Art History

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia curated by volunteer community editors, found itself at the center of conversations about whether to categorize non-fungible tokens as "art."

Should NFTs Be Classified as Art? Wikipedia's Editors Vote 'No'

Makers of the free encyclopedia spar over the categorization for non-fungible tokens, the relatively new phenomenon sweeping the digital art world

Researchers suspect that a painting bought in 1970 for £65 might be the handiwork of Anthony van Dyck. Featured here is an example of a similar painting, Portrait of Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain as a nun (1626), which was attributed to van Dyck in 2009. This work is part of the collections of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

Cool Finds

Dismissed as a Copy for Decades, This Flemish Masterpiece Could Now Fetch Thousands

Purchased by an art historian for $90 in 1970, researchers now say the portrait might be the handiwork of the 17th-century court painter Anthony van Dyck

A small stretch of an ancient cemetery in Naples is set to open to the public for the first time, shedding new light on the Italian city’s history and ancient Greek artistry.

A Long-Overlooked Necropolis in Naples Reveals the Enduring Influence of Ancient Greece

The Ipogeo dei Cristallini's well-preserved tombs will open to the public as soon as summer 2022

This commemorative Edmonia Lewis "forever" stamp will go on sale January 26, as the 45th installment of the USPS's Black Heritage series. 

U.S. Postage Stamp Will Honor Edmonia Lewis, a Sculptor Who Broke the Mold

As a Native American, Black and Roman Catholic woman, Lewis overcame prejudice to become a sought-after sculptor in late 19th-century Europe

Finds unveiled in 2021 included a wooden falcon that originally belonged to doomed queen Anne Boleyn, an intact ancient chicken egg and a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Cool Finds

Ninety-Nine Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2021

The year's most exciting discoveries include a Viking "piggy bank," a lost Native American settlement and a secret passageway hidden behind a bookshelf

Wayne Thiebaud, Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961. Oil on canvas.

Getting a Taste of Wayne Thiebaud

An exhibit in California examines the full, delicious spread of the American artist's work

The center aims to establish a "dialogue between modern and contemporary art," one curator says.

Why Baltimore Is Poised to Become a Major Hub for Henri Matisse Fans

The Baltimore Museum of Art recently opened a research center dedicated to the French artist

Sarah Biffin, Sarah Biffin, watercolor

Miniature by Sarah Biffin, 19th-Century Artist Born With No Arms or Legs, Exceeds Estimates at Auction

The painter forged a remarkable career as a disabled woman artist in 19th-century London

Scientists studied the lead isotopic values of the white paint used in 77 Dutch works, including this one by Rembrandt. Rembrandt van Rijn, Tobit and Anna with the Kid, 1626 

Art Meets Science

Scientists Can Determine When and Where Dutch Masters Worked by the White Paint They Used

Using a new technology, researchers say they’ve discovered a link between the chemical composition of pigments in Dutch paintings and historic conflicts

An aerial view of the ongoing efforts to reconstruct Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral, pictured in June 2021.

France Approves Controversial Plan to Renovate Notre-Dame Cathedral

Conservative critics have opposed the new proposal, which aims to make the Paris landmark an "even more beautiful and welcoming" place for visitors

The newly discovered synagogue is the second found in the ancient community.

Cool Finds

Researchers Unearth 2,000-Year-Old Synagogue in Mary Magdalene's Supposed Hometown

The religious center is the second of its kind found in Migdal, an ancient community on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642

A Hidden Sketch Is Discovered in Rembrandt's 'Night Watch'

Researchers in the Netherlands used new scanning technologies to discover how the Baroque artist painted his most famous masterpiece

Crews removed the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from its perch in Charlottesville, Virginia, in July 2021. Controversy over the statue's fate sparked the violent "Unite the Right" rally in 2017.

History of Now

Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee Statue Will Be Melted Down, Transformed Into New Art

Officials in the Virginia city approved a bold plan for the future of the Confederate monument

Sandro Botticelli's La nascita di Venere, or Venus' Birth was painted on canvas with tempera paints.

Art Meets Science

Egg Yolk Gives Tempera Paint Its Enhanced Coverage and Spreadable Properties

The paint has been used throughout human history and is featured in iconic art pieces, like Michelangelo's 'Manchester Madonna'

A high-necked polychrome pot, created sometime between 1100 and 1400 B.C.E., was among the more than 900 items returned to Mali.

The U.S. Returns More Than 900 Stolen Artifacts to Mali

American authorities seized the presumably looted objects, which were listed as replicas, in 2009

Art dealer Helen Fioratti and her husband, Nereo, purchased the mosaic from an aristocratic Italian family in the 1960s and used it as a coffee table in their Manhattan apartment for some 45 years.

Cool Finds

A Mosaic From Caligula's 'Pleasure Boat' Spent 45 Years as a Coffee Table in NYC

Authorities returned the ancient artwork, now on view at a museum near Rome, to Italy following a multi-year investigation

This composite photograph shows the bison herd with one of the newly discovered petroglyphs overlaid on the sky.

Bison in Canada Discover Ancient Petroglyphs, Fulfilling an Indigenous Prophecy

Reintroduced to Wanuskewin Heritage Park in 2019, the animals' hooves uncovered four 1,000-year-old rock carvings

In "New Glass Now," at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery, works by 50 artists, including the hot-sculpted glass work of James Akers, (above: TThe Wild One (B), 2018) amplify the stunning advancement of the artform since the last major survey.

 

Two New Shows Reflect the Shining Versatility of Glass

Thrilling innovations at the Renwick mirror SAAM’s exquisite historical survey of the Venetian masters and their influences

Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, The Virgin and Child With a Flower on a Grassy Bank, circa 1503

Cool Finds

Sketch Bought at Estate Sale for $30 May Be Dürer Drawing Worth $50 Million

Dated to around 1503, the depiction of the Virgin and Child bears the Renaissance master's monogram and watermark

David Allan, Edinburgh Milkmaid With Butter Churn, circa 1780–90

See a Rare Watercolor of a Black Woman Living in Edinburgh in the Late 18th Century

Staff at the National Galleries of Scotland, which recently acquired the David Allan painting, hope to uncover more information about the sitter's identity

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