The Best American Poetry 2012. David Lehman and Mark Doty. Simon & Schuster, 2012. Over the last twenty-five years, The Best American Poetry has become an annual rite of the poetry world, and this year's anthology is a welcome and essential addition to the series. Painting used on cover: Jane Freilicher on 21st Street (1953). Nell Blaine. Oil on paper.
Figure in a Room (1912). Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862-1951). Oil on canvas. New Britain Museum of American Art. Purchased from the Detroit Club during hard times. However, the Club commissioned an excellent copy which they kept in the original frame. Years passed and again the Club had financial difficulties resulting in the sale of their (now fake) Benson painting to Christie’s, causing controversy. Today, both the real and the fake are in the Museum’s collection, displayed side by…
Dennis Miller Bunker Painting at Calcot (1888). John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925). Oil on canvas. Terra Museum of American Art, Evanston. Bunker stands back from his own painting with Sargent's sister Violet sitting at the edge of a creek. It is painted in a free style, heavy and unfinished in the impressionists sense. Blacks and browns and muted greens predominate and there is a heavy contrast with the whites in the foreground.
Mrs. Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes (Edith Minturn), 1898. Cecilia Beaux (American, 1855-1942). Oil on canvas.Exquisitely dressed, Edith is seated with a small volume in hand-finger marking the place-just as if she might have been disturbed while reading and was determined to continue at the passage she had last left. This small detail gives some insight into the brilliant mind and the depth of the sitter.
Portrait of the Artist's Wife Wilhelmina (c.1828) Carl Joseph Begas (German, 1794-1854). Oil on canvas, Kreismuseum Heinsberg. This image, which exudes warmth and inner light, reflects Begas' love for his 28 year-old wife as well as her beauty. Four of the nine Begas children became artists.
Merchant of Images (c.1862). Alexandre Antigna (French, 1817-1878). Oil on canvas. Bordeaux, Museum of Fine Arts. Until 1845 Antigna's paintings were generally religious scenes and portraits. Yet, after living in the poor quarter of the Île Saint-Louis in Paris he would incorporate images of the suffering and burden of urban poor into his works. By the 1848 Revolution Antigna was devoted to the Realist style, until c.1860 when he began to produce paintings in the Naturalist vein.