art--history

Happy birthday to American artist Man Ray! As a leader of the avant-garde, his experiments in photography, painting, and sculpture were hugely influential on the course of modern art. This painting represents the pinnacle of his Surrealist works.

Fair Weather (Le Beau Temps),” 1939, by Man Ray © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Pierre Bonnard was one of the great colorists of twentieth-century French painting. With its gorgeous palette and dazzling optical effects, this painting is a fine illustration of what the artist meant when he claimed that painting is “the transcription of the adventures of the optic nerve.”

After the Shower,” 1914, Pierre Bonnard © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

5

Happy International Bat Night!

Here are just a few of our nocturnal friends from the museum’s collections.


Bat Facts

Did you know that there are around 1,240 bat species, representing around 20% of all mammal species worldwide? 

About 70% of bat species are insectivores (insect eaters) and most of the rest are frugivores (fruit eaters). 

Bats perform the vital ecological roles of pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds, with many tropical plant species depending entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds. 

Dorothea Lange, Daughter of Migrant Tennessee Coal Miner Living in American River Camp near Sacramento, California, 1936, gelatin silver print, 19.1 x 24.1 cm, MoMA, New York. Source

American photographer Dorothea Lange is best known for her famous Migrant Mother image, though the work is actually part of a much larger series inspired by the migrant labourers of the Great Depression era. The image above is one of my favourites from this series.

208 years ago this month, Benjamin Henry Latrobe began designing this furniture suite for the highly fashionable Waln family. Enjoy more of their excessive glamour in Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House, opening September 3rd.

Card Table, Side Chairs, Sideboard, and Sofa, 1808, designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, decorated by George Bridport. Photograph by Gavin Ashworth

Jan van Kessel the Elder - Festoon, masks and rosettes made of shells 

1656

oil on copper

Frits Lugt Collection, Fondation Custodia, Paris