The Neue Pinokothek in Munich, Germany is having the first exhibition of 18th century English painter George Stubbs ever to be held on the Continent. A selection of thirty paintings, mostly from collections in England, will be complemented by drawings and prints that highlight the artist's far-reaching influence in the field of animal painting in France and Germany.
The show starts today, January 26, 2012, and runs until May 6, 2012.
Today is the 150th birthday of Edith Jones Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature for her 1920 novel The Age of Innocence. She was a prolific writer who averaged a volume a year for forty years. Her works include novels, novellas, short stories, ghost stories, an autobiography, literary criticism, poetry, plays, and translations, and they cover topics such as war, travel, landscape gardening, Italian architectural history, and interior decorating. But she is most well known for her juicy, insider novels about the New York society into which she was born. Today, her taste and insight are as popular as ever. Edith Wharton is on trend.
In a New York Times interview, Julian Fellowes, the creator of "Downton Abbey" cites Wharton as one of his influences for his wildly popular PBS series. And Bill Cunningham recently pointed out that rich Victorian-inspired silks are stealing the show on Paris's runways and made stellar appearances at the opening of the new addition to Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The details about dresses, Parisian designers, upholstery, window treatments, state-of-the-art gas fireplaces that Wharton wrote about with authority and sometimes cattiness make her novels a pleasure to read. If she was alive today, I am sure she would an über design blogger, a global taste-maker with a sharp tongue and a massive Twitter following. One of my favorite bits of trivia about her is that her family, specifically her Aunt Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones, was "the Joneses" as in "Keeping up with the Joneses."
But my favorite thing about her is that she loved dogs. Throughout her life, she was often photographed with her pups. She gave to animal charities. And she helped establish the S.P.C.A. in its early days in the United States. One of my all-time favorite dog quotes is by her. It's one I think of often as I face my days without Darby, but it has never been so beautiful as when I saw it published as she wrote it, almost as a haiku...
My little old dog: A heart-beat At my feet.
The other bit of trivia I love about her, is that although she staged photos of herself working at her desk, she supposedly wrote in bed with her dogs, throwing the pages onto the floor. When I discovered that, I realized how she was able to be so prolific. I have been toying with a new theory about dogs giving humans the space to be artists (in the same way they gave them the space to plant crops and settle down and store fat and think new things with their bigger brains). I think Edith Wharton proves my theory. Dogs give you the permission to stay in bed and write, and the incentive to go outside and design your garden, and hang out with your friends on the terrace. I think Edith Wharton had a beautiful life (though in all honesty it was sometimes heartbreaking), not because she was born into wealth, but because she loved dogs.
Edith Wharton with Two Dogs, Newport, RI, 1889
Edith Wharton with Dogs on her Shoulders, Newport, RI, 1889
Unknown Dog on the Terrace at Edith Wharton's Home The Mount
Thank you everyone who responded to redesign survey. It was so great to hear your thoughts and your encouragement. Most interesting to me was what you would like to see more of...
- more about me, Moira McLaughlin, and my life in Grass Valley 54.4%
- more in-depth written articles about dog artists 51.9%
- more guest posts from different people's perspective 43%
- more art, less text 31.6% (tie)
- more ways to connect with other dog artists 31.6% (tie)
- more contests 25.3%
The other thing that was informative was that most of you were fine with ads running on Dog Art Today, but several of you felt strongly that national brand dog foods do not always put dogs' well-being first. And you don't like animated ads. Neither do I. Know that I am going to be very conscientious about what advertisers I include here. Please fee free to email me if you see an ad you don't like.
I printed three of my images with Moo's Printfinity feature. Overall, I was pleased with them. Though, they were smaller than I thought (my fault for not reading the fine print) and ended up being approximately $2 each for a run of 25 cards. I liked that you could add your own name and website to the back, but I'm not crazy about the font. And it would be nice to include the title of the artwork on the back of each one.
If you're an artist who prints cards, who do you like?
Rick Bartow - Dog's Journey: A 20 Year Survey is now on view at the Missoula Art Museum in Montana. Bartow is a Native American of Wiyot heritage who is interested in themes of animism and transformation. His dream-like images often include humans crossed with crows, hawks, dogs, bulls, ravens, and coyotes and suggest states of mind more than actual beings.
I had a thought the other night when I was struggling with my grief and missing my own little being...
"Without a dog, I feel like an animal."
Rick Bartow's work speaks to me in my dream-like sadness.