.M. Stationery Off., 1963.
“Slovanska Epopej | Moravsky Krumlov”, n.d., http://epopej.cz/epopej_gb.html.
Thompson, Jan. “The Role of Woman in the Iconography of Art Nouveau.” Art Journal 31, no. 2 (1972): 158.
“Victor Arwas obituary | Art and design | The Guardian”, n.d. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2010/mar/16/victor-arwas-obituary.
“VISEGRAD: An Epic battle in Prague – BUSINESS NEW EUROPE”, n.d.
“Worcester Art Museum – Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau”, n.d., http://www.worcesterart.org/Exhibitions/Past/mucha.html.

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The Disembarkation of Maria de’ Medici at the Port of Merseilles on November 3, 1600

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Disembarkation of Maria de’ Medici at the Port of Marseilles on November 3, 1600

Peter Paul Rubens, 1622 – 1625

One of the 21 paintings Rubens was commissioned to paint by Marie de’ Medici, in the “Disembarkation” we can see how talented he was at painting the human figure. The posture of each individual is carefully constructed the emphasize Maria’s high status. She stands tall and regal as all those around her rejoice in her arrival. The the allegorical representation France takes a deep bow, with a sweeping gesture of welcome, the ships commander stands at attention while the sea is filled with bodies celebrating in her safe arrival in France.

“The sea and sky rejoice at her safe arrival. Neptune and the Nereids salute her, and a winged, trumpeting Fame hovers overhead. Conspicuous in the gallery’s opulently carved stern-castle, under the Medici coat of arms, stand the imperious commander of the vessel, the only immobile figure in the composition.” Kleiner, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 676.

Currently on view at Louvre in Paris.


Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History, Enhanced Edition. 13th ed. Wadsworth Publishing, 2010.

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Personal Goals

Wednesday, August 08th, 2012

My husband has a life list and over the past few years we have crossed several of the items off of it. Together we have gone  Skydiving and travel to different countries, but I have never made a solid life list. For some reason my brain does not work that way. There have been things that I think I would put on my life list,  however when I have completed them, I feel as if there were just a way-point to things that were infinitely more memorable and life changing. I also have to cross things off lists, so there is a fear of putting something down that is too large that I will never be able to cross it off. I guess ultimately I am not ready to dream big enough yet or to let a dream go that is not on my path in favor of the unexpected experiences that are ahead.

As another birthday has been crossed off the thought of life dreams is once again on my mind and  I have decided to focus on reaching some goals this year. I am not yet making a life list, instead thinking about things that I want to accomplish before my next birthday.  The first and largest goal is very clear, to earn my master’s degree.  In my mind this one goal is a check point to a million different paths in my life and once I have accomplished this I will have done one of the hardest things I have ever challenged myself to. This is more than just a challenge to my brain or about getting grades. My master’s degree is something that I decided a long time ago that I wanted and making happen has forced me to step outside my comfort zone almost daily. Working with numbers and dates have never been something that I was good at in school and now I am forcing my brain to try its best to remember dates and to work on skills that are my weakest. In only a few weeks I will be spending months apart from my husband  and for the first time ever live alone in order to reach this goal. Putting everything together this will be one of the hardest things I have ever asked myself to do.

In May of 2011 I went to the Smithsonian Fellows Lectures in American Art to listen to a few speakers and this Spring I listened to lectures at the Seattle Art Museum presented by graduate students from the area. It is now a goal of mine to submit a paper for presentation. There are plenty of opportunities for graduate students, our department sends us conference information almost weekly during the school year. The challenge in my head to overcome is the process.  It is unclear how often are the papers and research are done once people hear of the conference and how often the papers already written, just changed to meet the criteria. One of the presenters I spoke to had presented on her PhD topic, but she had taken the information she had an presented only what fit the conference. I wonder if I have enough knowledge on an area to be able to do this, but if I approach each opportunity with the idea of submitting a paper the hope is that I will see how what I know fits. So by my next birthday, even if my paper is not selected I will have sent in a submission for consideration. Knowing that I can and completing the steps to be considered is that my brain needs to happen.

My final goal is very abstract at this point and kind of simple, to find employment that works for me. Not working for many months and working at jobs that were not really what I wanted to be doing or were very unhappy has really shown me a lot.  Number one, I have to have something. The idea of no job to go to is not me and as much as the idea of not working sounds it just does not feel right. While being a “house-wife” opens up more time for my husband and I to do things together, it can never be the only thing. I know that no one ever really loves there job 100% and my goal is not about the dream job where everyday is sunny and always perfect. I already understand that I am a person that would rather get up and go to work in the morning than go to work later in the day. I loved being able to take the bus to work or walk home and the additional things an employer offers, such as education or events for employees are important. This goal is about understanding what will work for me, what I value and over the next eight months it will be the most important goal to talk about with Chris.


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Death of Sardanapalus

Monday, August 06th, 2012

From: HumanitiesWeb.org

Death of Sardanapalus

Eugène Delacroix, 1827 – 1828

Based on the poem Sardanapalus by Lord Byron the painting is Delacroix’s idea of the Assyrian kings end. The exotic elements and the dramatic depiction is an excellent example of Romanticism.

“Delacroix ignores Classical space and volume, allowing undulating contours, riotous color, and compositional pandemonium, to project simultaneously the disparate moods of distruction, fear, violence, power, despair, sensuality, and indifference.” Davies et al., Janson’s History of Art, 846.

Currently on view at Louvre in Paris.


Davies, Penelope J.E., Walter B. Denny, Frima Fox Hofrichter, Joseph F. Jacobs, Ann M. Roberts, and David L. Simon. Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition. 8th ed. Prentice Hall, 2010.

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