Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stanford celebrates the lasting impression of artist and educator Pedro de Lemos

Let us now praise men who should be more famous because of what they did. The arts are too often neglected when it comes time to pass around prizes so this celebration comes as welcome recognition of an man who was far more important than most of us realize.

Pedro Joseph de Lemos (1882-1954) was a visionary and guardian of art at Stanford.

As the first director and curator of the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery (now the Stanford Art Gallery), de Lemos transformed the exhibition space into one of the most important artistic venues in California. He also served as director of the Stanford University Museum (today’s Cantor Arts Center) after it was damaged in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

De Lemos’ impact, along with the centennial anniversary of the Stanford Art Gallery, will be celebrated as the Department of Art and Art History presents Lasting Impressions of Pedro de Lemos: The Centennial Exhibition, which runs from Oct. 3 through Dec. 3.

More at:

How to get there and shuttle Information:

Monday, September 18, 2017

On this day: Anthonij (Anton) Rudolf Mauve

September 18, 1838. Anthonij (Anton) Rudolf Mauve (18 September 1838, Zaandam, North Holland - 5 February 1888, Arnhem) was a Dutch realist painter who was a leading member of the Hague School. He signed his paintings 'A. Mauve' or with a monogrammed 'A.M.'. A master colorist, he was a very significant early influence on his cousin-in-law Vincent van Gogh. In this image: Morning Ride on the Beach (1876), oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Degas' pastels

Drawn in Colour: Degas from the BurrellThe intensity and sensuality of Edgar Degas, the great voyeur of late 19th century art whose pastels are as potent as his paintings, should scintillate in this exhibition of his works from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection.
National Gallery, London, from 20 September until 7 May.
From the Guardian on Line

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

She had some horses by Joy Harjo.

She had some horses.
She had horses who were bodies of sand.

By Joy Harjo
I. She Had Some Horses

She had some horses.
She had horses who were bodies of sand.
She had horses who were maps drawn of blood.
She had horses who were skins of ocean water.
She had horses who were the blue air of sky.
She had horses who were fur and teeth.
She had horses who were clay and would break.
She had horses who were splintered red cliff.

She had some horses.

She had horses with eyes of trains.
She had horses with full, brown thighs.
She had horses who laughed too much.
She had horses who threw rocks at glass houses.
She had horses who licked razor blades.

She had some horses.

She had horses who danced in their mothers' arms.
She had horses who thought they were the sun and their
bodies shone and burned like stars.
She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.
She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet
in stalls of their own making.

She had some horses.

She had horses who liked Creek Stomp Dance songs.
She had horses who cried in their beer.
She had horses who spit at male queens who made
them afraid of themselves.
She had horses who said they weren't afraid.
She had horses who lied.
She had horses who told the truth, who were stripped
bare of their tongues.

She had some horses.

She had horses who called themselves, "horse."
She had horses who called themselves, "spirit," and kept
their voices secret and to themselves.
She had horses who had no names.
She had horses who had books of names.

She had some horses.

She had horses who whispered in the dark, who were afraid to speak.
She had horses who screamed out of fear of the silence, who
carried knives to protect themselves from ghosts.
She had horses who waited for destruction.
She had horses who waited for resurrection.

She had some horses.

She had horses who got down on their knees for any saviour.
She had horses who thought their high price had saved them.
She had horses who tried to save her, who climbed in her
bed at night and prayed.

She had some horses.

She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.

These were the same horses.

Born Today. Ben Shahn

September 12, 1898. Ben Shahn (September 12, 1898 - March 14, 1969) was a Lithuanian-born American artist. He is best known for his works of social realism, his left-wing political views, and his series of lectures published as "The Shape of Content." In this image: Lithuanian-born American social realist painter Ben Shahn is seen at his studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Dec. 12, 1938.

Owl #1

Susannah and the Elders
The Shape of Content:

The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.

Images from Wikipedia and the Smithsonian page on American Art

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hannah Hill. Women in art

Embroidery created by contemporary UK textile artist Hannah Hill aka Hanecdote

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Born on this day: Jacob Lawrence

From the "Migration Series" 

Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) is among the best-known 20th-century African-American painters. He was only 23 years old when he gained national recognition with his 60-panel Migration Series, painted on cardboard. The series depicted the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North. 

His mother moved to NYC when he was 13 where he was able to take art classes. Even after dropping out of school at 16, he continuted to study art, taking classes at the Harlem Art Workshop and being encouraged to continue his studies (while working in a laundromat and for a printer) by the noted African American artist, Charles Alston. He served in WW II, and continued to paint, even though most of those works have been lost. He and his wife moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1970 and both continued to work and paint until their deaths. Lawrence died in 2000. 

"The series is notable for the language it does not use. Lawrence was not a propagandist. He eschewed the caricatural apparatus of Popular Front Social Realism, then at its high tide in America. Considering the violence and pathos of so much of his subject matter - prisons, deserted villages, city slums, race riots, labor camps - his images are restrained, and all the more piercing for their lack of bombast. When he painted a lynching, for instance, he left out the dangling body and the jeering crowd: there is only bare earth, a branch, an empty noose, and the huddled lump of a grieving woman. " Essay by Robert Hughes:

Lawrence had said of his series, then titled Migration of The Negro, that he painted without worrying about who would see it. The paintings aren’t as concerned with a white gaze as they are with getting the story clear and right. The series is intensely narrative and cinematic in its repetition. The panels share a base brown color, making the yellows, blues, reds, and oranges pop. The captions are stark, matter-of-fact articulations of each scene. Lawrence painted them in quick succession, almost in assembly-line fashion, applying the same colors to preserve uniformity.    

A part of this series was featured in a 1941 issue of Fortune Magazine. The collection is now held by two museums: the odd-numbered paintings are on exhibit in the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the even-numbered are on display at MOMA in New York. Lawrence's works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Reynolda House Museum of American Art. He is widely known for his modernist illustrations of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures.

When Lawrence’s Migration Series was shown in New York in 2015, Apollo Magazine wrote: This is a rare chance to see the full 60-panel set of Jacob Lawrence’s astoundingly powerful ‘Migration Series’ completed in 1941 when he was just 23 years old. It tells the story of the Great Movement North, when millions of African Americans living in the southern states of the US left for northern ones. Lynching, environmental disasters, the Great Depression, peonage, plunder, the deliberate dismantling of any ideas of Eeconstruction and more drew out a mass of over 6 million black Southerners, from 1910 through the early 1970s, to Northern and Western cities.

Pool Hall
Fleeing flood, famine, poverty and injustice, they went to find work (better justice and education were bonuses) in the industrialised cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St Louis and, above all, New York. In 1910 just 92,000 African Americans lived in New York; by 1940 there were 458,000; by 1970 1.7 million. It was one of the largest demographic events of the 20th century.


More than 40 years after black migration ended, as we witness an unconscionable number of black men and women die at the hands of law enforcement, as protests, “riots,” and uprisings overtake the Northern American cities to which our families fled, the warmth of both Northern and Southern suns still proves harsh.  From The painter’s migration series was a first draft of history for one of black America’s defining moments. Syreeta McFadden

The Jacob Lawrence and Gwen Center: