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

Latest Articles

Masterpiece: More Than Fun and Games
Clarence H. White's 'The Ring Toss' was composed with all the intention of a painting or a sculpture.

May 1, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

When Clarence H. White staged and shot "The Ring Toss" in 1899, he was on a mission. Eleven years earlier, George Eastman had introduced his Kodak camera for the masses, and many people were seduced by its slogan, "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest." They avidly captured everyday scenes, sent the camera off to Kodak for processing, and enjoyed the snapshots that came back.

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'Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820-1920' Review: Iberian Influence
An exhibition highlights how sites like the Alhambra and old masters like Velázquez inspired a century of U.S. painters.

April 5, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

Norfolk, Va.

Like the U.S. itself, American art is woven from many strands, with the biggest and brightest threads inspired by French, British and Italian traditions. A new exhibition at the Chrysler Museum of Art gives weight and luster to a different aesthetic influence: "Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820-1920" explores the many ways American artists like William Merritt Chase, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent learned from the art, architecture, landscapes and people of Spain.

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A Staying Inside Guide: Big-Deal Art in Everyday Venues
During the Great Depression, federal programs funded the creation of thousands of murals in post offices, hospitals and other locations across the country, many viewable online.

March 25, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

In the ocean of federal relief provided to America's unemployed during and after the Great Depression, paying visual artists to create art was perhaps the most innovative wave then and among the most remembered now. With salaries from the Works Progress Administration and related agencies, thousands of men and women made paintings, sculpture, posters, photographs and, most notably, murals that decorated post offices, schools, hospitals, courthouses and other public buildings across the country.

By most counts, New Deal programs produced more than 2,500 murals, though records are incomplete. Worse, in the decades after the programs ended in 1943, many of these murals were moved, painted over, neglected or destroyed.

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'Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern' Review: Classical Figures for the 20th Century
An exhibition traces the artistic evolution of the sculptor who created New York landmarks like 'Prometheus' at Rockefeller Center

March 18, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

Hartford, Conn.

One early piece in the exhibition " Paul Manship : Ancient Made Modern" at the Wadsworth Atheneum is a stunner, but not for the usual reasons. "Centaur and Mermaid" (1909) is a small, dull, lumpy piece of electroplated plaster. It is the polar opposite, artistically, of a pair of works near the end of the show, "Diana" and "Actaeon" (1925). They are dynamic bronze sculptures of the mythical pair with a powerful presence and dazzling patinas.

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Discovering Art Nouveau
The early modernist style, evocative of the natural world, can be seen in abundance in whimsical buildings throughout Europe.

February 16, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

There's hardly a more rewarding aspect of travel than strolling a new locale, like a modern-day flâneur. The experience is especially sweet when you see something unexpectedly stunning, as I did some years ago in Riga, Latvia. I knew about its Art Nouveau district, yet when I came upon Albert Street, lined with pastel-hued buildings festooned with faces, figures, peacocks, flowers and other Art Nouveau motifs, I was stopped in my tracks by their beauty.

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