Category Archives: Barbara Steinberg

How Do You Reconcile Beauty and Truth? by Barbara Steinberg

How Do You Reconcile Beauty and Truth? by Barbara Steinberg

In 1789, the French Revolution started a political pendulum that swung sharply between Republic and Empire. The 1848 Revolution installed a democratic republic, whose electorate put Prince Louis-Napolèon Bonaparte and his Imperialist party into power. Napolèon III adopted the earlier revolution-motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité, but in 1851, he staged a coup and proclaimed the Second French Empire.… Continue Reading

Symbolists by Barbara Anne Steinberg

Symbolists by Barbara Anne Steinberg

Art Nouveau’s main ingredients were the Symbolists, who believed that art should reflect the truth indirectly as if in a dream; the flat perspective and strong colors of Japanese wood block prints; and Japanese organic forms and representations of nature. Out came the curvilinear forms of Art Nouveau, which lasted only 20 years (1890-1910). In… Continue Reading

Ineke’s Tuareg Jewelry by Barbara Steinberg Photography by Ineke Hemminga

Ineke’s Tuareg Jewelry  by Barbara Steinberg   Photography by Ineke Hemminga

The title sounds mundane enough, a rose by any other name, but don’t be fooled. Rarely do people evolve their identity and live the connection between Europe and Africa. Adopted by the Inaden, the artisan-silversmith caste of the Tuareg, Ineke travels the Sahara trying to save the Tuareg’s nomadic lifestyle from extinction against the collateral… Continue Reading

A Mangbetu Ivory Hair Pin by Barbara Steinberg‏

A Mangbetu Ivory Hair Pin by Barbara Steinberg‏

On 10 December 2014, Sotheby’s Paris held an auction of African and Oceanic Art consisting of 105 exquisite lots. The inspirational connection between Modernism and African art was forged when European colonists brought back sculptures, masks, reliquary objects, furniture, and hair ornaments from the cultures they had enslaved, murdered, and misrepresented as primitive. Picasso continually… Continue Reading

Nose Rings in Pre-Columbian Civilizations By Barbara Steinberg

Nose Rings in Pre-Columbian Civilizations  By Barbara Steinberg

Civilizations are finite. Time, climate change, conquerors, and assimilation transform peoples.  Blood mixes. Ideas meld. The center cannot hold.  Beginning around 900 BC, many cultures thrived on the central-western coasts of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia before the rise of the Inca Empire in the 13th Century, and Francisco Pizarro’s first victory of the Spanish Conquest at… Continue Reading

A Tribal Rite of Spring in Paris by Barbara Ann Steinberg

A Tribal Rite of Spring in Paris by Barbara Ann Steinberg

In the early 20th Century, European artists stripped antiquities and African tribal art of their religious significance. The pieces, with bold, minimalist shapes and lines, influenced Modernism and Cubism in design, only, as artists explored the relationship between humanity and the Industrial Revolution. Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes was acclaimed for bringing modern dance to Parisian audiences… Continue Reading

Moroccan Judaica by Barbara Steinberg

Moroccan Judaica by Barbara Steinberg

Jewish traders and farmers have lived in Morocco’s cities and Atlas mountains since the time of the Roman Empire. However, the most notable Jewish immigration to Morocco came in 1492, when Queen Isabella I of Castille ordered them to convert to Christianity or leave Spain. Each Moroccan city had a separate Jewish quarter called a… Continue Reading

The Gold Crowns of Mycenae, Bactria, and Silla By Barbara Steinberg

The Gold Crowns of Mycenae, Bactria, and Silla By Barbara Steinberg

According to archeological finds by Heinrich Schliemann, an elliptical gold diadem with removable crown-ornaments was first discovered in a Mycenaean funerary mound called Grave Circle A, or the “Grave of Women”, c. 1600-1500 BC. The Mycenaeans were an Indo-European people who settled in Southern Greece along the Agean Sea in the Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC). They came… Continue Reading

Auction of Judaica By Barbara Steinberg

Auction of Judaica   By Barbara Steinberg

On March 12, 2014, Kestenbaum & Company held an auction of fine Judaica. The results are not in yet. Highlights include a manuscript page from Flavius Josephus’s “De Antiquitate Judaica.” It was translated by Rufinus Aquileiensis in October of 1499. Est: $4000 – $6000. There are two ketubas, or marriage contracts: The first was written… Continue Reading

Religion, War, Trade, and Art Nouveau By Barbara Steinberg

Religion, War, Trade, and Art Nouveau By Barbara Steinberg

Where should my pencil begin to trace the historical connections that led to French Art Nouveau jewelry? The Sixteenth Century, perhaps? At that time, Popes countered the Protestant Reformation by sending Jesuit missionaries to far-off lands. The missions converted non-European peoples, so Catholic monarchs could then step in, colonize new territory, and bolster the political… Continue Reading