Dec. 16 is the birthday of a Russian-born artist whose abstract paintings appear to have been tossed off as improvisations. But they are the result of years of study and careful choices.

My new favorite film featuring the star Helen Mirren is a Museum of Modern Art video. In it, Mirren speaks of her love of paintings, how she often leans in too close to canvases to get a good look.

“The guards always get rather nervous when I’m in a gallery,”…

Sept. 23 is the birthday of an American musician who mythologized highways while not being much of a driver himself. In this, Springsteen recalls French painter Henri Rousseau who shared with us marvelous landscapes that he created in his mind.

I’m a journalist and journalists doubt everything. We check facts and we check them again.. and again. Heck, we challenge what other people call facts, wondering if the sources we’re consulting are right.

But there are a few things I know in this world. There are a precious few facts…

There’s much wrong with the world as we approach the 252nd birthday of Napoleon Bonaparte. But it is a hopeful sign that there’s more attention these days to his sin of legalizing the crime of slavery.

Aug.15 is the birthday of one of the most famous men in history, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). But until recently little has been said about why he also is one of the most infamous men in history.

Napoleon holds a unique and awful record. He made France the only nation in…

July 6 marks the birthday of a man who sought to build little paradises on the Adriatic Sea before plunging into an American misadventure. Emperor Maximilian’s 1867 death by firing squad drew the attention of the painter Édouard Manet.

In 2015, the leader of the beautiful Croatian city of Dubrovnik was pleased with the bargain he got from the television network behind the popular “Game of Thrones” series.

Then Dubrovnik Mayor Andro Vlahušić told the Croatia’s RTL Direkt that he had snagged a key prop, the Iron Throne, as…

Happy coincidence on this July Fourth led me to read about both the significance of AOC’s 2019 swearing-in outfit and the WTO director-general’s dedication to African wax cloth prints known as Ankara.

While cleaning up my email this afternoon, I found the link for a replay of the recent interview that World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did with the Economist.

As a journalist, I report on wonky issues in health care, and not at all on trade. I had not…

Feb. 18 is the birthday of an American painter whose talent for business provided work for many other artists. His commercial success made his name synonymous with beautiful glasswork.

Which of the images below best represents what the word ‘Tiffany’ means for you?

It’s likely that what sprang to mind was something like this picture of one of Tiffany’s famous windows.

Feb. 8 is the birthday of a German artist who turned to painting animals when mankind disappointed him. Marc was a member of the Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group whose members advanced abstract art in the early 20th century.

Franz Marc (1880–1916) took refuge in other creatures when his fellow humans fell short of expectations.

Jan. 12 is the birthday of a sophisticated Euro-American painter who could find a beautiful play of light even in a pile of gators.

Few artists can capture light as did John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). You can feel the warmth of the sun in some of his paintings.

Sargent’s “Breakfast in the Loggia,” seen below, has rescued me from many a chilly day in Washington, D.C.

Dec. 31 is the birthday of an artist who repeatedly painted women captivated by books. It’s a relevant theme for pandemic life, in which reading has been a refuge for many of us.

Henri Matisse (1869–1954) often depicted his models as if they were unaware of his presence.

Over and over, Matisse painted women who appear to be sunk into the worlds created by the authors of good books. He did this even before he evolved into the Matisse known so well by…

Kerry Dooley Young

Journalist who digs justice, art, food, cities, politics, history and business. Has visited museums on six continents, eaten in more than 60 nations.

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