Lately I have been making YouTube videos about art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including:
- What is Impressionism? Most people like impressionist art but it isn’t so easy to define what it is. I use an acronym, E.L.B.O.W., to give a simple working definition, illustrated by impressionist works at the museum.
- Watch the Hands. I show how small details in how hands are portrayed can change or add meaning to a painting, using works by Winslow Homer, John Singleton Copley, Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden and The Master of The Tibertine Sybil. It is my shortest video so far and, I think, rather fun.
- Cy Twombly’s Fifty Days at Iliam. This is one of the most challenging contemporary art installations at the museum. I tried to make it accessible to people who don’t like modern art by dramatically relating the paintings to the events of the Trojan war. James Christy is the narrator and the original music is composed by Bryson Kemp.
- Bronzino’s Cosimo as Orpheus . This painting from the Renaissance is challenging in a different way — it just seems very odd. I try to show how the strange elements of the painting actually make sense.
- The Constantine Tapestries. If you have been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you have seen these monumental tapestries that fill the Great Stair Hall. But most people don’t realize that they tell a story about Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor from 306 to 337 C.E. This video takes through the story and the description of the video explains bit about how the tapestries were created and ended up at the museum. Spoiler alert: seven of the twelve tapestries were designed by Peter Paul Rubens.