An article by Professor of Art Katharine Kuharic was published in the spring issue of TABLE Magazine. In “Visual Drama: These 3 CMoA Paintings Have Stood the Test of Time,” she wrote about paintings viewed at the Carnegie Museum of Art while a student at Carnegie Mellon University, that had intrigued her then and continue to influence her today.
In describing her thoughts about Martin Johnson Heade’s “Thunderstorm at the Shore,” Kuharic said the “motif of an approaching storm speaks to the destructive potential of nature, threatening anything humankind might strive to build,” relating it to the 1980s “storm of AIDS threatening to sweep us all away.”
Kuharic described “Deer in a Pine Forest,” by Gustave Doré, as a single, idealized male figure facing “the depth and darkness of a forest,” but also as “a vision of isolation and vulnerability.
“Did the image resonate within my 20-year-old self because I saw adulthood, with all of its opportunities, and its threats, looming ahead? Was I thinking, again, about the AIDS crisis?” she wondered. “Whatever the reason, this dark fairy tale got under my skin and stayed there.”
Finally, Kuharic discussed her thoughts about “The Penance of Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester,” noting that the “creepy” painting “speaks of the misogynistic division of the sexes, and of the fraught, complex connections between people.
“Much like human life itself, the people within this painting are trapped side by side in events out of their control,” she said.