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

Latest Articles

Masterpiece: Plucked From Life
Bernardo Strozzi's 'The Cook' is revolutionary in its humble subject matter and very human protagonist.

October 12, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

What could be more Italian than a cook? Food in Italy is, after all, a source of national pride, nearly as celebrated as its broad, deep, virtuosic artistic achievements. Yet when Bernardo Strozzi (c. 1581-1644) combined the two in his painting "The Cook" (c. 1625), he ignited a conflagration.

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A Larger, Revised MoMA Adds More Women Artists
The Museum of Modern Art re-opens after a $450 million expansion, with more works by women and overlooked artists in galleries that mix painting, sculpture and other media

October 10, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

In a large gallery of the soon-to-reopen Museum of Modern Art, surrealism reigns. Among its 44 works are Picasso's "Girl Before a Mirror" (1917), paintings by Dalí and Magritte, and two acquired in the last year by important but under-recognized female surrealists: "And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur" (1953) by British-born Mexican artist Leonora Carrington and "The Juggler" (1956) by Remedios Varo, a Spaniard whose style evokes magic and the occult. With them, 11 works in this gallery were created by women, whose role in surrealism was once largely ignored.

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'Nineteen Nineteen': A Year Seen Through the Lens of Its Artifacts
The Huntington celebrates its centenary with an exhibition that gives a sense of the world 100 years ago.

October 1, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

San Marino, Calif.

Ben Franklin's handwritten autobiography open to a spread with a giant splotch of brown ink. A poster from the 1919 German Revolution warning "Crowds of rioters will be indiscriminately shot." A June 21, 1919, issue of the Suffragist marking the Senate's passage of the 19th Amendment. A first-edition print of the Treaty of Versailles showing Europe's new boundaries. Photos of Pasadenans wearing surgical masks during the 1917-19 flu pandemic.

These disparate items, and about 260 more, fill the special exhibition galleries of the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in "Nineteen Nineteen."

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'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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