Respect for the building and its makers, respect for the historical study of art, respect for the visitor’s relation to the displays. These are qualities that I find in the New Rijksmuseum and missed in the old one.
If I suffered half as much from the thought that most art has been lost as I suffer every day from the recollection of departed family and friends, I would be in a mental hospital. In this sense, I found myself resisting the message of “The Melancholy Art,” to the point that I felt that the book was laying a guilt trip on me.
“Mute Poetry, Speaking Pictures” is indispensable reading for word-and-image freaks and a treat for fans of virtuoso scholarship.
In the first few days of our first visit to China, I was nonetheless unable to keep myself from formulating a hypothesis. In China the distinction between art, artifice and artificiality is not drawn as sharply as it is, at least in principle, in the West.
In order to pay tribute to the supreme Frits Lugt and his Fondation Custodia — and to protest the announced closing of the Institut Néerlandais with which it is joined — the column describes an example of Lugt’s collecting genius.
The history of the Beau Sancy took me back to the years around 1640, when it passed into and out of the orbit of the greatest Netherlandish artists of the day, the Dutchman Rembrandt and the Brabander Rubens.
As sorry as I was to lose Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes last week, I was nonetheless deeply pleased that he reached the age of 83. I almost killed him when he was 37.
Art conservation is a very pragmatic field, full of compromises.
The world press has announced that a painting of an old man in Woburn Abbey, England, has been newly discovered to be an authentic Rembrandt. Gary Schwartz is incensed that the abbey is practicing such flagrant spin, and that the press feeds it to us so uncritically.
The Fuse’s man in Europe is a museum junkie. During the second half of 2011, he got to lots of new destinations, and he found new museums almost everywhere he went. This installment is about Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Belgium.