In 1952, years before she won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, art critic Emily Genauer received a pair of rubber underpants in the mail — the kind of underpants babies wore before the advent of disposable diapers.
Whatever skeptics may say about the pseudoscience of graphology (handwriting analysis), it’s hard to deny that handwriting expresses feeling and style — especially, in many cases, when it’s the handwriting of an artist. Georgia O’Keeffe’s bold, squiggly lines and lack of punctuation ignored conventions of grammar and penmanship.
There’s something delightful about seeing famous artists in settings completely unrelated to their art.
Before people were dropping GIFs into Gmail, letter writers were adding illustrations for that emotional or contextual punch.
The model is the message in Artists and Their Models, an exhibition currently on view at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art in Washington.