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Aristos is published by The Aristos Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Copyright © 1982–2023

* "Reading Aristos has given me much pleasure and instruction."
* "At last I have read What Art Is from end to end. . . . You have done a splendid piece of work." - Jacques Barzun (1907-2012)

Self-Taught Master
Duncanson - Landscape_with_Rainbow

Landscape with Rainbow, 1859, by Robert S. Duncanson (American, 1821-1872). Oil on canvas, 27 18 x 22 14 in. (68.9 x 56.5 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. About the painting. See more paintings by Duncanson, one of the Hudson River School's "Notable artists"—-including the very different Vulture and Its Prey (1844), also in the Smithsonian's collection.

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About the Artist
As a self-taught biracial painter descended from freed slaves (his grandfather may have gained freedom through service in the revolutionary war), Duncanson nonetheless achieved great success and international recognition even before the Civil War. Although he had close ties with the abolitionists of his day, he did not focus on racially fraught subjects in his art. His vision instead was one of man in harmony with nature. When urged by his son to deal with contemporary racial concerns in his work, he responded: "I have no color on the brain; all I have on the brain is paint."

* "Celebrating the Hudson River School's African American Painter, Robert S. Duncanson," David Levine, Hudson Valley [Magazine], January 19, 2015.
* "Robert S. Duncanson" SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum).
* "Duncanson, Robert (1821-1872)," Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, SC.
* Entry on Duncanson under Hudson River School in Grove Art Online [scroll down to Duncanson; to read his entire bio you must either have a paid account or sign in through your academic institution or public library].
* Race and Racism in Nineteenth-Century Art: The Ascendency of Robert Duncanson, Edward Bannister, and Edmonia Lewis, by Naurice Frank Woods Jr. (University Press of Mississippi, 2021). - L.T.




* About

* Table of Contents


What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand, by L.T. & M.M.K. (Open Court, 2000). Chapter Summaries, Reviews/Responses. . .

The Definition of Art (Ch. 6)

+Find Book in Libraries (Worldwide)*
*To search for What Art Is, insert space before colon in title.

What Art Is Online (2000-2003)
Supplement to What Art Is—articles and excerpts

Bucking the Artworld Tide: Reflections on Art, Pseudo Art, Art Education & Theory (2020), by M.M.K. - a collection of more than three decades of her essays and talks.

"Solidly argued . . . eloquent . . . thought-provoking."—Kirkus Reviews

Amazon.com (Paperback/Kindle)

Who Says That's Art? A Commonsense View
of the Visual Arts
(2014), by M.M.K.

"Forceful and persuasive . . . impressive . . . accessible."—Kirkus Reviews

What Readers Say

Amazon.com (Paperback/Kindle)

After the Avant-Gardes: Reflections
on the Future of the Fine Arts
(Open Court, 2016).

Includes essays by Aristos co-editors:

* "The Interminable Monopoly of the Avant-Garde" - Louis Torres

* "Mimesis versus the Avant-Garde: Art and Cognition" [based on "Art and Cognition"] - Michelle Marder Kamhi

* The Aristos Award
* Readings on Art Education
* WebCommentary

* Terence Rattigan (1911-1977), British playwright
* Jack Schaefer (1907-1991), author of Shane


* Stephen Gjertson Galleries
Paintings and essays by a pioneering Classical Realist artist, plus books, prints, and much to delight the eye and mind.

* Farr Publications
Music study materials for string teachers and students by cellist and master teacher Faith Farr. Worksheets and integrated theory, performing, and rhythm assignments.