Art

A winter morning at Mass MoCA

This morning, I came to hear the Mass MoCA winter season announced — art and events across the next few months, leading up to William Kentridge’s residency in May. He will come with a troupe of more than 50 performers for a two-week residency and performance of his in-progress work, The Head and The Load, and fill the…

BTW Flashback: The Magi in Persian perspective

The scene gleams out of the Renaissance — the three wise men kneel before the barefoot, tired new parents and the infant. The color, perspective and detail come out of Persian miniatures and Mughal paintings from northern India. And the artist is a British painter in the middle of World War I. On a winter…

James Van Der Zee photos comes home

He was born in a house on Hubbard Street when Hubbard Street was still a dirt road. He remembered early years in a large, warm family. Around him, people were always  sketching and drawing, singing and playing instruments. He played the piano and the violin, but the instrument that made his name known around the world…

At WCMA 500-year-old objects tell contemorary stories

How would a carver in 16th-century France get ivory? Why does St. Lucy carry two eyes on a platter? In The Presence of Absence, curator Kevin Murphy presents an unusual collection of medieval objects from France and Spain, Persia and Byzantium, and the text in the show offers some unusual insights.

WCMA rediscovers medieval gallery

The Williams College Museum of Art has recovered a vanished room. It feels like a kind of mythical medieval place, with a floor of handmade tiles and dark plaster walls, oak beams and diamond-paned windows with inset stained glass. It was designed almost 80 years ago, walled away and almost forgotten. The young museum built…

A treasure hunt for people of hay

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith has gone searching for sculptures, from jazz musicians to refugees to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza …  I have often called Berkshire artist Michael Melle’s sculptures, ‘straw people,’ but they are not straw — he chooses second cutting hay chosen for the best results. These hay and stick sculptures are fluid,…

Clemens Kalischer changing times on film

At the Old Bennington Weavers textile mill, looms hold fabrics for an artist and fashion designer, Tzaims Luksus, known for his graphics on silk. In Brattleboro, artisans at the family-run Anderson Pipe Organ Company are shaping pipes by hand from sheet metal. Crafters go about their work and grey-haired men lean on their snow shovels.…