2013: A Year In Art

(actual)photo

This makes an awful lot of the Brooks’ ‘B’ on the page right now…

As a tidy lens of sorts, the Brooks looks back on 2013 with the Brooks Calendar at hand. This reinvented bimonthly museum guide debuted a little over a year ago with a lamp from The Brilliance of Tiffany: Lamps From The Neustadt Collection on its cover, an exhibition that lit Brooks’ galleries as 2012 turned 2013. Although these lamps were originally products of America’s Gilded Age, the Neustadt collection was amassed at a time when they were decidedly out of fashion. At the Brooks, this inspired an appreciation for the timeless art of good taste, and all the promise the Gilded Age fell short of delivering. With our own Decorative Arts Trust at the helm of enrichment programming, the Brooks’ decorative art collection is projected to grow throughout the decade. Continue reading

Couples Who Art Each Other

Frida and Diego, Johns and Rauschenberg, Pollack and Krasner, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, Lee Miller and Man Ray, … these names are familiar to us as famous art couples. But what about Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Herb and Dorothy, Cutie and the Boxer?

Through exhibitions and films, and with a little serendipity, the Brooks is currently celebrating three couples who have immersed themselves in the arts: Two power couple collectors, and a spritely artist duo.

Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 1.57.33 PM

Cutie and the Boxer


Ushio and Noriko Shinohara
 (aka Cutie and the Boxer)
Ushio put the “action” in action painting. In the 1960s, he made a name for himself punching blotches of pigment onto large scale canvases with boxing gloves, lending credence to the moniker, “the Boxer”, as he is referred to in the title of the documentary film, Cutie and the Boxer. His wife Noriko (Cutie) had a different name for him; she called him “Bullie” in her memoir by way of graphic novel sketches. This film promises to depict all the challenges and rewards that the life of two struggling artists in love brings. Cutie and the Boxer will be showing at the Brooks on Thursday, December 12th at 7 pm. Continue reading

War Photographer W. Eugene Smith

National World War II Memorial, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo taken by Kmf164 on December 6, 2005.

National World War II Memorial, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo taken by Kmf164 on December 6, 2005.

W. Eugene Smith is best known for his uncompromising photo essays of the battlefield, prisoners-of-war, and U.S. Marines. Working for Life Magazine, Smith photographed the front lines of World War II and was injured several times before being unable to return to the field.

The Walk to Paradise Garden, the W. Eugene Smith photo on view at the Brooks as part of Shared Vision, is of an altogether different– sentimental, variety.

The injuries he suffered during the war were so debilitating, Smith was unsure he would ever be physically capable of picking up a camera again. It was not until his two children, emerging from a dark alcove toward the light of the sun, provided him with the perfect “decisive moment” that he found the energy to give it a shot. With their backs to him, he managed to load the film into his camera and capture an all to life-affirming photograph. He was back in the game.