Installation view of Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle

Ai Weiwei’s Readymade: Politics

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been making political waves for decades, but his current shows are especially relevant to the United States.
The Black Shawl, 1917, by Henri Matisse

The Colonialist Gaze of Matisse’s Odalisques

Henri Matisse's odalisques, or reclining nude females, were inspired by trips to exotic French colonies. But what was the story outside the frame?
terra cotta warriors in Xi'an China

What Does Archaeology Have to Do with Nationalism?

Many nations have adopted origin stories in order to link themselves more closely to heroic, historical figures.
Judy Garland A Star is Born

Did A Star is Born Make Judy Garland a Gay Icon?

One scholar argues that Judy Garland's role in A Star is Born was so pivotal because it involved both gender impersonation and “racial drag."
yearbook

How High School Reunions Connect Us With the Past

High school reunions have become an important part of managing and presenting identity, as these scholars and poets consider.
georgia o'keeffe

When Dole Sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii

In 1939, Dole Pineapple Company sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii for three months in order to produce works that could be used in their advertisements.
Smoke Signals film

What Smoke Signals Means 20 Years Later

This groundbreaking film was the first movie to be written, directed, co-produced, and acted by Native Americans.
Beyonce Jay Z

What About the Art in “Apesh*t”?

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's new music video was filmed entirely at the Louvre museum. What messages hide in the histories of the featured artworks?
World Cup 2010

Why We Love World Cup Anthems

The excitement of the FIFA World Cup is exemplified by the songs that become World Cup anthems—both official and unofficial.
David Hockney

Why David Hockney Makes Both Paintings and Photographs

In a 1991 interview with singer Graham Nash, David Hockney explained how he applied his drawing skills to photography via the computer.