Fascinating what if’s…

All through the show of Abelardo Morell's photographs at the High Museum in Atlanta, I kept thinking I could hear the artist mumbling, whispering...  "I know how the camera obscura works, well, what if… "...I used a room instead of a box... "And you know how books conjure images?  What if... "Now, what if I … Continue reading Fascinating what if’s…

Of petition, prayer and poetry

A while back, my brother-in-law saw a photograph I had taken in China and asked to see more.  Now what you need to know about Robert Lawrence, aka Bob, is that he writes poetry and plays, translates ancient Greek and delves into theology--on his own, art for art's sake.  When he mentioned that some of … Continue reading Of petition, prayer and poetry

On reflection/s

At a weekend retreat with graduate students of NYU's  Steinhardt School of Education --  I had absolutely no business being there except that a wonderful graduate student who worked for Neil Postman invited me -- there was a PhD candidate who had researched the cultural history of  glass.  When people figured out how to make large panes … Continue reading On reflection/s


First it was drawings, then came photographs and plaster casts, X-rays and even the occasional CT-scan.  Now art historians can sit at their computers and examine the three-dimensional image of a sculpture, swivel it, upend it, turn it round and round if they like.  And remember the old plaster casts?  Well now there is Selective … Continue reading NEW TOOLS FOR ART HISTORIANS


Truth -- or rather, expressing the truth is such a slippery thing. When I was writing  my review of "Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road" at the Getty Center, I ended up  looking at lots of 19th-century photographs.   What struck me was how some resorted to lying in order to tell the … Continue reading LYING TO TELL THE TRUTH