Blurring the lines between rulers and saints

Detail of "St. Jerome," circa 1465-1466, probably by Donatello and Bertoldo di Giovanni, in wood, gesso and paint at the Pinacoteca Comunale in Faenza, Italy (Menachem Wecker)
Detail of “St. Jerome” (c. 1465-6), probably by Donatello and Bertoldo di Giovanni. Wood, gesso and paint. Pinacoteca Comunale in Faenza, Italy/Menachem Wecker

My article on the National Gallery of Art (Washington) show “Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence” and the Frick Collection (N.Y.) show “Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence” appears in National Catholic Reporter.

Jewish Insider profile of Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA)

Chrissy Houlahan
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan cradles a toy, which her father, who survived the Holocaust, brought with him to New York from Poland. “This is something my dad allows me in my office to remember how far we’ve come,” the congresswoman says. Photo (click to enlarge): Menachem Wecker

My profile of Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) appears in Jewish Insider. Preparing for the interview, I noticed that several stories record that she doesn’t identify as Jewish, though her dad is a Holocaust survivor.

I asked her about that, and she told me she knew nothing of her family growing up and wasn’t raised Jewish. When she started campaigning and was asked if she identifies as Jewish, she didn’t know one could do so based on heritage, rather than faith or practice. “That’s basically where I land,” she told me. “I didn’t know what words to use.”

Was John Singer Sargent a Virtuoso Draughtsman?

My article “Was John Singer Sargent a Virtuoso Draughtsman?” appears in artnet.

For Many Immigration Activists, Welcoming “Strangers” Is an Act of Faith

My article “For Many Immigration Activists, Welcoming “Strangers” Is an Act of Faith” appears in Religion & Politics.

How Jews Solved the “Design Problem” of Gesturing to the Prohibited Name of God Without Actually Writing It

An inscription at Sinagoga del Tránsito in Toledo, Spain/Menachem Wecker

My article “How Jews Solved the ‘Design Problem’ of Gesturing to the Prohibited Name of God Without Actually Writing It” appears in Mosaic magazine.

Gottlieb’s triple self-portrait captures complexity of High Holidays services

My article “Gottlieb’s triple self-portrait captures complexity of High Holidays services” appears in Religion News Service.

In Salt Lake City, a New Museum Director Is Attempting to Bridge the Gulf Between Contemporary Art and Mormonism

My article “In Salt Lake City, a New Museum Director Is Attempting to Bridge the Gulf Between Contemporary Art and Mormonism” appears in artnet.

The idea that God — or someone — is always watching comes to life with technology

My article “The idea that God — or someone — is always watching comes to life with technology” appears in Religion News Service (RNS).

Update: The article also appears in the Salt Lake Tribune.

How politicians get camera-ready: Stylists and media training

I pose after working with stylists from DC Style Factory. (Matt McClain/Washington Post)

For Washington Post Magazine, I walked a mile in a politician’s shoes, so to speak. A stylist critiqued my wardrobe; another stylist created two new looks for me (before and after photos in the article). I was also media trained. The article is what I figure it all means.

Images in conversation: ‘Power Couples’ exhibit shows symbolism in pairs

My article “Images in conversation: ‘Power Couples’ exhibit shows symbolism in pairs,” about a show at Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, appears in National Catholic Reporter.

Detail of Julius Rotermund, “The Wise and Foolish Virgin” (1856)/BYU Museum of Art
  • Selected articles

    NMAAHC "The Imitation Game: Are museums being clear enough with the public about what’s real and what’s fake?" Washington Post Magazine. March 3, 2019.

    Bobby Fischer gravestone "Searching for Fischer’s Legacy." Chess Life magazine. March 2018. (PDF file).

    Jules Olitski star "A Memorial That Knows Its Biblical History." Wall St. Journal. Sept. 22, 2017.

    CIA art collection "Infiltrating the CIA’s Secret Art Collection." Playboy. Jan./Feb. 2017.
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