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Ah, sometimes you wish you felt inspired, sometime you have too much on your plate for the time you have. Feast or famine. When it rains, is pours. Blah Blah Blah

Today, I am thinking of Edward Steichen, who was born on March 27th, 1883, and of Hilton Kramer, who died yesterday at the age of 84. Steichen was one of the most influential figures in 20th Century art and photography. Kramer was an influential art critic from the early 1950s up to the time of his passing. Both of these guys played a huge role in shaping the visual arts we enjoy or loathe today. Each would be a great subject for an entire essay here and they will be, when I have a little more time.

With the few minutes I have this morning I will note the work of Albert Pinkham Ryder, an American painter who was most productive in the late 1800s. By all accounts he was a decidedly strange individual, about as far from the meticulous and fussy artist stereotype as you can imagine. He died on this day in 1917, but his creative output had all but ceased long before that.

Ryder’s late work has a strange darkness that draws me in. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you crave the sunshine and the company of nice, cheerful people. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you wonder what kind of personal hell Ryder may have created for himself and why.

Seacoast in Moonlight (Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1890)

You’re not going to hang these things in your dining room.

The Racetrack (Death on a Pale Horse), (Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1895 - 1910)


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