New Exhibitions: “The British Galleries” Reopens At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art (Mar 2020)

The British Galleries Metropolitan Museum of Art Reopens March 2020The British Galleries are reopening with almost 700 works of art on view, including a large number of new acquisitions, particularly works from the 19th century that were purchased with this project in mind. This is the first complete renovation of the galleries since they were established (Josephine Mercy Heathcote Gallery in 1986, Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries in 1989). A prominent new entrance provides direct access from the galleries for medieval European art, creating a seamless transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

The British Galleries Metropolitan Museum of Art Reopens March 2020A highlight of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary in 2020 is the opening, on March 2, of the Museum’s newly installed Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries and Josephine Mercy Heathcote Gallery—11,000 square feet devoted to British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900. The reimagined suite of 10 galleries (including three superb 18th-century interiors) provides a fresh perspective on the period, focusing on its bold, entrepreneurial spirit and complex history. The new narrative offers a chronological exploration of the intense commercial drive among artists, manufacturers, and retailers that shaped British design over the course of 400 years. During this period, global trade and the growth of the British Empire fueled innovation, industry, and exploitation. Works on view illuminate the emergence of a new middle class—ready consumers for luxury goods—which inspired an age of exceptional creativity and invention during a time of harsh colonialism.

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Profiles: 82-Year Old American Abstract Painter Larry Poons

From a Wall Street Journal online profile (March 3, 2020):

I had a handful of school friends, including Francis Ford Coppola, who was in the grade behind me. He was known then as Frank. He directed school plays, such as “Finian’s Rainbow.” That’s where I fell in love with the girl. She was a dancer in the cast.

Painting, music and poetry all spoke to me, especially music. I applied to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Larry Poons, 82, is an abstract painter best known for his “dot” and “throw” paintings. “Larry Poons” (Abbeville), a book-length monograph of his work from the 1950s to the present, will be published in September. He spoke with Marc Myers.

The first time I painted on canvas board, I was lovesick. I had a crush on a girl in high school and had just finished reading Irving Stone’s Van Gogh biographical novel, “Lust for Life.”

I took my easel to a nearby park and painted trees. As I worked the paint with a small brush, it helped get my feelings out.

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Art: “Before Pennsylvania Station” By American Realist Painter George Bellows (1882-1925)

George Bellows, Pennsylvania Station Excavation, c. 1907–08, oil on canvas, 79.2 x 97.1 cm (Brooklyn Museum), a Seeing America video.

Smarthistory LogoSpeakers: Dr. Margarita Karasoulas, Assistant Curator, American Art, Brooklyn Museum and Dr. Steven Zucker

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George Wesley Bellows (August 12 or August 19, 1882 – January 8, 1925) was an American realist painter, known for his bold depictions of urban life in New York City. He became, according to the Columbus Museum of Art, “the most acclaimed American artist of his generation”.

Bellows first achieved widespread notice in 1908, when he and other pupils of Henri organized an exhibition of mostly urban studies. While many critics considered these to be crudely painted, others found them welcomely audacious, a step beyond the work of his teacher. Bellows taught at the Art Students League of New York in 1909, although he was more interested in pursuing a career as a painter. His fame grew as he contributed to other nationally recognized juried shows.

Bellows’ urban New York scenes depicted the crudity and chaos of working-class people and neighborhoods, and satirized the upper classes. From 1907 through 1915, he executed a series of paintings depicting New York City under snowfall. In these paintings Bellows developed his strong sense of light and visual texture,[14] exhibiting a stark contrast between the blue and white expanses of snow and the rough and grimy surfaces of city structures, and creating an aesthetically ironic image of the equally rough and grimy men struggling to clear away the nuisance of the pure snow. However, Bellows’ series of paintings portraying amateur boxing matches were arguably his signature contribution to art history.[11] They are characterized by dark atmospheres, through which the bright, roughly lain brushstrokes of the human figures vividly strike with a strong sense of motion and direction.

Pennsylvania Station New York City
Pennsylvania Station New York City

Pennsylvania Station, also known as New York Penn Station or Penn Station, is the main intercity railroad station in New York City and the busiest in the Western Hemisphere, serving more than 600,000 passengers per weekday as of 2019.mPenn Station is in Midtown Manhattan, close to Herald Square, the Empire State Building, Koreatown, and Macy’s Herald Square. Entirely underground, the station is located in Midtown South beneath Madison Square Garden, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and between 31st and 33rd Streets, with additional exits to nearby streets.

Penn Station has 21 tracks fed by seven tunnels (the two North River Tunnels, the four East River Tunnels, and the single Empire Connection tunnel). It is at the center of the Northeast Corridor, a passenger rail line that connects New York City with Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and intermediate points. Intercity trains are operated by Amtrak, which owns the station, while commuter rail services are operated by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and NJ Transit (NJT). Connections are available within the complex to the New York City Subway, and buses. An underground passageway formerly provided an indoor connection with the 34th Street–Herald Square subway station and 33rd Street PATH station.[7]

Penn Station is named for the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), its builder and original tenant, and shares its name with several stations in other cities. The current facility is the remodeled underground remnant of the original Pennsylvania Station, a more ornate station building designed by McKim, Mead, and White and considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style. Completed in 1910, it enabled direct rail access to New York City from the south for the first time. Its head house was torn down in 1963, galvanizing the modern historic preservation movement.[8] The rest of the station was rebuilt in the following six years, while retaining most of the rail infrastructure from the original station.

From Wikipedia

New Culture & Food Books: “Cooking In Marfa” – Fine Dining “In The West Texas Desert” (Phaidon)

The Capri Restaurant in Marfa TexasCooking in Marfa introduces an unusual small town in the West Texas desert and, within it, a fine-dining oasis in a most unlikely place. The Capri excels at serving the spectrum of guests that Marfa draws, from locals and ranchers to artists, museum-board members, and discerning tourists.

Featuring more than 80 recipes inspired by local products, this is the story of this unique community told through the lens of food, sharing the cuisine and characters that make The Capri a destination unto itself.

Cooking In Marfa Book Phaidon April 2020

Marfa, the remote desert town in West Texas, might be small, but its cultural capital is far greater than its city limits suggest. “There are multigenerational families that were here when this was still Mexico, ranchers of European descent, artists, patrons, collectors, railroad workers, border patrol, fashion designers, builders, social workers, photographers, tomato factory workers, cultural travelers, intrepid travelers, and transient hipsters all existing in 1.6 square miles, at ‘about a mile high’ [elevation] with a population of 1,800 people, more or less,” writes the entrepreneur, philanthropist, restaurateur and Texas native Virginia Lebermann in our new book, Cooking in Marfa: Welcome, We’ve Been Expecting You.

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Top New Travel Videos: “Vogüé” – A Beautiful Southern France Village

Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Vogüé takes place in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in the department of Ardèche. Located in a limestone cliff, the town is today an important tourist site appreciated by visitors. English subtitles.

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Studies: Elderly In 3rd Highest Level Of Exercise Reduce Brain Shrinkage, Aging By 4 Years (AAN)

From a March 5, 2020 American Academy of Neurology release:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Logo“These results are exciting, as they suggest that people may potentially prevent brain shrinking and the effects of aging on the brain simply by becoming more active,” said study author Yian Gu, Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Recent studies have shown that as people age, physical activity may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Our study used brain scans to measure the brain volumes of a diverse group of people and found that those who engaged in the top third highest level of physical activity had a brain volume the equivalent of four years younger in brain aging than people who were at the bottom third activity level.”

Older people who regularly walk, garden, swim or dance may have bigger brains than their inactive peers, according to a preliminary study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 25 to May 1, 2020. The effect of exercise was equal to four fewer years of brain aging. The study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure the brains of people with a range of activity levels, including those who were inactive to those who were very active. The scans showed less active people had smaller brain volume.

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