Episodes

Episode #16: The Muse  

Sometimes when I am looking at a particularly fascinating work of art, I find myself overwhelmed with awe-- for the creative act itself and the technical prowess that was needed to bring it to fruition. I’ve often had those moments where I have thought to myself, “Wow. How did this all come about? What is the inspiration behind this piece?” And any conversation about inspiration in the arts inevitably brings up a discussion about muses. This episode looks at the relationship--and occasional romance-- between artists and their muses, with a particular emphasis on one woman whose connection to two brothers illustrates this exchange in a compelling way. 

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Want more art-historical goodness? Check out the links below:

Artventures Blog: Manet and Morisot: The Tale of Love and Sadness in the Portraits

Saper Galleries: The Women of Pablo Picasso

Huffington Post: Ten Amazing Female Artists and Their Male Muses

The Telegraph: Picasso's Muses

Projection Systems Blog: The Origin of Painting


Joseph Wright of Derby, The Corinthian Maid, 1782–1784
Artist and Model, photography, c.1900
Giulio Romano's depiction of the Muses in Dance of Apollo and the Muses, 1540
Pablo Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror, 1932
Pablo Picasso, The Dream, 1932
Photograph of Édouard Manet, c. 1875
Photograph of Berthe Morisot, c. 1875
Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (in mourning for her father), 1872
Édouard Manet, The Repose, 1870
Édouard Manet, The Balcony (Le balcon), 1868
Berthe Morisot, Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight, 1875
Berthe Morisot, Julie and Eugene Manet
Episode #15: Hans-Joachim Bohlmann and Serial Art Vandalism  

A few months ago, I began looking into occurrences of art vandalism-- the purposeful destruction or harm of works of art that have occurred consistently, especially throughout the 20th century. As I read up, I saw that most of these events were one-offs: single moments where one person made a rash and ridiculous choice to lash out at a particular work of art. But then, I began to notice one name popping up over and over again- a German man who, over his lifetime, damaged over fifty works of art, creating a name for himself and a lasting impression on the art world. This episode, in a continuation of our Bigger Picture series, digs deeper into art attacks and examine the life and legacy of the vandal Hans-Joachim Bohlmann.

// Please SUBSCRIBE and REVIEW our show—we can’t thank you enough! Check our website for images from today’s show, as well as information about our other episodes. And come find us on Twitter and Instagram!       

                                                  









Episode #15: Hans-Joachim Bohlmann and Serial Art Vandalism  

A few months ago, I began looking into occurrences of art vandalism-- the purposeful destruction or harm of works of art. Along the way, I learned that so many of the most famous artists and works of art have been affected by these terrible actions: Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci. And as I read up, I saw that most of these events were one-offs: single moments where one person made a rash and ridiculous choice to lash out at a particular work of art. But then, I began to notice one name popping up over and over again. Just as there are famous artists who rise to the top of the canon of art history, it turns out that there was a granddaddy of all of the art vandals in the world-- a German man who, over his lifetime, damaged over fifty works of art, creating a name for himself and a lasting impression on the art world. In this episode, And today, in a continuation of our Bigger Picture series, we are going to dig deeper into art attacks and examine the life and legacy of the vandal Hans-Joachim Bohlmann.

// Please SUBSCRIBE and REVIEW our show—we can’t thank you enough! Check our website for images from today’s show, as well as information about our other episodes. And come find us on Twitter and Instagram!       

Want more art-historical goodness? Check out the links below:

Art Damaged Tumblr page

Cabinet Magazine's Partial Guide to the Tools of Art Vandalism

Durer's Virgin on Show Again After Acid Attack (2010)

Washington Post: Museums' Fine Art of Protecting Masterpieces

Hans-Joachim Bohlmann Profile in Der Spiegel (in German)










Episode #14: Samuel F. B. Morse's Gallery of the Louvre  

How many know that the inventor of the telegraph and co-creator of Morse code--Samuel F. B. Morse-- was a successful artist, too? And crazily enough, one of his paintings in particular, foreshadowed his interest in communication tools, providing the impetus for revolutionizing communication--and, indeed, the world as we know it. Listen in for details on Morse's masterpiece, Gallery of the Louvre.               

// Please SUBSCRIBE and REVIEW our show—we can’t thank you enough! Check our website for images from today’s show, as well as information about our other episodes. And come find us on Twitter and Instagram      

If you're based in the Southern U.S., do not miss the exhibition Samuel F. B. Morse's Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Buy your tickets here and check this site for further details! 

Want more art-historical goodness? Check out the links below:

The National Gallery of Art's exhibition page: with video, exhibition brochure, and more great info

The History Blog's Profile on Morse the Artist

Samuel Morse's Other Masterpiece: Smithsonian Magazine

Samuel Morse's Early Works

Six Things You May Not Know about Samuel Morse: History.com

Samuel Morse website for more details: Samuelmorse.net

                                                               









Episode #13: Diego and Frida, Part 2  

Glamour. Curiosity. Excitement. A love story for the ages. Such are the types of descriptors that you hear when you ponder the life and love of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Truly, in the pantheon of great artistic relationships, they are one of the top couples out there. And they had the great fortune, or whatever you want to call it, of living their exciting lives in front of the camera, as well as on canvas. Google them, and all kinds of lovey-dovey images come up-- images of Diego nuzzling Frida, images of them kissing, of her embracing him around his wide middle section. But what some people neglect, or possibly even forget, is that their relationship was by no means perfect. There were great ups, of course, but the downs? Incredible. Even Diego Rivera himself was aware of this fact, later writing, quote, “If I ever loved a woman, the more I loved her, the more I wanted to hurt her. Frida was the most obvious victim of this disgusting trait.” Harsh words. But would they always be that way?                       

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Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

http://kcur.org/post/tempestuous-relationship-between-frida-kahlo-and-diego-rivera#stream/0

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/1995/09/frida-kahlo-diego-rivera-art-diary













Episode #12: Diego and Frida, Part 1  

There’s something a little strange about the pairing of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Certainly it’s the surprise of a pairing of seeming opposites, at least from a physical standpoint-- she the small, seductive, and somewhat frail painter whose subject matter referred to the most intimate sides of her own life; he, the large and somewhat brutish muralist whose large-scale works touched upon revolution and justice and larger issues of Mexican history. There’s almost a Beauty and the Beast quality there, and for many of us, the relationship between these two artists is just as intriguing as their creative output. And especially when it comes to Frida’s art, it’s very hard to separate their love from their artistic legacy. But how did it begin? And what is it about these two that makes them so fascinating, even 60 years later?

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Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

http://kcur.org/post/tempestuous-relationship-between-frida-kahlo-and-diego-rivera#stream/0

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/1995/09/frida-kahlo-diego-rivera-art-diary











Episode #11: Art Attack!  

Throughout art history, there have been multiple occasions where people have entered into a museum or gallery with the explicit intention of harming or outright destroying a work of art. And some of the most iconic and greatest works of art in the world have been the targets of these disastrous missions. The big question, though, is why? What motivates people into a full blown art-attack?   

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 And follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for more artsy goodness:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artcuriouspod/                                                                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/artcuriouspod

Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

The Top 12 Most Horribly Defaced Art Pieces of All Time

Art Abuse: 11 Vandalized Works of Art

Mugged: How the Mona Lisa was Attacked

Vatican Marks Anniversary of 1972 Attack on Michelangelo's Pieta

Whatever Happened to Laszlo Toth?

The Attack on the Pieta: An Archetypal Analysis (Access to JSTOR required)

Having an Art Attack: A Brief Look at Stendhal Syndrome

Stendhal Syndrome: Overdosing on Beautiful Art











Episode #10: When Statues Cry  

Nearly ten years ago, my then-boyfriend, now husband, and I were backpacking through the Balkans region of Europe. After arriving in Bosnia, we opted to take a day trip to a small town called Medjugorje, in Herzegovina. We had heard that it was a popular place with tourists from all over the world, and we were eager to check it out. But what we didn't quite expect were the reasons why the town was so well-known. And the reasons are twofold: first, it was the location of a sighting in 1981 of the Virgin Mary, who was said to have appeared to a group of teenagers there. As such, the town became a holy pilgrimage site, particularly for Catholics around the world. Even though the vision of the Virgin hasn't been promoted or officially accepted by the Vatican, it hasn't stopped the flow of visitors clamoring for the chance to visit this seemingly holy place. In remembrance of the miraculous vision, a beautiful church was erected. And in the church’s garden, a bronze statue of the risen Christ was also placed.   But here's the further reason for the pilgrimage- since 2000, that statue has had a so-called weeping knee- miraculously producing a clear fluid each and every day for the last 16 years.

We saw this statue with our own eyes. We touched it, and we watched as dozens of people collected the clear fluid- not water, not oil, but something else- into souvenir bottles that were sold all over the town. Still, I didn't know what to think, or how to react. Was this statue for real? I think that belief and faith are beautiful, incredible things. But I also felt skeptical, too. I found myself torn in the middle- religious yet unbelieving, living in a gray area. But like Fox Mulder, I want to believe.

In honor of the holiday season, we are going to look into the phenomenon of the miraculous in art, focusing on weeping statues and bleeding icons.                                                                                                                                                                                  

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And follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for more artsy goodness:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artcuriouspod/                                                                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/artcuriouspod

Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

The Mystery of the Weeping Statues

Science Debunks Miracle of Weeping Madonna

Mary Statue in California Appears to Weep Miraculous Tears

Miraculous Microbes: They Can Make Holy Statues "Bleed"-- and Can Be Deadly, Too

 



Episode #9: The CIA/AbEx Connection  

If there is one thing that’s true in this world, it’s that there sure isn't a lack of conspiracy theories out there. Think about it: almost every big mystery or question has a slough of alternative explanations involving everything from Big Brother to the Illuminati to the Masons...and of course we can’t overlook aliens. Oswald wasn’t the lone gunman; the Apollo moon landing never happened and was filmed instead on a Hollywood sound stage; the government is hiding proof of alien life; the Mona Lisa on view at the Louvre is a fake.  Every day we might hear a new, wacky  theory, even in the art world, like how the CIA funneled money into the arts, towards revolutionary painters like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, in order to fight the Cold War. Crazy, right? I mean, what a bizarre way to attempt to covertly bring down the Russians?

Except that this last one isn't a crazy conspiracy theory at all. It’s actually a true story of propaganda, secrets, lies, and fine art. The pen is mightier than the sword, the saying goes. Well, it turns out that the same could be said about the paintbrush.

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And follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for more artsy goodness:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artcuriouspod/                                                                Twitter: https://twitter.com/artcuriouspod

Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

How the CIA Spent Secret Millions Turning Modern Art into a Cold War Arsenal

Unpopular Front

A Visit to the CIA's "Secret" Abstract Art Collection

BBC Culture: Was Modern Art a Weapon of the CIA?

 








Episode #8: What Happened to the Amber Room?  

This fall, I was greeted by a thrilling opportunity- a ridiculously low air fare from the U.S. to St. Petersburg, Russia. It allowed for the chance to experience the glory and and splendor of the Russian tsars through the extant palaces in St. Petersburg proper and its environs. One of the most awe-inspiring is the Catherine Palace, a rococo summer residence for the imperial families of yore, commissioned by the Empress Elizabeth in the early 18th century. And up until World War II, the Catherine Palace housed something so incredible, so coveted, and so gorgeous that for hundreds of years, travelers from all over the world flocked to admire it. So extraordinary was this treasure that it was frequently referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." And then, in the early 1940s with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, this priceless creation was stolen, removed from its Russian stronghold and hidden away. And to this day, it has still never been found.

What happened to the Amber Room?

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And follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for more artsy goodness:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artcuriouspod/                            Twitter: https://twitter.com/artcuriouspod

Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

The Mystery of the Nazis and the Vanished Amber Room

Could Long-Lost Amber Room Be Stashed in a Nazi Bunker in Poland?

A Brief History of the Amber Room

Mystery of the Amber Room: Video










Episode #7: Was Walter Sickert Actually Jack the Ripper? PART TWO  

Back in 2002, I remember one day when I was browsing a new releases table at my local bookstore and a particular book caught my eye. What I noticed first was the dust jacket- its background was an old, handwritten letter, across which a huge font,  in bright red letters, the color of blood, trumpeted  the author’s name- Patricia Cornwell-across the cover.  It seemed like yet another crime novel, one among hundreds. And so, I moved on, until I saw the subtitle of the book:

Jack the Ripper: Case Closed.

Now, I am as intrigued by unsolved crimes as much as the next person, so I cracked the  cover of the book and began to read the dust jacket’s accompanying description. In it, the author released a bombshell statement:  she had purportedly solved the mystery of Jack the Ripper’s identity, which  had evaded researchers, historians, and police for over one hundred years. And to those of us in the art world, her suspected killer hit a bit too close to home. A painter-- and a well-known and much praised one, at that-- had committed the famous murders, she wrote.

Jack the Ripper, she said, was the English painter Walter Sickert.

In this second half of our special two-part Halloween episode, we are going to get into the nitty-gritty details of the Sickert-as-Ripper theory. If you’re just tuning in to the ArtCurious Podcast for the first time, please stop and listen to Part One of this Halloween segment first and get the backstory on Jack the Ripper’s crimes, as well as a brief biography of Walter Sickert. 

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And follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for more artsy goodness:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artcuriouspod/                                                                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/artcuriouspod

Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

Portrait of a Killer: 6 Chilling Jack the Ripper Theories

Patricia Cornwell Says She Has "Cracked" the Jack the Ripper Mystery

Does this Painting by Walter Sickert Reveal the Identity of Jack the Ripper?

Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper? Ridiculous! He was Actually Dracula

 







Episode #6: Was Walter Sickert Actually Jack the Ripper? PART ONE  

I've always thought that the expansion of 19th century London must have been a real sight to behold. It was increasing by leaps and bounds, becoming, by the mid-point of the century, the largest city in the world. London in the 19th century had political and religious freedoms, making it a stable alternative to many other countries in the world and it was flooded with immigrants. Its economy was robust, and London’s positioning as a port city only served to enhance its commitment to industries like trade, shipping, and fishing. As such, London became the place, along with America, for people the world over to begin their fresh starts.

But that isn't to say that 19th century London was all roses. The vast expansion the city experienced had some pretty terrible downsides. It was overcrowded, and the infrastructure was not able to keep up with the massive influx of people from all over England and the world. On the periphery of the city especially, congested slums started popping up to hold those with little money and means. Thousands of people, slammed together, in a place whose water and sewer systems just couldn't do enough to be salubrious. So disease was rampant and morale was low. And then, of course, there was the crime.

Much was made of the so-called “criminal classes” at this time. The Victorians were terrified of the lower-classes, particularly down-and-out men living in the crowded outskirts of the city who, they thought, were lurking in the shadows, just waiting for the opportunity to arise for a well-timed theft, brawl, or even worse. Life, for most, was hard. But in 1888, Londoners clamoring for a bit of excitement to spice up the drudgery of their unhealthy lives got far more than they bargained for. They got weeks of abject terror surrounding a madman who slaughtered women in London’s East End… Who was never identified or caught. And more than 100 years later, we are still no closer to really identifying one of the most terrible killers of all time.

Or are we?

In this first half of our special two-part Halloween episode, we are going to delve into a theory that identifies Jack the Ripper as the English painter Walter Sickert. And come back next week to hear the second half of the show and see images of Sickert's work.

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And follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for more artsy goodness:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artcuriouspod/                                                                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/artcuriouspod

Want even MORE information? Check out the links below:

BBC History of Jack the Ripper

How Jack the Ripper Worked

FBI Case File on Jack the Ripper

http://www.jack-the-ripper.org/





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