Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re celebrating Presidents’ Day with an up close and personal look at Jean-Antoine Houdon’s terracotta bust of George Washington. Sculpted in the late 1780s, Houdon portrays a pensive, post-Revolutionary War Washington. Houdon’s goal was to depict Washington as a noble, Roman statesman, hence the toga he added to the sculpture. But for a man who eschewed pomp and displays of ego, who would go on to insist on serving only two terms in office, Washington balked at these lofty portrayals.
Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re kicking off February and Black History Month with a masterpiece. The Death of Cleopatra (1876) by Edmonia Lewis is a haunting portrayal of the Egyptian queen just moments after her suicide.
Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re serving up a sweet treat. Jun Kaneko’s sleek, black-on-white sculpture is a visual delight. Tricked out in a drippy, geometric pattern, this untitled piece was inspired by dango, a sweet Japanese dumpling.
Daylight is waning here at Museum Quick Bites so today we’re embracing the darkness and taking a closer look at Raffaelle Monti’s, Night (1862). On display at the Detroit Institute of Arts, this lovely sculpture features a veiled, windswept woman floating above a sleeping baby.
Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re taking a closer look at a Biblical bargain. Jephthah’s Daughter (1874) by Chauncey Bradley Ives is a stunning sculpture depicting a young woman’s grief upon learning she will be sacrificed (spoiler alert!)…by her father. With head downcast, a tambourine grasped loosely in one hand, she contemplates her tragic fate.
Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re taking a closer look at Rudolf Belling’s Sculpture 23 (1923). Crafted from brass, this radiant, robotic head is a whimsical delight. From its sleek skull to its thick, slightly parted lips, Belling has forged a brassy jumble of shapes and parts to create a brilliant work of art.
Dear Readers -- We’re getting our fringe on today at Museum Quick Bites with a whimsical piece created by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978). On display at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Bertoia’s untitled sculpture (1970) is a shimmery delight.
Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re taking a stroll with Alberto Giacometti’s, Three Men Walking II (1948-1949), on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. Gaunt and gangly, Giacometti crafted a series of these bronze figures to symbolize the physical and emotional trauma he and others were experiencing after World War II.
Dear Readers – COVID-19 has us living in a surreal and difficult time. Despite my best efforts to proceed in this new normal of sheltering in place and social distancing, I’m having a hard time concentrating. So I’m going to switch things up. Instead of my usual format, I’m going to offer Museum Quick Bites. These weekly snippets will focus on a single piece of art and artist. Our theme for the next several weeks will be scenes of comfort, something I think we all need right now. Stay safe. – CJ Verb
Today on Museum Bites we’re embarking on a whirlwind tour of Northern Italy. Over the next few weeks, we’ll soar high above the Duomo in Siena, meander through marble-filled museums in Firenze, zip through Rome on a Vespa, and pick through some decorative bones along the way. We begin this first of a four-part series with some Uffizi favorites.