(Hartford) and Dale Chihuly
Two other New York shows reflect
the painful genius of Vincent van Gogh
and the mysterious genius of the self-taught Mexican artist Martin Ramirez.
In the 15 years before he died in 1963,
Ramirez completed hundreds of intricately conceived drawings—some 140
were discovered just last year—all while
he was confined in a California psychiatric hospital. His story reminds us
that artistic inspiration comes in many
forms, a lesson to be learned over and
over again this fall.
The Smithsonian American
“Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel
Adams: Natural Affinities”
Sept. 26–Jan. 4
Their mutual love of the American West
is well documented. Lesser known is the
sometimes rocky friendship that bound
O’Keeffe and Adams professionally for
more than half a century. Rocky, perhaps,
because they could not have been less
alike. Adams was as ebullient as O’Keeffe
was standoffish. But in the 1920s and
1930s, both were championed by Alfred
Stieglitz, the influential photographer
and gallery owner who happened also to
be O’Keeffe’s husband.
The Smithsonian exhibit features
40 paintings by O’Keeffe and 50 photographs by Adams, although Eleanor
Jones Harvey, the museum’s chief curator, believes the real star of the show is
the New Mexico landscape that furnished each with a constant muse.
“In a way,” Harvey says, “they sort
of relocated American modernism
The exhibit explores how the now-iconic images that Adams and O’Keeffe
produced helped inform and inspire
each other’s work.
“The way they viewed clouds, the way
they viewed the broad sweep of the landscapes, how they could use two different
media to tap into the same ele-mental
visual vocabulary,” Harvey says. “It’s almost as though they are literally sharing
a conversation over time.”
Walters Art Museum
“Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry”
Oct. 19–Jan. 4
Nineteenth-century railroad magnate
William Walters and his son, Henry,
accumulated a 22,000-piece art collection featuring a 15th-century Koran,
European paintings from the 18th and
19th centuries, and a trove of jewelry
touted as the largest such private collection in America.
Among the ancient artifacts in “
Bedazzled”: five animal-shaped pendants
from Mesopotamia, and bracelets of
gold, garnets, amethyst, pearls and
emeralds taken from a tomb near Olbia
on the northern coast of the Black Sea, in
“It’s truly amazing what they were
capable of thousands of years ago,” says
curator Sabine Albersmeier.
One highlight is a fairly recent purchase—a 9 1/2–inch brooch in the form
of an iris, studded with 139 sapphires.
Tiffany & Co. designed the piece for
the 1900 Paris Exposition, and Henry
Walters acquired it soon after.
“He was likely there,” Albersmeier
says of the indefatigable collector, “and
likely negotiated right away.”
left to right:
Glass Forest #1, circa 1971
Museum of Contemporary Craft
New York City
Broken Star variation, 1925. Cotton,
wool and silk, 97 x 79 inches.
Collection of the Tinwood Alliance.
Photo: Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio,
View in Dining Room with Gustav
Stickley Plant Stand; a TECO
Vase by The Gates Pottery; and a