Welcome to The Lonely Palette, the podcast that returns art history to the masses, one painting at a time. Each episode, host Tamar Avishai picks a painting du jour, interviews unsuspecting museum visitors in front of it, and then dives deeply into the object, the movement, the social context, and anything and everything else that will make it as neat to you as it is to her. For more information, visit thelonelypalette.com | Twitter @lonelypalette | Instagram @thelonelypalette.
BonusEp 0.5 - Tamar Avishai interviews Dr. Rachel Saunders, Harvard Art Museums
Like so many of us, Dr. Rachel Saunders had a tough 2020. As the curator of Asian art at the Harvard Art Museums, she was thrilled to co-curate, with professor Yukio Lippit, the exhibition "Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection," the largest single exhibition the museum had ever mounted. And then, a month after its opening, it was shuttered by Covid, and remained closed until the entire exhibition came down early last month.
But what could have been a bitter disappointment actually became exceptionally educational - perhaps par for the course at a prestigious university art museum, but with far-reaching implications for museums everywhere. Because when we talk about accessibility - and inaccessibility - in this context, we start to think about it in every context. How accessible are museums, ever? How authentically cross-cultural are our conversations? How do art historians wrestle with and decide on narratives? And how do we honor the multiplicity of these objects' histories while still making them present, today?
I sat down with Dr. Saunders this past May, the last month that the exhibition was still up on the gallery walls but still behind locked doors, and we dove into these issues and more.
See the images discussed:
The Blue Dot Sessions, “One Little Triumph,” “Sage the Hunter”
Tamar’s exhibition review in the New York Review of Books:
The Lonely Palette episode on Painting Edo:
The HAM page on Painting Edo
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LookWithYourEarsEp. 0.3: The Urban Sublime
The Lonely Palette is collaborating with the Addison Gallery of American Art in celebration of the museum's 90th anniversary! In this episode, we're using the Addison's collection to explore the American city in the same way that art history has been looking at landscape since time immemorial: what it represents, what stories it tells us about ourselves, what stories it leaves out, what it replaces, and how its relationship to the human figure is as fraught and dramatic as any relationship you'll ever find on a canvas.
Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, Charles Sheeler, Martin Wong
See the Images:
The Blue Dot Sessions, “The Zeppelin,” “Towboat Theme,” “Cat’s Eye,” “PlainGrey,” “Dorica Theme,” “Tranceless”
The Lonely Palette on Edward Hopper: https://bit.ly/3wyqg8Y
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Ep. 53 - Painting Edo, Post-Pandemic
The world is reopening just as Harvard's special exhibition "Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection" is permanently closing, having been open to the public for one heartbreakingly short month. But the exhibition, which documented the Edo period in all its diverse, aesthetic richness, doesn't have to be in front of you to describe its uncannily Buddhist and modernist moment, or to share in the strange lightness of ours.
This episode was produced with support from Harvard Art Museums.
See the images:
The Blue Dot Sessions, “Noe Noe,” “A Certain Lightness,” “Algea Trio,” “Kilkerrin,” “Gullwing Sailor,” “Two Dollar Token,” “Silent Flock”
Billie Holiday, “Blue Moon”
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LookWithYourEarsEp. 0.2: The Figure
The Lonely Palette is collaborating with the Addison Gallery of American Art in celebration of the museum's 90th anniversary! In this episode, we're using the Addison's collection to explore the figure, which, in art history, is almost exclusively the object of the gaze. But what does it mean when the body – that is, the multi-dimensional person who inhabits it – steps behind the lens as well to take back control?
Lalla Essaydi, Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Sally Mann, Dawoud Bey
See the Images:
The Blue Dot Sessions, “The Zeppelin,” “Dirty Wallpaper,” “Polycoat,” “Pastel de Nata,” “Turning to You,” “The Consulate”
The Lonely Palette on Mary Cassatt: https://bit.ly/3uFM9Bj
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LookWithYourEarsEp. 0.1: Abstraction
The Lonely Palette is collaborating with the Addison Gallery of American Art in celebration of the museum's 90th anniversary! In this episode, we're using the Addison's collection to explore abstraction, i.e. the one guaranteed way to alienate your visitor. Or...maybe not? Maybe, when it comes to art without a fixed meaning, our presence is requested, and even required?
Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock, Mark Bradford, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd
See the Images:
The Blue Dot Sessions, “The Zeppelin,” “Pinky,” “Flattered,” “A Little Powder,” “Arizona Moon,” “Daymaze,” “The Summit,”
Jason Leonard, “Ritual Six”
The Lonely Palette on Jackson Pollock: https://bit.ly/3eUQdsE
The Lonely Palette on Jasper Johns: https://bit.ly/3hDFq82
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TeaserEp 0.3 - Look With Your Ears (in partnership with the Addison Gallery of American Art)
In honor of the Addison Gallery of American Art's 90th anniversary, we've teamed up to release a three-part podcast series! We'll be taking a thematic view of their diverse and world class collection, exploring abstraction, the figure, and the urban sublime. New episodes will be released on The Lonely Palette feed every two weeks beginning Tuesday, May 18th.
For more information on the exhibition, visit:
The Blue Dot Sessions, "Waterbourne"
Enjoying these podcasts. I teach art and your insights, comparisons and background history is going to make me a better teacher. Thank you!
Truly Art for the Ears
I love the insight, the stories behind the stories and I see the artworks in a whole new light after each episode. It also brings the artists closer to being real flesh and blood humans as we tend to forget there is such a complex person behind each master piece. Thank you for taking the time to put out such great content into the world. The world is full of information, but very little of that becomes knowledge. This podcast is knowledge.
My New Favorite Podcast
When I first came upon this podcast I approached it as an educational resource. It is however so artfully presented and well produced that it is also an incredibly entertaining listen. I often divide podcasts into two categories, A) those that I listen to for the content, and B) those that I listen to because I have developed a one directional love for / friendship with the personalities. The lonely pallet is, for the first time, both of these things to me.
I discovered the Lonely Pallet a few weeks ago and loved the first episode. I immediately went back and have subsequently listened to all episodes from beginning to end. Not only this, I have enjoyed the podcast so much I have begun again from the beginning for a second listen.
Thank you for creating this Tamar