How do you quantify the effects of things that don't happen to you? "The whole point of living in a culture is that much of the labor of perception and judgment is done for you, spread through media, and absorbed through an imperceptible process that has no single author." (previously; via)
Envisioning the American Dream is "a visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid-Century media" that discusses topics such as Man and Machines, Vintage Advice for Cheaters, and Suburbia for Sale, amongst many others.
Each of Historian Barbara Wells Sarudy's six blogs contains a wealth of esoteric treasures: "President John Adams declared, “History is not the Province of the Ladies.” Oh well, I'll give it a try." [more inside]
In conjunction with the Whitney Museum of American Art's exhibit Hopper Drawing [NYT review], which the museum calls "the first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper," the museum has constructed a temporary life-size window installation recreating Nighthawks in the Flatiron Building's Sprint-sponsored Prow Artspace. The Flatiron is believed to be one of the real-life inspirations for the iconic diner by Carter Foster, curator of drawing for the Whitney and organizer of the Hopper exhibition. [previously]
Harold Lash is an abstract painter whose works are wild and startlingly vivid. There are repeated themes of flowers and cities and ships and are often obsessively patriotic. I particularly enjoy his painting of Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, where he lives and works, and the colors of Girls Night Out strikes me as well. [WARNING: HUGE IMAGES]
Alice Austen (1866-1952) was a pioneering American female photographer who documented life in turn of the (last) century Staten Island. Her home, Clear Comfort, is a National Historic Landmark where she lived for many years with Gertrude Tate. [more inside]
Robert Rauschenberg (previously), painter, sculptor, perfomance artist, printmaker, photographer, theater designer, technologist, dead at 82. [more inside]
The Luce Foundation Center in the recently renovated and reopened National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, is more like a smörgåsbord-cum-antique store, packed in an overflowing archive rather than a more traditional museum layout. The collection is comprised of varying American art styles and genres in intimate display cases, with little in the way of context or reference. (Though the same site in this link is available on computers scattered throughout the gallery for further detail.)
The Index of American Design The National Gallery of Art is showing some amazing watercolors commissioned by the Works Progress Administration between 1935 and 1942 to document a uniquely American cultural heritage of primarily traditional folk art (and employ out-of-work artists). I thought the textile reproductions were particularly stunning in their detailed exactitude (rendering the thread count!) and really put to shame the so-called trompe l'oeil paintings in the east gallery :D
Apropos of nothing, here's some art for yinz. Too many do not know Arthur Dove's work, the earliest American abstract art.