Detailed views of the dazzling ancient monuments of Central America through the eyes (and hands) of english explorers.
Castle at Tulum, 1844, Frederick Catherwood. Getty Research Institute. Plate 158, No. 2 in Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, 1853, John Lloyd Stephens. Getty Research Institute. [Idol and altar at Copan] in Views of ancient monuments in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, 1844, Frederick Catherwood. Getty Research Institute. Archway; Casa del Governador, Uxmal, Frederick Catherwood (author), Andrew Picken (lithographer). Getty Research Institute.
This exhibition, drawn almost exclusively from The Museum of Modern Art’s collection of posters, lithographs, printed ephemera, and illustrated books, is the first MoMA exhibition in 30 years dedicated solely to Lautrec, and features over 100 examples of the best-known works created during the apex of his career. Organized thematically, the exhibition explores five subjects that together create a portrait of Lautrec’s Paris. A section devoted to café-concerts and dance halls examines the rise of nightlife culture in France through the depiction of famous venues, including the celebrated Moulin Rouge. Another focuses on the actresses, singers, dancers, and performers who sparked the artist’s imagination and served as his muses, including Yvette Guilbert, acclaimed dancer Loie Fuller, and close friend Jane Avril. Lautrec’s sympathetic images of women are evident in a group of works that includes his landmark Elles portfolio, depicting prostitutes during nonworking hours, in quiet moments of introspection. Lautrec’s role in Paris’s artistic community is explored in a section devoted to his creative circle, highlighting designs for song sheets for the popular music that flooded Paris’s café-concerts, programs for the avant-garde theatrical productions that he attended, and his contributions to magazines and intellectual reviews. A final section looks at the pleasures of the capital, from horse racing at Longchamp and promenading on the Bois de Boulogne, to the new fad for ice skating and the enduring appeal of Paris’s culture of gastronomy.
Happy Birthday Edvard Munch, born on this day in 1863.
“It is difficult to place the solitary figure of Edvard Munch in any summary of modern art. The foremost artist Scandinavia has produced, he was a contemporary of the Post-Impressionists in France, but he worked far into the 20th century and died in 1944. More than any other artist, he is the father of Expressionism in Germany, and like his contemporary Toulouse-Lautrec, it is in printmaking rather than in painting that his art reveals its chief significance. He produced more than 700 prints, and in the lithograph and woodcut his melancholy found its clearest statement. More interested in content than in the solution of aesthetic problems, his imagination was fevered by deep personal reactions to the world around him. Munch’s revelations were cultivated by passion, with terror, and, perhaps with delight.”
This photo from the late 1800s served as the inspiration for the classic lithographs of Santa Marta La Dominadora and, in Benin, the entire conception of the deity Mami Wata:
Previous to the above photograph being taken, Santa Marta has always been portrayed as a white woman dressed as a typical saint with a dragon instead of snakes.
The photograph, which was widely distributed across Europe, and into both West Africa and the Caribbean, was actually of a Roma (offensively referred to as “G*psy” at the time) woman or at least someone pretending to be a Roma woman.
This is an excellent example of real, cross-cultural syncretism.
Santa Marta la Dominadora, at least in Afro-Caribbean religions, rules over a type of trabajo (working) called amarres. Amarres are dominating love spells, spells that bind someone to love another person against their will. They tend to be the kind of trabajos and obras most requested of professional readers, rootworkers, and bruj@s. Personally, they are taboo to me so I don’t go anywhere near them, but I respect people who can make that happen.