May 2013

Beloved Piero

Bernard Berenson called Piero della Francesca “the mighty Tuscan.” Among contemporary painters, he remains the best loved of Renaissance painters, influential to a range of modern artists whose debt to him might not be readily apparent. Nevertheless, renowned as he is among artists, he is not widely known to American audiences. Piero della Francesca. Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels (c. 1460-70) When a respondent to my previous post sent a link to Piero’s Madonna del Parto , it jolted me into contrition for having neglected to say a word about the gem of a Piero exhibition that opened at the Frick in February. Continue Reading
The Other Mother

Motherhood, as you understand and honor it, is passé. Outmoded. It has faded into a quant bit of Americana, an artifact of folklore like Johnny Appleseed or Aunt Jemima. That is the undisquised message of the Museum of Motherhood (MOM), established this past January on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Following the lead of “museums” of contemporary art, MOM exists neither to preserve nor conserve an iota of cultural heritage. It obtains exclusively to promote a product. In this case, the article on display is a stake through the heart of our “cultural fairy tale” of what constitutes a family. Continue Reading
Mother's Day - Let us not dwell

Here it comes. Truth to tell, I do not like Mother’s Day. It is a mawkish, manufactured holiday—a counterfeit tradition like Kwanza. But now that it is upon us, women might as well make the most of it. This is the day to milk what remains of filial guilt for all it is worth. Lay it on thick, sisters. Get the jump on neglectful, inattentive offspring. Do not wait for your begets to send the usual Mother’s Day boilerplate from the greeting card industry. Continue Reading
William Meyers' Street Photography

The eye never has enough of seeing. Ecclessiastes 1:8   What is the point of having a weblog if I can’t talk about things I like? One of them is the photography of William Meyers. He was my colleague on the culture desk of The New York Sun during its balmy years as a print publication . He writes on photography now for The Wall Street Journal. You might well have read his commentaries but you have not seen his own approach to the craft he observes. Continue Reading