Category Archives: Arts & Literature

Art: Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s “Painting 4” – The Abstract Artist ‘Haven From Chaos’

Cara Manes, Associate Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture, discovers a haven from the chaos of the everyday amid the “silence” and imperfection of Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s “Painting, 4.”

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde was regarded as one of India’s foremost abstract painters. He received the Padma Shri Award in 1971.

Books: “Inside The Morgan – The Librarian’s Office”

Symbolist Views: Austrian Painter Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d’art. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. 

Montana Views: John Maclean’s Backstory Memoir ‘Home Waters’

John Maclean’s family was the topic of “A River Runs Through It,” the novella that became a hit film. Now, his own new book tells the backstory of the captivating drama. Jeff Glor takes a look at Maclean’s love for Montana’s great outdoors.

Art: ‘Hokusai. Thirty-Six Views Of Mount Fuji’

Mount Fuji has long been a centerpiece of Japanese cultural imagination, and nothing captures this with more virtuosity than the landmark woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849).

The renowned printmaker documents 19th-century Japan with exceptional artistry and adoration, celebrating its countryside, cities, people, and serene natural beauty. Produced at the peak of Hokusai’s artistic ambition, the series is a quintessential work of ukiyo-e that earned the artist world-wide recognition as a leading master of his craft.

The prints illustrate Hokusai’s own obsession with Mount Fuji as well as the flourishing domestic tourism of the late Edo period. Just as the mountain was a cherished view for travelers heading to the capital Edo (now Tokyo) along the Tōkaidō road, Mount Fuji is the infallible backdrop to each of the series’ unique scenes. Hokusai captures the distinctive landscape and provincial charm of each setting with a vivid palette and exquisite detail. Including the iconic Under the Great Wave off Kanagawa (also The Great Wave), this widely celebrated series is a treasure of international art history.

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Books: ‘The Tiny Bee That Hovers At The Center Of The World’ – David Searcy

An ethereal meditation on longing, loss, and time, sweeping from the highways of Texas to the canals of Mars–by the acclaimed essayist and author of Shame and Wonder

David Searcy’s writing is enchanting and peculiar, obsessed with plumbing the mysteries and wonders of our everyday world, the beauty and cruelty of time, and nothing less than what he calls “the whole idea of meaning.” In The Tiny Bee That Hovers at the Center of the World, he leads the reader across the landscapes of his extraordinary mind, moving from the decaying architectural wonder that is the town of Arcosanti, Arizona, to driving the vast, open Texas highway in his much-abused college VW Beetle, to the mysterious, canal-riddled Martian landscape that famed astronomer Percival Lowell first set eyes on, via his telescope, in 1894. Searcy does not come at his ideas directly, but rather digresses and meditates and analyzes until some essential truth has been illuminated–and it is in that journey that the beauty is found.

Read an essay by David Searcy

1950’s: A ‘Moral Panic’ That Targeted Comic Books

Comic books have been a staple of American pop culture for the better part of 90 years. The origin story of comics as we know them, however, is much more complicated. In the 1950s, a moral panic swept across the country — one in which parents and children burned comic books by the bushel in public gatherings — and led to the near destruction of the comic book industry. Comics were big business even by the 1940s. They reached millions of readers each week. And the superheroes created then have now become billion-dollar franchises, showcased in blockbuster films and massive conventions such as Comic-Con. Events in 1954, however, almost changed that. Laws were passed. Careers were ruined. And comics fell under a strict censorship regime that lasted for decades to come.

Views: Places Inspiring ‘Lord Of The Rings’ & ‘The Hobbit’ By J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – If you’ve read the British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s books before, or seen the movies, you’ll be familiar with the fantasy worlds he created. But where did the inspiration for these creations come from? To this day, this question is still widely debated. British author and Tolkien expert John Garth has embarked on a journey to find out.