Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blog #8 Non Western, Part 2

(No English titles or years available)

The above paintings were done using an Asian art technique known as Chinese Brush Painting.  Artist Liu Cunhui is the artist for all five of these paintings.  Born in 1955, he is now a well known painter, teaching his techniques and even developing an instructional video series.  He is also a professor at Beijing Education College.

Chinese Brush Painting is an ancient technique, dating from 4000 B.C., making it over 6,000 years old.  It involves a sharply tapered brush, and ink in cake form, which is diluted to various consistencies using water and a stone slab. The media is then applied to paper or silk.  Typically subject matter involves landscapes and nature, the components of which, such as water and rocks, hold significance.

I chose Chinese Brush Painting because it became of personal interest to me.  A few years ago, I volunteered to teach a middle school art class.  I was given no curriculum, and researched various art styles and techniques.  Chinese Brush Painting quickly interested me, and I have appreciated this ancient and beautiful style ever since. Cunhui’s paintings are beautiful– the first two shown above were the reason I chose Cunhui– the dark birds against the brambly splashes of color remind me of birds in a winter bush or in a Forsythia in Spring.


Liu Cunhui,

Chinese Brush Painting


Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #7 Non Western, Part 1

These pieces of pottery are part of William Itter’s Nigerian Artist Potters collection.  They are part of a collection put together over the past decade and comprised of dozens of pieces, varying from ceremonial pots to functional-looking vessels. Itter also has several other collections from all across Africa (see here).  William Itter is a professor at Indiana University and an avid collector and artist.  The last picture is an IU collection, which contains pieces donated from William Itter’s personal collections.

I chose Nigerian pottery because I enjoy decor that has a warm, unique, artistic, and rugged feel. Pottery is an art form that the artist spends so much time touching, holding, shaping, and perfecting.  To me, that makes it feel personal.  Also, art that isn’t on the wall is 3-D and so approachable– the viewer is in the same world, unlike viewing a painted scene in which you are looking at it through the eyes of another.  Pottery has no barrier between artist and viewer.


William Itter, African collection

IU collection

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #6 AMT: Celebrating and Honoring our People

Maya Lin: Paying Tribute to our Women, our Rights, and our Fallen. 

Women’s Table, Maya Lin at Yale University, 1993

This piece of art (above) was designed by Maya Lin as the first piece on the campus to acknowledge women.  Lin had noticed during her years at Yale University that all the public art portrayed or celebrated men.  The Women’s Table design features spiral engravings of digits representing the number of women to graduate from Yale.

Reference: (Yale Herald)

Civil Rights Memorial, Maya Lin, Montgomery, Alabama 1989

Lin created this memorial (above) as a tribute to those who influenced, or died in pursuit of, our civil rights.  The memorial itself is inscribed with names of significance; the wall behind is engraved with a portion of Martin Luther King, Junior’s scriptural quote, “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Reference: (South Poverty Law Center)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Maya Lin, Washington D.C. 1982

Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as part of a contest, when she was just 21 years old and attending Yale University.  She won the design contest, and has continued designing influential pieces ever since.  Her intent for this memorial was to take the names of those who died overseas, and give them a voice here on American soil.

Reference: ( PBS artists)

Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio to Chinese immigrants.  Though her parents both led professional lives at Ohio University, she attended Yale University. Yale is where she received her degrees, won the design contest that thrust her into the art and architecture world, and where she would later display one of her creations.

Reference: (PBS artists)


Judy Chicago: Celebrating Dozens of Influential Women

The Dinner Party, Brooklyn Museum, NYC, NY 1979

The Dinner Party is comprised on dozens of place settings, floor panels, and banners.  Each of the place settings represents a woman who influenced American culture or rights in some way.  The table is triangular, with each wing being 48 feet long.  In total, 1,038 women are acknowledged– 39 place settings, with an additional 999 names inscribed on the floor.

Reference: (Brooklyn Museum)


Picture of Entry Banners

The Entrance Banners

Mary Shelley and Sojourner Truth place settings

Place settings

signature image

Place setting for Georgia O’Keeffe, whose beautiful art was considered controversial due to its interpreted sexual or feminist qualities.

Picture of heritage floor

The floor inscriptions


Judy Chicago was born in 1939 in Chicago, IL. She is an artist , author, teacher, and feminist that is recognized around the world. She is a symbol of freedom of expression for women everywhere.

Reference: (Judy Chicago)

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #5 Early Modern

The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, 1902

Scott Joplin, an African American composer and musician composed The Entertainer in 1902 as a two-step dance rag-time piano solo during his time in St. Louis, MO. The piece has been a favorite ever since, showing up in movies, such as The Sting and earning its rank at #10 on Recording Industry Association of America’s “Songs of the Century” list (Wikipedia, The Entertainer).

Considered an iconic member of the advance of the African Americans in the arts in the early 20th century, Joplin spread his talent through Texas, St. Louis, Mo, and NYC, NY. Rag-time has even been dubbed “African-American polka.” Unfortunately Joplin succumbed to syphilis and died in an institution at the early age of 49 (Wikipedia, Scott Joplin) and was placed in an unmarked pauper’s grave.  Regardless, Joplin’s talent and influence is alive and well today and has been recognized by the popularity of his music, his influence on the African-American arts, and his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

This composition never ceases to bring a smile to my face– its lively pace and beats instantly make you tap along, begging your body to move.  As a child, I would ask my brother to play it on the piano over and over again.  That memory stands out in my mind each time I hear it.


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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


Impressionism: Love it or Hate it?

Claude Monet Nympheas 1915, Munich

I think Impressionism is gorgeous, peaceful, and a genius concept.  It fell under much criticism due to its lack of line and structure, but what is more incredible about beauty than its fleeting qualities? Claude Monet created the above painting, Nympheas, in 1915 in Munich (  He often chose pond-like scenes, such as water lilies and weeping willows as his subjects.  These allowed for color, serenity, and dancing breezes and lighting.

Some Post-Impressionism works carry the same qualities.  Consider Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone (below).  In this painting, you see the same light-play on the water, and undefined, fleeting details.

In contrast, let’s compare Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to its recent predecessor, Realism:

Whistler’s Mother, 1871, James McNeill Whistler (

Aside from the lack of focus on light and clearly defined lines, notice how there isn’t anything in the painting that could feel fleeting.  In fact, this piece feels hours long.  Viewing it is almost reminiscent of being a child and sitting in the stillness and silence while visiting an elderly relative with your parents.  Both styles have their appeal and are infused with moment-capturing talent.  However, the light of Impressionism is a well-captured treasure.



Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #3 AMT200

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed this piece, Piano Sonata No. 11 around 1783 in Vienna or Salzburg.  It is a 3-movement Sonata, with all pieces being in A major or A minor.  Because of this, it is consider homotonal. (Wikipedia, Piano Sonato No.11)  Notice how this contrasts to the polyphonic music of the Renaissance, and also how much more pleasant it is to listen to than the complex compositions.

The three movements of this sonata are broken down into the following: 1. Andante grazioso 2. Menuetto 3. Alla Turca: Allegretto.  The third portion, Alla Turca, is widely popular and is often simply called Turkish Rondo (Wikipedia, Piano Sonato No.11).

Mozart was a child prodigy and toured Europe.  Throughout his life, he wrote over 600 pieces in German and Italian.  As is all too common with celebrities and performers, Mozart suffered from depression.  Tragically, he died at the age of 35, and was placed in a common, unmarked grave.(Uaf blackboard amt200, Wikipedia)

I chose this composition because of its personal meaning to me.  When my first child was born, I received a compilation of Mozart’s music to play to soothe the baby.  Now, three boys later, we still listen to it.  This song, with its joyful notes, will always remind me of those years and bring me a reminiscent smile.

References: (taken from Wikipedia?)


Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


This piece, entitled Spring, is actually a portion of Antonio Vivaldi’s larger work, The Four Seasons.  It was composed in 1723, published in 1725, made its first appearance in Amsterdam, spread rapidly through France, and has become one of the most popular Baroque pieces (Wikipedia, The Four Seasons).

    The Four Seasons itself was a component of a larger compilation, Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The trial of harmony and invention), opus 8, which was comprised of twelve concertos. The movements of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter reflect the happenings of nature during each of those seasons, such as instrumental sounds to imitate thunderstorms, or leaves floating to the ground. Several others of the twelve concertos (Storm at Sea, Pleasure, The Hunt) also use descriptive notes to depict the theme of the composition. (, Vivaldi)

The rise of the merchant class created a demand for music that was pleasant to listen to, steering it away from severely complex polyphonic styles.  Though simpler in theory than the polyphonic compositions, Vivaldi’s Spring is aesthetically magnificent.  The notes truly echo the splendor of the seasons and celebrate their differences.




Blog #2 AMT200

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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized