By Peter Walsh Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA through May 9. Locked into a low-status, unprofitable niche, talented Spanish still-life painter Luis Meléndez (1716–1780) made little money and achieved even less fame during his lifetime. He is said to have complained to the king, who never […]
By Peter Walsh A Tomb Gets its Time Forget Indiana Jones. Archaeology is not about the obvious. Case in point: the Museum of Fine Arts’ exhibition, The Secrets of Tomb 10A, opening October 18.
Mostly, Richard Polsky writes entertainingly about the art world in the American vernacular: cash. i sold Andy Warhol. (too soon) by Richard Polsky. other press, 288 pages, $23.95. Reviewed by Peter Walsh “The nature of the art business is that it’s filled with pettiness and jealousy…” complains art dealer Richard Polsky early in his new […]
By Peter Walsh Almost overlooked in the wider, world financial crisis this spring is the precipitous decline, and perhaps impending fall, of the American art museum. All of a sudden, the money just isn’t there for them any more.
By Peter Walsh “There’s a gude time coming.” —Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy (1817) Americans, always attuned to the prices and classes of commodity, assume that the arts fall into the expensive luxury category: an ornament to good times but destined to wilt, like a hot house orchid, under the cold wind of recession. History […]
by Peter Walsh “Architecture is to make us know and remember who we are.” —Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe (1989) Harvard University’s Shad Hall: Can a building predict the future? Twenty years ago, the completion of Shad Hall, on the Harvard Business School campus, created a stir. Even for Harvard, the place was shrouded in deep secrecy. […]
By Peter Walsh “But the trouble continued to spread over the country, and there were reports of big concerns, and even banks, in trouble.” — Upton Sinclair, Oil! (1927) No doubt there are still those who think economics is a dull, plodding technical field, akin to accounting, which pale men in green eyeshades practice somewhere […]
by Peter Walsh “Collective intelligence has no relationship to the stupidity of crowd behavior.” — Pierre Lévy, The Collective Intelligence The day before the New Hampshire primary, I went with a friend to hear George Packer, author of The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq, speak at Dartmouth College. I knew George twenty years ago, when […]
By Peter Walsh When a new contemporary art museum gets up on its feet, it typically constructs a slick, fashionable new address for itself and leaves its old, recycled quarters like a student couch at the curb. But is that always a wise decision? Sometimes it makes sense to put new wine in old bottles. […]
The subjects of David Hockney’s portraits have been totally absorbed into his art and autobiography. “David Hockney Portraits” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA By Peter Walsh BOSTON, Mass.— The biggest crowds at the MFA’s “David Hockney Portraits” hover near a wall of large-format etchings titled “A Rake’s Progress” (1961-63). Based on a […]