Elements of Design: Spotlight on Color
Color, like line, shape, texture, and the other elements of art and design, communicates meaning and creates visually compelling experiences. Here's how.
Marian Anderson Photo Archives
The African American opera singer made history with a stirring concert at the Lincoln Memorial. But there was much more to Marian Anderson.
Why John Baldessari Burned His Own Art
The artist's "Cremation Project" of 1970 marked a liberation from the tradition of painting and a step toward a more encompassing vision.
The Construction of America, in the Eyes of the English
In Theodor de Bry’s illustrations for Thomas Harriot’s Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, the Algonquin are made to look like the Irish. Surprise.
How American Artists Have Portrayed Haiti
In the early 20th century, African American artists created work that expressed solidarity with Haiti--whether they had been there or not.
How Masks of Mutilated WWI Soldiers Haunted Postwar Culture
In the age before plastic surgery, masks were the best option for veterans with faces scarred by war. The end results, however, were somewhat uncanny.
How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House
Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
The American Art Style that Idolized the Machine
Precisionism, a modernist art style that emerged in the early 20th century, glorified the machine age, all but erasing the presence of people.
Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?
Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.
Edward S. Curtis: Romance vs. Reality
In a famous 1910 photograph "In a Piegan Lodge," a small clock appears between two seated Native American men. In a later print, the clock is missing.