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

Latest Articles

Continuity of Cultures: "Glorious Splendor" in Toledo
Review: An exhibition explores the surprisingly fluid interchange between Late Roman and Early Christian art.

November 27, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

Toledo, Ohio

Civilizations and cultures don't begin or end neatly, like chapters in an elementary-school history book. They borrow and blur, taking time to transition from one to another, often coexisting for a long time. That is the theme of "Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art" at the Toledo Museum of Art. It aims to illustrate that the art of the first several centuries after the death of Christ shared much with its predecessors—in materials, methods, iconographies and styles—and thus to demonstrate that the Roman empire did not abruptly turn Christian when Constantine became the first Roman emperor to convert in A.D. 337.

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Can the City's Boom Mean New Audiences for the Seattle Symphony?

October 2017  •  The Wallace Foundation

For years now, downtown Seattle has thrummed with the sound of earth movers and cranes, as corporations like Amazon, Microsoft and Google moved into the area and even more new residential buildings went up. The noise could be unbearable. But to the Seattle Symphony (SSO), the rumble—and the influx of people it brought into the neighborhoods surrounding Benaroya Hall—sounded like opportunity knocking.

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"Her Paris: Women in the Age of Impressionism" Recognizes Talent 150 Years On
Women were deeply involved in the heyday of 19th-century French art—even though they were excluded from many opportunities

November 8, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal


In cultural histories of late 19th-century Paris, artists from Van Gogh to Munch to Whistler converge on its academies, salons, galleries and cafes, joining with their French confreres to make it the undisputed art capital of the world. But as "Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism" illustrates, many women—though largely unaccounted for—were also part of that extraordinary mix.

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Masterpiece: A Folk-Art Painting With Fine-Art Qualities
John James Trumbull Arnold's 'Portrait of Mary Mattingly' reveals the station of its young sitter's family though the work's details.

November 4, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

In an 1841 watercolor-and-ink drawing, John James Trumbull Arnold, an itinerant artist who roamed Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania in pursuit of commissions, portrayed himself with a quill in his long, slender fingers and declared himself a "Professor of Penmanship." Below, almost overshadowed, he added "Portrait and Miniature Painter."

Visitors to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., can see the flourish of his cursive script on the back of a canvas: "Portrait of / Mary Mattingly / Drawn by John Arnold / On the 26th of October / 1850," he wrote. But it is, of course, the front that places Arnold (1812-c. 1865) in our esteem today.

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'Morgan: Mind of the Collector': A Mogul's Voracious Appetite for Art
Sampling J.P. Morgan's aesthetic treasures, which numbered more than 20,000 items.

October 9, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

Hartford, Conn.

Legendary financier J. Pierpont Morgan was also a renowned collector. In the 23 years before his death in 1913, a few weeks shy of his 76th birthday, he acquired more than 20,000 items. But what kind of collector was he?

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