Big picture, please!

InnovatorsSs20151110_smInnovators in Sculpture. Get more joy from your next visit to the Metropolitan Museum! Buy the Kindle book or click here for readers’ comments and more information.

Getting More Enjoyment from Art You Love (Kindle) – A favorite artwork can provide you with enjoyment and inspiration, help you recall important events of the past, and help you project a course into the future. Get even more enjoyment from a work of art you love by approaching it with an active mind: studying its details and asking questions about its meaning.

“How to Introduce Your Kid to Art” ( Advice from a former homeschooling parent and current art historian.

From Portraits to Puddles: New York Memorials from the Civil War to the World Trade Center Memorial (Reflecting Absence) (Kindle): Surely we can offer the victims of 9/11 a better tribute than Reflecting Absence, a gloomy piece of landscape architecture with lists of names. But what makes an effective tribute? What makes a memorable memorial?

The 2005 Turner Prize: English Art in Plain American“: A rant on Artspeak.

Cave Paintings and Christo’s Gates: Art in Individual Minds and Public Places“: A discussion of why Christo’s Gates shouldn’t have been installed in Central Park (published before the installation opened).

New York Sculptures

Monuments of Manhattan app by Guides Who Know
Monuments of Manhattan app by Guides Who Know

On controversial outdoor sculptures: “Politics and Portrait Sculptures,” blog post, video, and printable PDF. For several guest posts on the topic, click Sculpture Controversy in the Obsessions cloud.

Here’s how I got interested in this niche market: “Carving Out an Unlikely Writing Niche“.

On early sculptures in Central Park, see Central Park: The Early YearsAlso try clicking the Central Park tag in the Obsessions cloud.

For sculptures of Hamilton, see Alexander Hamilton: A Brief Biography.

Monuments of Manhattan (Guides Who Know videoguide app for Android and iPhone) – A series of 4-minute videos on 55 of the most beautiful and/or intriguing outdoor sculptures in Manhattan; with details of the sculptures, archival images, maps, and animations, plus original music, GPS, and HopStop directions. Based on my book Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide.

“Creating the Monuments of Manhattan app” (interview with Marion Calabro for Freewrite ezine)

Interview on Monuments of Manhattan app (with Joseph Kellard in The Objective Standard)

Outdoor Monuments of Manahttan
Outdoor Monuments of Manahttan

Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide (hardcover & paperback) – 54 monuments, ranging from major figures in American history to city icons, and with works by some of America’s best sculptors. Each monument has an “About the Subject” and “About the Sculpture” section.

Forgotten Delights: The Producers (paperback) – First in a what was intended to be a series of self-published books on outdoor sculptures in Manhattan; includes essays on explorers, inventors, engineers, businessmen, and workers, some of which I still haven’t published anywhere else.

On the World Trade Center Memorial: From Portraits to Puddles: New York City Memorials from the Civil War to the World Trade Center (Reflecting Absence)Surely we can offer the victims of 9/11 a better tribute than Reflecting Absence, a gloomy piece of landscape architecture with lists of names. But what makes an effective tribute? What makes a memorable memorial? The sculptures in nearby Battery Park provide excellent examples of memorials dedicated over the past hundred years. In this essay, I point out lessons from half a dozen of them that can be applied to a memorial for the World Trade Center – and I explain how our memorials declined from portraits to puddles.

My older writing on New York sculpture (pre-2014) is on

Specific artists & sculptures

Bernini's Innovations
Bernini’s Innovations

Bernini’s Innovations (Kindle) –  Innovations by Bernini that changed the history of sculpture, followed by a brief chronological survey of this Baroque sculptor’s life and major works; with dozens of color illustrations.

Dr. J. Marion Sims, with Notes on New York’s Sculpture of Sims (Kindle): A look at the controversial career of Dr. J. Marion Sims, “the Father of Gynecology,” and the sculpture of him at Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street, New York City.

Alexander Hamilton: A Brief Biography (Kindle) – details on the four sculptures of Hamilton in Manhattan; see here.

MacMonnies’ Nathan Hale” – “MacMonnies’ Nathan Hale is a reminder not of what the Founding Fathers stood for, but of how they stood for it. …”

The Statue of Liberty: Timeless Art, Political Hot Topic (Kindle) – A look at the Statue of Liberty as a timeless work of art and as a political statement by those who conceived it and by their contemporaries in the late 19th century. Includes archival illustrations, close-up views of Liberty, quotes from sculptor Bartholdi and his contemporaries, and tips on photographing outdoor sculptures in New York.

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