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Showing posts from May, 2015

Lord Leighton's Flaming June comes to The Frick Collection in NYC!

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Frederic Leighton (1830–1896), Flaming June, ca. 1895. Oil on canvas. Museo de Arte de Ponce.  Future Exhibition Leighton’s Flaming June June 9, 2015 to September 6, 2015 At the end of his career, the British artist Frederic Leighton painted the now-iconic image of a sleeping woman in a vivid orange gown. This nineteenth-century masterpiece embodies the modern philosophy of “art for art’s sake,” the belief that the value of art lies in its aesthetic qualities rather than in its subject matter. The sensuously draped figure — freed from any narrative context — is integrated into a harmonious ensemble of rhythmic lines and radiant color. On loan from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, Flaming June makes its first public appearance in New York City, exhibited alongside the Frick’s four full-length portraits by James McNeill Whistler, another major proponent of “art for art’s sake.” This exhibition is organized by Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator

Let's Get Julia Margaret Cameron on the £20 Note!

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“Mrs. Cameron exhibits her series of out-of-focus portraits of celebrities. We must give this lady credit for daring originality, but at the expense of all other photographic qualities. A true artist would employ all the resources at his disposal in whatever branch of art he might practice. In these pictures all that is good in photography has been neglected, and the shortcomings of the art are prominently exhibited. We are sorry to  have to speak thus severely on the works of a lady, but we feel compelled to do so in the interest of the art.”  The Photographic Journal, Volume 9, February 15, 1865, pg.196 In response, Julia Margaret Cameron herself explains, “I exhibited as early as May ’65. I sent some photographs to Scotland-a head of Henry Taylor, with the light illuminating the countenance in a way that cannot be described; a Raphaelesque Madonna, called “La Madonna Aspettante .” These photographs still exist, and I think they cannot be surpassed. They did not receive the

The vaccination of Alfred Tennyson!

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So, I will be going to the U.K. from 16 July through to 1 August, 2015. This trip is solely for pleasure and to get a chance to meet as many of my friends from across the pond as I can. The tricky bit is, I only have twelve days really to pack everything in. The first week I am staying with friends in Bag Enderby, Lincolnshire, England. I will get a chance to visit Alfred Tennyson's childhood home Somersby (possibly give a reading), I will do a bit of research at The Tennyson Research Centre (LINCS) and view their Tennyson Collection. His cloak, spanish looking hat, walking stick, pipes, manuscripts, photos, etc., are there as well as some Julia Margaret Cameron items. I will be walking around the wolds possibly Holywell and others, etc.  Then it is off to the Isle of Wight to stay with friends for about ten days or so. Dimbola Lodge, Farringford House (property due to restoration), Mrs. Middleton's Shop, and homes of others as well as many surprises I am told.  So, I was rea

Part II of The Tennyson Sisters of Somersby: Matilda Tennyson and Cecilia Lushington nee Tennyson

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Matilda Tennyson   September 15 1816- July 31 1913 The middle sister, Matilda Tennyson was a tall, olive skinned woman with a strong, rugged face, ‘A creature without gall or guile’ one of her friends would describe her to be. She was a natural observer, a female ‘my uncle Toby’ is how her nephew Lionel, Alfred’s second son, described her with infinite purity, innocence and cleverness. One of her chief characteristics was that she never married and kept a naivety that was remarkable even amongst the Tennyson family.   To her brothers she was a favorite usually because she would pass many jokes about the goings on, alleged flirtations of The Empress Maud’ when travelling between Farringford House and Park House. It is recorded that she would put up her umbrella and sit under it without embarrassment for an entire church service when it was drafty. To really get an understanding of her strong and intense personality, the family would remember one specific occurrenc