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Ellen C. Caldwell

Ellen C. Caldwell is an LA-born and -based art historian, writer, and professor. She writes about visual culture, the arts, and popular media for publications including New American Paintings, KCET’s Artbound, Riot Material, Desert Jewels, and more. Read more of her writing at eclaire.me.

YINKA SHONIBARE MBE, Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball), 2004 High Definition Digital Video 32 minute loop © Yinka Shonibare. Courtesy James Cohan, New York.

Yinka Shonibare: Postcolonial Film and Fabrication

Explore Yinka Shonibare’s first film featuring dramatic postcolonial performances that highlight the slipperiness of identity-making and history-telling.
1901 poster for Cinco de Mayo: "May 5, 1862 and the siege of Puebla"

On Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Thinking of celebrating Cinco de Mayo at your school this year? Learn from history about some of the potentially insensitive pitfalls.
In this June 15, 1995, file photo, murder defendant, O.J. Simpson grimaces as he tries on one of the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered, during the Simpson double-murder trial in Los Angeles. A lawyer for O.J. Simpson in Las Vegas says the imprisoned former football star isn’t happy with portrayals he’s seen in ads and interviews about a cable TV series focusing on his 1995 murder acquittal in Los Angeles. Simpson won’t be able to see the show, "The People v. O.J. Simpson," as Nevada prisons don’t carry the FX network, which debuts the 10-part show on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. (Sam Mircovich via AP, Pool, File)

O.J. Simpson: Media Spectacle Then and Now

O.J. Simpson is back in the news, and a whole new journalistic frenzy has begun.
Statue of James Marion Sims in New York's Central Park

Contested Memorials and the Mothers of Gynecology

Many have heard of Dr. James Marion Sims and know him as the “father of gynecology” but what about the “mothers of gynecology”? Where is their memorial?
Beverly Cleary in 1971

Beverly Cleary, Age 100

American author Beverly Cleary turns 100 this week. Explore her world and legacy through classic characters like Henry Higgins and Beezus and Ramona Quimby.
Easter Card ca. 1907

The Easter Bunny, or, Why We Love Rabbits

The human fascination with rabbits, including the Easter Bunny, is long and deep. But why rabbits? 
Lions painted in the Chauvet Cave. This is a replica of the painting from the Brno museum Anthropos. The absence of the mane sometimes leads to these paintings being described as portraits of lionesses.

Reinterpreting The Chauvet Cave Paintings

Do France’s Chauvet Cave paintings depict a contemporary volcanic eruption? Recent research argues that they do. 
Artist Faith Ringgold poses for a portrait in front of a painted self-portrait during a press preview of her exhibition, "American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s" at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Ringgold explains her "confrontational art" _ vivid paintings whose themes of race, gender, class and civil rights were so intense that for years, no one would buy them. "I didn’t want people to be able to look, and look away, because a lot of people do that with art," Ringgold said. "I want them to look and see. I want to grab their eyes and hold them, because this is America." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Power in the Painting: Faith Ringgold and her Story Quilts

Through a didactic retelling of history, artist Faith Ringgold uses her story quilts to reframe the past.
Le bateau-atelier The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Le bateau-atelier (another impression)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 10, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d3b4edc-0895-16f4-e040-e00a18067a68

Why We Should Preserve Artist Studios

The rich historical and inspirational sites of artists’ studios and homes make them worthy of historical preservation.
Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher: Questioning Race

Artist Ellen Gallagher interweaves text and images to force viewers to confront and question race in American society. 

Understanding the Popularity of “Downton Abbey”

Downton Abbey's popularity in America may be due to the British culture industry's manufacture of the myth of England itself. 
Award-winning artist Betye Saar, shown here setting up her "Tangled Roots" exhibit at the Palmer Museum of Art on the University Park campus of Penn State in 1996.

The Assemblage Sculptures of Betye Saar

Artist Betye Saar subverts, reclaims, and draws on both public and personal spaces. Her work remains as relevant today as it did when it was first created. 
Edgar Heap of Birds

The Cheyenne Artist Who Is Challenging the Silenced History of Native Americans

Using freeway signs as his medium, artist Edgar Heap of Birds disrupts American perceptions of Native-American culture and history.
College student at the library.

Universities Are Now Using Recruitment Videos to Attract Prospective Students

In this digital age, how do institutions of higher education engage prospects and get their messages out?
Artifact Piece by James Luna


How Luiseno Indian Artist James Luna Resists Cultural Appropriation

Artist James Luna uses his body as an intervention to white art-historical practices.
Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: The Unlikely Star of the Hit Show “Empire”

Delve into the art and culture of Fox’s “Empire” through the monumental portrait paintings of Kehinde Wiley.

After Returning From War, Veterans Find Solace In Art

The role of art in helping veterans heal from the traumas of war.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen

#allhandsondeck: The Art of Political Posters

Did posters help to raise spirits in Ferguson? Learn about the transformative political posters of Damon Davis and Robbie Conal.
Christopher Columbus

Challenging Columbus Day

More and more states are choosing not to honor Columbus Day celebrations. We look back at the history of the holiday.
Gyre installation featuring Andy Hughes' and Cynthia Minet's work

Eco-Art: Where Art Meets Education

In the case of eco-art, the artists have become educators and translators of environmental science and data.
Portrait of Noah Purifoy. Photo credit: Jim McHugh, courtesy of Noah Purifoy Foundation.
www.noahpurifoy.com

Salvage and Savior: Noah Purifoy’s Assemblage

Noah Purifoy transformed the wreckage from the 1965 Watts riots into art, and in doing so, he transformed much more.

The Guerrilla Girls Turn 30

A secret collective of masked female artists known as the Guerrilla Girls has taken to the streets and museums to combat racism and sexism for 30 years.

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou: Hashtag Counterattacks to Racist Stereotypes

What do Americans visualize when they hear “Africa”? Can a hashtag change all of that? #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou

Experiencing Monet’s Giverny

Want to experience Claude Monet’s Giverny? Do so easily through his paintings or travel.

#museumselfies: Museums and Selfies in this Digital Age

Will selfies save our museums? Find out about this growing #museumselfie trend.