Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Birthday Franz Marc

February 08, 1880. Franz Marc (February 8, 1880 - March 4, 1916) was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it. In this image: An employee stands in front of Franz Marc's 'Weidende Pferde III,' or 'Grazing Horses III, at Sotheby's in London, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.

Another one who could have changed the face of art but died in WW I - our world would be so different if the best and brightest hadn't died in that useless slaughter:

With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Marc enlisted in the German Army as a cavalryman. By February 1916, as shown in a letter to his wife, he had gravitated to military camouflage. His technique was to paint canvas covers (for hiding artillery from aerial observation) in broadly pointillist style. He took pleasure in creating a series of nine such tarpaulin covers in styles varying "from Manet to Kandinsky", suspecting that the latter could be the most effective against aircraft flying at 2000 meters or higher.
After mobilization of the German Army, the government identified notable artists to be withdrawn from combat for their own safety. Marc was on the list but was struck in the head and killed instantly by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun in 1916 before orders for reassignment could reach him


 The Tower of Blue Horses (German: Der Turm der blauen Pferde) is a 1913 Expressionist oil painting by the German artist Franz Marc. It has been called one of his best works, but went missing in 1945.

Essay at Archive

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

SF Museums in Feb

Legion of Honor: Tuesday – Sunday, 9:30 AM – 5:15 PM
Pierre Bonnard: Painting ArcadiaFebruary 6, 2016 – May 15, 2016
The first major West Coast exhibit to display the works of Pierre Bonnard in half a century, Painting Arcadia features more than 70 works spanning the French artist’s entire career. Bonnard was an early member of Les Nabis, a group of “prophets” who exerted a major influence on the art produced in France during the late 19th century. After disbanding from the group, he went on to be one of the defining figures of modernism, and even dabbled in photography, interior scenes, and more.

Sublime Beauty: Raphael’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” January 9, 2016 – April 10, 2016
Making its United States premiere, “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” comes to the esteemed Legion of Honor from the Galleria Borghese in Rome, where it was first recorded in the collection in 1682. The influence of Leonardo da Vinci on Raphael is evident in the female portrait from the Florentine era, and is most recognized for the lap unicorn. Be sure to check the museum’s website for times when the 15-minute lecture series on the painting are offered.

Contemporary Jewish Museum: Monday – Tuesday & Friday – Sunday, 11 AM – 5 PM, Thursday 11 AM – 8 PM

Chasing Justice, November 19, 2015 – February 21, 2016
“Amid current political debates over hi-tech surveillance, from the NSA to iPhone videos of police actions, this exhibition explores issues of government surveillance and power—both historically and today,” says Curator Renny Pritikin. Portland artist, Joby Baron, has been on a mission to catch a glimpse of the mysterious abstract paintings that line the hallways of the CIA headquarters in Virginia. The publicly inaccessible collection was loaned to the CIA in the 1970s by Vincent Melzac, a Jewish American businessman and art collector. Much of the show features Baron’s attempts to recreate these secret artworks. The exhibit also features the works of Arnold Mesches who uses the seven hundred pages of his FBI file to create his series, and Berkeley-based Robbin Henderson, who explores the Biblical theme to “pursue justice.”

Make sure to check out the “X Is For” installment, where the museum’s Teen Art Connect (TAC) interns have created paper-cut portraits along with written pieces on the lesser known figures behind social change movements—adding a local and current perspective to the walls of the Chasing Justice exhibition.

"Horticultural Pavilian" by Tom Hilton cc Flickr 2.0
“Horticultural Pavilian” by Tom Hilton cc Flickr 2.0

Conservatory of Flowers: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 4:30 PM (last entry 4 PM)
Garden Railway: 1915 Pan-PacificNovember 12, 2015 – April 10, 2016
Celebrating the Centennial of San Francisco’s historic 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition, this enchanting display features model trains that wind their way past the fairgrounds, and the event’s most famous monuments—including the Tower of Jewels, Palace of Fine Arts, and more. Surrounded by a landscape of hundreds of dwarf plants, several water features, as well as interpretive signs, memorabilia, and interactive activities, visitors will experience the colorful history of the grand fair that signaled San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake.

Willard E. Worden, "Midnight in Chinatown," 1903. Gelatin silver print. R.D. Moore Collection
Willard E. Worden, “Midnight in Chinatown,” 1903. Gelatin silver print. R.D. Moore Collection

De Young Museum: Tuesday – Sunday, 9:30 AM – 5:15 PM
Portals of the Past: The Photographs of Willard WordenJuly 25, 2015 – February 14, 2016

In its final weeks, this exhibit features the incredible photographs of Willard Worden, and his fascinating captures of San Francisco before, during, and after the earthquake of 1906. The 73 photographs making up the collection come from the first two decades of the 20th century, and include views of San Francisco’s coastline, Golden Gate Park, and Chinatown. As one of the Panama-Pacific world’s fair official photographers, Worden also managed to highlight the event’s architectural and sculptural creations by day and night.

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali‘i, August 29, 2015 – February 28, 2016
Although featherwork dates back many centuries, this presentation focuses on pieces made for Hawaiian royals beginning in the late 18th century and ending in the early 20th century. This exhibit showcases 75 examples of featherwork including long cloaks and short capes (‘ahu ‘ula), royal staffs of feathers (kāhili), feathered lei (lei hulu manu), helmets (mahiole), and paintings.

Walt Disney Museum: Monday & Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM (last entry 4:45 PM)

Mel Shaw: An Animator on HorsebackJanuary 13, 2016 – September 12, 2016
One of the most in-demand artists and storytellers in Hollywood at the time, Mel Shaw has been a part of some of the most beloved films in the Disney franchise, including: Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, and The Lion King. After running away from his Los Angeles home at the age of 14 in a failed attempt to become a cowboy, Shaw returned to land a job at a movie title company—eventually catching the attention of a certain Walt Disney. The recently opened exhibition at The Walt Disney Museum features more than 120 of Shaw’s works, from caricature sketches and storyboards, to scupltures, oil paintings, iconic toys, and artifacts documenting Shaw’s redesign of the charcter we now all recognize as Howdy Doody. This is the first time many of these objects will be on display for the public to view.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


February 02, 1951. José Guadalupe Posada (February 2, 1852 - January 20, 1913) was a Mexican cartoonist illustrator and artist whose work has influenced many Latin American artists and cartoonists because of its satirical acuteness and political engagement. In this undated photo released by the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes de Mexico (CONACULTA), is seen an engraving by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada. In 2013, Mexico marks the 100 year anniversary of the death of Posada with exhibitions, publications and concerts. Posada is the creator of "La Catrina", a popular engraving of a skull wearing an elegant hat.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Life of Frederick Douglass

One of the most important and painfully honest narratives of slavery ever written. Historians gush over "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as being a precipitating, eye opener for Abolition of Slavery but this book - and Douglas himself- was far more important:

A dramatic autobiography and powerful firsthand account of slavery

Grade 9 Up-This classic text in both American literature and American history is read by Pete Papageorge with deliberation and simplicity, allowing the author's words to bridge more than 160 years to today's listeners. Following a stirring preface by William Lloyd Garrison (who, nearly 20 years after he first met Douglass, would himself lead the black troops fighting from the North in the Civil War), the not-yet-30-year-old author recounts his life's story, showing effective and evocative use of language as well as unflinchingly examining many aspects of the Peculiar Institution of American Slavery. Douglass attributes his road to freedom as beginning with his being sent from the Maryland plantation of his birth to live in Baltimore as a young boy. There, he learned to read and, more importantly, learned the power of literacy. In early adolescence, he was returned to farm work, suffered abuse at the hands of cruel overseers, and witnessed abuse visited on fellow slaves. He shared his knowledge of reading with a secret "Sunday school" of 40 fellow slaves during his last years of bondage. In his early 20's, he ran away to the North and found refuge among New England abolitionists. Douglass, a reputed orator, combines concrete description of his circumstances with his own emerging analysis of slavery as a condition. This recording makes his rich work available to those who might feel encumbered by the printed page and belongs as an alternative in all school and public library collections.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Let it Snow (Monet)

Best wishes for all my friends enduring the snowstorm, Talk about persistence! Monet painted water lilies more than 250 times.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 - February 18, 1902)

January 08, 1830. Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 - February 18, 1902) was a German-American painter best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion.

 Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Park, c. 1868, Oakland Museum

 Lake Tahoe, 1868

 Buffalo Trail

Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century. In this image: Sean O'Leary looks at Albert Bierstadt's "Storm in the Rocky Mountains-Mount Rosalie," an oil on canvas painting from 1866, while viewing the exhibit, American Sublime, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Thursday, June 20, 2002.

The complete works