Virtual vs. Tactile – Plastic Bubbles and the Art of Experiencing Art

In 2011, internet search giant Google announced the Google Art Project, which allows anyone with an internet connection to access images of artworks housed in museums around the world. The initial roster of institutions was 17, with another 151 institutions added in 2012. Google recently added 20 more institutions. Museum collections in over 40 countries are now represented – available to be experienced in 20 different languages.

In terms of delivering visual images of artworks to home computers, tablets, and smartphones, today’s internet is a dream come true conduit for museums, galleries, artists, art collectors, art aficionados, and private dealers such as ourselves. The internet serves up a broad and seemingly endless supply of visual art, from masterworks such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night to the less sublime yet still compelling thrift store classic Velvet Elvis, all in real-time. There’s no need to travel, buy admission tickets, or even change out of your favorite pajama’s in order to virtually visit a lifetime supply of art via the internet. You don’t even have to whisper or leave your food and drinks outside. It doesn’t get any better than that. Or does it?

Garofalo's Annunciation at Musei Capitolini

Coming now to a screen of your choosing.

We’re in an age where our collective attention spans are shortening while simultaneously being conditioned to absorb ever-increasing amounts of information that gets delivered to us in smaller sized scraps of sounds and sights. It is a testament to the power and mysteries of the human brain that more of us don’t go cross-eyed just trying to keep up.

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Happy Birthday Ogden Pleissner

It’s no secret the principals of The Caldwell Gallery love to fly-fish. Our catch and release fishing echoes the “catch and release” nature of selling art. A purchase can be thought of as a catch, and the subsequent sale is the release. In between, we like to think of ourselves as custodians instead of owners. We first encountered Ogden Pleissner (1905-1983) through his sporting art, specifically his fly-fishing paintings. As an avid sportsman himself, Pleissner’s intimate knowledge and experience as a fisherman and hunter brought an authenticity to his art which other sportsmen appreciated during his lifetime…and in the thirty years since his passing.

Ogden Pleissner at work in an undated photo.

The sportsman at work in an undated photo.

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Deep Woods, Deep Snow, Deep Thoughts. Canvas, Paintbrushes, and…Skis?

It’s hard to describe the magic of skiing and snow to those who huddle in their caves all Winter anxiously awaiting signs that Spring’s thaws have gained the upper hand. Since some of my earliest memories are snow based, and sliding on snow (and ice) are in the family DNA, I’m never sad if Spring is forced to wait patiently just a bit longer for Old Man Winter to have his say.

Sledding Fun (c.1937)

Sledding Fun (c.1937). Our intrepid founder (r) and his Big Sis ride their rockets…

My big Sis and I embrace the legendary Blizzard of '66...

My Big Sis and I embrace the legendary Blizzard of ’66.

This past week saw a series of late Winter storms blanket the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont with deep snow. In a moment of keen and decisive decision-making as the storms were rolling in, I decided that playing hooky was in order and therefore moved our office operations (and my body) to my “home away from home” in Vermont’s beautiful Mad River Valley – home to Mad River Glen and Sugarbush. Today’s modern business owner is both blessed and cursed with technology that enables us as never before, yet hounds us as never before. We’re never more than our smart phone away from the pull of the office, yet we can efficiently operate from almost anywhere. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Wilson Irvine (1869-1936)

There have been so many amazing artists in the United States and Wilson Henry Irvine, born on February 28, 1869, was one of them. So today we’re going to break out some cake and candles and celebrate his birthday.

Chicago born, and academically trained at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1895-1903, Irvine’s love of nature drove his artistic passions. Continue reading

Back to the Future – 2012 Reviewed, 2013 Launched…

Where to begin?

Presidential elections, fiscal cliffs, End of Days, Olympics, Sandy Hook. The world seems larger…yet feels smaller. Meaner…yet more hopeful. More logical…yet less clear.

As modern humans we’re supposed to interface, naturally and like good little soldiers, to the ever more complicated and invasive technology of information overload. It swirls and envelops us at every turn. We somehow need to make sure we keep our sanity and humanity intact. Where do I find a playbook? Do we lose our humanity by filtering out the world sitting behind our computers or staring at our smart phones? Should we utilize these devices to enhance what’s really real – our flesh and bone connections to ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones? It’s a complicated question to which is no simple answer, especially for those of us who uses a computer for much of each work day.

Robert Natkin's painting entitled Interior

Robert Natkin’s 1961 work Interior

The balance for us as a private art dealers, is that our product – art – is about humanity. Continue reading

Beantown Art Fair Redux…A Review from the Booth

A few weeks ago with the recent Presidential election just completed, fiscal cliffs impending, and a forecast for some great late fall weather, we packed up 22 works of art, and pointed our van toward Boston. This was our 7th year exhibiting in the Boston International Fine Art Show. We were excited to get back to Beantown the weekend before Thanksgiving. As we drove into the city we passed Copley Square and the great man himself – John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Well, we passed a bronze replica of Copley. An extraordinary artist, and one heck of a spiffy dresser!

John Singleton Copley

John Singleton Copley, a great man wearing some great shoes!

Arriving at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts we were confronted with the empty booth that became our home for the next 5 days. It was time to scratch our chins and think about making the art shine. Continue reading

Falling for Fall

Wilson Irvine's painting The Stone Bridge

An exceptional Wilson Irvine of a stone bridge in Old Lyme, CT.

I love fall, and by fall I’m referring to places where the leaves change. Apologies to those of you residing in LA or Miami Beach – but if the leaves don’t change, it isn’t really fall in my humble opinion. Continue reading