Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

'She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia' Review: Ancient Civilization by First Known Author
The Morgan Library & Museum tells the entwined stories of Enheduanna—an innovative poet—and the women of the world in which she lived.

November 24, 2022  •  The Wall Street Journal

New York

I am Enheduanna, let me speak to you my prayer,
My tears flowing like some sweet intoxicant:
"O Holy Inanna, may I let you have your way?
I would have you judge the case."

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'Van Gogh in America' Review: Tracking an Acquired Taste
The Detroit Institute of Arts exhibit reveals how van Gogh became a superstar, showing 74 of his works and highlighting the Midwestern collections that took the risk of acquiring the initially controversial artist.

October 13, 2022  •  The Wall Street Journal

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) had been dead for 32 years before any American museum bought a painting by him. While he was famously (if exaggeratedly) unsuccessful in life, by then Europe had long since embraced him. Yet at the landmark 1913 Armory Show in New York—Van Gogh's public debut here, with at least 21 paintings on view—nothing of his sold, and one critic wrote that Van Gogh had "little if any sense of beauty and spoiled a lot of canvas with crude, quite unimportant pictures." In 1920, when New York's Montross Gallery gave him a retrospective, only three of 67 pictures sold, all to one collector. And when in 1921 the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented "A Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings," including seven Van Gogh loans, it was condemned by many as degenerate art.

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'Madayin' Review: Sacred Patterns, Celestial Images
The first major exhibition devoted to Aboriginal bark painting outside of Australia illuminates the continent's Yolngu culture

September 19, 2022  •  The Wall Street Journal

Hanover, N.H.

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'Luigi Lucioni: Modern Light' Review: Restoring a Reputation
The Shelburne Museum is showing over 40 works by the Italian-American painter, whose works were once well, and deservedly, known for their hyper-realistic detail and incredible depth of field.

August 30, 2022  •  The Wall Street Journal

Shelburne, Vt.

When, in 1932, the Metropolitan Museum of Art made its first purchase of a painting by a contemporary artist, it selected a still life by Luigi Lucioni. The Whitney Museum of American Art also bought a painting by him that year, and in 1930 the Museum of Modern Art had included him in its first exhibition of work by young artists. By then, Lucioni (1900-1988) had won numerous awards and been deemed a rising star in the art world. A gifted draftsman, he had earned admission to Cooper Union at age 15, to the National Academy of Design at 19, and to the company of established artists like John Sloan and Childe Hassam a few years later.

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Black Artists Behind the Lens
An exhibition in New Orleans explores the work of studio photographers since the 1840s.

August 27, 2022  •  The Wall Street Journal

When curator Brian Piper of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) began to study the work of early Black commercial photographers in the 2010s, the subject was largely terra incognita. With very few exceptions, "their photographs were not included in the narrative of art photography," he said. Now Dr. Piper is helping to close that gap with a new exhibition, "Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers," the first museum show to focus on the artistry and social significance of these little-known men and women.

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