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

Latest Articles

Covid-Era Exhibits Promote Art as Therapy
To soothe visitors unsettled by the pandemic, some museums are showing works that aim to foster calm and hope

November 19, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

As the coronavirus pandemic began to rage early this year, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach had a problem. A planned exhibition—Abraham Cruzvillegas's "Hi, how are you, Gonzo?"—was interactive. "It was very touchy and germy," said Silvia Karman Cubiñá, the museum's executive director and chief curator. "It was not possible."

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Masterpiece: A Holy Trinity of Glittering Beauty
Three separate works combine to create the dazzling Lindau Gospels.

November 7, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

In what seems like alchemy, three pieces of art, made at different times in the eighth and ninth centuries in disparate parts of Europe, were turned into an amalgam that is considered one of the greatest treasures of the Morgan Library and Museum: the dazzling Lindau Gospels.

To make this marvel, an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John was encased in a gold, jewel-encrusted front cover and a silver-gilt, gem-studded back cover, both featuring images of Christ but in highly divergent styles. Who did it, when and why are unknown. Until the book first appears in the records of a nunnery in Lindau, Switzerland, in 1691, the provenance of the pieces is unclear or incomplete.

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Abroad At Home: Temples of Singular Tastes
Take a virtual tour of four richly idiosyncratic collectors' museums in Europe.

November 2, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

Care to see a painting of Venice's Grand Canal by Canaletto, a 17th-century key to Windsor Castle's state apartments, a stained-glass image of Henry VIII's heraldic badge (c.1530), fourth-century B.C. Greek vases, models of the Bank of England (c. 1803), an elephant's tooth, a 13th-century B.C. alabaster Egyptian sarcophagus, and many more antiquities, paintings, rare books, architectural fragments, plaster and cork building models, and other curiosities—all in one small museum?

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Homes of History and Splendor: A Guide
Across the U.S. are numerous historic houses, rich with the styles and stories of the past, that can be easily explored online.

August 31, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

If, to borrow a phrase, the past is a foreign country, this moment—when real journeys are curtailed—is a good occasion to time-travel to historic houses. The U.S. has a roster going far beyond familiar names like the Biltmore Estate, Hearst Castle and Winterthur. Many are easily explored online, yielding fascinating micro-histories and peeks at varied aesthetic taste.

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A Monument of Titanic Beauty
Paul Manship's sculpture of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center is a golden encapsulation of the myth of noble sacrifice in service of human advancement.

August 21, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

Think a minute, then name an outdoor sculpture in Manhattan. Chances are, you chose the gilded image of Prometheus at the heart of Rockefeller Center, in the lower plaza between the Channel Gardens and the 70-story central skyscraper, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Situated in a gray granite fountain, he presides over the ice-skating rink in cold months and an outdoor restaurant in warm ones. He is visible from Fifth Avenue a half block away. And when the towering annual Christmas tree is placed in the plaza above him, he seems to light it with his ball of fire.

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