Blog archive


Hiking 600 Miles through France, Portugal and Spain for Art--Part I

This Thursday in Danville--we will walk 600 miles! 

TALK: Thursday, April 3. Ballou Recreation Center. Danville, VA. "Hiking 600 Miles through France, Portugal and Spain for Art--Part I." 11a-12p. Free and open to the public.

Cleaning Mona Lisa

Cleaning Mona Lisa

Cleaning Mona Lisa

Lee Sandstead

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iPad, and with iTunes on your computer. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iPad. Books with interactive features may work best on an iPad.


Mona Lisa is one of the world’s most studied paintings, yet she still has secrets to reveal. Join art historian Lee Sandstead—university professor and host of Travel Channel’s Emmy nominated Art Attack—on an interactive journey into the hidden world of Renaissance and realist art. Watch engaging videos. Read interviews with prominent museum conservators. Interact with gorgeous paintings by artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, Waterhouse, and Bouguereau. All to follow Lee on his quest to understand the greatest secret of all—the craft behind the woman.

Cleaning Mona Lisa was designed by Tapity, Inc., winner of a 2011 Apple Design Award.

"an intriguing, personalized story from a passionate and talented art historian" ~ MacStories

"Bringing iBooks to a new standard" ~ TUAW

"an exciting and unique kind of reading experience on the iPad" ~ App Advice

Cleaning Mona Lisa requires iBooks 2.1.1 or later.

Click here to buy... 

Horace Vernet, Portrait Painting, 1831

Here is a painting that I'm fascinated with. I don't like it, but yet, I can't stop looking at it! The artist is Horace Vernet, and it is an unknown woman. The painting dates to 1831, and Horace Vernet is one of my favorite of the Romantic painters.

Horace Vernet, 1831

Teaching History with Public Memorials and Paintings

I'm ready and fired up! This Wednesday at Marymount University in Arlington, VA.

The Revolution & Civil War in American Memory: Teaching History with Public Memorials and Paintings


National Gallery of Art -- Winter Storm

For those of you who were going to spend tomorrow in the National Gallery of Art spiritually communing with some of the world's greatest art--only to have your plans ripped from you by another damn winter storm--I salute you!

A Visit to the Nursery by Jean Honore Fragonard, c. 1775

I have a love/hate relationship with this piece. When the skepticism-cynicism-nihilisim of our century impinge upon my very soul, I think of it as too saccharine sweet. But...when I'm at my most benevolent, I enjoy it. Fragonard was a major artist of his day, and he was painting for the culture in which he lived. I'd like to do more research on this painting, in particular artistic motivation and audience reception.