I have never really been a fan of Brutalist architecture. I was privileged as a young student to visit Baltimore’s famous Morris A. Mechanic Theatre. In later years, I often enjoyed passing through the cool caves created by the fountains at McKeldin Square, zipping up to the Observation Deck at the World Trade Center, or guiding friends through the rain forest and then to the dark depths of the sea at the National Aquarium, all located on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. And as a graduate student, I even had the unique opportunity to spend most of a year working at the National Theatre in London’s South Bank.
In almost every case, I found the experiences I had on the inside of these buildings to be more interesting than withtheir mostly concrete exteriors. The often window-less walls were great for keeping out the light for shows at the theatre. And the views from buildings like the NT and the WTC were spectacular when I was inside looking out. But I never considered the buildings to be especially beautiful in and of themselves.
In the early 20th Century, groundbreaking French painters produced some of my favorite artwork. Today, our friend Jane del Monte introduced me to the work of an artist of that period whom I did not know: the Cubist Marie Laurencin. Click through to learn more. -dr
Marie Laurencin was a French painter associated with the Cubists, although she pursued a more feminine aesthetic, employing a palette of cool, soft pastels to create a fantastic atmosphere populate…