Category archives for: Lectures

Japonisme: Pictorical Revolution, Dissemination, and Cross-fertilization

Degas Utamaro Combing Hair

By Béa Aaronson What is Japonisme? It is a French term that was first used by Jules Claretie in his book L’Art Francais in 1872. It refers to the influence of Japanese art on Western art. Influence? I would rather say “frenzy” or “upheaval.” The artists of the Far East had a completely different aesthetic [...]

Tsugurahu Foujita: The Japanese Master of Paris


By Béa Aaronson Widely celebrated for the sensuous delicacy of his line, his exquisite draftsmanship, his subtle fusion of Far-Eastern and Western aesthetics, and his magic unsurpassed whites, Foujita, the Japanese master of Paris, although extremely successful in his lifetime, has alas fallen into obscurity for too many people today. I would like to invite [...]

Rose Valland: the savior of masterpieces

Winged victory Samorthrace being packed

By Stephen Eaker Rose Valland was one of the greatest heroines of the twentieth century. Art historian, captain in the French military, member of the French Resistance during World War II, one of the most decorated women in French history, she was the savior of thousands of artworks that were stolen by the Nazis during [...]

Mark Rothko: the power of color, a spiritual sensorial path to abstraction

Chapel Rothko, Houston Texas

By Béa Aaronson How do I speak of Mark Rothko when all he craved was silence… the accuracy of silence where one’s soul can breathe, feel and understand? How do I write about Mark Rothko when words seem to be so empty of meaning? How do I tackle depth and surface in their physical and [...]

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas: a life is a life is a life…

Alice and Gertrude

By Stephen Eaker The life that is the life of the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas is a story of two lives as one and one life as two: an artist and a muse, a couple, a love and a bond that lasted for almost 40 years until Gertrude’s death in 1946 from intestinal [...]

Kees Van Dongen: The fashionable Fauve


By Béa Aaronson The great Dutch painter Kees Van Dongen was born in 1877 with a rebellious nature and possessed by a desire to enjoy all of life’s pleasures. He was one of the greatest colorists of the 20th century and his paintings were hung alongside Matisse and the rest of the Fauves, (the wild [...]

Wassily Kandinsky: the visionary language of abstraction

improvisation gorge

By Béa Aaronson “The more frightening the world becomes… the more art becomes abstract.” “In every painting a whole is mysteriously enclosed, a whole life of tortures, doubts, of hours of enthusiasm and inspiration.” (Wassily Kandinsky) From Moscow where he was born in 1866, to Paris, where he died in 1944, via Venice, Rome, Munich, [...]

Kiki the queen of Montparnasse

Kiki by Moise Kisling

By Stephen Eaker She would tell the most dirty, racy jokes and stories at the café tables but was never offensive to anyone sitting around her. Her high-pitched laughter was legendary. She would flash her breasts to men for three francs but was never a prostitute. Who was this outspoken and vivacious woman? Man Ray, [...]

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: The court painter of the Moulin Rouge

Au Moulin Rouge

By Stephen Eaker Born into an aristocratic and wealthy family, Toulouse-Lautrec would become one of the greatest post-impressionist painters and a powerful force and influence for future artists such as Picasso and Modigliani. Lecture “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: The Court Painter of the Moulin Rouge” Wed, Apr 23, 4:30pm and 6:30pm La Ostra Roja A Casa [...]

Bohèmes: Myth, art and reality

George de La Tour the fortune teller 1630

By Béa Aaronson You’ve all heard of la vie bohème! Maybe through Puccini’s opera La Bohème, or maybe through reading Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Balzac and Zola! The artistic anti-bourgeois way of life, making love amidst canvases, colors and brushes, wine-stained music scores and poems on the floor, happy in a cold attic room, with a meager [...]

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