Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)
Jill Smokler (Gallery)
Reading this essay collection from Baltimore’s “Scary Mommy” blogger, I wasn’t sure whether to recommend it or submit it to social services. Smokler delights in “making [her] kid someone else’s problem,” and declares that “staying home with young children full-time was less fulfilling than working a bunch of thankless jobs.” But she also makes sharp observations, infuses them with bawdy humor, and, ultimately, exudes a love for her family and begrudging appreciation of motherhood.
New Eyes on America: The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville
Joy Peterson Heyrman (The Walters Art Museum/Yale University)
This catalogue accompanying the current Woodville exhibition at the Walters (through June 2) further defines the Baltimore-born painter as an important 19th-century artist and elusive man of mystery. The essays in this handsome volume tease out the importance of various elements in paintings like “War News from Mexico” and “Politics in an Oyster House,” and, because little is known about Woodville’s personal life, speculate about his motivations for including them.