Sunday, February 14, 2021

A Valentine Quiz - Who Are Art History's Greatest Love Matches?

Frans Hals, Marriage Portrait of Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrice van der Laen, 1622.  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

It's Valentine's Day 2021.  Let's celebrate with a sentimental challenge: can you identify these lovers in art?

If you can guess all 10: you merit the whole pound of chocolates;  9-7: you merit a half a pound of chocolates; 7- 5: you merit a quarter of a pound of chocolates; 4 and under: you merit a Hersey's Kiss and a hug for trying.  Thank you for taking the time to test your knowledge and click through for the correct answers.  Please feel free to share with your fellow art history fans.  

Happy Valentine's Day  - 

With love and hugs,

Beth and the New York Arts Exchange

1. Answer

2. Answer

3. Answer

4. Answer

5. Answer

6. Answer

7. Answer


8. Answer

9. Answer

10. Answer

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

February Zooms: Art Salons Hosted by Greenwich Arts Council and "Queen Esther in Art" Hosted by Learning in Retirement Stamford


Paul Signac, Portrait of Félix Fénéon, 1890
aka Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints
Museum of Modern Art, NYC

In about a month from now, we'll mark the first anniversary of the Covid-19 lockdown and, perhaps, look back on all we accomplished during this challenging "pause."  Did you see all the 2,500 museums available online?  Did you take all the virtual art tours?  I sure haven't.  

Oh - I have visited a few virtual exhibitions, as well as several in person since art museums and galleries opened this past summer.  The in-person experience can't be beat. However, there are several virtual exhibitions that merit praise.

What do YOU think of virtual exhibitions on museum websites?  I would genuinely like to know.

So with that curiosity in mind, and a sincere desire to talk to you about art, as we did when we toured the museum and galleries shows, I have dreamed up a series of 4 meetings, which I call "art salons" that offer an opportunity to talk about art and not sit passively listening to the presenter.

Our series of 4 salons is called: Critiquing the Virtual Museum Experience

It is hosted by Greenwich Arts Council.  You can learn more about the series and register here.

  • Cost: $15 each
  • Topics:  
  1. Félix Fénéon at MoMA
  2. Jacob Lawrence at the Met
  3. Women artists at the Hudson River Museum
  4. Crowd-sourced photos of life during the Covid-19 Pandemic at the Phillips Collection.

  • Each session features conversations about the curator's theme, content, and website presentation. We will meet in small "rooms" to facilitate lively and spontaneous exchanges. Preparation for these salons is recommended in order to fully engage in the three conversational segments listed above (theme, content, and success/failure as a virtual art experience).  However, it's not necessary.
I hope you will join us for these 1 1/2 hour opportunities to really weigh in on the art scene today.

For more details, please visit the Greenwich Arts Council website.

Antoine Coypel, Esther Swoons Before King Ahasuerus, c. 1704
Musée du Louvre

Art History Lecture on Zoom, Hosted by Learning in Retirement:
"Images of Queen Esther in Art"

Wednesday, February 24 at 10 am.
Browse and register here and here
Fee: $5.00

I'll lecture on the image of Queen Esther in art, just in time to celebrate Purim on February 25-26.
Please join me for this sprint through hundreds of years of artworks about The Book of Esther in the Bible, each created for a different audience: Catholic, Protestant and Jewish.  

I hope you will sign up for one or more of these art history events.
And I hope I see you again soon!

Warm wishes for Valentine's Day,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange

Monday, January 18, 2021

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

 The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivers his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in the auditorium of Oslo University in Norway on Dec. 10, 1964.  (AP Photo)ASSOCIATED PRESS

Today we honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. with remembering his advice and striving to bring all humankind together in peace and harmony:

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

Abbé Godwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., 1997, Raleigh, NC

Erick Blome, Martin Luther King, Jr, 2007, Rocky Mount, NC

Lei Yixin, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, 2010/dedicated 2011, Washington, DC

Monday, January 4, 2021

New Year's Greeting 2021 - It's Finally Here!

May this new year bring you and your family peace, joy and good health all the way through - 

Love and hugs,

and the New York Arts Exchange

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Greetings - Make it a DiY Art Celebration


Dear friends,
Every year I look for a new image to say "Happy Thanksgiving."  Usually, it's a work of art.
This year, I looked around the internet and found such easy, fun craft ideas that I thought: why not make this Thanksgiving an artsy DIY festival celebration?

Here are a few ideas on YouTube and on one website that seem inexpensive and uncomplicated.  Perhaps you have some of this stuff hanging around the house.

Wishing you And Your Family 

A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

with love from the

New York Arts Exchange

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Last Call: Jacob Lawrence's "American Struggle" series at the Met Museum through November 1, 2020

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle closes on Sunday, November 1st.  The exhibition, installed while the Metropolitan Museum of Art reestablished its visiting protocols during the long "pandemic  pause" (nearly 6 months), opened on August 29th.  It's a fitting theme for this moment in American history.  We are struggling.  There is no doubt, regardless of where on the political spectrum you believe you belong, we are all struggling in this most miraculous of earthly creations, the United States of America.  

Jacob Lawrence, Victory and Defeat, 1955
 panel 13 in American Struggle series,
1954-56, egg tempera on hard board, 12 x 16 inches
Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross. 
© 2020 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/
Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photography by Bob Packert / PEM)

Here, for example, the Metropolitan Museum's text panel summarizes the surrender of the British in Yorktown, Virginia, interpreted by Lawrence in his Victory and Defeat, a powerful synthesis of Cubism, abstraction, and social realism. For Hamilton fans, this moment may seem familiar:

"[Jacob] Lawrence depicts an impenetrable wall of twenty-two black cannonballs to symbolize the successful twenty-two-day siege at Yorktown, Virginia, in which American troops forced the British occupying the town to surrender. This battle, celebrated for the heroic leadership of Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette, effectively ended the American Revolution. Lawrence’s wall also serves as a backdrop for the sword exchange that took place between two appointed delegates on behalf of American General George Washington and British General Charles Cornwallis, on October 19, 1781. The artist focused on this imminent transfer of power and peaceful resolution by creating a space between the redcoat gripping his sword and the open hand of an unseen patriot, framed against a cloud-filled sky symbolizing a hopeful future."

Jacob Lawrence, “. . . for freedom we want and will have, for we have served this cruel land long enuff . . ." —a Georgia slave, 1810, Panel 27, 1956, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56. Egg tempera on hardboard. Private collection.
 © 2020 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

I urge you to visit Lawrence's masterpiece series: Struggle: From the History of the American People, painted from 1954-1956, before it closes on Sunday, November 1st, or if this is impossible, please study his works on the museum's website.  The title itself deserves a sustained reflection: "the history of the American People" - all American people?  Well, not our neighbors Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Rather, all who have lived and continue to live in the politically connected 50 states within the Americas, the United States. In these united states, we have much to be thankful for and much to strive for in order to form "a more perfect union."  

Jacob Lawrence, "If we fail, let us fail like men, and expire together in one common struggle . . .,"—Henry Clay, 1813, Panel 23, 1956, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56. Egg tempera on hardboard. Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross. 
© 2020 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.

For more information about this particular series by our American treasure, New York artist Jacob Lawrence, please watch this short video produced for PBS, with a tour of the exhibition guided by artist Derrick Adams, whose exhibition Buoyant at the Hudson River Museum recently closed.  

For more information about Jacob Lawrence and his numerous series, please visit the Museum of Modern Art's Artist Page dedicated to Lawrence's work in the MoMA collection and previous temporary exhibitions and D.C. Moore Gallery. (Members of the New York Arts Exchange art tours may recall our visit to D.C. Moore in 2008 to see Jacob Lawrence: Moving Forward, at the gallery's previous address on Fifth Avenue.)

Best wishes for Halloween,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange