Rob Hitzig

In November, Rob Hitzig, an artist based in Montpelier, Vermont, had a wordless billboard installed beside Route 9 in Queensbury, New York. The space typically reserved for advertising featured a colorful, abstract image that Hitzig has described as an “antidote” to constant, demanding messages. 

    A genius immortalized her. A French king paid a fortune for her. An emperor coveted her. Every year more than 9 million visitors trek to view her portrait in the Louvre.Yet while everyone recognizes her smile, hardly anyone knows her story.

Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered is a blend of biography, history, and memoir about the world’s most recognized face, most revered artist, and most praised and parodied painting.

    In August 1939, curators at the Louvre nestled the world's most famous painting into a special red-velvet-lined case and spirited her away to the Loire Valley. Thus began the biggest evacuation of art and antiquities in history. As the Germans neared Paris in 1940, the French raced to move the masterpieces still further south, then again and again during the war, crisscrossing the southwest of France. At times Mona Lisa slept at the bedside of curators who were painfully aware of their heavy responsibility.

  The 20th Anniversary Edition of The Christmas Alphabet, Robert Sabuda's classic pop-up title - that was his first New York Times Bestseller - has just been released. As part of the roll-out of the title he'll be appearing at a special events sponsored by Oblong Books and Music during the Rhinebeck Sinterklaas Festival on December 6th at 4pm.

  From Maira Kalman, the author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and The Elements of Style, comes a pictorial and narrative exploration of the significance of objects in our lives, drawn from her personal artifacts, recollections, and selections from the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

With more than fifty original paintings and featuring bestselling author and illustrator Maira Kalman’s signature handwritten prose, My Favorite Things is a meditation on the importance of both quotidian and unusual objects in our culture and private worlds.

    With The Blazing World, internationally best¬selling author Siri Hustvedt returns to the New York art world telling the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden.

After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: she presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.

  To mark the anniversary of everyone's favorite schoolgirl, Madeline, the exhibition,Madeline At 75: The Art Of Ludwig Bemelmans, celebrates Ludwig Bemelmans's legacy. The show will open at The Carle on November 15.

Drawings from each of the six Madeline books will be on view, plus a generous cross-section of his other artwork for children and adults. A Bemelmans bar brought back from Paris, delightful fabric designs, and memorabilia like the Bad Hat's original hat are just a few of the treasures that will be on view.

Courtesy David Lewis

  British-born artist Gillian Jagger. In the late 1970s, after a career in New York, she moved to the Hudson Valley, where she’s since focused on the interdependence of man and nature.

Still, she’s never left her past entirely behind. Her new exhibition, What Was And Is, is a fascinating grouping of old and recent works. Pieces ranging from early-’60s paintings incorporating casts of manhole covers to brand-new sculptures made of resin and horsehair.

Kris Qua

  Situated on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact.

We are joined this morning by EMPAC’s associate music curator, Argeo Ascani who will tell us about upcoming musical presentations at the venue and sound artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon whose new work The Only Thing that Makes Life Possible is Not Knowing What Comes Next is opening at EMPAC on Friday. Her work integrates audio technologies into sculptural forms to question relationships of affect to an environment. She is a 2014 Artist in Residence at EMPAC.

  Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life is a new exhibition at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie. It will be on display through January 4, 2015.

Bartlett Arkell, the founder and first president of the Beech-Nut Packaging Company, brought Homer’s paintings and watercolors to his hometown of Canajoharie for the enjoyment of its citizens.