What is a modern museum? Conceived as a place for people to learn about and experience art, they were often built as secular temples to sacred objects. Today, people do not respond this way to a museum. My own personal Continue reading The Temple of Responsive Objects
I was absolutely stunned when, in my late teens, I encountered the last movement of Bach’s Partita #2 for Violin, the “Great Chaconne”. I never cared why it was called a chaconne. Today we consider any music that repeats a Continue reading “Heart and Soul” is a Chaconne – So What?
“..it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits…” Aristotle Nicomachaen Ethics, translated W.D. Ross What is art? I have no idea, Continue reading Art is What Artists Do
“When we tell a story in cinema, we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise. I always try first to tell a story in the cinematic way, through a succession of shots and bits of film Continue reading Greatness in Artistic Form
Sitting in my garden, seeing all the different shades of green, reminds me of the poverty of language to describe our feelings. The green of the evergreen trees is not the green of the ferns. The green of the lilies Continue reading How Green is Your Garden?
Seeing this in a museum what would you think it was? Seeing it while driving, you would immediately watch for an intersection ahead. If you never saw a car in your life, you would not be even able guess what Continue reading Understanding Art is Difficult: A Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Words
“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions…” David Hume, A Treatise on Human Nature Emotions first, cognition second is the best way to perceive art, even contemporary art. We feel independently from the way we Continue reading Why I Hate Most Art Criticism: Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament and Music
Can art be experienced again as revolutionary? Can we travel back in time to see art as it was initially experienced? Two experiences, one accidental, one deliberate, suggest it can. One of the great shocking moments in classical music is Continue reading An Artistic Experiment in Time Travel
Can technology preserve artworks without changing them? Rothko painted five murals in 1962 for a room on the 10th floor of Harvard’s Holyoke Center. Sunlight and the chemically unstable paints used, caused the paintings to fade. The murals were put Continue reading The Digitization of Eternity: Humans Grow Old and Die, Should Not Art?
Works of art lie. Pictures of works of art deceive. Who has not seen a picture of the Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel? You see it as a majestic, inspired act of creation, as awe-inspiring as a work Continue reading The Last Picture Show