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Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century is now on view at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT and explores the art created in Britain during the reign of King Edward II. The period, which is known as the Edwardian era, lasted from 1901 to 1910.

 Sandwiched between the rigid Victorian era and the devastation of World War I, the Edwardian era was a time of rapid technological growth, significant artistic development, shifting political and social structures, and increased consumption among the elite. Edwardian Opulence explores how all of these changes influenced the creation, consumption, and display of British art through a range of objects.

 Highlights from the exhibition include portraits by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) and Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931), diamond-studded tiaras, vivid Autochrome color photographs, bejeweled bell pushes by Carl Fabergé (1846-1920), and an extravagantly embellished gown that belonged to the American-born Vicereine of India.

The show is comprised of 170 works from public art museums and private collections. Lenders include Queen Elizabeth II, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Musée d’Orsay. Edwardian Opulence will be on view through June 2, 2013.

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Atlanta’s High Museum of Art has joined forces with the Art Gallery of Ontario to present the exhibition Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting. The show, which features approximately 140 works by the Mexican modernists Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1996-1957), includes works from Mexico’s Museo Dolores Olmedo, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art, and the Galeria Arvil. The works are presented in pairs based on chronology and theme including Mexican identity, maternity, and portraiture.

Kahlo and Rivera, who married in 1929, were known for their tumultuous relationship as well as their involvement in Mexican politics and culture. Frida & Diego aims to take the focus off of the personal lives and explore the ways in which they influenced each other as artists.

Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting will be on view through May 12, 2013. The High Museum of Art is the only museum in the U.S. to host the exhibition, which is the largest presentation of the couple’s art ever to appear together.

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Opening on Sunday, December 16 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado, will present over 100 masterpieces from one of the world’s most renowned collections of European paintings. Spanning from the 16th century through the 19th century, the exhibit explores the evolution of painting in Spain through the works of artists such as Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), El Greco (1541-1614), and Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). There will also be works on view by non-Spanish artists who influenced the country’s artistic development including Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804), and Titian (circa 1488-1576).

The exhibition marks the first time that Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado has lent such a considerable selection from their permanent collection to a museum in the United States. The loan is part of a new initiative by the museum to broaden access to its illustrious holdings.

The works, which include both paintings and works on paper, are mainly courtly and spiritual paintings that explore the realms of society, culture, politics, and religion in Spain. The exhibit was previously on view at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, but ended its run last month. Portrait of Spain will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston through March 31.

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As part of a yearlong celebration of Italian culture hosted by Italy’s foreign minister, Michelangelo’s (1475-1564) iconic work, David-Apollo, will be go on view today at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata unveiled the sculpture yesterday, December 12. David-Apollo will be on view in the West Building’s Italian galleries through March 3, 2013.

Michelangelo carved David-Apollo in 1530 for Baccio Valori, who served as the interim governor of Florence per the Medici pope Clement VII’s appointment. Michelangelo and the pope were at political odds, but the artist wished to make peace with the Medici through his work. Michelangelo never finished David-Apollo as he left Italy and never returned after Clement VII’s death.

Part of the Museo Nazionale del Barello’s collection in Florence, David-Apollo traveled to the National Gallery once before in 1949. The masterpiece’s installation in Washington over sixty years ago coincided with former president Harry Truman’s inaugural reception and attracted more than 791,000 visitors. In 2013, David-Apollo’s presentation will coincide with President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The Year of Italian Culture, launched by Sant’Agata under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, will bring a range of Italian masterpieces to nearly 70 cultural institutions across the United States. Works range from classical and Renaissance to baroque and contemporary and cover the realms of art, music, theater, cinema, literature, science, design, fashion, and cuisine.    

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012 17:37

Obama Has the Art World on His Side

President Obama has the art world on his side once again. The west coast artists’ edition publisher and workshop, Gemini G.E.L., is aiding the Democrat’s re-election campaign with help from the blue-chip "Artists for Obama" portfolio fundraiser, comprised of limited-edition hand-printed lithographs, etchings, and screen prints, debuting this week.

The portfolio includes pieces from 19 artists, including John Baldessari, Frank Gehry, Julie Mehretu, and Bruce Nauman, among other art stars. Though all of the artworks were made specifically with the re-election in-mind, some carry more obvious themes of social and political commentary than others.

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