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Folies Bergere Poster
You've likely seen this glassy-eyed late 19th Century barmaid before, but what can we make of this painting today?

Better Know: Manet’s Bar


Great Hall., Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met Museum in New York is filled with masterpieces of human creativity, but is there a better way to organize what's inside?

Remake the Met


Courbet, The Artist's Studio, a real allegory summing up seven years of my artistic and moral life
What's the point of making realistic paintings when photography can do the trick?

The case for Realism



Warning sign about nudity
The nude has been celebrated but also censored. What's wrong with seeing the unclothed human body?

The case for nudity


Marina Abramović, Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975)
Should art be beautiful? Revisit ancient philosophers' thoughts on beauty and consider why we might be skeptical of beauty today.

Art must be beautiful


Wayne Thiebaud, Ponds and Streams, 2001, acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 152.4 cm (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, ©Wayne Thiebaud)
Can the commonplace working farmland of California's Sacramento River Valley be a place of of breathtaking beauty?

Thiebaud, Ponds and Streams





Masami Teraoka, American Kabuki, 1986, watercolor and sumi ink on paper mounted on a four-panel screen, 196.9 x 393.7 x 3 cm (de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) © Masami Teraoka
Teraoka draws on Japan's brilliant history of art and kabuki theatre to create beauty from heartrending tragedy

American Kabuki