Art and power in Medici Florence

The concept of “art for art’s sake” may be a fine vision, but the reality of art is often far less idealistic. From Napoleon’s patronage of Jacques-Louis David to John F. Kennedy’s choice of Robert Frost to recite a poem at his presidential inauguration, political leaders have long used art to garner support. The term “propaganda” may get a bad name, but the history of states sponsoring the arts as a means of accruing glory has led to the creation of some of the finest art the world has ever seen, from Diego Velazquez’s portraits of the Spanish royal family to Hans Holbein the Younger’s paintings for King Henry VIII of England.

Perhaps no patron was more influential than the 16th-century Florentine Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici. Cosimo used his wealth, accumulated from his family’s moneylending and banking businesses, to finance the creation of a wide array of art

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Art review: Coastal art colonies captured in variety of styles

To riff off an old adage, no artist is an island. Artists are impacted by their immediate surroundings, of course, but also by so much more.

Though Monhegan Island’s seclusion and natural beauty has attracted artists since the late 19th century – perhaps most famously George Bellows, Robert Henri, Rockwell Kent and the Wyeths – many of those who painted here also traveled extensively in Europe, primarily France, where they soaked up influences of the vibrant art movements sweeping the continent. They studied their craft at various schools under the tutelage of other famous artists, and they often bounced seasonally from one to another of the many art colonies that proliferated after the Civil War.

These colonies offered them a chance to socialize and paint with other artists and to take workshops with artists they admired, all leading to a rich cross-pollination of ideas and the further unfoldment of

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Best art deco furniture and wallpaper for your home

Art deco furniture and wallpaper for your home

Nothing screams glamor like the vintage art deco furniture style of the 1920s. Stunning mirrors, lush jewel-tone fabrics and glossy woods were perfectly paired with gold trims and chic metals. It’s no wonder this look has made a comeback. People in the 2020s are feeling some serious roaring twenties nostalgia and decking their homes out like the set of “The Great Gatsby.” 

Art deco, short for arts décoratifs, was inspired by art nouveau and evolved into mid-century modern style, but its distinctive qualities make it wholly unique. To get the look in all its glory, emphasize glamor and luxury in your space with some symmetrical patterns and bold gold finds. 

What is art deco furniture?

Art deco furniture reached its height in popularity in France in the 1920s. Art deco is easily confused with adjacent styles like art nouveau, mid-century modernism and

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Ann Arbor Art Fair returns July 15 with more than 600 artists, some COVID protocols

It’s Michigan’s ultimate outdoor summer art bonanza: three art fairs with more than 600 artists in one downtown area.

The Ann Arbor Art Fair, considered the largest juried art fair in country, returns to downtown Ann Arbor on Thursday and runs through Saturday. Originally canceled earlier this past spring for the second year in a row because of state COVID restrictions, organizers changed course in late May after guidelines changed and the show is now on.

There will be some changes this year — about a third fewer artists so organizers can spread out the ones they have and the festival timeline has been shortened from four days to three — but the art fair that “people know and love” will be pretty much the same, said Maureen Riley, executive director of the Ann Arbor Steet Art Fair, The Original.

“The thing about the art fair and what’s new every

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