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Charles Burchfield

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  • Tastemakers

    Urban gentrification—New York’s SoHo is the classic example—tends to follow a pattern: Artists in search of cheap space move into a moribund area, galleries and cognoscenti follow, and soon a once dilapidated district has wide-ranging cachet. This, in a way, was Philbin’s formula when she took over as director of UCLA’s Hammer Museum a decade ago and turned oil baron Armand Hammer’s cold and roundly despised vanity project into the hippest and most dynamic cultural institution in town. “We defined our primary audience as artists,” she says. “If you can capture their attention, everyone else comes along.”
  • Charles Burchfield: A master of American Modernist watercolor

    Charles Burchfield: A master of American Modernist watercolor
    Arguably, watercolor was the most important medium sustained by American painters struggling with the new demands and untried possibilities of Modernism in the first half of the 20th century. Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin, Charles Sheeler, Marsden...

    The Hammer Museum's striking rise

    The Hammer Museum's striking rise
    In 1998, Ann Philbin, director of the Drawing Center in New York, received a couple of letters from UCLA inviting her to apply for the top position at a fledgling museum near the university's campus. "I threw the letters in the garbage," she says. "I had...

    Charles Burchfield gets a late debut in Los Angeles

    Here's a pop quiz: Which 20th century artist had the first solo exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art? If you guessed any big-name artist from Europe, you'd be wrong. But you certainly could be forgiven. MOMA's long-established (and...

    First Look: Skimming the summer art (and society) magazines

    On the cover of its August issue, above the puffed bangs of Angelina Jolie, Vanity Fair promises "Dennis Hopper's last interview." More accurately, the tagline should read: VF contributor Bob Colacello takes a few semicoherent things that Hopper said...