The Book of Ours

The Met's bulletin of recent acqusitions shows us what we all will soon be viewing

Christian Louboutin, Shoes (Pumps), 2007, Courtesy of The Metropolitian Museum of Modern Art, New York City

The Grownups' Guide to Beatrix Potter

“Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters,” which was recently on view at the Morgan Library, centered on the many letters that Potter wrote to children of her acquaintance in the years before she became a celebrated author (the famous Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published in 1902, when she was 36). The letters are fascinating—hastily scribbled notes, crammed with tiny sketches and narratives, many of which later formed the basis for her best-loved stories.

Revisiting Naturalism

Hubert von Herkomer, On Strike, 1891, oil on canvas, Royal Academy of Arts, LondonIf you didn’t happen to be in Amsterdam or Helsinki early last year, when the exhibition “Illusions of Reality: Naturalist Painting, Photography, Theater, and Cinema, 1875–1918” was on view at theVan Gogh Museum and the A

How to Be a Plein-Air Painter - Some Rules for Fun and Profit

You are a painter. One lovely summer day, an iconic vision comes to mind: you see yourself seated at your easel in a field of flowers, working peacefully on a plein-air landscape painting as clouds float above and bees pass by, humming in a friendly manner while searching for nectar or creating honey or whatever.

A Colorful Life: Barbara Prey paints landscapes that reflect both an inner and outer world

White Wash, 2014, 22 x 30 inchesThe moment Barbara Ernst Prey applies a brushstroke to paper, the swath of color she leaves behind is something simultaneously brand new and old.

“Tête-à-Tête”: Portraits at Allan Stone Projects

            Portraiture is an ancient and durable genre. The vanity of patrons and the circumstances of official image-making play important roles in the tradition, of course, and much first-rate work—from the Roman Empire, Diego Velázquez, Anthony Van Dyck, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent, et al.—emerged from that system. But artists find the human face endlessly interesting, even without the prod of commissions.

Julia Margaret Cameron: The Passionate Amateur

Julia Margaret Cameron, Pomona, 1872A compact show of Julia Margaret Cameron’s lovely photographs, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (August 19, 2013–January 5, 2014), should make us reconsider the word amateur. Cameron was born in Calcutta and educated in France as a child (she spoke French, German and some Italian).