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

Latest Articles

'Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt'--Stitching Together Many Cultures
Rare and rarely displayed textiles reveal the interiors of a medieval home.

September 12, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal


Egypt's cultural heritage has captivated scholars for centuries, but it still poses puzzles, as two Washington institutions well know. The Textile Museum of George Washington University and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection of Harvard University own many Egyptian textile fragments from the fourth to the 10th centuries. They are clearly household furnishings, but they were found in graves, reused as shrouds, divorced from their original context and lacking in documentation.

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Burchfield's "Transitions" -- A Change of Seasons
An exhibition examines his goal of creating single artworks that would show the passage of time.

August 21, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

Buffalo, N.Y.

Weather forecasters called for rain and snow one day in 1954 when Charles E. Burchfield set out to paint in a favorite place in western New York that he called the "Big Woods." Nonetheless, Burchfield (1893-1967) gleefully packed his watercolors, charcoal, paper and portable easel, intent on capturing "the clashing of spring and winter in the woods, sunlight and wind penetrating the deep gloom of winter." He thrilled to the authenticity of being present in the storm while he worked.

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Tired of Model Ships? Try a Priceless Turner
A series of prestigious exhibitions—including a J. M. W Turner show on loan from Tate Britain—mark a sea change in approach at Connecticut's Mystic Seaport Museum

July 29, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

A few years ago, the Mystic Seaport Museum built new galleries with an overarching goal in mind: they had to be "good enough for Turner," the celebrated British master of marine and landscape art.

Apparently, they are. In October, "J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate" will open at this small museum in Connecticut known for its large collection of ships. The exhibition will be on loan from Tate Britain in London, a national museum that usually partners with world-famous art temples like the Metropolitan Museum.

The Turner show, which is made up of nearly 100 works, is Mystic's splashiest move in its attempt to become an arts destination. It is not, however, its only one.

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Gold, Jewels and Enamel Reflecting God's Glory
So many materials and techniques went into the creation of the Freiburg Cross, a 13th Century masterpiece, that its creation must have been the work of many artisans.

July 27, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

In the Middle Ages, people believed that dazzling liturgical objects gave honor to God, and the more lavish and resplendent the materials used to make them, the greater the praise they proclaimed. By such a measure, the Freiburg Cross—a combination of gold, silver, rubies and sapphires; amethyst, carnelian and other semiprecious gems; and cloisonné, enamel, glass and niello—must be an equivalent of the Seraphim, the highest-ranking angels who constantly sing of God's glory. By earthly standards, too—its exquisite intricate design and expert craftsmanship—it is without peer among similar existing objects of the period.

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Wondrous Records of Animal Lore: 'The Bestiary in the Medieval World'
These brilliantly illustrated compendiums of real and fantastic creatures take center stage at the Getty Museum's new exhibition.

June 17, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

Los Angeles

In the past several years, unicorns have become ubiquitous. Evoking radiant rainbows and beguiling dreams, these elusive and magical beings have been used to sell cuddly toys, movies, makeup, pajamas, videogames and high-tech companies with aspirations of grandeur.

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