Saturday Links – 20th October 2012

I hope everyone is having an amazing and enjoyable weekend!  Check out these links to see some fun and interesting art found around the internet this week.  It’s 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and sunny here in College Station, Texas…perfect weather for American football!  Stay happy and healthy, my friends.

Hammering coins into the bark of trees to wish for good health and recovery from illness is a tradition in Gwynedd, Wales, that dates back to the 1700s.  Click here!

This video by Phillip Scott Johnson details 500 years of female portraits in Western Art.  It’s been floating around the internet since 2007, but is always enjoyable.  Click here!

With all of the news about stolen or vandalized art, take a look at this stories from  It’s wonderful to see that art can be recovered even years later!  Click here!

These Angry Birds piggy macarons are amazing and adorable!  Click here!

Red makes incredible portraits with unique materials.  Click here! has free lessons if you want to practice your drawing skills, but don’t have time to attend classes.  Click here!

Surrealist photography before Photoshop.  Click here!

Check out this amazing gallery of deep sea creatures.  Click here!

Studio Roosegaarde has created an amazing lotus dome made of hundreds of mylar flowers that react to the viewers body heat.  The result is an incredible piece of interactive art.  Click here!

This film by Renaud Hallee uses fire as a musical tool.  Click here!

Damien Hirst created this incredible sculpture, The Anatomy of an Angel, in 2008.  Click here!


Breaking News – 11th October 2011

Another painting was vandalized yesterday at the Museum of Liverpool.  A group of visitors to the museum reportedly rubbed their fingers in the not fully cured oil of The Beatles in America by Jonathan Gent.  The controversial painting was donated by the artist to the museum for a charity auction to benefit Claire House, a hospice center for children with life-threatening illnesses.  Experts say that the painting is so badly damaged they are unsure if it can be restored and sold at auction.

The Museum of Liverpool, image courtesy

The Click Liverpool story: click here.

The Fact Mag story: click here.

Art News – Monday, 8 October 2012

Breaking news!  At 3:25pm (15:25) local time Sunday, 7 October 2012, a Mark Rothko painting was vandalized at the Tate Modern in London, England.  An unidentified male individual used black paint and a brush to quickly write in the lower right hand corner of Black on Maroon (1958).  Mark Rothko was born in 1903 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1913.  The artist gifted the painting to the Tate Modern and they arrived on the day he died in 1970.

A close up of the vandalization on Black on Maroon, 1958, by Mark Rothko.

Black on Maroon (1958) is a work from Rothko’s late period, produced after he had broken with the Surrealist movement.  The artist’s best known work comes from this period and consists of multiforms: blocks of various colors blurred around the edges, typically set within backgrounds of contrasting colors.  The painting is valued in the tens of millions.  The police are currently investigating the crime and the Tate Modern is conducting an internal investigation into their security practices.  In house conservators are assessing the damage done to the painting.

Update: the conservators at the Tate Modern are confident they can restore the painting!  Click here.

Update 10/10/2012: Vladamir Umanets admits to defacing Maroon on Black Click here.

Black on Maroon, 1958, by Mark Rothko, prior to vandalization on 7 October 2012.

Read the story by the Independent for more information: click here.

The Marion E. Byrd Majolica Collection

Here are some selections from the Marion E. Byrd Majolica Collection, currently on exhibit at the Forsyth Center Galleries until November 3rd, 2012.  The Majolica (muh-jol-i-kuh) pottery presented in our exhibition dates to the 19th Century and was mainly produced in England during the reign of Queen Victoria.  It was originally conceived as an imitation of Maiolica pottery produced during the Italian Renaissance and imitates its bright colors and playful style.  However, Victorian Majolica pottery also features molded surfaces, a greater range of subject matter (including animal, floral, or whimsical scenes from fairy tales), and food vessels shaped like the food they were meant to hold.

Majolica Fish Vase, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries

Majolica pottery burst onto the scene in the 1850s and became instantly popular, especially with the growing British middle class created by the Industrial Revolution, as it could by manufactured cheaply and sold at a lower price.  A large number of pottery companies responded to the increased demand for Majolica.  Along with Mintons, Wedgewood, Trent, Royal Worcester, and many others produced Majolica.

Asparagus Dish and Underplate, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries

Around the time of Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 the market had been so flooded by Majolica pottery that production waned sharply and was quickly superseded by the Art Nouveau movement.  The Byrd Collection is a recent acquisition for our Gallery and displays the range of colors, forms, and subjects that Victorian Majolica pottery presented throughout its production history.

Plate by Villeroy & Boch, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries
Plate with bird motif, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries
Fish-shaped plate, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries
Parrot-shaped pitcher, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries
Umbrella Stand, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries
Baby shoe with sand finish, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries
Multicolored dish, Marion E. Byrd Collection, Forsyth Center Galleries

Art Spotted: Sutton Hoo Shoulder Clasp, Sutton Hoo

Shoulder clasp from the Mound 1 Sutton Hoo burial. Housed at the British Museum, London, England. 

In honor of London hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics happening right now, our Art Spotted post are the shoulder clasps from the Sutton Hoo burial chamber.  Though the Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Sutton Hoo actually contains many burials and cremations (including a number of execution burials where individuals died of hanging or decapitation), the most well known burial comes from Mound 1.  The burial is thought to be associated with the death of King Raedwald dated to circa 625 Common Era (CE).

Image showing the pin hinge and underside of one of the Sutton Hoo shoulder clasps. Photo courtesy

The shoulder clasps, made of gold with blue glass and garnet inlay, are the only Anglo-Saxon artifacts of this type to ever be documented.  Current research posits that the clasps are generally thought to have been attached to lightweight leather body armor or a textile based chest protector layered over a mail coat.  The curved ends are decorated with entwined wild boars, possibly to depict the wearer’s strength, courage, and ferocity.

Sutton Hoo Cemetery burial mounds, located in Suffolk. Photo courtesy of

There is no other Anglo-Saxon burial that has captured the world’s imagination like the remains from Mound 1.  If you even visit the British Museum in London, England, make sure to stop and view these one of a kind objects.

For more information visit the British Museum’s page on the Sutton Hoo shoulder clasps.  Click here!

An article written by Noel Adams details the debate over what type of material to which the clasps were attached.  Click here!

The British Museum also has an interactive “tour” page detailing some of the Sutton Hoo finds.  Click here!