Just published

We're adding new content all the time!

videos + essays

Diego Rivera’s <em>Sugar Cane</em>
Diego Rivera’s Sugar Cane

A brutal history told for a modern American city, Mexican muralism in New York

An African muslim among the founding fathers, Charles Willson Peale’s <em>Yarrow Mamout</em>
An African muslim among the founding fathers, Charles Willson Peale’s Yarrow Mamout

How a portrait of an African muslim came to hang side-by-side with the founding fathers in one of America's earliest museums.

Making an icon: JFK and the power of media
Making an icon: JFK and the power of media

Go backstage at the 1960 Democratic National Convention with photographer Gary Winogrand.

Cheap Thrills: Coney Island during the Great Depression
Cheap Thrills: Coney Island during the Great Depression

According to the artist (Reginald Marsh), at Coney Island, “The best show is the people themselves.”

The triangle trade and the colonial table, sugar, tea, and slavery
The triangle trade and the colonial table, sugar, tea, and slavery

Global trade in a cup of tea: Colonial America, sugar and slavery.

Homage to JFK: Rauschenberg’s <em>Retroactive I</em>
Homage to JFK: Rauschenberg’s Retroactive I

A portrait of a president transformed by tragedy.

Impressionist color
Impressionist color

Blue snow and violet-tinted flesh—the Impressionists radically changed our expectation of color.

Impressionist pictorial space
Impressionist pictorial space

The surprising pictorial effects of modern art may seem at first like errors, but they are quite intentional!

Inventing America, Colt’s Experimental Pocket Pistol
Inventing America, Colt’s Experimental Pocket Pistol

The gun that "won the West" also transformed American manufacturing and marketing.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, <em>Washing/Tracks/Maintenance: Outside (July 23, 1973)</em>
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Washing/Tracks/Maintenance: Outside (July 23, 1973)

The artist asks us if maintaining can be as important as creating.

Premonition or memory? George Grosz’s <em>Remembering</em>
Premonition or memory? George Grosz’s Remembering

Nazi violence forced many artists and intellectuals to leave Germany in the 1930s, and like Grosz, many came to the United States.

Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite, and the battle for National Parks
Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite, and the battle for National Parks

Captured here in paint, this grand Californian landscape would soon disappear under water.