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For everyone interested in art history who has asked, WTF?
February 21, 2012 1:16 PM   Subscribe

If you’ve spent much time in museums—or even leafing through art books—you’ve probably come across something that leaves you scratching your head. You’re not alone. The very funny, if occasionally puerile blog WTF Art History was created, according to the anonymous art historian who writes it, for “everyone who loves art history but has a sense of humor to know that even great masters create things that leave us asking, WTF?” [via] [prev]
posted by netbros (24 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like how the URL makes it look like the site is called WT Fart History.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:21 PM on February 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I looked at the first 10 images without seeing anything really WTFworthy. Maybe the pancake man with non customers on stilts, but that looked like a an editorial cartoon of sorts. Flaming heart? WTF for sure, but hardly unusual in Catholic art. What am I missing here?
posted by chavenet at 1:32 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Keep going. Trust me.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:32 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like how the URL makes it look like the site is called WT Fart History.

They also have a fart history tag celebrating that happy coincidence.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:34 PM on February 21, 2012


Well, at least they have pancakes!
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:36 PM on February 21, 2012


Might have helped to have a little more commentary. Some are more obviously wtfthan others...
posted by crunchland at 1:44 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not that WTF really. Trust no one.
posted by unliteral at 1:48 PM on February 21, 2012


I got to see Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome last month.... This one stuck out for me.
posted by cmoj at 1:48 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


You forgot to paint Carlo. Carlo feels ... unappreciated. Sure there's room. Just move the Mayor's head over a little bit and Carlo fits right there, and everybody's happy. Capiche?
posted by longsleeves at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like how the URL makes it look like the site is called WT Fart History.

That's almost an entire subsite.
posted by vacapinta at 2:01 PM on February 21, 2012


I'm going to make a site called wtfblog and wtfarthistory will be my first entry.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:01 PM on February 21, 2012


How about just a plain WTF History blog.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:11 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


History and art history are pretty different. For instance, a historian would point you to the Victorian's obsession with Egypt and mummies; an art historian would tell you about Mummy Brown, which was made from the ground-up corpses of mummified people.

Sure, WTF History would work. There's some crazy stuff in our past. But there's some crazy, crazy stuff in the art world, and I'm not just talking about the head-scratching bafflement induced by contemporary art.
posted by The River Ivel at 2:28 PM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


the Victorian Egypt craze led to some seriously stupid looking home decor.
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, three pages in and the most wtf thing was the Koons Michael Jackson. Fart jokes are funny but not wtf.
posted by immlass at 2:30 PM on February 21, 2012


Hmph. A quick look has me asking "WTF, don't you know about your pretty recent European history?" I mean, the Venetian Carnival/masks one is pretty obvious, innit?
posted by clvrmnky at 2:35 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


So Raphael created the original Derp.
posted by ocschwar at 2:35 PM on February 21, 2012


Yeah I found one entry that was WTF worthy about 4 pages in but by then I've written this off as someone tumblr-ing too hard.

It reads like your mother thinking she's really edgy by using the term "WTF" but being very careful to never actually say the word "fuck".
posted by danny the boy at 2:45 PM on February 21, 2012


It reads like your mother thinking she's really edgy by using the term "WTF" but being very careful to never actually say the word "fuck".

I really applaud the impetus to make museum/art/history stuff cool and fun, but so often, yes, it fails to really go for it. People do have a very hard time breaking out of centuries of high-stakes standards-defending to actually have much fun. It can happen but it's sort of rare.
posted by Miko at 2:48 PM on February 21, 2012


Nice work, but while you're at it, you can't miss a quick trip to the certainly previously mentioned Museum of Jurassic Technology, a place I waited for fifteen years to see. It was worth the wait.
posted by kozad at 2:59 PM on February 21, 2012


I love it. Thanks!
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:35 PM on February 21, 2012


Okay, so I saw this today and thought it may be appropriate here.
posted by Red Loop at 8:32 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I got to see Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome last month.... This one stuck out for me.

cmoj, it's an impressive Caravaggio, but as a literal depiction of the fable of St. Christopher and the Christ Child... not exactly WTF-worthy.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:12 PM on February 23, 2012


It's not a Caravaggio, I think it's Borgianni. But Christopher wasn't supposed to be so huge that a toddler would fit in his palm. It's pretty wacky lookin' to me with Baby Jesus lounging on hikm and directing him onward like Hannibal crossing the Alps and Christopher looking pretty put-upon by the whole thing.
posted by cmoj at 7:12 AM on February 24, 2012


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