Monday, June 27, 2016

200,000 Rijksmuseum Works of Art to See via Google Arts & Culture

From today the masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum can be found on Google Arts & Culture, the Google Cultural Institute’s website (also available as an app for Android and iOS). The digital collection contains some 200,000 objects. This has made the  Rijksmuseum the best represented museum in the Google Cultural Institute.

A thousand international institutions are affiliated to the Google Cultural Institute.
The website reaches more than forty million people each year. The Rijksmuseum’s own website attracts six million visitors annually.    Taco Dibbits, Director of Collections at the Rijksmuseum, says ‘We are proud that the Rijksmuseum is the largest museum in the Google Cultural Institute. The collaboration perfectly reflects our view that the Rijksmuseum is owned by everyone and is for everyone. It means that even more people worldwide can enjoy the collection.’

The exhibitions:

Jan Steen, a born storyteller, shows how he incorporated many different themes in his paintings

● The Night Watch examines the individual details of this iconic work of art

● Johannes Vermeer.  Details of his masterpieces unveiled

Rembrandt van Rijn.  An overview of this artist

Joannes Lutma A Dutch goldsmith

Vermeer is particularly well represented in Google Arts & Culture with thirty-five masterpieces in total, including the four that hang in the Rijksmuseum. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Museums march with Pride 2016

I can only support this via my keyboard - still to weak to do much walking. But if I could, I would march with with one of SF's many museums who are doing us all proud in the parade.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

'Wild West: Plains to the Pacific' at the Legion of Honor in SF

C. Obata
"Go West, young man" is a phrase often credited to the American authorHorace Greeley encouraging America's expansion westward, related to the then-popular concept of Manifest Destiny. It was first stated by John Babsone Lane Soule in an 1851 editorial in the Terre Haute Express, "Go west young man, and grow up with the country." Greeley later used the quote in his own editorial in 1865. For the next century, the west was the destination for immigrants, those seeking their fortune, those fleeing from the fall of fortune and many, many artists.

Taken from the collections of the Fine Arts Museums, "Wild West" at the Legion of Honor displays seldom seen treasures from their storehouse of art. The show explores artistic responses to the natural and cultivated landscapes of the western United States from the frontier era to the present.

Peter Hurd

Hilarie Hiller

Ruth Asawa

Thomas Moran

Images courtesy of DeWitt Chang/used with permission 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Birthday Kurt Schwitters

June 20, 1887. Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters was a German painter who was born in Hanover, Germany. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures. In this image: Das Undbild, 1919, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

“I am a painter and I nail my pictures together,” Kurt Schwitters said to fellow artist Tristan Tzara in 1919. Throughout the 20's, the work flowed forth. He made no distinctions between his art (painting, collage, sculpture, design, installation), his writing (poetry, essays, children’s stories) and his performances. He met everybody who was anybody in that wild, creative world: Hannah Höch; Constructivists like El Lissitzky; Theo van Doesburg, a founder of the movement known as De Stijl — and collaborated with many of them. He traveled Europe nonstop, performed tirelessly, had shows and attracted collectors.

The multidisciplinary nature of Schwitters’s output and the destruction of so much in WW II, may be one of the reason why he remains an underground figure. He's impossible to categorize and while the show places an emphasis on his painting, there is so much more - a sound poem, for instance, his typography and his poetry which was unexpectedly popular.

Friday, June 17, 2016

'Boundaries of the Spirit' at Nanhai Arts

Nanhai Art, a gallery specializing in Chinese art, will be opening a new show this coming Saturday. "Boundaries of the Spirit" features the work of three women artists: Lin Yan, Zhang Yanzi, and Zhou He.

From different perspectives, and with different aesthetic vocabularies, the artists probe the workings of the human spirit. They share a sensitivity to materials that enables each of them to break with conventions of Chinese painting and art.

This exhibition is curated by Julia F. Andrews, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History of Art at the Ohio State University and a specialist in Chinese art.

Zhou He (b. 1956, Chongqing, China) has worked in the press as an art editor and illustrator for 25 years and used to be the president of preschool education press of East China Normal University before becoming the director of Shanghai children's art education research center. On the merits of her award-winning children's book designs, she was recommended by the cultural and education center of German Embassy to hold a solo exhibition in Frankfurt in 2009.

Zhang Yanzi was born in the Zhenjiang, a town of many islands in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. Zhang refers to the river mists and evening breezes in her childhood as an inspiration for her paintings. She explores ideas of femininity and aesthetic grace based in a chant in a poem by Li Zhong of the Tang Dynasty: “the sun and moon in the kettle seem to deliberately draw the distance between hearts closer, the mist and clouds in the twilight off the island appear clearly in dreams.”

Lin Yan creates architectural installations and sculpture paintings in xuan paper. In her hands, xuan paper is not merely the submissive medium of painting; rather, it can be shaped to possess weight and layers of its own. Black and white, firmness and softness are harmoniously juxtaposed; each quality implicates the other, like the constant negotiation of void and fullness in tai chi, or the yin-yang balance in traditional Chinese philosophy. Interested in spatial and architectural forms, Lin has created many large site-specific installations. These works sustain the subtle contrast between their massive appearance and light weight.

NanHai Art exhibition hall located at:
520 Broadway
Millbrae, CA 94030

NanHai Art is a 5 min. walk from the Millbrae BART and Caltrain stations, for drivers take the Millbrae Ave. exit on US-101.

Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. and by appointment. Opens June 18 through July 23.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Happy birthday to John Constable

June 11, 1776. John Constable (11 June 1776 - 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home now known as "Constable Country" which he invested with an intensity of affection. "I should paint my own places best", he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, "painting is but another word for feeling". In this image: Weymouth Bay (c. 1816).

Courtauld Gallery. Constable regarded the sky as ‘the chief “Organ of Sentiment”’ in landscape
Ashmolean Museum ‏@AshmoleanMuseum 7h7 hours ago
"Willy Lott's House from the Stour" by English Romantic painter John Constable who was born on this day in 1776

British Museum

Timeline history of art:
National Gallery:

Friday, June 10, 2016

ARC Studio and gallery, Richmond Art Center, SF Arts Commission

Dianne Hoffman, "For Which We are Best Fitted," Arc Gallery
June has arrived with the Bay Area's usual fog and an unusual cornucopia of small gallery shows. While the main focus of the media has been on the reopened SFMOMA and the name galleries opening near their location, there are many more smaller Bay Area galleries that are showing local and possibly more interesting art than the New York focused blue chip artists showing at SFMOMA and the high end galleries.

Arc Studio and Gallery in the "South of Market" area has been promoting local artists and unique art for a decade. This summer is no exception. This June, Arc opens "Some Assembly Required" which is thoughtfully arranged re-purposed assemblage. whimsically defined as the as the love child of sculpture and collage.

Terry St. John at Richmond Arts Center and more:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Happy 184th Birthday Amelia Edwards, the Mother of Modern Egyptology

Happy 184th Birthday Amelia Edwards, the Mother of Modern Egyptology. (photo credit & for more info: @TheEES)

Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (7 June 1831 – 15 April 1892), also known as Amelia B. Edwards, was an English novelist, journalist, traveller and Egyptologist. Her most successful literary works included the ghost story "The Phantom Coach" (1864), the novels Barbara's History (1864) and Lord Brackenbury (1880), and the Egyptian travelogue A Thousand Miles up the Nile (1877), which described her 1873–1874 voyage up the Nile River. In 1882, she co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) and became its joint Honorary Secretary. In 1889–1890, she toured the United States lecturing on Egyptian exploration.

At age 30, following the death of her parents, Amelia had little reason to stay in England. Nor was there anyone close to her who would criticize if she chose to travel. The proceeds of her writings were sufficient to enable her to live independently and go where she wished. Amelia embarked on a series of intrepid expeditions, of which she wrote. Her accounts are notable for her knowledge of her surroundings, her interest and openness towards the people and customs of other countries, and not least for the humour and enthusiasm which enliven many of her experiences.

 It was her third documented journey, however, that substantially changed the direction of Edwards' life. In 1870, she traveled to Egypt and sailed a dahabiyeh up the Nile to Abu Simbel. There, she spent six weeks excavating at the Temple of Rameses II. Her animated and engaging account of the trip was published as A Thousand Miles Up the Nile in 1877. Of setting off the first day, in their boat, the Philae, she writes:

"Happy are the Nile travellers who start thus with a fair breeze on a brilliant afternoon. The good boat cleaves her way swiftly and steadily. Water-side palaces and gardens glide by, and are left behind. The domes and minarets of Cairo drop quickly out of sight. The mosque of the citadel, and the ruined fort that looks down upon it from the mountain ridge above, diminish in the distance. The Pyramids stand up sharp and clear." (A Thousand Miles Up the Nile 1891 edition, p. 37.) 

Digital edition:


Her home in London


Ms Edwards inspired Amelia Peabody, heroine of one of the best historical mystery series ever, which started with 'Crocodile on the Sandbank.' It is the first in the a series of novels centered about her unforgivable creation, Amelia Peabody and takes place in 1884-1885:  Like the real Amelia Edwards, the fictional Amelia receives a rather large inheritance after her father's death and decides to use it for travel. On her way through Rome to Egypt, she meets Evelyn Barton-Forbes, a young woman abandoned by her lover and left with no means of support. Amelia promptly takes Evelyn under her wing, insisting that the young lady accompany her to Egypt, where Amelia plans to indulge her passion for Egyptology. When Evelyn becomes the target of an aborted kidnapping and the focus of a series of suspicious accidents and mysterious visitations, Amelia becomes convinced of a plot to harm her young friend. Like any self-respecting sleuth, Amelia sets out to discover who is behind it all.

Amelia Peabody series: 
Maps and Timelines:
Elizabeth Peters, aka Barbara Mertz: Barbara Mertz (September 29, 1927 – August 8, 2013) was an American author who wrote under her own name as well as under the pseudonyms Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels. In 1952 she received a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. While she was best known for her mystery and suspense novels, in the 1960s she authored two books on ancient Egypt, both of which have remained in print ever since.

"In the end the clouds will blow away 
and the falcon will fly through the portal of the dawn." 

from The Falcon at the Portal (Barbara Mertz died of cancer in 2013). 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Happy Birthday to Velázquez

Happy birthday to Velázquez, who is one of the greatest European painters who ever lived.

Monday Lisa

From Twitter: @Sophie Reinders (Sophie_iselotte)