Category Archives: Art and design

A draftsman in watercolor?

My wife, Victoria, sent me a Facebook post by Mario A. Pita, a son of Cuban refugees who resides in Arlington, Va., and who enjoys posting artists’ work on their birthdays. The birthday of watercolorist James Holland (1799-1870) fell just … Continue reading

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Before the London fire, 1666

An engraver by trade, John Thomas Smith trod this earth two centuries ago (1766-1833), and was also known as “Antiquity Smith.” He etched buildings in London that had survived the Great Fire of 1666, many of which were being demolished … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture History, Art and design, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Inking “Old Curiosity Shop”

In recent days I’ve received a veritable flood of emails of about architectural drafting and illustration, the first regretting the disappearance of the tools of that trade, the others a succession of excellent examples. I’m not sure all of the … Continue reading

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Creative capitulation in Prov

In recent decades, art in Providence has served as a wrecking ball aimed not just at beauty but at the very concept of art, in a city that depends on art for its historical character, even as it brands itself … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Providence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gehry Ike in its kitschy glory

Frank Gehry’s monument to hims– oops, I mean to Dwight Eisenhower, does not open to the public until this Sept. 18, pushed back by the pandemic from May 8, the 75th anniversary of his victory in the European theater of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

E.O. to protect the statues

After he spoke at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day, Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect public statuary, to reconstruct statues damaged or destroyed by vandals in the weeks leading up to the president’s oration, and to create … Continue reading

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Protect the statues, please!

The statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence has been defaced in 2010, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Yesterday, amid American history’s most perfervid bout of iconoclasm, the statue was removed by the city for its protection. The municipal government of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Behold modernist Scrabble

Amidst pandemic lockdown, the game of Scrabble is among the saviors of sanity. It is so in our family. I taught Scrabble to my wife, Victoria, and created a monster. I rarely play her anymore so she plays her mother, … Continue reading

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Christo, homage to a life

The artist Christo has died. One must not, they say, speak ill of the dead. I am not speaking ill of the dead man but of his art. Those who bruise easily may stop reading here, but Christo’s death will … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Your face as face mask art

Years ago, I urged Providence artists to create murals designed to look like the buildings on which they were painted. A façade with no windows could be painted to look like the rest of the building. Humans could be leaning … Continue reading

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