Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The Taj Mahal's Seductive Charms
As a visitor wanders the 42-acre site, this monument to love reveals itself in alluring stages.

August 15, 2015  •  The Wall Street Journal

It's one of the world's most iconic sights: a straight-on, frontal view of the majestic Taj Mahal, filling the whole frame—almost confrontationally, except that there's nothing at all antagonistic about the Taj. Truth is, that is not how visitors to the real thing in Agra, India, are introduced to this famous mausoleum. Nor is it the most enchanting view. Like a seductress, the Taj reveals itself in all its fullness only in stages, as a visitor wanders through the 42-acre site, drinking in the details, looking at it from all angles, and going inside, where photographs are forbidden. Some much vaunted monuments—the Great Wall of China or the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, perhaps—seem less impressive to me in person than expected. Not so the ethereal Taj.

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Celebrating a Forgotten Medium
"Painting on Paper: American Watercolors at Princeton"

July 29, 2015  •  The Wall Street Journal

In an age that favors large-scale installations and immersive art, when painting itself has been declared dead many times and, when practiced, is often judged to be hackneyed, the humble watercolor rarely figures at all in conversations about art.

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Hunting Beauty on Maine's Art Museum Trail
A journey spanning eight museums, over 400 miles, and some 73,000 works of art.

July 15, 2015  •  The Wall Street Journal

Around Maine

Think of Maine: lobster, blueberries, jagged coastlines, verdant forests, meandering waterways, beaches, boating, lighthouses. The sun rising over the foaming ocean and setting behind craggy mountains.

Endowed with so much beauty, the Pine Tree State may well have attracted more American artists than any other except New York. Since the 1800s, thousands—from Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer and Marsden Hartley to Andrew Wyeth, Berenice Abbott and Alex Katz—have flocked to its picturesque terrain. There, sometimes in isolation and sometimes in groups, they captured the mystique of Mother Nature and plumbed the depths of human nature.

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Crystal Bridges Museum to Announce Major Purchases

June 4, 2015  •  The New York Times

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will soon announce major purchases that fill gaps in its collection and fulfill its mission to include more women in the canon of American art: Jasper Johns's renowned "Flag" painting from 1983, which the museum bought at Sotheby's in November for $36 million (outlasting three other ardent bidders), and four works by Louise Bourgeois, including her monumental bronze, steel and marble spider sculpture "Maman." The Bourgeois purchases, concluded in December 2014, together are worth an estimated $35 million to $40 million.

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An Enveloping Battle Between Kings
Masterpiece: The Lion Hunt Reliefs

May 9, 2015  •  The Wall Street Journal

A roaring lion, reared up on his hind legs, an arrow through his brow, faces his opponent: a king who holds him at arm's length with one bare hand and plunges a short sword through his stomach with the other. This king, muscles visible in his forearm, embodies might, the victor even in a one-on-one battle with a ferocious king of beasts.

On its own, this powerful scene would stop many museum-goers in their tracks. Yet it is just one image in a roomful of them, artfully carved into alabaster panels that are collectively known as the lion hunt reliefs. Housed since 1856 at the British Museum, they date to seventh-century B.C. Assyria and rank among the finest relics of ancient civilization.

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