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

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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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Masterpiece: Detonating the Nuclear Family
Degas's 'Bellelli Family' is an unusually candid depiction of tensions, emotions and alienation.

August 8, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

It's called "The Bellelli Family" or simply "Family Portrait," but neither title does the painting justice. Begun by Edgar Degas in August 1858, likely finished the following year, and revised around 1867, the large canvas is actually a complex, unusually candid depiction of the tensions, emotions and alienation within a nuclear family. Had this breakthrough work been well known before Degas died in 1917—when it was still in his possession—he might be just as renowned today for this youthful triumph as he is for the brilliant pastels of ballet dancers from his mature years.

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Inspiration at Home: Gardens of Earthy Delights
Artists' gardens have served as refuge, inspiration and subject matter; many welcome visitors both digitally and in person.

July 30, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

Since ancient days, artists have portrayed gardens as their main subject or as a setting; as a metaphor or for close observation; as a prism to study light or seasonal change. Many had their own little Edens. Leonardo da Vinci drew botanicals during his years at the Château du Clos Lucé and garden in Amboise, France, and when he died there, in 1519, he still owned the vineyard in Milan that had been given to him by Duke Ludovico Il Moro.Gustave Caillebotte created an impressive garden in the Paris suburbs, where he entertained Pierre Renoir and Claude Monet, the latter of whom obsessively painted his own gardens at Giverny, 45 miles northwest of Paris.

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High Museum in Atlanta will open for child summer art camps in June
School-aged visitors will have the run of the institution for a month before it opens to others

June 4, 2020  •  The Art Newspaper

Children—not members, not the public—will be the first visitors when the High Museum in Atlanta reopens on June 8. They'll be coming to participate in its summer art camps, which lets children from the first to the eight grades explore the galleries and create their own art. "They'll take over the entire museum," said Rand Suffolk, the museum's director, for an entire month.

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