Perspectives is the Violette de Mazia Foundations online source for intelligent discussion about the arts. Perspectives presents an ever evolving dialogue regarding our experience with the arts and the important role they play in our everyday lives.  Perspectives will offer readers food for thought but the heart of the site is an ongoing engagement with the art experience through reviews, essays, and reflections.

Feature Title Feature Type Description
What Is a Poem? Articles

You read it; it reads you. An Object Lesson.

Poetry Should be Shocking and Surprising Articles

Sir Geoffrey Hill: Sometimes Difficult and Often Very Funny

In Praise of Failure Articles

If there was ever a time to think seriously about failure, it is now.

Away with Abstraction - The Philosophy of Death Reviews

Away with abstraction! It is man, not ideas, that is the subject of all philosophy. Miguel de Unamuno was a man of contradictions. He saw tragedy and death in life, and that was why he loved it.

Art Makes You Smart Articles

Visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition.

Bernard Berenson Revisited Reviews

On the Art Historian Bernard Berenson's Life and Influence

Hannah and Her Admirers Reviews


Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic of Hannah Arendt is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them.

Who's Afraid of Marcel Proust? Articles

To understand how books and paintings and symphonies and buildings get made, we need to understand the role that misunderstanding plays in culture. One hundred years after Proust's great novel was published Patrick McGuinness argues we can all have our madeleine moment.

Cézanne: ‘The Artist Must Avoid Thinking Like a Writer’ Reviews

The French Painter’s Letters Reveal his Determination, Seriousness, Insight – and Eccentricity.

The FBI Files on Being and Nothingness Articles

From 1945 onwards, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI spied on Camus and Sartre. The investigation soon turned into a philosophical inquiry…

Short Cuts - MOOC = Massive Open Online Course Reviews

MOOC = Massive Open Online Course. Online education is clearly going to be a huge deal for universities; for one thing, it may put quite a few of them out of business.

The Dustbin of Art History - Whose Reputation Will Survive? Articles

Why is so much contemporary art awful? We’re living through the death throes of the modernist project—and this isn’t the first time that greatness has collapsed into decadence.

Age of the Arbitary Reviews

Can you pick 100 works of art that define our time?

Curator, Tear Down These Walls Articles

"A modest proposal for this country's great repositories of pre-20th century American art"....

Opera Is Not Dead: The Rich History—and Rich Present of a Unique Art Form Reviews

Opera is vigorous in ways it never was before. Its future will certainly be unlike its past, but no less resplendent.

You Can't Learn About Morality from Brain Scans: The Problem with Moral Psychology Articles


The Song of Despair Poems

The Song of Despair

Picasso: Wizard of the Real Reviews

Ugliness and monstrosity cannot always be co-opted into another form of beauty; they are sometimes meant to shake the very foundations of the viewer’s beliefs. Picasso wrestles with the question of how to make Untruth come into the room.

A Wilde Fashion: Oscar Wilde abandoned journalism and hated fashion – so why is his essay "The Philosophy of Dress" so important? Articles

“I hold that the very first canon of art is that Beauty is always organic and comes from within, and not from without,”

A Tiny Pronoun Says a Lot About You - How Often You Say 'I' Says More Than You Realize Articles

New research from the University of Texas shows that people who often say 'I' are less powerful than people who limit their use of the pronoun.