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« Steps in the Right Direction? | Main | Singing Along »

June 22, 2007


Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

A while ago I wrote here about Akseli Gallén-Kallela, an important Finnish artist active around the turn of the 20th century.

Many of his paintings are in Finland and therefore inconvenient for most of us to view in person. This problem was somewhat alleviated thanks to a major exhibition of his work in Groningen, Netherlands. The bad news is that the exhibit ended 26 April. The good news is that a catalog, in English, is available. I saw copies at a nearby Barnes & Noble store, but it's available here at Amazon. No doubt there are other places it can be found, including museum shops. So you have the opportunity to get a pretty good idea about what he painted from the very good to the so-so.

One feature of the catalog that I found especially nice was two-page spreads containing a detail from one or another of his major paintings (illustrated in full on another page). The detail is good enough that an interested reader (such as me) could glean a decent idea as to how Gallén handled brushwork, color overlaying and other details useful to artists.

Another book I recently purchased is a biography of architect Bertram Goodhue -- its Amazon link is here.

Goodhue was an outstanding architect who died in his fifties, just as Modernism was starting its rise. So there is no way we can be sure what his final, mature style might have been, unlike the case for near-contemporary (and also short-lived) architect Raymond Hood.

Among Goodhue's best-known buildings are the Nebraska State Capitol, the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago and St. Bartholomew's Church on New York City's Park Avenue.

The book is interesting because its focus is on Goodhue's residential work, less known than his large projects (which the book does not ignore).

An interesting sidelight: I'm been seeking a decent book about Goodhue for a year or two. Apparently all the while I was wallowing in frustration, this book was becoming reality: how convenient.

Will lightening strike again? Are there any publishers readying books about Frans Hals and Jean-Léon Gérôme? Hope so.

(Note: 2Blowhards does not have advertisements, nor do we have deals with companies such as The Amazon links above are for informational purposes only.)



posted by Donald at June 22, 2007


That's great news about the Goodhue book! I've long wanted to know more about him, as well as eyeball a lot of photos of his work. Online sources are pretty good, but I wanted more. What a talent he was -- a genuine Major Figure. And definitely underknown. Looking forward to postings about him.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 22, 2007 11:08 AM

I love St. Bart's in New York. The dome gives it a very "eastern" feeling. I remember, or think I remember, being driven past it as a kid at that late afternoon hour when the sun, slashing through the east-west midtown sidestreet (is it 47th? 48th?) lays a slab of light across Park Avenue and turns that dome an avocado green. Or was that some other building blazing into life in some other part of Manhattan on some other golden afternoon? Ah, time. Ah, Thomas Wolfe. Ah, lost but never to be forgotten youth........

Posted by: ricpic on June 22, 2007 4:50 PM

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