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From the elements of art to the great goddess Durga — Smarthistory is adding new content every week.

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Jackson Pollock, <i>Cathedral</i>
Jackson Pollock, Cathedral

Cathedral by Jackson Pollock is an enamel and aluminum paint on canvas on view at the Dallas Museum of Art and has been part of the collection for more than seven decades. Pollock is known for defining a new era of art by introducing the radical idea of placing his canvas on the ground and applying paint through movement. Works like “Cathedral” exemplified this new style—Abstract Expressionism—that captured the energy and complex emotions of post-World War II America. Learn more about this masterpiece with Agustín Arteaga, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Tarsila do Amaral, <em>Abaporú</em>
Tarsila do Amaral, Abaporú

This painting inspired a movement called Cannibalism, but it’s not what you think.

Michelangelo, Studies for the <em>Libyan Sibyl</em> (recto); Studies for the <em>Libyan Sibyl</em> and a small <em>Sketch for a Seated Figure</em> (verso)
Michelangelo, Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto); Studies for the Libyan Sibyl and a small Sketch for a Seated Figure (verso)

Michelangelo transforms a male model into a female figure. Discover the artist’s working process.

Slave Burial Ground, University of Alabama
Slave Burial Ground, University of Alabama

A 2004 plaque is the only marker of burial grounds of enslaved people who died while enslaved by the University of Alabama and its faculty

Rufino Tamayo, <em>The Somnambulist</em>
Rufino Tamayo, The Somnambulist

Rufino Tamayo considered himself an international Mexican, bringing Mexican art and its cultural roots to the world and vice versa. One art school, two museums and over 2,000 works later, it is easy to see how he brought inspiration to Oaxaca, just as his birthplace inspired him and his art. Learn more about Tamayo with Roxana Velásquez, the Maruja Baldwin Executive Director and CEO of The San Diego Museum of Art.

Chorrera Ceramics from Ecuador
Chorrera Ceramics from Ecuador

Chorrera ceramic artists were specialists who developed a sophisticated ceramic technology that allowed them to create elaborate vessels and highly expressive sculptural works.

Jama-Coaque ceramics
Jama-Coaque ceramics

Many thousands of brightly painted and beautifully detailed sculptures were produced by the Jama-Coaque culture of modern-day Ecuador’s lush western coast.

William Holman Hunt, <em>The Scapegoat</em>
William Holman Hunt, The Scapegoat

In The Scapegoat Hunt created one of the most unusual paintings of the Victorian period, a blend of detail and realism typical of Pre-Raphaelite artists and the religious spirit of a deeply devout artist.

Suchitra Mattai, <em>Exodus</em>
Suchitra Mattai, Exodus

Although there are no figures in Suchitra Mattai's massive tapestry called Exodus, the presence of the South Asian diaspora is manifest through the almost 200 globally sourced saris.

Frida Kahlo, <em>Self-Portrait with Monkey</em>
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Monkey

Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938, by Frida Kahlo is one of the most important works of art in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Kahlo’s art embodies Mexicandad—the unique spirit and quality of being Mexican—combining the country’s indigenous heritage, colonial history and post-revolutionary future. Many of her works and self-portraits are also artistic expressions of the numerous challenges she faced in her lifetime. Learn more about “Self- Portrait with Monkey,” 1938, with Janne Sirén, the Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Sebastián López de Arteaga, <em>Marriage of the Virgin</em>
Sebastián López de Arteaga, Marriage of the Virgin

Learn about Joseph, Mary, and the representation of marriage in New Spain in López de Arteaga's painting

Monument Avenue and the Lost Cause
Monument Avenue and the Lost Cause

A conversation that took place on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, July, 2021