Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Romantic at heart

Whenever I’m in the Farnsworth, I stop to visit George Bellows’ “Romance of Autumn.” It fascinates me because it is so different from his urban work I know and love. Bellows was always an exuberant painter, but in his New York paintings he was also a careful chromatist whose work was unified by its paint handling. […]

Stop falling on your sword

My newsfeed has overflowed with the Red Cup Controversy. What irritated me most about it was how many professing Christians accepted the idea that some Christians—other Christians—had their priorities screwed up. One thing we seem really good at is excoriating the church as a whole for its (perceived) faults. This is, ironically, the very self-righteousness that the Bible cautions […]


Yesterday, my friend posted a photo of himself taken while on active duty during our recent hot and violent wars. There is something TE Lawrence about it, even though it’s a horse and John’s in modern Marine garb. That got me to thinking about war art and how much it has shifted in the last century. Obviously, the greatest […]

An enduring story of sex and death

The beheading of Holofernes by Judith was one of the most popular Biblical subjects of classical painting. The Book of Judith is minor. Why did it interest artists so much? The story starts off with the Israelites cowering before the overwhelming force of the Assyrians. Her countrymen’s cowardice upsets Judith, a beautiful and resourceful widow. Judith […]

Free market recycling

There are some items which are very useful but which you can’t pass along to thrift stores—cedar shakes, Tyvek house wrap, steel shelving, etc. I could pack some of this up and take it to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, but frankly, I like the informal recycling system in our neighborhood better. Our trash day is […]

The cleaners were right

Periodically, something happens in the art world that points out the absurdity of some contemporary art. The current story comes from Italy, where two cleaners assumed that an art installation, entitled “Where shall we go dancing tonight?” was a mess left over from a party the night before. Of course they cleaned it up. Created by Sara Goldschmied and […]

Creepy clowns

When I’m in Middletown, NJ, I make a point of visiting Calico the Evil Clown, a fellow so famous he even has his own Wikipedia page. He’s 30 feet tall and has been watching motorists whizz by on Route 35 since 1956. Calico started as the mascot for a grocery store called Food Circus, but his current employment with […]