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Vigée the Victorious

The life of the beautiful, clever, and prodigiously gifted Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) is one of those rags-to-riches sagas irresistible to storytellers of any era. She was born in Paris to a minor portraitist and a hairdresser…

The Fate of the Art at the Four Seasons

Photo credits: bottom of pageOver the holidays, I learned from a friend that the venerable Four Seasons  Restaurant in the landmark Seagram Building on Park Avenue would be closing this summer. I was a little late to that news, and it is not technically about to be...

Alex Meets Ada

Alex Katz first met his wife, Ada, at an opening at the Tangier Gallery in 1958. She immediately became one of his favorite models. “I’d been painting these all-over landscapes, and then I decided to paint details like eyes and noses…

The Secret of Venus

Seeing Mona Kuhn’s subtly erotic nudes in the slide show that accompanies our podcast with her this week (and especially the photo titled Morgane from 2010) made me think of a book proposal…

Frank Stella Meets Jasper Johns

“The artist who launched Minimalism was Frank Stella (b. 1936), who was still a student at Princeton when he saw Jasper Johns’s 1958 show at Leo Castelli Gallery. He liked the repetition of the flags…

Patti Smith Meets Picasso

“[When I was about twelve], my father took us on a rare excursion to the Museum of Art in Philadelphia. My parents worked very hard, and taking four children on a bus to…

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