Rusty Freeman

Formalism and Symbolic Content

Formalism is a fundamental theory of aesthetics (the study of art and its values) emphasizing the overall appearance of a work of art. The appearance is judged for how well the formal arrangement of elements within a painting, sculpture, etc., manages to convey a successful “internal logic.” All formal elements must work together to convey …

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Museums Study History Through Art

Museums, and perhaps most particularly art museums, have roles to play in connecting the lives of their visitors with the history of their communities and their country. History becomes illuminating when it’s tied to the present. Museums can, for their audiences, facilitate this connecting work of history to the world today. Art museums themselves have …

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The Life of Thomas Eakins

We explore in this post, the family, friends, education, and art of Thomas Eakins in relationship to his social contexts and highlight key events and paintings.  As many readers know, Cedarhurst cares for four paintings by Eakins — Samuel Murray, 1889; Professor Barker, 1886 (and the excised canvas fragment of Barker’s hand turned into a separate painting); …

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Mythology of The Bull

We celebrate the return of John Kearney’s Bull from conservation restoration with an esoteric collage from the History of the Bull. Picasso is well known for his adoption of the Bull as his alter-ego or avatar.  As a young boy, his first drawings were of bulls and bullfights.  Bullfighting in Spain is over 2,000 years old and may have …

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The Mountain Lake Experience

This blog introduces the exhibition Rural Avant Garde: The Mountain Lake Experience showing at Cedarhurst October 18 through January 3, 2021.   The exhibition was organized by the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts in Farmville, Virginia.  In 2018, the companion book was published as The Mountain Lake Symposium and Workshop: Art in Locale.  Edited by Ray Kass and Howard Risatti. The …

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John Cage Values

John Cage is not a household name, though his music influenced Frank Zappa, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Stereolab, the Kronos Quartet and reached well into the visual arts. The occasion for my blog post is the traveling exhibition Rural Avant Garde: The Mountain Lake Experience now showing at Cedarhurst until January 4. If you …

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