The Armory Show at 100

the armory show in 1913

In 1913, a group of artists organized a giant exhibition in New York City of 1400 contemporary works of art: The Armory Show. The new and modern art styles represented — abstraction, cubism, futurism — shocked the country and made The Armory Show a major event in the history of art.

If I was given a time machine and told to pick one event to visit in the past, The Armory Show would be a very tempting destination.


So, I was excited when I discovered that the New York Historical Society would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Armory Show with a new exhibition containing 100 of the works from the original show, plus commentary and ephemera from the period. The show was smaller than I was expecting, but still extremely fascinating. My favorite paintings were the two seen above: arguably the most famous Armory Show painting, Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, and Robert Henri’s Figure in Motion. The two nudes demonstrate the wide range of styles represented by The Armory Show. Duchamp’s painting shook up the world. People were so confused and defensive about it in 1913! So wild.


Of course, I procrastinated and didn’t go to see the show until its second to last weekend. It was still crowded, but I was delighted by my first visit to the NY Historical Society. It is a beautiful museum. In edition to special exhibits, the museum has a huge collection of New York City artifacts. You can browse more than 40,000 objects within the visible storage system of the Luce Center. If you like old things and exploring a “cabinet of curiosities” style museum, you will enjoy the NYHS. I loved it!!


Sadly, The Armory Show at 100 exhibition has closed. But you can still buy the awesome, giant exhibition catalogue. Want to learn more about The Armory Show of 1913 right now? Check out this awesome site from the Smithsonian Archive of American Art.

Park City, Utah

I’ve already written a lot about my trip to Alt Summit last week (you can read even more about it here), but I still had to share this photo of me and author, Margaret Atwood, that was taken in Park City on Saturday.

By the end of the day on Friday I was exhausted. After being totally “on” for two and half days of conference going, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to follow through with my plans to head up to Park City on early Saturday morning… but man, am I glad I did! The road trip up the mountain to the home of the Sundance Film Festival was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.

I stumbled on Margaret Atwood signing books at Dolly’s Bookstore on Park City’s main street. I was sort of blown away. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my very favorite books — a futuristic story with a strong, central, female character long before the days of The Hunger Games — and I plan to read ALL of her fiction. So, I purchased The Blind Assassin and got in line to have it signed. Atwood was lovely and kind and didn’t even seem too annoyed when I asked for a photo. I am impressed by her seemingly grueling speaking and promotional schedule. She was in Park City because her non-fiction book, Payback, had been adapted into a film being premiered at Sundance.

Sundance proved to be an art adventure in more ways than one. I did indeed see a film (which I hope to write about in its own devoted post) and I also ran into this Banksy mural on the side of an ice cream shop…

Very cool. I was told that Bansky made the art while he was in Park City for Sundance when his film Exit Through the Gift Shop premiered in 2010. The store owner put the protective glass and metal bars around the piece after poachers tried to steal it. I think Banksy is trying to say something about how documentary filmakers make an adverse impact even when they are trying to be helpful… what do you think?

Oh, and did I mention that the whole time we were wandering up and down Park City’s main street, it was pouring snow? It was basically a blizzard and apparently the highways had to be closed later in the evening! I was stomping through mounds of snow and trying not to fall on my face in front of movie stars and paparazzi. (BTW: the only stars, besides Atwood, that I saw were Will.I.Am and Robin Weigert, from Deadwood.) Thankfully, I was wearing two items that made the snowy trek totally possible: my No.6 store clog boots and my Brooklyn Industries puffy coat. Both performed wonderfully! I recommend them.

Also, I posed with a moose:

art & the city

This is just one part of the “Flaming Cactus” installation by Animus Arts Collective at Astor Place. I saw it while running during Summer Streets last Saturday and I pretty much love it – a collection of fuzzy rainbows in the middle of the Village. They are made with multi-colored zip ties wrapped around light poles.

Want more art? If you missed the Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibit that just closed at the Met, watch this video summary narrated by the curator. I hope the exhibit travels. I would LOVE to see it again.

What art are you enjoying this summer?

it’s not so bad…

I am feeling discouraged today. The internet feels especially negative lately.

Let’s see if I can scrounge up some positives…

Leftover strawberry-rhubarb pie made by my friend, Lauren
“Super Bass” by Nikki Minaj
“Antiques Roadshow” went to Eugene, OR, and found a $500,000 Norman Rockwell painting!
Tonight is the kick-off for the fall Team In Training season – and Travis is training this season!!
List me a few more in the comments…

Off topic: Should I spring for HBO so that I can watch True Blood and Game of Thrones? Or, just wait it out and get ’em on Netflix?

women in art

I went and saw the documentary film, !Women Art Revolution, today with my friends, Jessica and Lydia. Lydia is an art advisor and suggested the outing to the IFC theater. I am glad she did.

The film by Lynn Hershman Leeson was a great refresher on the feminist art movement of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It re-introduced me to artists like Judy Chicago (whose Dinner Party is seen above), Carolee Scheemann, and Ana Mendieta. It also reminded me of the Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous art activist group that played a considerable part in my undergrad education thanks to my awesome professer, Julia Franklin. (Below is one of the Guerrilla Girls posters that they created to bring awareness to the lack of female artists in major institutions.)

I enjoyed the movie. It refreshed my thinking in regard to recent art history and feminism. It showed how systematically the contribution of female artists has been excluded from art history and how much work women have done in an attempt to reduce sexism and discrimination in the art world. It was a good reminder of the importance of supporting female and minority artists, but it also reminded me why “feminism” seems to be a bad word for some women in my generation.

I consider myself a feminist. (I believe women — and all people — should have equal rights and opportunities and be able to choose their own paths and fulfill their potential in any way they choose. I also believe that women should have equal representation in our government.) But I can also see why others may not. Sometimes the feminist movement can come across as militant and hateful toward men. And even if that is absolutely NOT the central focus of feminism, I can see how women who love and admire the men in their lives (like I do) and who do not have the desire to be confrontational may have a hard time identifying with the movement.

!Women Art Revolution addresses this conflict and the problem of the less-than-positive view of the feminist art movement by younger generations. Contemporary artist, Alexandra Chowaniec, is quoted explaining that “there’s a fear within my generation that identifying with feminism is a limitation and not a foundation.” A hope expressed in the film (and which I share) is that we can work to re-define “feminism” so that it can be a more uniting and inclusive term.

The film is not perfect, nor is it an exhaustive history of women in art, but it expresses a very important point of view that is still very relevant today. All people are of value and everyone has the right to fight to have their voices heard – that is the message I take from the film. I hope !Women Art Revolution will be shown in all art history classes alongside all of those male-dominated text books.

Shades of Alice, a piece in the collection of the American Craft Museum, New York, by Faith Ringgold, one of the artists interviewed in the film.


Read more about !Women Art Revolution at ArtInfo and the NY Times. All of the footage shot for the film, including the hundreds of hours that weren’t included in the final cut, can be viewed here. And, definitely check out the new RAW WAR online archive of art by women. There is still work to be done.


Travis and I went to see “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway yesterday and I loved it so much that I had to jot down a quick review…

Some things about me: I am not that into live theater. Live singing and acting make me really nervous, mostly because I am so incredibly terrible at both that I transfer my own fears of embarrassment onto the performers. This nervousness is basically the reason why “The Book of Mormon” was my very first Broadway show experience. Also, I am fascinated by religion, so this was the first musical that I felt I HAD to see.

“The Book of Mormon” was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the guys behind “South Park.” It has gotten impeccable reviews. I appreciate “South Park.” It is genius and hilarious, which I love, but it is also crude and vulgar. Some of that same shock-value humor is used in “The Book of Mormon.” I think that everyone who goes to the show will be expecting it, but if you’ve never seen “South Park,” the strong language used in the musical might offend… not that it should. It is all hilarious and true. And we are all adults, right?

With the disclaimer about “adult” language out of the way, I can get on to the love fest… What a fun, happy, adorable, smart, life-affirming show!! Even Mormons are finding the show “surprisingly sweet.” It is about two Mormon missionaries who are assigned to Uganda and the challenges they face in such an unfamiliar place. It is also about how humans and religion are flawed and funny and ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to do good. We can have hope and faith in goodness, even if the details of religion are a little weird.

Parker and Stone describe “The Book of Mormon” as an “atheist love letter to religion.” That is a perfect description. I am not an atheist. I sort of consider myself pan-religious — open to all, devout to none — and “The Book of Mormon” affirmed my personal philosophies. So much so that I cried at the end. Not because the story is THAT touching, but because it felt so good to know that there are other people out there who are thinking the same things I am.


If you want a taste of “The Book of Mormon,” you can listen to all of the songs from the show here on NPR. (Remember, I warned you about the language.)

West Elm Handmade Art event

I went with my friend, Jess, to a We Heart Handmade Art event last night . The event was hosted by Etsy and Remodelista, and was held at the West Elm store near Columbus Circle.

I had been reluctant about making the long trip uptown for the event, especially since the weather was rainy and bleak yesterday, but it paid off! I had a surprisingly excellent time. It was a party atmosphere with free drinks and really amazing sweet treats (like these adorable mini cones filled with mocha mousse!) from FIKA espresso bar. I had quite a few…

The event was packed, but the West Elm store was very large. The handmade vendors were dispersed and integrated throughout the store. It was sometimes hard to tell if you were looking at a West Elm product or one of the handmade art displays. There were jewelers, printers, illustrators, food vendors, and more. We met some talented artists.

My favorite handmade goodies: candy from Kettle Cronfections (I bought some!), Deep End Mugs from Clam Lab, thank you cards from Pawling Print Studio, and the “Everything’s Alright Forever” print from Enormous Champion.

Jess and I went to do some shopping — I’m always up for checking out handmade wares, plus I am in the market for a new rug — but also to do some networking. We are working on a super-secret (i.e. still in beta) project together called Ace Department. Check it out if you are a female entrepreneur looking for a supportive online community. We think it’s going to be grand.

I forced Jess to do the Smilebooth with me:


I am still trying to figure out how I feel about being thirty… or maybe I’m just trying to be ok with time passing.

These words (from our favorite urban lyricist, naturally) are really speaking to me today:

May the best of your todays
Be the worst of your tomorrows
But we aren’t even thinking that far… know what I mean?

So we live a life like a video
When the sun is always out and you never get old
And the champagne’s always cold
And the music is always good
And the pretty girls just happen to stop by in the hood
And they hop their pretty ass up on the hood of dat pretty ass car
Without a wrinkle in today
Cause there is no tomorrow
Just some picture perfect day
To last a whole lifetime
And it never ends
Cause all we have to do is hit rewind
So let’s just stay in the moment, smoke some weed,
Drink some wine,
Reminisce talk some sh-t forever young is in your mind
Leave a mark that can’t erase neither space nor time
So when the director yells cut,
I’ll be fine,
I’m forever young…
– JayZ

eye candy

Above is a screen shot of my profile on It is a new visual bookmarking site that I just started using last week. It is very well designed and many of the blogging cool kids use it, so there are plenty of lovely things being “pinned” all the time. I’ve created a few “boards” (i.e. categories) and have been slowly adding images that catch my eye.

Previous to Pinterest, I was using to bookmark my favorite images. Imgfave is a fine site, but I think I am going to transition completely over to Pinterest… It allows for more options and is just more user-friendly and pretty. I also use my tumblr blog, to post quick items that are either on my wishlist or that I think are interesting. I am definitely going to continue posting to it (hopefully daily) with “high interest” items that don’t quite fit on my main blog (, while using Pinterest for things that I just find visually inspiring.

Speaking of visual inspiration, one of my current favorite websites is Artessen. It is an aggregator of the top visual and design blogs and there is always tons of beautiful photography to be found just by visiting the home page. It actually kind of makes me sick with jealousy every time I visit (every day), but I keep going back hoping that some of the beauty and awesome design will rub off!

What sites do you use to keep track of your favorite images? There are so many cool blogging platforms and bookmarking sites that it is hard to stay on top of the best methods… How do you organize all of your different online presences?