art history

  • The Entanglement of Art and Slavery in the Work of Juan de Pareja

    by Rachel Hunter Himes

    Diego Velázquez painted the portrait of Juan de Pareja in 1650. An art historian considers what more we can learn about the painting and the world in which it was made by examining the paradox of a dignified and beatific portrayal of a man painted by another man who enslaved him. 

  • Kara Walker Disrupts the Visual History of the Civil War in New Exhibition

    by Allison Robinson and Ksenia M. Soboleva

    The artist Kara Walker's 2005 series of prints merged the historical illustrations that shaped Americans' understanding of the Civil War in its immediate aftermath and in the 1890s with her original subversive take on the tradition of silhouette art to highlight the erasure of Black experiences of war. Two curators are putting Walker's work in context in a new exhibition.

  • Most of All, Hamline's Decision Offends Me as a Muslim

    by Amna Khalid

    Hamline University, in firing an art history instructor for showing an image of the Prophet Muhammad (with a content warning, in an optional exercise), has not only exemplified how risk-averse bureaucracies use inclusive language to dismiss faculty expertise, it also insulted Muslims by associating a vast and diverse set of cultures with fundamentalist theology. 

  • Will the Era of the Butt Ever End?

    Heather Radke's "Butts: A Backstory" isn't (just) a provocation, but a carefully researched study of how bodily ideals and attractiveness are constructed and reproduced in societies. 

  • New York Museums to Disclose Provenance of Pieces Looted by Nazis

    The Metropolitan Museum has currently identified 53 works as seized or sold under duress by Nazis. It is unclear how many more it will identify in response to a new state law requiring the display of those pieces to disclose the conditions of acquisition. 

  • A History of Art for Our Times

    by Charlotte Mullins

    The classic works of art history tell a story of great artists, overwhelmingly European and male. The author's new history refocuses the narrative on the diverse networks of creators through which art is made – networks crossing lines of geography and including women artists and artists of color. 

  • Winslow Homer: The Melville of American Panting

    by Susan Tallman

    A new exhibition reframes Homer, once seen as a visual poet of American innocence, as an artist who grappled with the bitter conflicts at the heart of the nation. 

  • Smithsonian to Return All Benin Bronzes

    The Smithsonian will return works that it has legal title to own but that are linked to an infamous British raid on Benin City in 1897.