Tag Archives: art

Relief (n)

“Carving, molding, or stamping in with the design projects from or is sunk into the surface. The degree of projection varies from shallow (bas relief) to deep (alto rilievo).”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

A Cause Worth Supporting

Late last year, in early November, I did something I proclaimed throughout my teaching career I would never do: I resigned and departed from my teaching post during the school year. I won’t bore you with the details of my resignation from the High School of Economics & Finance (HSE&F) in Lower Manhattan other than to say that working in the New York City Department of Education in general and in this school in particular had simply become untenable. That said, I paraphrase what I told my excellent students as my last day approached: I didn’t leave because I had any problems with the kids in this building, but because I had problems with the other adults.

The situation was dismal, redeemed only by the students in whose service I worked. Otherwise, the last couple of years in that school were for me routinely miserable.

Fortunately, some of my best students have stayed in touch. Now I’ve learned that a group of them are making plans to travel to Europe this summer with Pace University’s Liberty Partnership Program. One of the students I served at HSE&F (she’s in the banner photograph under the link below), as a global studies teacher, contacted me with news of the Go Fund Me campaign (which you will find right under this hyperlink) she and the rest of this group has started to underwrite their trip.

I donated this morning.

This is a really great group of kids who have come a long way as students and deserve whatever financial support they garner. If for some reason the link above fails, you can find these kids’ page by bringing up Go Fund Me and searching Travel Abroad Experience for High School Students.

Please consider supporting these richly deserving inner-city high school students.

Genre (n)

“In a broad sense, the term may refer to a type of art, such as landscape or portraiture, within the general category of painting; in a specialized sense, it refers to the portrayal of scenes from unidealized daily life: domestic and tavern scenes, musicales, Fetes champetres, etc. The term applies especially to painting. Genre scenes can be the entire subject or just a detail in a nongenre picture. Explored as a distinct type of Baroque painting in the Low Countries.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Craft (n)

“In traditional art history the line between art and craft was sharply defined. Crafts were always practical, if sometimes beautiful, objects produced by a skilled tradesman. Until the 16th century, both craftsmen and artists were paid according to the labor expended in making an item; with the rise in the status of the artist, however, artworks came to be viewed primarily aesthetically. This division is breaking down as more design and once-practical objects are adopted by the ever-expanding definition of art (e.g., Shaker craft and art, automobile design) and as artists turn to methods once exclusively those of craftspeople (e.g., quiltmaking, as seen in the AIDS memorial quilt or African-American artists working in the quilt medium; furniture design).”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Futurism (n)

“Chiefly an Italian literary and artistic movement, futurism stressed the dynamism of motion and appealed to young Italian artists to reject the art of the academies and museums. The first ‘Manifesto of Future Painters,’ proclaimed in 1910 in Turin, was signed by Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, and L. Russolo. Attempting to represent time and motion, these painters and sculptors showed multiples of moving parts in many positions simultaneously. While futurism was not directly associated with fascism until after World War I, evidence of right-wing political ideas and the glorification of war can be found in Boccioni’s States of Mind of 1910-1911.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Fore-Edge Painting (n)

“A painting on the edge of a book opposite the spine, occasionally on the top edge, visible when the book is fanned slightly. Landscape is the most common subject.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

9 Muses

“Clio * Euterpe * Thalia * Melpomene * Terpsichore * Erato * Urania * Calliope * Polymnia

The nine muses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory), were a favourite subject for Roman artists and much depicted in mosaic and fresco, or carved in marble to grace the praesidium of a theater.

Clio, the muse of history, is represented with a stylus and a scroll, or after the Renaissance, with a book, a laurel crown, or a trumpet; she is easy to confuse with Calliope, who often has the same attributes. Euterpe, muse of lyrical poetry, bears a flute. Thalia, muse of pastoral poetry and comedy, carries a comic mask and sometimes a viol.

Melpomene, muse of tragedy, is associated with a mask, sometimes embellished with a fallen crown, and holds a dagger. Terpsichore, muse of joyful dance and song, often holds a lyre, as does Erato, muse of lyrical love poetry.

Urania, muse of astronomy, is normally shown consulting a globe of a compass. Polymnia, muse of heroic hymn and eloquence, possesses a lute and a solemn expression that outdoes even those of Clio and Calliope.

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.