More Thoughts on Photography as Art: Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand

Back in October, I wrote about the moment around the turn of the twentieth century when photography became art. In that post, I examined the work of F. Holland Day and Gertrude Käsebier, two of the most influential figures in

Esphyr Slobodkina and American Abstraction

Recently I wrote about the changing taste for American modernism, and the impact these changes had on the career and legacy of the painter Ilya Bolotowsky. As I was researching Bolotowsky, I learned about his involvement in the group American

On Changing Artistic Tastes and American Modernism, Part 2: Grandma Moses

Last week, I wrote about the shifting American taste in modern art at the middle of the twentieth century. I’d like to revisit that subject again this week, prompted by my research on one of the most famous—and, in her

On Changing Artistic Tastes and American Modernism

Recently, while conducting research on the painter Elizabeth Murray (herself worthy of a future blog post), I came across an interesting anecdote. In 1994 Kirk Varnedoe, the Museum of Modern Art’s Chief Curator of Painting, asked Murray to curate an

Martin Lewis and Urban America

I was inspired to write this post after enjoying a recent CFAM Work of the Week: Derricks at Night by the American printmaker Martin Lewis. In her introduction of the print Curator Gisela Carbonell relates Lewis’s relationship with the work

Ernest Lawson and the Materiality of Paint

I have long wanted to discuss the related disciplines of art conservation and technical art history on this blog but hadn’t found the right angle until now. In part, that’s because I haven’t been able to travel to look at

When Photography Became Art: Pictorialism

Today I would like to consider two photographs by American photographers, The Red Man by Gertrude Käsebier and Ziletta by F. Holland Day. The two images are remarkably similar, presenting close-up, cropped depictions of the human face. Both photos, reproduced

Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, and Artistic Rivalry

The art world is no stranger to controversy. Recently, a number of major museums on both sides of the Atlantic have decided to postpone a major retrospective of the work of the American painter Philip Guston, citing the necessity for

Joseph Cornell, Earl Cunningham, and Collecting

In my research into the CFAM American collection, I have been moving more-or-less alphabetically by century, with occasional detours to consider specific objects and themes that interest me. That means my day-to-day experience is somewhat eclectic, jumping around in terms