Venetian portraitist Carriera achieved a surprising level of success in the male-dominated European art world of the early 1700s. Her work helped popularize pastels and her portraits were commissioned by Europe's most prominent figures.
Laurencin is a difficult painter to study. In addition to her work not quite falling in line with the artists who were her contemporaries, her personal papers are difficult to access, are censored, and have strict limitations put on their use.
Holly had the privilege of sitting down with Stephanie Stebich, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, for a chat in the museum. The discussion covers the building's history, one of the new exhibits there, and one of Stephanie's favorite items in the Smithsonian's collection.
After TV producer David Levy adapted the cartoons of Charles Addams into "The Addams Family," Charlie's life changed in a number of ways. As Addams aged, he sort of settled down, but as with everything, he did so in his own unique way.
Charles Addams was a compelling figure. He visited cemeteries for fun, he raced cars, he collected crossbows. But Addams surprised a lot of people in not being a an elusive proto-goth. He was a dapper, sociable, irreverent delight.
This episode features three unique women, all of whom are notable in their own way. The two things they have in common: They each have a surprising aspect to their stories, and they each have the name Belle.
Based just on his art, you might imagine Edward Gorey as a dour Englishman, with the peak of his career sometime in the 1920s or '30s, whose childhood was marked with a series of tragic deaths. But Gorey was none of these things.
Before there were superheroes, a Swiss teacher drew entertaining doodles for friends. As he developed his sketches into stories told with multiple captioned images, he inadvertently invented the first sequential art comics in the Western world.
In the early 18th century, an engraver-turned-artist made his mark on the art world by producing satirical prints in series that commented on morality and society. And some of his work is used today as a teaching tool.