Masterpiece Moment: Celebrating Great Works of Art (2022)

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Graphic: Bank of America presents Masterpiece Moment

Video: Exterior and interior shots of the North Carolina Museum of Art

On-screen text: North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

On-screen text: El Anatsui (Nigerian, b. Ghana, 1944), Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, Mixed media sculpture, 18 ft x 25 ft (5.49 x 7.62 m)

Video: Valerie Hillings, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, standing in front of the sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

On-screen text: Valerie Hillings, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art

Audio—[Valerie Hillings]: Hello. I’m Valerie Hillings, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Welcome to Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moment. Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite works from our collection…

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: El Anatsui’s Lines That Link Humanity, and tell you why I think it’s an inspiring masterpiece.

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: We are fortunate to have been able to commission for the North Carolina Museum of Art such a spectacular, monumental example of the most celebrated body of work…

Video: A photograph of El Anatsui, 2015

Audio: …by one of most highly acclaimed artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: This hanging sculpture, which measures 18 by 25 feet and weighs 120 pounds, is made from liquor bottle screw tops and printing plates.

Video: Footage of El Anatsui and assistants working in his studio

Audio: The artist’s studio assistants flatten, bend and twist the aluminum tops and bind them with copper wires to form sheets. These units are laid out on the floor, and Anatsui studies and moves them around until he determines the final composition.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: The parts are then combined to form a whole, reminiscent of a large cloth with traits of both painting and sculpture. Hung on the wall, these works appear from afar as shimmering veils or undulating tapestries, seemingly made of anything but recycled metal.

Video: A photograph of El Anatsui, May 2013

Audio: Anatsui began this body of work around 2002 and gained international acclaim for it in 2007…

Video: A photograph of Palazzo Fortuny during the 2007 Venice Biennale, showing an El Anatsui sculpture on the building

Audio: …when he presented two large installations…

Video: A photograph of El Anatsui, Dusasa I (Stitching), 2007, at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007

Audio: …in the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Video: A photograph of El Anatsui, 2015

Audio: One year later, Anatsui visited the North Carolina Museum of Art to prepare for a survey exhibition in 2012 and to discuss a commission for the…

Video: A photograph of the exterior of the West Building of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh

Audio: …opening of a new museum building…

Video: A photograph of Architect Thomas Phifer and former NCMA director Larry Wheeler reviewing a model of the West Building

Audio: …designed by Thomas Phifer.

Video: A photograph of a model of West Building

Audio: Anatsui saw the full-scale model, which revealed plans to install his commission near abstract works by…

Video: A photograph of Anselm Kiefer, 2011, shown beside an image of his painting Untitled, 1980–1986

Audio: …Anselm Kiefer…

Video: A photograph of Gerhard Richter, 2010, shown beside an image of his painting Station, 1985

Audio: …Gerhard Richter…

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: …and Sean Scully…

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: …paintings that he would reference later when speaking about the palette for his work.

Video: Images of El Anatsui’s Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, installed in various galleries at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Audio: Since its debut in 2010, Lines That Link Humanity has graced several galleries in the museum. In 2022, it will be installed for the fourth time as we reimagine and rehang our complete collection.

Video: A photograph of the town of Apam, Ghana

Audio: El Anatsui was born in Anyako, Ghana, in 1944…

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: …the youngest of his father’s 32 children from different families—

Video: A photograph of men, women and children of the Ewe nation showing the traditional dances during a festivity, 1950s

Audio: …and is a citizen of the Ewe Nation.

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: He demonstrated talent in art at an early age and was encouraged by his high school teachers to pursue his studies after graduation.

Video: A photograph of the entrance of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Audio: He attended the College of Art,…

Video: A photograph of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Audio: …University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Ghana.

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: After studying sculpture and earning a postgraduate degree in art education, he began to teach, first in Ghana, and then following his move in 1975…

Video: An aerial view photograph of the University of Nigeria

Audio: …to Nsukka, Nigeria, where he was a professor…

Video: A photograph of the Faculty of Art building at the University of Nigeria

Audio: …at the University of Nigeria until 2011.

Video: A photograph of El Anatsui working in his Nsukka studio, 2013

Audio: Over his career, Anatsui has worked in a variety of mediums…

Video: A photograph of El Anatsui standing in front of one of his artworks made from thousands of bottle tops, 2005

Audio: …producing drawings, paintings, prints…

Video: The two-part sculpture AG + BA, 2014, by El Anatsui

Audio: …sculptures and installations.

Video: A photograph of electronic waste in Agbogbloshie dump, Accra, Ghana

Audio: He favors found, often discarded items…

Video: A photograph of piles of glass bottles for recycling

Audio: …used by people as part of daily life.

Video: A photograph of sorted screw caps of beverage bottles

Audio: Anatsui transforms these materials…

Video: A detail from the sculpture Another Man’s Cloth, 2006, by El Anatsui

Audio: …while retaining and referring to aspects of their prior use and legacy.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: He often explores social, political and economic histories of West Africa and their interconnection with colonialism and slavery. His signature series of works made from liquor bottle tops and wrappers refers to that dark chapter in human history. Anatsui chose liquor bottle tops because this commodity was brought to Africa by Europeans…

Video: An illustration of slave traders and a slave ship off the African Coast, 1881

Audio: …and played a role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Video: A photograph of aluminum screw caps

Audio: The bottle tops refer to the literal economic exchange…

Video: An illustration of slaves shipping casks, 1826

Audio: …of liquor for human beings in the past…

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: …while also pointing to contemporary issues…

Video: A photograph of a polluted river in the Accras Agbogbloshie township

Audio: …as waste and environmental impact.

Video: The sculpture Gli (Wall), 2010, by El Anatsui

Audio: In this regard, his work is related to that of many artists today…

Video: The sculpture Black Block, 2010, by El Anatsui

Audio: …whose aesthetically arresting creations mine the past…

Video: The sculpture Straying Continents, 2010, by El Anatsui

Audio: …to question limited views of history and offer critique from the vantage of the present.

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: Lines That Link Humanity reflects Anatsui’s masterful ability to transform common materials into a commanding, dazzling hanging sculpture.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: He employed a favorite palette of red, yellow, black, blue and silver. In addition to silver bottle tops, Anatsui used printing plates. Anatsui’s use of printing plates adds a distinctive layer of content to our work. Some plates are blank, while others have fragments or words and passages from news stories, advertisements and course catalogues featuring subjects such as plantation crops, diseases of plants and civil society.

Video: A close-up view of El Anatsui’s signature on his sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008

Audio: A few include the artist’s signature: El 08.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: Still others contain images such as a photograph of someone holding a microphone and a blank crossword puzzle. Together, they represent aspects of people’s shared life experiences, yet their dispersal across the work and often hard-to-read appearance allude to the lack of a single, coherent narrative of human history.

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: As the title and formal passages of our work imply, there are lines that link us, but the points of connection are often obscured, discontinuous and complex.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: For Anatsui, the bottle caps and printing plates physically bear the mark of human history via the number of hands through which they pass…

Video: A photograph of an array of bottles with aluminum caps

Audio: …from the time of their industrial making…

Video: A photograph of a pile of bottle metal screw caps

Audio: …to the completion…

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: …of the artwork. He believes that touch provides a critical connection that leaves behind a spiritual or psychic charge. This process does not end with completed artworks.

Video: Photographs of North Carolina Museum of Art employees with the sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: The artist invites touch and collaboration by the curators, art handlers and conservators who install and care for them once they leave his studio.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: Our staff has embraced the fact that, unlike most acquisitions, which are not supposed to change, Lines That Link Humanity is “site responsive.”

Video: Footage of North Carolina Museum of Art employees installing Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: Each time the work is moved or installed, new layers of history and memory are accrued.

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: To address the challenges of hanging such a large object bound together only with delicate copper wires…

Video: Photographs of a North Carolina Museum of Art conservator with Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: …our conservators devised a distinctive hanging system with clear acrylic rods to support the sculpture’s weight…

Video: The sculpture Lines That Link Humanity, 2008, by El Anatsui

Audio: …while allowing the expansive visual field to undulate and reflect light as the artist intended.

Video: Valerie Hillings standing in front of Lines That Link Humanity

Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and learn more about El Anatsui’s Lines That Link Humanity, from the North Carolina Museum of Art’s collection. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the work with family and friends. And please visit the Bank of America Masterpiece Moment website to sign up for reminders and ensure that you never miss a moment!

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On-screen text:

Title treatment art:

Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859–1937)

The Arch, 1919 (detail)

Oil on canvas

Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alfred W. Jenkins, 32.10 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.10_SL1.jpg)

El Anatsui (Ghanaian, b. 1944)

© El Anatsui. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.

Lines That Link Humanity, 2008

Discarded aluminum and copper wire

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Gift of Barbara and Sam Wells, 2009.3

A detail from Another Man’s Cloth, 2006

Aluminum liquor bottle caps and copper wire

Thomas Sayre (American, b. 1950)

Gyre, 1999

Earthcasting (reinforced concrete with iron oxide cast in molds dug from the earth)

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Gift of Artsplosure, City of Raleigh. Commissioned in conjunction with Artsplosure's Millennium Celebration Arts Education Initiative with Enloe Senior High School of Wake County. Principal funding provided by the City of Raleigh, WRAL-TV5/MIX 101.5 FM, Glaxo Wellcome, AT&T, Carolina Power & Light Company, SAS Institute, and Time Warner Cable. Additional funding provided by United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Wake County, North.

© Thomas Sayre

Jeppe Hein (Danish, b. 1974)

Mirror Labyrinth NY (small), 2016

High polished stainless steel, aluminum

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

Courtesy the artist, KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin and 303 Gallery, New York

Lina Iris Viktor (British-Liberian, b. 1987)

Constellation XI SE, 2021

Pure 24-karat gold, acrylic and copolymer resin on cotton rag paper

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest), 2021

© 2021. Courtesy the Artist.

El Anatsui in Venice, September 5, 2015

© Basso Cannarsa / Opale

Agence Opale / Alamy Stock Photo

Footage of El Anatsui in the Art21 digital series Extended Play, “Studio Process: El Anatsui”

© Art21 Inc., 2012

El Anatsui, May 2013

TC / Alamy Stock Photo

Palazzo Fortuny during the 2007 Venice Biennale

Suzanne Long / Alamy Stock Photo

El Anatsui, Dusasa I (Stitching), 2007, at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007

Photo by Eric VANDEVILLE / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

El Anatsui in Venice, September 5, 2015

© Basso Cannarsa / Opale

Agence Opale / Alamy Stock Photo

The tree sculpture in the garden walk outside the West Building of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh

D Guest Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

Architect Thomas Phifer and former NCMA director Larry Wheeler review a model of the West Building

Image courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

NCMA staff review a model of the West Building collection galleries

Image courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

The artist Anselm Kiefer during a visit by the press to his exhibition Anselm Kiefer. Selected Works from the Grothe Collection in Baden-Baden, Germany, October 5, 2011, to January 15, 2012

Photo: ROLF HAID

dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Anselm Kiefer (German, b. 1945)

Untitled, 1980–1986

Oil on canvas

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina, W. R. Valentiner, and various donors, by exchange. 94.3/a-c

© Anselm Kiefer

Painter Gerhard Richter pictured in Cologne, Germany, March 16, 2010

Photo: Oliver Berg

dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Gerhard Richter (German, b. 1932)

Station, 1985

Oil on canvas

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest), the North Carolina Museum of Art Guild, and various donors, by exchange

© Gerhard Richter 2022 (0078)

Images of North Carolina Museum of Art galleries

Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

David Salle (American, b. 1952)

The Emperor, 2000

Oil and acrylic on canvas and linen

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest)

© 2022 David Salle / VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Courtesy of Skarstedt, NY

Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991)

Dance, 1981

Acrylic on canvas

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest) and Arthur Leroy and Lila Fisher Caldwell, by exchange, and Gift of the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.

© 2022 Dedalus Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

View of Apam, Ghana

Peter Treanor / Alamy Stock Photo

Men, women and children of the Ewe nation showing their traditional dances during a festivity, 1950s

INTERFOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

The Mission Station Anyako (Volta Region, Ghana)

The History Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

A view of the entrance of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology attended by the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Kumasi, Ghana

August 19, 2018. REUTERS / Francis Kokoroko

REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology: Side view of the College of Architecture and Planning

KNUST at English Wikipedia

Aerial view of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Danny Egbuche / Shutterstock

Faculty building, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Udeagbala / Wikimedia

El Anatsui working with bottle caps at his Nsukka studio on August 8, 2013

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP via Getty Images

Africa Remix, Contemporary Art of a Continent at the Hayward Gallery, London. El Anatsui stands in front of his work made from thousands of bottle tops, 2005.

Independent / Alamy Stock Photo

An El Anatsui exhibition at the October Gallery, London, 2020. Gallery Manager Saara studies the installation AG + BA, 2014, a two-part metal work.

Malcolm Park / Alamy Stock Photo

Electronic waste in Agbogbloshie dump, Accra, Ghana

Andrew McConnell / Alamy Stock Photo

Piles of glass bottles for recycling

pumkinpie / Alamy Stock Photo

Inhabitants of the slum Bang Sue sorting screw caps of beverage bottles, Bang Sue, Thailand

imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

African slaves, slave traders and a slave ship off the African Coast. Vintage illustration or engraving, 1881.

Chris Hellier / Alamy Stock Photo

Aluminum screw caps in a recycling plant, San José, Costa Rica

(Video) FAMOUS PAINTINGS in the World - 100 Great Paintings of All Time

imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Shipping the Casks, 1826. Artist: Unknown

The Print Collector / Alamy Stock Photo

A small river in Accras Agbogbloshie Township has become a polluted water body.

Friedrich Stark / Alamy Stock Photo

El Anatsui, Gli (Wall), 2010, in the 2013 exhibition Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui at the Brooklyn Museum, on a Target First Saturdays night

Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock Photo

El Anatsui, Black Block, 2010 in the 2013 exhibition Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui at the Brooklyn Museum, on a Target First Saturdays night

Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock Photo

El Anatsui, Straying Continents, 2010, at the Toronto Royal Ontario Museum

Gaertner / Alamy Stock Photo

An array of bottles with aluminum caps

Macky Albor / Alamy Stock Photo

Pile of bottle metal screw caps as pattern background

Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

“Take the “A” Train”

Written by Billy Strayhorn

Performed by Oscar Peterson

Courtesy of Verve Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

© 2022 Bank of America Corporation.

Graphic: Bank of America logo

Audio: Jazz music playing

Graphic: Bank of America presents Masterpiece Moment

Video: Exterior and interior shots of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

On-screen text: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

Video: The painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

On-screen text: Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887–1986), Spring, 1948, Oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 84 1/3 in.

Video: Cody Hartley, Director of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, standing in front of the painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

On-screen text: Cody Hartley, Director, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Audio—[Cody Hartley]: Hello, I’m Cody Hartley, Director of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Welcome to Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moment. Today, I’d like to talk about Spring by Georgia O’Keeffe and tell you why it is truly a masterpiece.

Video: Exterior and interior shots of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Audio: When the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum first opened its doors in 1997…

Video: A black-and-white photograph of Georgia O’Keeffe at home, 1977

Audio: …eleven years after the artist’s death…

Video: Interior and exterior shots of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Audio: …there were 94 works by O’Keeffe in the collection. The museum incorporates sites in Santa Fe…

Video: The photographs Ghost Ranch, 1952, by George Daniell and Abiquiú House, Studio Door, c. 1960, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: …and O’Keefe’s famed homes at Ghost Ranch and in Abiquiú, New Mexico.

Video: The photographs Georgia O’Keeffe, c. 1921, by Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Studio at the Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, 1962, by Todd Webb

Audio: It was founded not only to steward the legacy of its legendary namesake but also to provide education to future generations of artists…

Video: Exterior and interior shots of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, including a display of her tools and other painting materials, followed by a 1965 photograph of O’Keeffe in her studio

Audio: …and to serve the greater community. Its collections include O’Keeffe’s artworks, tools and personal effects and an extensive archive.

Video: Cody Hartley standing in front of Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe, followed by close-up details of the painting

Audio: This painting, Spring, is a gift from the museum’s founder, Anne Marion, and has pride of place in the museum’s galleries. At four feet by seven feet, this oil on canvas is a masterpiece that the artist herself recognized as something special.

Video: Black-and-white footage of O’Keeffe working in her studio

Audio: Georgia O’Keefe was one of the most important artists in the establishment of American Modernism in the twentieth century.

Video: A sepia-toned photograph of Francis and Ida O’Keeffe’s house in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, followed by a photograph of Georgia O’Keeffe as an adolescent

Audio: A native of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O’Keeffe was an accomplished artist by age 15…

Video: An archival photograph of the Art Institute of Chicago, Main Building, c. 1910

Audio: …and went on to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Video: An archival photograph of the Art Students League building

Audio: She then went to New York, where she studied realist painting at the Art Students League.

Video: Cody Hartley standing in front of Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: She developed a unique style that focused on interpreting her subjects…

Video: The paintings Flower Abstraction, 1924, and Abstraction White Rose, 1927, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: …which would later develop into semi-abstract, often provocative depictions of landscapes and still-life subjects—especially flowers.

Video: The photographs Self-Portrait, Freienwalde a. O., 1886, by Alfred Stieglitz and Alfred Stieglitz, 1917, by Paul Strand

Audio: In New York, she met the pioneering photographer and modern art dealer Alfred Stieglitz…

Video: The photograph Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition at 291, Interior Gallery View, 1917, by Alfred Stieglitz

Audio: …who held an exhibition of her paintings in 1917…

Video: The photograph Georgia O’Keeffe, 1918–19, by Alfred Stieglitz

Audio: …and continued to show her work, as she became one of the most talked-about artists in America.

Video: The photograph The City of Ambition, 1910, by Alfred Stieglitz, followed by a photograph of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe kissing at Lake George, c. 1929

Audio: In 1918, O’Keeffe permanently moved to New York, and, in 1924, she and Stieglitz were married.

Video: Cody Hartley standing in front of Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: The decade following O’Keeffe’s move was remarkably productive, cementing not only her reputation but also her style…

Video: The painting Storm Cloud, Lake George, 1923, by Georgia O’Keeffe, followed by the photograph House and Trees, Lake George, 1932, by Alfred Stieglitz

Audio: …whether as an observer of nature at the Stieglitz family summerhouse in Lake George, New York…

Video: The painting East River from the Shelton Hotel, 1928, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: …or as a painter of the modern city in Manhattan.

Video: The paintings The Mountain, New Mexico, 1931, and Red Hills with Flowers, 1937, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: These familiar themes would be shaken up in 1929, when O’Keeffe spent her first summer in New Mexico—not in Santa Fe, but in nearby Taos. Flowers were in short supply in the arid high desert…

Video: Black-and-white footage of O’Keeffe outside an adobe building and a pile of bleached cows’ skulls and bones

Audio: …but new subjects took their place, including the bleached bones that O’Keeffe collected on her hikes.

Video: The paintings New York Street with Moon, 1925; Ranchos Church, 1930; and Black Cross with Stars and Blue, c. 1929, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: In place of skyscrapers and streetlamps, O’Keeffe painted mud-brick adobe, as well as the crosses erected in the mountain foothills by a lay Catholic confraternity—the Penitentes.

Video: The photograph Georgia O’Keeffe–After Return from New Mexico, 1929, by Alfred Stieglitz, followed by the paintings Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, 1931; Pedernal, 1941–42, by Georgia O’Keeffe; and a photograph of the Cerro Pedernal landscape

Audio: She returned for the summers thereafter and began exhibiting her New Mexican subjects back in New York. These included a favorite landscape motif: the view of the flat-topped Cerro Pedernal, a flint mountain…

Video: The photograph Georgia O’Keeffe on Ghost Ranch Portal, c. 1964, by Todd Webb

Audio: …from the patio of her Ghost Ranch home.

Video: Two photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, c. 1938, by Josephine B. Marks

Audio: In the summer of 1946, Stieglitz suffered a fatal stroke, and O’Keeffe hastened back to New York. The task of settling Stieglitz’s estate occupied her for almost three years, leaving time for little else.

Video: Black-and-white footage of Georgia O’Keeffe at home in New Mexico, c. 1950

Audio: This was a time of profound change for the artist.

Video: The photograph Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiú, New Mexico by Carl Van Vechten

Audio: She did not return to New Mexico until 1948, when she set to work…

Video: The painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: …on Spring—her largest work to date. It is the mountain, the Pedernal, which forms the background to the present picture—the first that O’Keeffe would paint in New Mexico after Stieglitz’s death. Indeed, the work’s title, Spring, the season of rebirth, and the white primroses, a traditional symbol of sadness and mourning, may refer to the artist’s grief…

Video: The photograph Georgia O’Keeffe, 1953 by Laura Gilpin

Audio: …and the new beginning that awaited O’Keeffe in New Mexico.

Video: The painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: Together with the mountain and flowers, two bones complete the painting’s composition: an antler in the foreground; and the floating form of a large vertebra above.

Video: A close-up shot of a display case that holds an antler and a large vertebra followed by a wide shot of it in the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum gallery where Spring, 1948, hangs on the wall next to it

Audio: O’Keeffe’s models for these, a deer antler and a cow or bison vertebra, are also preserved in the museum’s collection.

Video: The paintings Summer Days, 1936; Pelvis with Pedernal, 1943; Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, 1938; and Flying Backbone, 1944, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: O’Keeffe rejected facile interpretations of her paintings, including the idea that the bones and skulls she depicted represented death. Notwithstanding their traditional use, to symbolize mortality, O’Keeffe asserted that the bleached bones in her paintings were vigorous and vital natural forms. The same cow or bison vertebra from her collection served as a source for numerous paintings.

Video: Cody Hartley standing in front of Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: Instead of selling Spring right away in 1948, O’Keeffe decided to keep it and placed it temporarily in storage in her home.

Video: Photographs of a room in Georgia O’Keeffe’s home

Audio: Unfortunately, the roof above the room where it was placed leaked…

Video: A close-up of the painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe that shows stains on it

Audio: …and water left dark stains on the paint surface.

Video: A black-and-white photograph of conservator Caroline Keck

Audio: These stains were cleaned by O’Keeffe’s personal conservator, Caroline Keck…

Video: A close-up of the painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe that shows stains on it

Audio: …but after many years, these marks were visible once again.

Video: Images and footage of conservators working on Spring, 1948, in a conservation studio, interspersed with close-ups of the painting

Audio: Thanks to the generous support of the Bank of America Art Conservation Project, this painting has recently undergone months of treatment by conservators at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to repair past damage and remediate several earlier attempts at conservation. In 2021, conservators found that old damage had caused the paint to peel—while some paint was missing altogether—and spent many hundreds of hours gently reattaching peeling paint and filling in paint losses.

Video: The painting Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe hanging on a gallery wall

Audio: Now that their work is done, Spring looks much the way it did when it first left O’Keeffe’s studio.

Video: Cody Hartley standing in front of Spring, 1948, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and learn more about Spring by Georgia O’Keeffe. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the work with family and friends. And please visit the Bank of America Masterpiece Moment website to sign up for reminders and ensure that you never miss a moment!

Audio: [Music plays]

On-screen text:

Title treatment art:

Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859–1937)

The Arch, 1919 (detail)

Oil on canvas

Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alfred W. Jenkins, 32.10 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.10_SL1.jpg)

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887–1986)

© 2022 The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Spring, 1948

Oil on canvas

48 1/4” x 84 1/3” (122.5 x 214 cm)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, gift of the Burnett Foundation

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[1997.6.28]

Abiquiú House, Studio Door, c. 1960

Gelatin silver print

4 1/2” x 6 1/4” (11.4 x 15.9 cm)

Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[2006.6.1395]

Flower Abstraction, 1924

Oil on canvas

Overall: 48 1/8” x 30” (122.2 x 76.2 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 50th Anniversary gift of Sandra Payson. Inv. N.: 85.47

Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art / Licensed by Scala / Art Resource, NY

Abstraction White Rose, 1927

Oil on canvas

36” x 30” (91.4 x 76.2 cm)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, gift of the Burnett Foundation and The Georgia O’Keeffe

Foundation

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[1997.4.2]

Storm Cloud, Lake George, 1923

Oil on canvas

18” x 30 1/8” (45.7 x 76.5 cm)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Gift of The Burnett Foundation. 2007.1.18.

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[2007.1.18]

East River from the Shelton Hotel, 1928

Oil on canvas

12” x 32” (30.5 x 81.3 cm)

Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe, 1986 (1987.377.3)

Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

The Mountain, New Mexico, 1931

Oil on canvas

Overall: 30 1/16” x 36 1/8” (76.4 x 91.8 cm)

Purchase. Inv. N.: 32.14

Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art / Licensed by Scala / Art Resource, NY

Red Hills with Flowers, 1937

Oil on canvas

20” x 25” (50.8 x 63.5 cm)

Bequest of Hortense Henry Prosser, 1992.649

The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY

New York Street with Moon, 1925

Oil on canvas

48” x 30 3/8” (122 x 77 cm)

Inv. N.: CTB.1981.76. Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza / Scala / Art Resource, NY

Ranchos Church, 1930–31

Oil on canvas

24” x 36” (61 x 91.4 cm)

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Black Cross with Stars and Blue, c. 1929

Oil on canvas

40” x 30” (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum Purchase

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[2021.4.1]

Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, 1931

Oil on canvas

36” x 24” (91.4 x 61 cm)

Alfred Stieglitz Collection, gift of Georgia O’Keeffe (1947.712)

© The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY

Pedernal, 1941–42

Oil on canvas

20 1/8” x 30 1/4” (51.1 x 76.8 cm)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Gift of The Burnett Foundation and The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[2006.5.172]

Summer Days, 1936

Oil on canvas

Overall: 36 1/8” x 30 1/8” (91.8 x 76.5 cm)

Gift of Calvin Klein. Inv. N.: 94.171

Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art / Licensed by Scala / Art Resource, NY

Pelvis with Pedernal, 1943

Oil on canvas

16” x 22” (40.6 x 55.9 cm)

Museum Purchase (50.19)

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute / Art Resource, NY

Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, 1938

Oil on canvas

20” x 30” (50.8 x 76.2 cm)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Burnett Foundation.

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

[2007.1.24]

Flying Backbone, 1944

Oil on canvas

11” x 25 1/4” (27.9 x 64.2 cm)

Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Co-owned by Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Photography by Edward C. Robison III

Live conservation of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Spring, 1948

Conservation work completed by Dale Kronkright, Head of Conservation and Preservation at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Georgia O’Keeffe at home, 1977

Basil Langton / Science Source

George Daniell (American, 1911–2002)

Ghost Ranch, 1952

Gelatin silver print

Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (2006.6.1476)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

© George Daniell Estate

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946)

Georgia O’Keeffe, c. 1921

Gelatin silver print

Museum Purchase (2014.3.79)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Self-Portrait, Freienwalde a. O., 1886

Platinum print

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition at 291, Interior Gallery View, 1917

Gelatin silver print

Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (2006.6.1483b)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe, 1918–19

Gelatin silver print

Museum Purchase

The City of Ambition, 1910

Gelatin silver print

(Video) 12 Most Famous Paintings of all Time

Alfred Stieglitz Collection. Gift of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

House and Trees, Lake George, 1932

Gelatin silver print

Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (2003.1.22)

Image: © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe–After Return from New Mexico, 1929

Gelatin silver print

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation.

Todd Webb (American, 1905–2000)

© Todd Webb Archive

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Studio at the Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, 1962 (detail)

Gelatin silver print

Museum Purchase (1985.38.54)

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. / Art Resource, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe on Ghost Ranch Portal, c. 1964 (detail)

Gelatin silver print

Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (2006.6.1047)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Painting materials as displayed at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe

Photo: Scotwriter21, Wikimedia Commons

Balthazar Korab (American, b. Hungary, 1926–2013)

Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiú Studio, 1965

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Francis and Ida O’Keeffe’s house in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, undated

Claudia O’Keeffe Papers, MS.3 (RC.1999.1.147)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe school photographs, c. 1903–04

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Art Institute of Chicago, Main Building, c. 1910

Chicago Tribune Historical Photo

George P. Hall and Son, The Architectural League’s Fine Arts Building, now called the Art Students League of New York, located at 215 West 57th Street

The Museum of the City of New York / Art Resource, NY

Paul Strand (American, 1890–1976)

Alfred Stieglitz, 1917

Gelatin silver print

Museum Purchase (2014.3.84)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

© Paul Strand Archive / Aperture Foundation

Carl Van Vechten (American, 1880–1964)

Portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe, New York, June 6, 1936

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection [reproduction number: LC-USZ62-54231]

Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiú, New Mexico, August 15, 1960

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection [reproduction number: LC-USZ62-103712 DLC]

Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, kissing at Lake George, c. 1929

Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New Mexico, c. 1950, Georgia O’Keeffe at home and in her studio (film clip)

Film Images / Bridgeman Images

Unknown photographer

Ghost Ranch patio and Pedernal, undated

Gelatin silver print

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Museum Purchase. [2014.3.269]

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Josephine B. Marks

Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, c. 1938

Georgia O’Keeffe Photographs, MS.37 (204.3.210)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, c. 1938

Georgia O’Keeffe Photographs, MS.37 (2014.3.211)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

Laura Gilpin (American, 1891–1979)

Georgia O’Keeffe, 1953

Gelatin silver print

Museum Purchase (2014.3.34)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY

© 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Salita room, Abiquiú. Krysta Jabczenski.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Salita room, Abiquiú. Krysta Jabczenski.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Brooklyn Museum Archives, Photograph collection. People. Staff: Caroline Keck and Sheldon Keck, undated

Brooklyn Museum Archives

“Take the “A” Train”

Written by Billy Strayhorn

Performed by Oscar Peterson

Courtesy of Verve Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

© 2022 Bank of America Corporation.

Graphic: Bank of America logo

Graphic: Bank of America logo

Audio: Jazz music playing

Graphic: Bank of America presents Masterpiece Moment

Video: Exterior and interior shots of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

On-screen text: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Video: The Farnese Sarcophagus, c. 225 CE

On-screen text: The Farnese Sarcophagus, c. 225 C.E.; Roman, Severan period; Pentelic marble; 64 1/4 in. x 24 1/2 in. x 10 1/2 in. (163.2 x 62.23 x 26.67 cm)

Video: Peggy Fogelman, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

On-screen text: Peggy Fogelman; Norma Jean Calderwood Director, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Audio—Peggy Fogelman: Hello. I’m Peggy Fogelman, the Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Welcome to Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moment. Today I’d like to talk about one of my favorite works in our collection, the Farnese Sarcophagus, and tell you why I think it’s truly a masterpiece.

Video: A close-up view of the photographic portrait Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1906, by Adolf de Meyer

Audio: In 1903, Isabella Stewart Gardner opened the …

Video: An exterior photograph of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Audio: … first American museum ever established by a woman.

Video: Interior shots of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Audio: She rejected traditional methods of displaying art according to time period or region and instead prioritized a sense of intimacy and emotion, inviting visitors to have their own personal experience to the works of art …

Video: The painting Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1888, by John Singer Sargent

Audio: … just as she herself did.

Video: Interior shots of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Audio: She combined paintings and textiles and furniture and antiquities and continually rearranged them as the collection grew; she lived among these treasures for twenty years.

Video: The photographic portrait Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1906, by Otto Rosenheim

Audio: As part of her will, she stipulated that …

Video: Interior shots of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Audio: … artworks remain displayed as she left them, and no items may be acquired or sold by the museum.

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: One of the largest and most important works of art in the museum is the Farnese Sarcophagus, made around the year 225.

Video: Front, left, right and back views of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: Weighing over 7,500 pounds, this rectangular marble coffin was the last port of call for a wealthy Roman citizen.

Video: Marble sarcophagus with garlands, c. 200–225 CE; and Marble sarcophagus with the myth of Selene and Endymion, early third century CE

Audio: Hundreds of sarcophagi survive from ancient Rome …

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … but this one is notable for the remarkable quality of its decoration …

Video: Close-up views of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … its impressive history of ownership and its amazing state of preservation.

Video: The illustration “The Funeral Oration over a Roman Hero,” c. 1880, by Ward Lock

Audio: Sarcophagi were used for burial in ancient Roman times …

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … so it’s no surprise that the images on this example relate to ideas about life and death.

Video: Close-up views of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: The balletic, graceful and sometimes mischievous figures on its four sides celebrate the afterlife. They include satyrs—mythological creatures that were part man, part beast—and maenads, female followers of the wine god, Dionysus. The maenads pick grapes, while the satyrs interrupt their work by flirtatiously pulling at their garments and exchanging amorous glances with them. Their harvest of the wine symbolizes the cycle of life, and the joyful—rather sexy—imagery reminds the living they should carpe diem, or seize the day, while they still can. The reclining figure on one side may be the sleeping Ariadne …

Video: An illustration containing the god Dionysus

Audio: … the mortal bride of Dionysius, which is fitting, since sleep was a metaphor for a peaceful death.

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: The Farnese Sarcophagus takes its name …

Video: The painting Pope Paul III and His Grandsons, 1545–46, by Titian

Audio: … from the celebrated Roman family of Renaissance collectors and diplomats …

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … and its journey to the Gardner Museum is really a fascinating one.

Video: A close-up view of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: It was excavated around 1530 …

Video: The painting Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, 1545–46, by Titian

Audio: … and became part of the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese …

Video: A photograph of waterfalls in Tivoli, Italy

Audio: … the governor of Tivoli.

Video: A Night view of Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Italy

Audio: He placed it in the gardens of the family villa in Rome …

Video: A close-up view of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … where artists were able to study it and make drawings based on the sculpted reliefs on its sides.

Video: An illustration of St. Peter’s Basilica, showing its dome, in Vatican City, Italy

Audio: Several centuries later, it was transferred to the Vatican and …

Video: An illustration of French Napoleon troops in Rome, made in the nineteenth century

Audio: … narrowly escaped the looting of famous antiquities by Napoleon when he invaded Rome.

Video: The illustration Palazzo Farnese, eighteenth century, by Giuseppe Vasi

Audio: When it finally returned to the Farnese family, they decided to sell it.

Video: An image of Richard Norton

Audio: In 1897, the archeologist Richard Norton …

Video: A photograph of Charles Eliot Norton in 1903

Audio: … son of writer and cultural scholar Charles Eliot Norton …

Video: The photograph Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1888, by John Thomson

Audio: … brought the sarcophagus to Mrs. Gardner’s attention, noting, quote …

Video: A close-up view of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … “even Boston would [not] object to its frank sensuality” …

Video: The painting Portrait of John Keats, c. 1822, by William Hilton

Audio: … and claiming that it embodied …

Video: A tracing of an engraving of the Sosibios Vase, c. 1816, by John Keats; and the first known copy of Ode on a Grecian Urn, by Keats

Audio: Keats' Ode on the Grecian Urn.

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: Gardner purchased the work through Norton from an antiquities dealer in Rome. An export license was granted in March 1898, and it was shipped to the United States in 1900. Fascinated by this alluring object with an august history …

Video: A shot of the courtyard in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, ending with the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … Mrs. Gardner installed it between two columns in the beautiful, blooming courtyard of her new museum …

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … where she hoped it would continue to inspire artists as it had in earlier times. We’ve only moved this sculpture once since the Gardner installed it. Thanks to the support of a Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant, we moved it in 2017 to gain access to all four sides in order to clean and restore it in preparation for an exhibition.

Video: Close-up views of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: Conservators used many different methods to achieve the best results, including two different laser-cleaning systems. Their work led to new discoveries, including the existence of original pigments and gilding.

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: While we tend to think of ancient sculptures as just a sea of white marble …

Video: A painted plaster cast copy of the statue of Roman Emperor Augustus of Prima Porta, beside the unpainted original, in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, United Kingdom

Audio: … they actually were often painted with a variety of bold colors.

Video: A close-up view of the Farnese Sarcophagus, showing a detail of human feet

Audio: In this case, we discovered significant amounts …

Video: A fragment of Egyptian blue pigment, c. 1292–1076 BCE

Audio: of “Egyptian Blue” …

Video: Juglet, c. 1750–1640 BCE; Figure of Lion, c. 1981–1640 BCE; and Handle Depicting a Lion Subduing a Nubian, c. 1279–1213 BCE—all made of Egyptian blue

Audio: thought to be the very first manmade pigment.

Video: The painting Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1889, by Dennis Miller Bunker

Audio: Isabella Stewart Gardner always hoped that the works of art in her museum …

Video: Shots of the courtyard in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, ending with the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: … would spark the imagination and generate new creativity long into the future.

Video: Peggy Fogelman standing in front of the Farnese Sarcophagus

Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and to learn more about the Farnese Sarcophagus here at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the piece with friends and family. And please visit the Bank of America Masterpiece Moment website to sign up for alerts and ensure that you never miss a single moment.

Audio: [Music plays]

On-screen text:

Title treatment art:

Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859–1937)

The Arch, 1919 (detail)

Oil on canvas

Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alfred W. Jenkins, 32.10 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.10_SL1.jpg)

Adolf de Meyer (American, b. France, 1868–1946)

Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1906

Platinum print

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

John Singer Sargent (American, b. Italy, 1856–1925)

Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1888

Oil on canvas

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Otto Rosenheim (British, b. Germany, 1871–1955)

Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1906

Platinum print

© Estate of Otto Rosenheim

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Roman, Severan

Farnese Sarcophagus with Revelers Gathering Grapes, c. 225 CE (front, left, right and back views)

Pentelic marble

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Roman, Severan

Marble sarcophagus with garlands, c. 200–225 CE

Proconnesian marble

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Abdo Debbas, 1870

Roman, Severan

Marble sarcophagus with the myth of Selene and Endymion, early third century CE

Marble

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1947

“The Funeral Oration over a Roman Hero,” illustration from The Illustrated History of the World by Ward Lock, c. 1880

Montagu Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The god Dionysus

bilwissedition Ltd. & Co. KG / Alamy Stock Photo

Titian (Italian, c. 1488/90–1576)

Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

Wikimedia Commons

Pope Paul III and His Grandsons, 1545–46

Oil on canvas

Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, 1545-46

Oil on canvas

The waterfalls, Tivoli, Italy

colaimages / Alamy Stock Photo

Night view of Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Italy

edimur / Alamy Stock Photo

St. Peter’s Basilica, Facade and dome, Vatican City, Italy

Engraving by Rua. Almanac, La Ilustración, 1883, Spain

Lanmas / Alamy Stock Photo

French Napoleon troops in Rome, nineteenth century

agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

Giuseppe Vasi (Italian, 1710–1782)

Palazzo Farnese, eighteenth century

Engraving

Wikimedia commons

Richard Norton

SBS Eclectic Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Charles Eliot Norton, 1903, photograph by J.E. Purdy & Co., Boston

Volgi archive / Alamy Stock Photo

(Video) “Primavera” (Spring) by Sandro Botticelli

John Thomson (Scottish, 1837–1921)

Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1888

Platinum print

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

William Hilton (British, 1786–1839)

Portrait of John Keats

Copy after an original by Joseph Severn from c. 1822

Oil on canvas

National Portrait Gallery, London

Wikimedia commons

John Keats (English, 1795–1821)

Tracing of an engraving of the Sosibios Vase, c. 1816

Wikimedia commons

First known copy of Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats, transcribed by George Keats in 1820

Wikimedia commons

Painted plaster cast copy of the statue of Roman Emperor Augustus of Prima Porta, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

Adam Eastland / Alamy Stock Photo

Egyptian, 19th–20th Dynasty

Fragment of blue pigment, c. 1292–1076 BCE, from Deir el-Medina

Egyptian Museum, Turin, Italy

funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom

Juglet, c. 1750–1640 BCE

Egyptian blue

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom

Figure of Lion, c. 1981–1640 BCE

Egyptian blue

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom

Handle Depicting a Lion Subduing a Nubian, c. 1279–1213 BCE

Egyptian blue, gold

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989

Dennis Miller Bunker (American, 1861–1890)

Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1889

Oil on canvas

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

“Take the “A” Train”

Written by Billy Strayhorn

Performed by Oscar Peterson

Courtesy of Verve Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

© 2022 Bank of America Corporation.

Graphic: Bank of America logo

Graphic: Bank of America logo

Audio: Jazz music playing

Graphic: Bank of America presents Masterpiece Moment

Video: An aerial view of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

On-screen text: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

Video: The sculpture Big Red Lens, 1985, by Fred Eversley; the 2017 sculptures Niijima Floats, Belugas and Sol d’Oro by Dale Chihuly; the sculpture Depression Bread Line, 1991, by George Segal; and the sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

On-screen text: Louise Bourgeois (American, b. France, 1911–2010), Maman, 1999, Bronze, stainless steel, and marble, 30ft. 5 in. x 29ft. 3 in. x 33ft. 7 in (927.1 x 891.5 x 1023.6 cm)

Video: Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, standing in front of the sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

On-screen text: Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

Audio—[Rod Bigelow]: Hello, I’m Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Welcome to Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moment. Today I’d like to share one of my favorite works of our collection …

Video: A close-up view of the sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … Maman, by Louise Bourgeois, and talk about why I think it’s truly a masterpiece.

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: Looming more than thirty feet in the air and cast of bronze, stainless steel and marble, Maman stands majestically on the grounds of Crystal Bridges.

Video: A close-up view of one of the legs of Maman

Audio: The long, arcing legs taper to a point …

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … becoming arches that take shape around you and create an open, yet protective, space.

Video: Louise Bourgeois photographed in her studio in New York, 1982

Audio: Louise Bourgeois created Maman, the French term for “Mommy,” as an homage to her mother…

Video: Louise Bourgeois with her mother Joséphine in 1914

Audio: … explaining it this way: “She’s my best friend.

Video: Footage from the video Spider Weaves a Web

Audio: Like a spider …

Video: Slow-motion video of a tapestry being woven

Audio: … my mother was a weaver.

Video: A detail of a tapestry in the tapestry gallery at 174 Boulevard Saint Germain owned by Louise Bourgeois’ father, Louis, c. 1911

Audio: My family was in the business of tapestry restoration …

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: … and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever.”

Video: Close-up views of Maman

Audio: Bourgeois, too, was clever: If you look carefully at the net-like belly of this monumental spider, you can see that Maman carefully holds eggs in her egg sac, revealing the inspiration of the work’s title.

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: Spiders first appeared in Bourgeois’ art in the 1940s …

Video: The drawing Spider, 1947, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … half a century before she made this giant sculpture.

Video: Another drawing titled Spider, 1947, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: The artist recognized that spiders are frightening to some people.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with Spider IV, 1996

Audio: But to Bourgeois, the spider was caring, helpful and hard-working—the way she remembered her mother.

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: Created in 1999 …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois at home in New York, c. 1998

Audio: when she was 87 years old, Maman was first installed the following year …

Video: A sculpture of a spider by Louise Bourgeois in front of Tate Modern, with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background, London

Audio: … at the Tate Gallery in London.

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: The version of Maman here in Bentonville is the first in an edition of six that were cast.

Video: Footage of Maman being installed at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Audio: Crystal Bridges acquired Maman in 2014 …

Video: An aerial view of Maman

Audio: … and we’re honored to be the only museum in the United States where she can be seen and experienced.

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: Her siblings can be found at museums …

Video: Maman at Tate Modern, London, forming a frame for the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London skyline beyond

Audio: … in London …

Video: Maman outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

Audio: … Bilbao …

Video: Maman in front of the Cathedral and Basilica of Notre Dame, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Audio: … Ottawa …

Video: Maman in front of the Roppongi Hills Building, Mori Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Audio: … Tokyo …

Video: Maman in Seoul, South Korea

Audio: … Seoul …

Video: Maman at the Qatar National Convention Center, QNCC, Doha, Qatar

Audio: … and Doha.

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: Maman’s illustrious internationalism attests to the same warm regard and high esteem she felt globally for her creator …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois working on a Personage sculpture in 1949

Audio: … Louise Bourgeois.

Video: A photographic portrait of Louise Bourgeois as she poses with an untitled sculpture in her Manhattan studio, New York, October 1982

Audio: In a career spanning nearly eight decades, Bourgeois stands as …

Video: A photographic portrait of Louise Bourgeois as she sits in the center of her Manhattan studio in New York, October 1982

Audio: … one of the great sculptors of all time.

Video: A video still of Louise Bourgeois from Louise Bourgeois, the Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine, 2008, by Amei Wallach and Marion Cajori

Audio: Most of her career success …

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: … stems from work derived from her early childhood experiences.

Video: Footage of Louise Bourgeois in the Art21 television series Art in the Twenty-first Century, Season 1, “Identity”

Audio: Her lived experience fuels her artistic practice until …

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: … her death in 2010 at age 98.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois working on The Destruction of the Father in 1974

Audio: She once said, “Everything I do was inspired by my early life.”

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in 1913

Audio: Louise Bourgeois was born in France on December 25th, 1911 …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois and her parents, Joséphine and Louis, c. 1915

Audio: … to Joséphine and Louis Bourgeois.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with her parents in Le Cannet in 1922

Audio: Her parents owned an antique tapestry gallery …

Video: A photograph of Claude Joseph Rouget on the island of Choisy le Roi, Paris

Audio: … in the suburbs of Paris, where Joséphine was responsible for repairs of these ornate fabrics.

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: By the age of ten, Louise began weaving with her mother and other accomplished seamstresses.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with her mother, Joséphine, in Le Cannet in 1922

Audio: Sadly, Joséphine contracted the flu during the …

Video: A photograph of people wearing masks during the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918

Audio: … Great Influenza in 1918 and never fully recovered.

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: Louise spent her adolescence nursing her ill mother …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with her brother, her father and her nanny, Sadie, in Nice, c. 1923

Audio: … while vying for the affections of her father, who became romantically involved with Louise’s nanny.

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: This profound negative experience for the young Bourgeois marked her life …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois’ sculptures, including Spiders and Pods, in progress in her Brooklyn studio in 1995

Audio: … emerging decades later in a monumental tribute to her mother that became …

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … Maman.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois studying for her baccalaureate in 1932

Audio: Louise was a great student …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in a classroom writing on a blackboard in 1932 …

Audio: … who took keen interest in mathematics.

Video: The Sorbonne University in Paris, France

Audio: She attended Sorbonne University as a math student …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois at the Lycée de Nice, c. 1931

Audio: … but she came disillusioned with her studies and dropped out to study …

Video: The photographic portrait Fernand Léger, 1935, by Rogi André

Audio: … under painter and sculptor Fernand Léger.

Video: The photographic portrait Louise Bourgeois at the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière, Paris, 1937, by Brassaï

Audio: She credited Léger with recognizing that she was not a painter, but a sculptor.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois and Robert Goldwater after their wedding on September 12, 1938

Audio: In 1938, Louise married the American …

Video: A wedding photograph of Louise Bourgeois and Robert Goldwater in 1938

Audio: … art critic Robert Goldwater …

Video: A photograph of the Manhattan, New York, skyline

Audio: … and moved to New York, where she spent the rest of her life …

Video: The photographic portrait Louise Bourgeois, 1949, by Berenice Abbott

Audio: … becoming an American citizen.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with her sculpture Friendly Evidence in 1954

Audio: Throughout the 1940s and 50s …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois and painter Robert Rauschenberg in 1954

Audio: … Bourgeois’ work was presented in various group exhibitions …

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: … with leading Abstract Expressionists of the day …

Video: A split screen with a photograph of Mark Rothko in 1961 on the left and Rothko’s painting No. 9 (Dark over Light Earth, Violet and yellow in Rose), 1954, on the right

Audio: … including Mark Rothko …

Video: A split screen with a photograph of Willem de Kooning in 1968 on the left and de Kooning’s painting Untitled XX, 1976, on the right

Audio: … and Willem de Kooning.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois and her husband, Robert Goldwater, at an opening

for an exhibition of the work of Franz Kline in New York on March 7, 1960

Audio: She socialized with European artists active in New York …

Video: A split screen with a photograph of Marcel Duchamp in 1927 on the left and Duchamp’s sculpture Fountain, 1917, on the right

Audio: … such as Marcel Duchamp …

Video: A split screen with Portrait of André Breton, 1927, by Henri Manuel on the left and the title page from Breton’s Arcane 17, 1944, on the right

Audio: … André Breton …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with Joan Miró in New York in 1947, with Miró’s feet resting atop books on Picasso

Audio: … and Joan Miró, and worked through …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in June 1959

Audio: … most of the avant-garde art periods of the twentieth century …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in 1965 with her sculptures Femme Volage, 1951, and Lair, 1962

Audio: … from Cubism to minimalism.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her studio with Life Flower, in progress, c. 1960

Audio: Louise’s style of sculpture considered the broad range of styles encountered …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in Querceta, Italy, in 1967

Audio: … throughout her life yet remained highly original …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois contemplating Germinal in 1967

Audio: … and at the forefront of contemporary art.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her home studio in 1974 and a photograph taken at a feminist dinner party on March 14, 1979, in honor of Louise Bourgeois

Audio: In the 1970s, a younger generation of artists, emboldened by the social movements of the day …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois working on The Destruction of the Father in 1974

Audio: … gravitated to this influential artist, championing her.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois with Janus Fleuri, 1968, and elements from The Destruction of the Father, 1974, in her New York home in 1977

Audio: She never called herself a “female” or “feminist” artist …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio working on her white marble Harmless Woman in 1984

Audio: … but Bourgeois became a feminist art icon …

Video: The sculpture Germinal, 1967, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … largely due to her recurring themes of self …

Video: The sculpture Harmless Woman, 1969, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … the body …

Video: The sculpture Spider II, 1995, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … motherhood, sexuality …

Video: The sculpture Femme Maison, 1994, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … and home life.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio working on her white marble Harmless Woman in 1984

Audio: Bourgeois boldly veered between figuration and abstraction …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois wearing the latex sculpture Avenza, 1968–1969, in front of her home on 20th Street in New York in 1975

Audio: … and employing an array of media throughout her career …

Video: The painting Femme Maison, 1947, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … including painting, drawing and printmaking …

Video: Footage showing the sculpture Welcoming Hands, 1996, by Louise Bourgeois, from the Art21 television series Art in the Twenty-first Century, Season 1, “Identity

Audio: … and, later, sculptural material …

Video: The sculpture Welcoming Hands, 1996, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … such as metal …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois’ wood Personages (1947–1953) in her New York home in 1965

Audio: … marble, wood, fabric and even animal bones.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio with works in progress in 1984

Audio: Louise Bourgeois’ work was fierce, daring …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio in 1984

Audio: … sensual and provocative, much like the artist herself …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her New York home, c. 1998

Audio: … which explains why her immense popularity …

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio in 1984

Audio: … and admiration endures to this day.

Video: A photograph of Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio with her sculpture Spider in 1995

Audio: Both grotesque and sublime, creepy and captivating …

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

Audio: … Maman continues to weave her web of mystery and majesty for all who get caught in her alluring web.

Video: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Audio: Thank you for watching today to learn more about Maman, by Louise Bourgeois. I encourage you to join the conversation …

Video: The sculpture Maman, 1999, by Louise Bourgeois

(Video) “Pine Trees” at the Tokyo National Museum

Audio: … and discuss this inspiring work with others.

Video: An aerial view of Maman

Audio: And please visit the Bank of America Masterpiece Moment website …

Audio: Rod Bigelow standing in front of Maman

Video: … to sign up for alerts and ensure that you never miss a moment.

Audio: [Music plays]

On-screen text:

Title treatment art:

Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859–1937)

The Arch, 1919 (detail)

Oil on canvas

Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alfred W. Jenkins, 32.10 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.10_SL1.jpg)

Aerial view of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Stock media provided by slicedbread / Pond5 / www.pond5.com

Fred Eversley (American, b. 1941)

Big Red Lens, 1985

Cast polyester

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

EQRoy / Alamy Stock Photo

Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery

Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

© 2022 Chihuly Studio / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Niijima Floats, 2017

Blown glass

EQRoy / Alamy Stock Photo

Belugas, 2017

Blown glass

Gina Kelly / Alamy Stock Photo

Sol d’Oro, 2017

Blown glass and steel

Gina Kelly / Alamy Stock Photo

George Segal (American, 1924–2000)

Depression Bread Line, 1991

Plaster, wood, metal and acrylic paint

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

EQRoy / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The George and Helen Segal Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

French-American artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois photographed in her studio in Chelsea, Manhattan, 1982

Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Art © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois with her mother Joséphine in 1914

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Spider Weaves a Web

Video by ivz

Slow-motion video of a tapestry being woven

By maxvvebb

Detail of a tapestry in the tapestry gallery at 174 Boulevard Saint Germain owned by Louise Bourgeois’ father, Louis, c. 1911

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois (American, b. France, 1911–2010)

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Maman, 1999

Bronze, stainless steel and marble

Germinal, 1967

White marble

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Harmless Woman, 1969

Bronze with gold patina

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Spider, 1947

Ink and charcoal on tan paper

Photo: Christopher Burke

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Spider, 1947

Ink and charcoal on tan paper

Photo: Zindman Fremont

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Spider II, 1995

Bronze

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Welcoming Hands, 1996

Bronze

Tuileries Gardens, Paris

Glenn Harper / Alamy Stock Photo

Femme Maison, 1947

Oil and ink on linen

Femme Maison, 1994

White marble

Louise Bourgeois with Spider IV, 1996

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy

Louise Bourgeois at home in New York, c. 1998

Photo by Robin Holland/Corbis via Getty Images

Art © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Sculpture of a spider by Louise Bourgeois in front of Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background, London, England

Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois, Maman, at London Tate Modern forming a frame for the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London skyline beyond

Justin Kase zninez / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Spider sculpture Maman by Louise Bourgeois outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

Sergi Reboredo / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Maman in front of the Cathedral and Basilica of Notre Dame, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois, Maman, Roppongi Hills Building, Mori Tower, Tokyo, Japan

mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois, Maman, Seoul, South Korea

frederic REGLAIN / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois at the Qatar National Convention Center, QNCC, Doha, Qatar

JB-2078 / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois working on a Personage sculpture in 1949

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Portrait of French-American artist Louise Bourgeois as she poses with an untitled sculpture, in her Manhattan studio, New York, October 1982

Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Art © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Portrait of French-American artist Louise Bourgeois as she sits in the center of her Manhattan studio, New York, October 1982

Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Art © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Still from Louise Bourgeois, the Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine, 2008, by Amei Wallach and Marion Cajori

Prod DB © Pretty Pictures

TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Footage of Louise Bourgeois in the Art21 television series Art in the Twenty-first Century, Season 1, “Identity”

© Art21, Inc. 2001

Louise Bourgeois working on The Destruction of the Father in 1974

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Mark Setteducati

Louise Bourgeois in 1913

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois and her parents, Joséphine and Louis, c. 1915

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois with her parents, Joséphine and Louis, in Le Cannet in 1922

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Statue of Claude Joseph Rouget on the island of Choisy le Roi, Paris

Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo

Louise Bourgeois with her mother, Joséphine, at Canal de la Siagne (above Bonnard’s house) in Le Cannet in 1922

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

1918 Flu Epidemic

Vintage_Space / Alamy Stock Photo

Louise Bourgeois with her brother, her father and Sadie in Nice, c. 1923

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois’ sculptures, including Spiders and Pods, in progress in her Brooklyn studio in 1995

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy

Louise Bourgeois studying for the baccalaureate in 1932

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois in a classroom writing on a blackboard in 1932

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

University Sorbonne in Paris, France

Petr Kovalenkov / Alamy Stock Photo

Louise Bourgeois at the Lycée de Nice, c. 1931

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Rogi André (Rozsa Klein) (French, b. Hungary, 1900–1970)

Fernand Léger, 1935

Gelatin silver print

Digital Image © CNAC/MNAM, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

Brassaï (Gyula Halász) (French, b. Hungary, 1899–1984)

Louise Bourgeois at the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière, Paris, 1937

Photographic print

Photo: © RMN-Grand Palais / Brassaï, courtesy The Easton Foundation

© Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais

Location: Paris, Collection Gilberte Brassaï

Louise Bourgeois and Robert Goldwater after their wedding on September 12th, 1938, at the

city hall in front of Église Saint-Sulpice in Paris

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

A wedding photo of Louise Bourgeois and Robert Goldwater, 1938

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Berenice Abbott (American, 1898–1991)

Louise Bourgeois, 1949

Gelatin silver print

Courtesy of The Easton Foundation

Photo by Berenice Abbott/Getty Images

Louise Bourgeois with her sculpture Friendly Evidence at the “Annual Exhibition of American Abstract Artists” at the Riverside Museum in New York in 1954

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois and Robert Rauschenberg in 1954 at the “Annual Exhibition of American Abstract Artists” at the Riverside Museum in New York

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Mark Rothko, 1961

Photo by Ben Martin/Getty Images

Mark Rothko (American, b. Russia, 1903–1970)

No. 9 (Dark over Light Earth, Violet and yellow in Rose), 1954

Oil on canvas

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Ken Howard / Alamy Stock Photo

© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Willem de Kooning, 1968

IanDagnall Computing / Alamy Stock Photo

Willem de Kooning (American, b. Netherlands, 1904–1997)

Untitled XX, 1976

Oil on newspaper mounted on paper mounted on linen

Centre Pompidou, Paris

agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

© 2022 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Louise Bourgeois (with beaded necklace) and her husband, Robert Goldwater, at an opening

for an exhibition of the work of Franz Kline (center left), Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, March 7, 1960. Goldwater is to the right of Kline, behind William Baziotes.

Photo by Fred W. McDarrah / MUUS Collection via Getty Images

Marcel Duchamp, 1927

Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887–1968)

Fountain, 1917

Porcelain urinal

IanDagnall Computing / Alamy Stock Photo

© Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2022

Title page from Arcane 17 by André Breton, 1944

World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Henri Manuel (French, 1874–1947)

Portrait of André Breton, 1927

Gelatin silver print

ARCHIVIO GBB / Alamy Stock Photo

Louise Bourgeois with Joan Miró in New York in 1947, restaging Ingres’ 1811 painting Jupiter and Thetis. Miró’s feet rest atop books on Picasso.

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois at 77 Rue Daguerre in June 1959

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois in 1965 with her sculptures Femme Volage, 1951, and Lair, 1962

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois in her studio with Life Flower (in progress), c. 1960

Photo: © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois in Querceta, Italy, 1967

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Studio Fotografico, Carrara

Louise Bourgeois contemplating Germinal, 1967

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Studio Fotografico, Carrara

Louise Bourgeois in her home studio in 1974

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Mark Setteducati

Feminist dinner party on March 14, 1979, in honor of Louise Bourgeois

Courtesy David Lewis and the Estate of Mary Beth Edelson

Louise Bourgeois working on The Destruction of the Father in 1974

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Mark Setteducati

Louise Bourgeois with Janus Fleuri, 1968, and elements from The Destruction of the Father, 1974, in her New York City home in 1977

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Blaine Waller

Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio working on her white marble Harmless Woman in 1984

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Passuntino

Louise Bourgeois wearing the latex sculpture Avenza, 1968–1969, which became part of Confrontation, 1978, in front of her home on 20th Street in New York, 1975

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Mark Setteducatti

Louise Bourgeois’ wood Personages (1947–1953) in her home on 20th Street, New York, in 1965

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Moore

Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio with works in progress in 1984

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Passuntino

Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn Studio in 1984

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Passuntino

Louise Bourgeois at home in New York, c. 1998

Photo by Robin Holland/Corbis via Getty Images

Art © 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn Studio in 1984

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Peter Passuntino

Louise Bourgeois in her Brooklyn studio with her sculpture Spider in 1995

© 2022 The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Photo: Jean-Francois Jaussaud

“Take the “A” Train”

Written by Billy Strayhorn

Performed by Oscar Peterson

Courtesy of Verve Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

© 2022 Bank of America Corporation.

Graphic: Bank of America logo

© 2022 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

(Video) Winged Victory of Samothrace

FAQs

What is the greatest masterpiece of all time? ›

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

It's the masterpiece of all masterpieces, the most famous, most discussed and most enigmatic of all paintings.

What is the masterpiece of art? ›

In modern use, a masterpiece is a creation in any area of the arts that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill, profundity, or workmanship.

How do you identify a masterpiece? ›

Look out for uniqueness and authenticity

You need to ask yourself: “What makes this piece special?” It's not just aesthetics that attribute to quality art, it's the context of the piece that does. The artist's stylistic background and their interpretation of the painting form the context.

What is a collection of an artist's greatest works? ›

An artist's oeuvre is their total body of work. Oeuvre can also refer to a single work of art, but it most commonly refers to the collective work of an artist over a lifetime. Oeuvre is a formal word most commonly used in the discussion of artists like painters, composers, and literary figures.

What is the most viewed piece of art in the world? ›

1. The Mona Lisa – 10 million per year. Unsurprisingly, the most visited painting in the world is also the most famous portrait ever painted – the Mona Lisa. Created by Leonardo da Vinci at the start of the 16th century, it's valued at well over $660 million.

What is a example of masterpiece? ›

The definition of a masterpiece is the greatest work in the career of an artist or group. An example of a masterpiece is the statue of David by Michelangelo.

What is a fancy word for masterpiece? ›

Synonyms for masterpiece. chef d'oeuvre, classic, magnum opus, masterwork.

What Makes a work of art great? ›

Good art always explores new subjects, emotions, feelings, sceneries and methodologies. If something catches your eye or if you discover something new in a piece of art, you should decide whether this uniqueness really sets the artwork apart and enhances the piece, or not.

What Makes a painting great? ›

What Makes a Good Painting? In the end, what makes a painting successful is that its composition, color, and subject matter all work harmoniously to deliver a unified and well-executed artwork. There are a few main elements that typically come together to make a painting successful.

What is a collection of art works called? ›

art collection, an accumulation of works of art by a private individual or a public institution. Art collecting has a long history, and most of the world's art museums grew out of great private collections formed by royalty, the aristocracy, or the wealthy.

How do you use masterpiece in a sentence? ›

Examples of masterpiece in a Sentence

The painting was immediately recognized as a masterpiece. Herman Melville's masterpiece was Moby-Dick. Her study of apes is a masterpiece.

What's a collection of artwork called? ›

1. art collection - a collection of art works. aggregation, collection, accumulation, assemblage - several things grouped together or considered as a whole.

Why is Mona Lisa a masterpiece? ›

Unlike other paintings of the 16th century, the Mona Lisa is a very realistic portrait of a real person. Scholars have attributed this sort of accomplishment due to the artist's brush and colour blending skills. Mona Lisa's softly sculpted face shows how innovative da Vinci was in regards to exploring new techniques.

What is another word for artwork? ›

Synonyms of artwork
  • drawing,
  • illumination,
  • image,
  • pictogram,
  • pictograph,
  • picture.

What makes a masterpiece in literature? ›

The notion of the masterpiece has several meanings. It is an outstanding achievement of one particular artist or writer. It is a work that for some reason we think deserves reverence or expects to be revered in a particular cultural tradition, as literature that would be a shame not to read or to have read.

What is the number 1 famous painting? ›

Mona Lisa, Paris

It is no surprise that the number one painting on our list is the famous Mona Lisa. The enigmatic painting of the smiling woman painted by the greatest Leonardo da Vinci dates back to 1503 to 15019.

What is the most priceless painting in the world? ›

The most valuable painting in history must surely be the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Although it is considered priceless, we can determine some numerical value by looking at the insurance value of the painting. In 1962 the masterpiece was assessed at a value of $100 million.

Who is the most famous artist of all time? ›

Leonardo da Vinci, probably the most important Renaissance artist, is widely recognized as the most famous artist of all time. He's the genius behind the iconic Mona Lisa painting masterpiece, after all.

How do you make a masterpiece? ›

Nearly all masterpieces share two commonalities: time and action. Said another way, you have to do the work every day. You won't create your masterpiece overnight, so don't try. It's far more important to work on it each day.

What is the great masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci? ›

It is primarily as a painter that Leonardo was and is renowned. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam.

What part of speech is masterpiece? ›

As detailed above, 'masterpiece' is a noun.

What do you call a person who creates a masterpiece? ›

Modern master: Someone who has created something new or different. Traditional master: Someone who has perfected his or her chosen craft and creates something from that state of perfection. Like Michelangelo.

What is the root word of masterpiece? ›

masterpiece (n.) "a work or performance of a master, a piece of work of surpassing excellence," c. 1600, from master (n.) + piece (n. 1).

What is the meaning of Marvellous feat? ›

Noun. A highly successful example of something. triumph.

What is great art definition? ›

Good art has a: strong emotional impact on the viewer; long lasting, unforgettable impression.

What is art appreciation to you now? ›

Instead, art appreciation is: Gaining the knowledge to understand the art. Acquire the art methods and materials to discuss art verbally or by the written word. Ability to identify the movements from ancient cultures to today's contemporary art.

How can we define good art essay? ›

In general, there are three reliable criteria to assess a piece of art: idea, aesthetics, and uniqueness (novelty). Sharing an emotion or idea with the viewer is a primordial task for any piece of artwork.

How do you compliment a painter? ›

Some Compliments That You Can Use Instead!
  1. You are such a great artist! [works every time!]
  2. I really love your art! ...
  3. Your art is so cool! ...
  4. Great job! ...
  5. You have put a lot of work into this piece and it has paid off! ...
  6. Congratulations! ...
  7. You are awesome! ...
  8. This art could step on me and I'd thank them for it.
6 Jun 2019

What is interesting about painting? ›

1. People have been painting for as long as 30,000 years! Early Cave paintings were drawn with red or yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide, and charcoal may have been made by early Homo sapiens as long as 30,000 years ago. These would have been ground to make up a primitive paint substance.

What is the great masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci? ›

It is primarily as a painter that Leonardo was and is renowned. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam.

How much is the Mona Lisa painting worth? ›

However, another conflicting report claims that back in 1962, the painting's price was assessed at $100 million. Taking inflation into account, it would make its value about $900 million as of 2021.

What is masterpiece in literature? ›

A masterpiece is an extremely good painting, novel, film, or other work of art.

What are da Vinci's two most famous works of art? ›

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous, most reproduced, most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time.

Why is the Mona Lisa so famous? ›

Indeed, the Mona Lisa is a very realistic portrait. The subject's softly sculptural face shows Leonardo's skillful handling of sfumato, an artistic technique that uses subtle gradations of light and shadow to model form, and shows his understanding of the skull beneath the skin.

What's so great about Mona Lisa? ›

The Mona Lisa's Smile

Da Vinci used optical illusion to create a unique smile through perspective and shadow work. Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in such a way that the eyes of the Mona Lisa fall directly into the viewer's focus, while the lips fall just below the periphery of vision.

Who owns Mona Lisa? ›

It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1797. The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world.

What's the most expensive piece of art in the world? ›

This is a list of the highest known prices paid for paintings. The current record price is approximately US$450.3 million (which includes commission), paid for Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi in November 2017.

Who is greatest artist of all time? ›

Best Artists and Painters
  • Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci's The Annunciation. ...
  • Michelangelo. Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Risen Christ, c. ...
  • Pablo Picasso. Pablo Picasso drawing in Antibes, summer 1946. ...
  • Rembrandt. ...
  • Vincent Van Gogh.
27 May 2021

What is a fancy word for masterpiece? ›

Synonyms for masterpiece. chef d'oeuvre, classic, magnum opus, masterwork.

Where does the word masterpiece come from? ›

Masterpiece comes from the Dutch meesterstuk, "work by which a craftsman attains the rank of master."

Videos

1. How To Celebrate Christmas...Medieval Style! | Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas | Chronicle
(Chronicle - Medieval History Documentaries)
2. What Makes a Masterpiece?
(The Art Assignment)
3. George Hotz | Just Chatting | Tesla AI Day 2022 ** REACTION ** | Science & Technology commabody.com
(george hotz archive)
4. Jessie J - Masterpiece (ft a 10 years old girl picked from the crowd) at Electric Castle, Romania
(Electric Castle)
5. Mona Lisa (short version) by Leonardo da Vinci: Great Art Explained
(Great Art Explained)
6. Salvador Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory': Great Art Explained
(Great Art Explained)

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