Reality Check: Judgement Calls

On August 24 Amanda Shepard, FWMoA COO, was privileged to judge the purchase prizes for the Kekionga Plein Air Paint Out. Though we all make private judgements of art, the stakes go up when we in the art world must select public winners from a group of highly competent artists. But who is Amanda to judge? Find out why she picked what she did, and the methods she taps into for coming to her conclusions in this "Reality Check".

Treasures from the Vault: Louis-Robert de Cuvillon

Today’s treasure presents us with a bit of a mystery. Not only is the title of this watercolor Unknown, we also know little about its maker Louis-Robert de Cuvillon. So, what must we do to start picking apart this unknown piece? With works like this we have to combine what knowledge we do know with our most important tool: our eyes. Read on to see how art historians use visual clues to deduce a painting's meaning.

Reality Check: Choosing Your Words Wisely

Does it ever strike you that two words, similar as they are, can have strikingly different meanings? When it comes to art, words that are commonly used interchangeably to describe creative work can actually bring us to a fork in the road on the path to meaning. Read on to spend a little time in the geeky world of art words.

Now on View: Jimmy Ernst

Opposite of a Treasures from the Vault, Lauren Wolfer takes us through a work currently on display in our exhibition that displays artworks we've collected in the past year. What is it about an artist, or a specific artwork, that makes a museum choose to collect it? Read on to see why we love this painting by Jimmy Ernst!

Treasures from the Vault: Janet Fish

Fish’s decision to focus on still life painting was an interesting one. For centuries there has been a hierarchy of subject matter in art – histories or dramas have been the most highly regarded, followed by portraiture, and then the lowly still life. This latter genre was often viewed as quaint and trite, something light and palatable that female painting hobbyists could do in their spare time when not taking care of the home or their children. While some artists have attempted to raise the status of still lives through history – 17th and 18th century Spanish and Flemish still life painters, for example, whose paintings rival photography in their level of detail and perfection – the genre failed to ever move up the ladder. Fish likely knew that she was tackling an almost impossible subject, but it’s possible that that’s what drew her to it: in a modern world with an abundance of abstract painters, still life painting was a true challenge that she could make her own.

Winslow Homer takes FWMoA Back to School

It’s that time of year again: Back to School! While students of all ages cling to their final vestiges of freedom, we at FWMoA welcome this time of year. It’s when our galleries fill up again with tour groups and brighten our days. I was one of those kids excited to go back to school—I could learn and see my friends? Yes, please! I can see you shaking your head and smiling about how that eager little girl ended up in a museum (where she can now learn literally every day of the year) but I’m not the only one! There are artists who look back on school days with fondness, and one of them is on display just in time for the school year to start: Winslow Homer.

Treasures from the Vault: Richard Müller

Our first official installment of Treasures from the Vault features one of FWMoA’s original treasures: Snails on Rhubarb. Painted in 1919 by German painter Richard Müller, Snails on Rhubarb is a whimsical study of foliage and the critters inhabiting this small ecosystem. Scattered over several large rhubarb leaves are snails, and a frog who seems to be mid-jump. A glimpse of a pond is seen in the background, which we can imagine as the home of our amphibious friend, his gastropod companions, and other creatures out of sight.