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Lecture at Harvard University - Traditional 18th-20th century metalpoint drawing materials and techniques…September 23, 2019


It is a great honor for me to return to Harvard in October to present the second half of a lecture on traditional metalpoint drawing materials and techniques. The first half of this lecture was presented at Harvard in the fall of 2018 and covered traditional metalpoint drawing materials and techniques from the 4th to 17th centuries.

This year’s lecture is entitled, Traditional 18th-20th century metalpoint drawing materials and techniques, and is scheduled for October 17th, 2019.

Many modern authors described the 18th to early 19th centuries as nearly devoid of the use of metalpoint by artists. This lecture will present new scholarship to trace a rich and unbroken line of traditional metalpoint drawings by numerous artists during this timeframe through to the end of the 20th century. The research for this lecture was taken from documentation in the historical record and will include images of numerous extant metalpoint drawings, historical publications in the form of artists’ technical manuals, field emission scanning electron microscopic images of the materials used, and more.

The lecture will have a particular focus on the exact materials that were used and how their physical working properties corresponded to either the constraints or success of the medium. Presented will be the composition of traditional metalpoint grounds and the changes that occurred to its various components over time. The physical properties of the components of the metalpoint ground and the drawing support directly related to the types of metal styluses that could be used with them, the light-to-dark tonal values that could be obtained by the metal stylus, and the archival nature of the finished drawings.

The lecture will be followed by a demonstration of metalpoint drawing using the traditional grounds and styluses used in the 18th to 20th centuries and a group discussion of extant metalpoint drawings selected from the Harvard Art Museums’ extensive collection of master drawings.

In traditional metalpoint drawing, artists drew with pointed metallic styluses made from non-ferrous metals including platinum, gold, silver, bronze, and copper on a drawing surface that was specially prepared with extremely fine abrasive materials, known as a metalpoint ground. As the drawing stylus traversed the abrasive particles of the ground, minute pieces of metal were shorn from the stylus and retained on the surface as the marks and lines of the drawing.  Thus, for instance, the marks and lines of a drawing done with a pure goldpoint stylus would consist of pure gold.

Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States and was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. The University has grown from nine students with a single instructor to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The internationally-renowned Harvard Art Museums—the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum—have been dedicated to advancing and supporting learning at Harvard University, in the local community, and around the world. The museums have played a leading role in the development of art history, conservation, conservation science, and in the evolution of the art museum as an institution.

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,



The Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum - Michelangelo: Mind of the Master…August 28, 2019

Greetings, once again,

Sorry to write again so soon, but this is important.

Since June of 2018, I have been working with the Cleveland Museum of Art as a consultant and contributor to an important upcoming exhibition.  The Cleveland Museum of Art in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum are co-organizing the major exhibition, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master, which will be on view September 22, 2019 to January 5, 2020, at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and from February 25th to June 7, 2020 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

As part of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s commitment to educating the public about the drawing processes and materials used before and during Michelangelo’s time, the Museum will present in the opening gallery of the exhibition several 15th century drawings from their collection and a materials case containing specimens of natural chalks and the traditional tools use to draw with them, traditional metalpoint drawing materials, as well as prepared and unprepared antique papers, all on loan from my personal collection of traditional drawing materials.

In addition, The Cleveland Museum of Art will be holding a special study day during the exhibition scheduled for November 15, 2019, during which I will deliver a lecture entitled, Traditional 14th to 16th century drawing materials and techniques.  My lecture will cover traditional 14th to 16th century European drawing materials and techniques and will include traditional pen, brush, and ink drawing materials and techniques; traditional metalpoint drawing materials and techniques; the special role of charcoal in old master drawings; and traditional natural chalk drawing materials and techniques. The research for this lecture was based on documentation in the historical record and will include numerous images of extant old master drawings, historical publications including artists’ technical manuals, field emission scanning electron microscopic images, and will describe the geological formation of the natural chalks and how it related to their unique optical and working properties.

The name of the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect Michelangelo Bounarroti (1475-1564) is synonymous with creative genius and virtuosity.  Mind of the Master sheds new light on the artist’s inventive preparations for his most important and groundbreaking commissions through a group of drawings held since 1793 in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, The Netherlands, and once in the eminent collection of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689). Shown together in the United States for the first time, these working studies and sketches are some of the best preserved of Michelangelo’s drawings. They include preparatory drawings for a range of projects, such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco, sculptures for the tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici, and the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica. The presentation highlights Michelangelo’s mastery of the human form, his working process and materials, and the range of sources that influenced his inventions.

Since it opened its doors in 1916, the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) has sought to bring the pleasure and meaning of art to the broadest possible audience. The statement “for the benefit of all the people forever” was written into Jeptha Wade’s 1892 deed of gift for the land on which the museum stands. And it serves as the bedrock on which the institution was built, reflecting its founders’ belief that museums should be places for inspiration and for creating wonder and meaning in people’s lives. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art is considered one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums.  Art represents the heritage, texture, creative problem solving, and expression of human experience. The museum collects, presents, researches, and supports the arts in order to create conversations across place and time and opens up new ways for all people to see and understand each other. 

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,



The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s 32 annual Western Visions exhibition…August 22, 2019

Greetings, once more,

I have a second exhibition in September, which is the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s prestigious 32nd Annual Western Visions, which runs fromSaturday, September 7th to Sunday, October 6th, 2019.

The Museum has carefully curated the work of some of the top living artists depicting animals today, both traditional and contemporary.  More than 200 paintings, sculptures, and sketches by living artists will be on display and available for purchase during the 32nd Annual Western Visions.  

Western Visions is the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s largest and longest running fundraiser, with a variety of exciting events. As part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s 32nd Annual Western Visions patrons have an opportunity to preview the art, place bids, and mingle with artists before the big sale.  This will occur at the Artist Party on Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, where the attire is Western Festive.

The actual sale will occur on Friday, September 13, 2019 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. This will be the final opportunity to place bids prior to the drawing that determines who will purchase a beautiful new work of art. The attire for this event is Western Cocktail.

This exhibition is a very important part of my schedule. Not only can I participate in a prestigious internationally-renowned exhibition and have access to study paintings, sculpture, and drawings in a major collection but, due to its location within the Greater Yellowstone Region, I will be able spend the week following the exhibition doing field studies in the Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park. These important field studies both inspire and inform the artwork I will be working on during the following year.

The National Museum of Wildlife Art is located at 2820 Rungius Road in Jackson Hole, WY 83001
More information can be obtained by calling the Museum at (307) 733-5771, or online at their website at: 

The National Museum of Wildlife Art was founded in 1987 and has more than 5,000 works of art representing wild animals from around the world. The Museum’s unsurpassed permanent collection chronicles much of the history of wildlife in art from 2500 B.C. to the present. Built into a hillside overlooking the National Elk Refuge, the Museum received the designation “National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States” by order of Congress in 2008.

If you have any questions, comments, or if you would like to see the artwork I will have in this exhibition, I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,



The 44th annual Birds in Art exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum….August 8, 2019


And all for oneIt is with great pleasure to announce that my next exhibition will be the internationally acclaimed 44th annual Birds in Art exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. I feel extremely honored that I have been invited to be in this prestigious exhibition.

Since 1976, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum has organized Birds in Art annually as their flagship exhibition to present the very best artistic interpretations of birds and their related subject matter. Three simple words – birds in art – took on a life of their own when they became a prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum exhibition title. Over the years, Birds in Art has grown into what is recognized around the world as the exhibition that sets the standard internationally for avian art.

The Museum’s staff described the success of their vision as, “The source of limitless creative inspiration, birds connect us to the rhythms of life. Their migrations mark the shifting seasons, their music heralds each dawn, and their shoreline searches highlight the ebb and flow of the tide. Avian art resonates and inspires in endlessly novel ways, too. Talented artists from throughout the world push standards ever higher by continually striving to be among those selected for the internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition.”

The public opening of Birds in Art is on September 7, 2019 and will provide varied opportunities to interact with more than sixty Birds in Art artists from throughout the world. The exhibition will continue at the Museum through December 1, 2019. 

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is located at 700 N. 12th Street in Wausau, Wisconsin, and their phone is: 715-845-7010. More information can be found at the Museum’s website at:

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,