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

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Forgotten Regal Beauties
Shunned by art history, rarely seen Victorian sculpture comes out of the shadows

September 30, 2014  •  The Wall Street Journal

New Haven, Conn.

When I lived in London many years ago, I sometimes walked past Thomas Goode & Co., the famous Mayfair china emporium, where two stunning, 7-foot-tall gilded Majolica elephants, set on carved, tile-trimmed ebony stands and topped with gold-and-green howdahs, stood in the windows. Said to be for sale, they were bait for buyers and browsers alike. Imagine my surprise when I entered the Yale Center for British Art here recently to see "Sculpture Victorious: Art in the Age of Invention, 1837-1901" and found one of these grandiose decorative specimens in the lobby, billed as a centerpiece of the exhibition.

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The 25 Best Historic Homes in America

October 2014  •  Traditional Home

"You must have Mount Vernon," said Susan Weber, the founder and director of the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts. "It's beautiful, and the spot is fantastic." She was warming to the question posed – which historic houses in America did she admire? "And you must have the White House."

In the end, not really. The United States may lack the medieval castles and wondrous palaces of Europe, but it boasts hundreds of noteworthy homes. For its 25th anniversary, Traditional Home decided to shine a light on 25 of them, all open to the public. It turned out to be easy to go beyond the most famous ones, like the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, N.C., the Breakers in Newport.

NEW ENGLAND

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Crystal Bridges Museum Spotlights Overlooked Artists
The Bentonville, Ark., institution searched outside traditional art hubs for new painters, sculptors, video artists

September 12, 2014  •  The Wall Street Journal

The whole (art) world is watching. Since November 2013—when the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced it was scouring the country for artists who have been overlooked or underappreciated by major contemporary museums and galleries—curators, collectors and critics have been wondering what the institution built with Wal-Mart money would turn up. They'll find out on Sept. 13, when "State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now" takes over 19,000 square feet of the Bentonville, Ark., museum.

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Big Dreams at the Art Factory
Mass MoCA Prepares to Expand

August 24, 2014  •  The New York Times

North Adams, Mass. — The word that Joseph C. Thompson had been waiting for finally arrived on Aug. 8: Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts had signed a $1.4 billion capital facilities bond bill. Inside was a $25.4 million earmark for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which gave Mr. Thompson, the museum's director, funds to start the last phase of an effort he helped hatch nearly three decades ago: transforming an abandoned 19th-century factory complex into a destination arts center that could help revive the struggling economy of North Adams.

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Ralph Rucci's Serene Rooftop Refuge
NYC fashion designer Ralph Rucci turned a penthouse terrace into his personal Eden

September 2104  •  Traditional Home

When fashion designer Ralph Rucci saw the terrace of an empty apartment on New York City's Upper East Side some 13 years ago, he melted. He had asked his real estate agent to find him a place downtown, in the East Village. He was annoyed that instead she brought him to an 18th-floor penthouse just four blocks from his old place on Park Avenue. "I walked in—it was bare white walls—and then I went outside and saw the terrace, and I said, 'This is it.'  "

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