Obecni Dum, Prague’s Unheralded Treasure

Prague has a real treasure “hidden” from most tourist groups herded into the city for a day or three. The current entry on Prague in Wikipedia doesn’t mention it. And, though it’s listed as a top attraction, Lonely Planet does not showcase it as a highlight to a Prague visit. Regrettable, I’d say. Especially if…

A True Artisan Crafts A Shoji Room

My house has a shoji room. A room that’s special because dedicated artisans from an old country crafted it. To me, its walls are an homage to traditional craftsmanship rarely practiced now, replaced by machines which, I admit, can spew out very good products. I find this shoji room a thing of beauty but much…

Gothic Churches: All The Celestial Light We Can See

A fire nearly destroyed the iconic Cathédrale Notre Dame in Paris—arguably the most famous cathedral in the world. Current efforts to restore it have been hampered, like most of life nowadays, by a deadly virus. Now that we all have to stop and take many deep—hopefully cleansing—breaths, we have the luxury to wonder about its…

Wars-R-Us in Polish Posters

All art in this article are the works of Pawel Kuczynski. The United States no longer produces much. Except wars. Since World War II we have been producing war after war, more or less continually engaged in actual war or in semi-war, getting ready for the next active engagement, assumed to lie just around the…

For the Holiday Season: Pieter Brueghel, the Elder

True, you may not know him. His surviving œuvre numbers less than fifty, most of it at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. He did father other artistic, probably better-recognized Brueghels. And years ago, he had another five minutes of fame in a film called ‘The Mill and the Cross.” The film is an imaginative romp…

Polish Poster Art: Take a look

I don’t know much about Polish art, but have at least heard that Polish poster art is stunning. It has been used for political purposes (those of resistance movements, for instance) and entertainment (notably, movies). To take my first steps into Polish poster art I haphazardly searched and found The Legacy Of Polish Poster Design.…

Bohemian Paris: Myth or Fact?

How do you imagine Paris? For the artist in many of us, it is a Bohemian Paris we conjure up and even yearn for. But is Bohemian Paris merely an illusion? What is a Bohemian, anyway? In the popular view, she is someone unconventional, carefree, and usually involved in the arts. A free spirit who…

The Language of Undulating Forms: Iconic Buildings

Undulating forms are beautiful, sensuous, and seductive. You often find them in nature—in the curve of a woman’s body, the outline of a camel’s neck and hump, the motif on a sidewalk mosaic, etc. They appeal to an aesthetic sense in all of us. Artists have been aware of this appeal for a long time.…

Art Against War: Echoes From Guernica

Today is the anniversary of the massacre of civilians in the small town of Guernica. On this day, April 26, 1937, Spanish cubist Pablo Picasso, who was living in Paris, worked on a painting with a familiar theme, the autobiographic subject of a painter and his model. The painting was commissioned by Spain’s Republican government…