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Art Critic

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Modern Art Critic [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Title supplied by cataloger.

Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Glass, BW.

Study for: Eagle Feathers and Art Critic

Archives of American Art
1 painting : tempera, color ; 36 x 22 cm. Handwritten note in pencil beneath image: Yes head of Egal feathers sky blue above pink sand of sky, therefore minimize island.
Study depicts a Native man wearing a feathered headdress, a white man in sunglasses and a white suit, and a goat all standing on a beach.

Throwback Thursday: Art Critic Adam Gopnik on What Makes American Art American

Smithsonian American Art Museum
ThumbnailDuring this election season, Americans have been debating what it means to be American. So, it's fitting to consider what is American about American art. In October 2012, Adam Gopnik, writer for The New Yorker, spoke about this as part of SAAM's Clarice Smith Lecture series.

Henry McBride, Art Critic [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Sussman, Elisabeth and Barbara J. Bloemink, "Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica," New York: Harry N. Abrams, (Whitney Museum of American Art), 1995, pg. 11.

Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Nitrate, BW.

copy 1 negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

"The art critics! How do they serve the public? What do they say? How much do they know? Let's look at the record!"

Archives of American Art
1 pamphlet ; 21 x 14 cm. Pamphlet produced by the Abstract American Artists for their 1940 annual exhibition in entitled "the Art Critics! How Do They Serve the Public? What Do They Say? How Much Do They Know? Let's Look at the Record!" The cover was designed by Ad Reinhardt.
Inscription (handwritten) on interior of front cover: Ad Reinhardt designed Typography also for Broadside April 1940.

Art front

Archives of American Art
1 magazine : ill. ; 41 x 28 cm. The first issue of Art Front, the monthly journal of the Artists' Union, which ran from Nov. 1934 to Dec. 1937.
Only the cover has been scanned.

Amidst Heated Criticism, Queer Art Exhibition Is Shuttered in Brazil

Smithsonian Magazine

Last month, the Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre, Brazil, launched the country’s first major exhibition of queer art. But recently, nearly one month before it was supposed to wind down, the exhibit came to an abrupt close.

As Elisa Wouk Almino reports for Hyperallergic, Santander Cultural “unilaterally” opted to shutter Queermuseum: Queer Tactics Toward Non-Heteronormative Curating after the exhibit became the subject of intense online criticism and disruptive protests. Movimento Brasil Livre (or the Free Brazil Movement), a right-wing group best known for organizing mass demonstrations against impeached former president Dilma Rousseff, reportedly spearheaded the campaign to bring the exhibit down.

According to Shasta Darlington of the New York Times, protestors harassed museum patrons inside and outside the exhibition. A video from inside the gallery, which has been viewed 1.6 million times on Facebook, accused Santander of propagating pedophilia, bestiality, pornography and blasphemy.

Among the works that drew the ire of protestors were an image of the Virgin Mary cradling a monkey, sacramental wafers stamped with the words “vagina” and “tongue,” and portraits of children spray-painted with words like “transvestite” and “gay child.”

Bia Leite, the artist behind the portrait series, pushed back against protestors’ categorization of her work as obscene. “We, LGBT, were once children,” she told the UOL news site, according to Darlington. “I am totally opposed to pedophilia and the psychological abuse of children. The goal of this work is just the opposite.”

But Santander, which is owned by a bank of the same name, apologized for the exhibition’s contents in a statement, saying that Queermuseum “disrespected symbols, beliefs, and people, which is not in line with our view of the world,” according to Wouk Almino of Hyperallergic.  

‘When art is not capable of being inclusive and generating positive reflection,” the statement added, “it loses its greatest purpose, which is to elevate the human condition.”

Prior to its unexpected closure, Queermuseum featured 263 works by 85 artists. Santander’s decision to shutter the exhibition prompted an outcry from many Brazilians, reports Dom Phillips of the Guardian. LGBTQ groups organized a demonstration, and more than 71,000 people have signed a petition calling for Queermuseum to be reinstated. Julio Almeida, the regional district attorney for children’s issues, told local reporters that he “saw the art and there isn’t any pedophilia,” according to Darlington of the Times.

Santander’s swift cancellation of the exhibit had Gaudêncio Fidelis, curator of Queermuseum, drawing comparisons to the days of Brazil’s military dictatorship, which implemented a brutal regime between 1964 and 1985. “It is not normal for an institution to give into pressure like this,” Fidelis told Darlington. “It’s never happened in Brazil, not even during the dictatorship.”

But this may not be the end of the road for Queermuseum. Juca Ferreira, the secretary of culture in the city of Belo Horizonte, has received a proposal to host the exhibit in a municipal museum.

Royal Cortissoz [photograph] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Nitrate, BW.

copy 1 negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Royal Corissoz, American art critic, 1869-1948.

An Upcoming Art Exhibition Caters to Canine Critics

Smithsonian Magazine

Besotted dog owners go to great lengths for their four-legged friends. They put them up in luxury hotels, build them nifty contraptions, and send their chubby pups to weight loss camps. But Jessica Dawson may have reached new heights of dog devotion. The New York-based art critic is getting ready to launch dOGUMENTA, an upcoming contemporary art exhibition...for dogs.

As Stephanie Eckardt points out in W magazine, the show is not about dogs, or even by dogs. It’s for them. dOGUMENTA, presented by Arts Brookfield, will open for a short run August 11 to 13 at an outdoor art festival in New York. The show features works by human artists like Merav Ezer and Eric Hibit, but all artworks “take into account canine experience and perception,” according to a press release. “Four-legged exhibition-goers will encounter work in a range of media that address formal, conceptual and experiential elements such as color, sound, scent and touch.”

The show will be open during the deliberately-selected hours of 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, so the doggies do not overheat in sweltering New York summers.

Dawson’s mission to tap into canines’ more erudite sensibilities was inspired by Rocky, her Maltese-Yorkshire (or “Morkie”) pup. Dawson often brings Rocky with her on tours of New York art galleries and it soon became “clear that Rocky saw art differently than humans, ignoring New York Times reviews and artist resumes and engaging directly with the work,” according to the press release. “Dawson realized that Rocky had something to teach human art lovers, and that he and his friends deserved an exhibition of art all their own.”

Rocky, naturally, is listed as one of dOGUMENTA’s curators.

The show borrows its name from Documenta, a prestigious contemporary art exhibition in Germany. So yes, the whole thing is a little bit silly, a little bit tongue-in-cheek. But Dawson is pretty serious about taking cues from Rocky when it comes to finding uncomplicated joy in art. She has written about the subject, and even delivered a lecture titled “Five Things A Dog Can Teach You About Art.”

So while dOGUMENTA might give you paws, Dawson is excited to unleash the project.

Commentary on the relationship between artists and critics

Archives of American Art
Essay : 3 p. : typescript The first two pages of this unpublished essay detail the often antagonistic relationship between artist and art critic.
The final page is a tribute to Evergood's friend, the critic Elizabeth McCausland.

Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture: Critic Mary Louise Schumacher

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Mary Louise Schumacher, former art critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, discusses the changing landscape of art criticism and examines how technology impacts our relationship with art. She also shares topics explored in her current documentary film project, including the ways art criticism has been affected by technological and cultural change. The Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art highlight excellence and innovation in American art with outstanding artists, critics, and scholars. Lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration strongly recommended. This annual series is made possible by the generosity of Clarice Smith. Image credit: Courtesy Art City/Twitter

Royal Cortissoz [photograph] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Nitrate, BW.

copy 1 negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Royal Corissoz, American art critic, 1869-1948.

Stahl, Joan, "American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection," Mineola, NY: Dover Publications in association with the National Museum of American Art, 1995, fig. 43, pg. 17.

Portrait of Walter Pach [graphic arts] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum of Modern Art, Online Collection, 2014.

Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Walter Pach.

Royal Cortissoz [drawing] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Woman's Art Journal 9 (Autumn 1988- Winter 1989): pg. 32-37.

Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Weyhe Gallery, New York.

Robert Coates [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Title transcribed from negative.

Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series: Critic Roberta Smith

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Join Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic of the New York Times for a lecture exploring art and art criticism in our contemporary culture.

Cartoon satirizing Robert Rauschenberg winning first prize at the Venice Biennale art exhibition

Archives of American Art
1 clipping : ill. ; 32 x 26 cm.

Des dollars chez les Doges. From the publication France Observateur published 25 June 1964.

Forbes Watson [photograph] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Forbes Watson, American art crtic and administrator, 1880-1960.

Pierre Borel [sculpture] / (photographer unknown)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
On photo mount label: H. Clews, Pierre Borel. bronze. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition of the sculpture of Henry Clews, Jr. cat no. 27. Classification Number: 282/C. Museum negative: L17810. Accession: 176372. S.3095.30

"Exhibition of Sculpture by Henry Clews, Jr., New York, May 8 through August 27, 1939," New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1939, no. 27.

1 photographic print : b&w, 9 x 5 5/8 in. (trimmed), mounted on 9 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. board.
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