Los Angeles Times articles

by Stanley Meisler

Los Angeles Times

Stanley Meisler was a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times based in Nairobi covering Sub-Saharan Africa from 1967 to 1973; in Mexico City covering Latin America from 1973 to 1976; in Madrid covering Spain and Portugal from 1976 to 1978; in Toronto covering Canada and Latin America from 1978 to 1983; in Paris covering France, Spain and Portugal from 1983 to 1988; in New York City covering the United Nations from 1991 to 1996; and was a foreign affairs writer in Washington DC from 1988 to 1998. Meisler continues to contribute occasionally to the Los Angeles Times.

Over the next few months, short abstracts or summaries of the 3,400 LA Times articles by Stanley Meisler covering the period 1967 to the present will be made available below. The complete articles with full text (from 1985 to the present) or historic article images (from 1967 to 1984) are available for purchase at the LA Times Archives. All articles are . All articles are copyright © Los Angeles Times.

2011-2015
2006 - 2010 1999 - 2005
1998 1997 1996 1995
1994 1993 1992 1991
1990 1989 1988 1987
1986 1985 1984 1983
1982 1981 1980 1979
1978 1977 1976 1975
1974 1973 1972 1971
1970 1969 1968 1967

one article from 1965 (see 1967)

2016

Restoring the portrait of an artist: How a new exhibition is giving William Merritt Chase his due
Reputations can fall swiftly in the world of art, sometimes in mysterious ways. But few have fallen so far and remained so hidden as William Merritt Chase. Art historian John Davis reports that in the 1880s, when Chase was just in his 30s, “he had come to dominate the American art scene.” Many Americans hailed him as their finest artist. Many Europeans agreed. But in the last hundred years since his death, almost all this adulation has dissipated. He is no longer a household name. Americans who know something about his contemporaries and friends James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent usually know nothing about William Merritt Chase. Patrons rarely rush to museums to see a Chase. Yet while the general public lost interest in Chase, the artist did keep special admirers...
ART
June 23, 2016

2015

Gustave Caillebotte's role in Impressionist history illuminated in 'Painter's Eye'
In the late 19th century, everyone looked on Gustave Caillebotte as a leading painter of the Impressionists. He took part in five of the eight exhibitions that the Impressionists mounted. In fact, he organized and helped finance several of the shows. One displayed more than 25 of his paintings; another greeted visitors in the opening room with his stunning depictions of the new Paris. Caillebotte, a wealthy man, also purchased many paintings by his colleagues. He continually loaned money to an impoverished Claude Monet and paid the rent for his studio. Yet while the names of Impressionists like Monet and Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas have lodged in the minds of all students of art for more than a century, there has been little or no room for Caillebotte. As Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art, puts it, Caillebotte "was left out of the early histories of Impressionism..."
ART
July 10, 2015

Fame finally comes to little-known Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo
When American millionaires bought paintings by Piero di Cosimo in the late 19th century, almost all the works were attributed to other Italian Renaissance artists. Piero, a painter of Florence during its golden age, was simply regarded as too obscure to produce such masterful works. It took many decades for Piero to emerge even partly from such shadows. Not until 1938 did the private Schaeffer Galleries in New York mount a small show of seven paintings all correctly attributed to him. But there was no other Piero exhibition anywhere in the world in the 20th century. Art historians, however, continued to study the fascinating case of Piero, discovering more of his works, many of the highest quality...
ART
February 14, 2015

2014

Neoimpressionism exhibit makes points about poetry, music's influence
Museum exhibitions about the great artist Georges Seurat and his band of Neoimpressionists usually delve into the new scientific theories of light and color that made many painters in the late 19th century experiment with novel ways of applying paint to a canvas. Seurat and his friends used a technique known as pointillism — painting little dots of different color that were supposed to mix when they reached the retina of a viewer's eye. The best-known work is probably his monumental "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" from 1884 now owned by the Art Institute of Chicago. All this emphasis on technique is turned upside down by an exhibition that just opened at the Phillips Collection in Washington...
ART
October 4, 2014

Exhibit shows Degas' and Cassatt's painterly influence on each other
In 1877, when he was 43, the French impressionist Edgar Degas began stopping by the studio of the 33-year-old American Mary Cassatt and offering her a point or two that might embolden her painting. Their relationship, a close one for a decade, is one of the best known in art history. What is not known is whether the relationship blossomed beyond a few pedagogical pointers into a secret romantic interlude. Each destroyed the letters from the other. Most historians doubt an affair. The artists seemed too strait-laced for that...
ART
May 24, 2014

2013

Albrecht Dürer: Drawn to art at an early age
The celebrated Renaissance artist's watercolors, drawings and prints — many lent by the Albertina Museum in Vienna — are the focus of a new exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington.
It is rare for a museum to lend the heart of its most prized collection to another museum, but the Albertina in Vienna has done just that by shipping almost a hundred watercolors and drawings by Albrecht Dürer to the National Gallery of Art here for an exhibition. Dürer, a German born in Nuremberg in 1471, is the great master of the Northern European Renaissance, akin to Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo of the Italian Renaissance. Dürer's greatness, according to Andrew Robison of the National Gallery, curator of the show, is based on his watercolors, drawings and prints, just as Da Vinci and Raphael are identified with painting and Michelangelo with sculpture...
ART
March 31, 2013

2012

Read all about it: Newspapers as art in exhibit
The exhibition 'Shock of the News' at the National Gallery of Art in Washington looks at artists' real and figurative use of newspapers in their works, including those by Hans Richter, Ellsworth Kelly and Paul Sietsema.
For a hundred years, artists have been using and abusing newspapers as a vital part of their works. Pungent examples include the Spanish painter Salvador Dali creating an absurd newspaper about himself, the German-born Swiss artist Dieter Roth making a sausage, complete with gelatin and spices, out of copies of the British tabloid Daily Mirror and the American Jim Hodges coating a Jordanian newspaper entirely in 24 karat gold. Little attention has been paid to this phenomenon by the world's museums in the past. But these examples and five dozen others now make up a novel exhibition called "Shock of the News" that opened recently at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and will close Jan. 27. It goes nowhere else...
ART
October 16, 2012

Scaling the ladders of Joan Miró's artwork
An exciting survey at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. — 'Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape' — makes a spirited attempt to find and explore the artist's politics.
Joan Miró, the great Spanish painter of dreams and symbols, lived through so many harrowing eras of the 20th century that critics believe his masterpieces surely reflect the tensions of political events in one way or another. But Miró's world of art was so special — with stars and moons, biomorphs and delightful dogs and sly monsters and wonderful color — that it has always been difficult to find much politics there. An exhibition that just arrived at the National Gallery of Art — "Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape" — makes a spirited attempt to find and explore the politics...
ART
May 17, 2012

Phillips Collection exhibition links the box camera and painters
The first Kodak camera had a big influence on painting, as 'Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard' details.
George Eastman introduced the first Kodak camera in 1888. It was a small wooden box covered in Morocco leather with a roll of dry film inside. You no longer had to be a professional carrying a tripod, heavy plates, a darkening cape and liquid developer to take a photograph. Any amateur could hold the box waist-high, aim at a subject like the family and press the button that released the shutter that covered the lens. The box — later just the roll — could be sent back to the company to develop the film. Kodak advertisements promised, "You press the button, we do the rest." The Kodak, continually improved by Eastman's American company, soon became a big seller. Among the enthusiasts were young painters in Europe...
ART
March 25, 2012

Why Egypt doesn't trust us
Private pro-democracy groups funded by the U.S. have a troubling history.
Now that seven American pro-democracy workers have been allowed to post bail and return to the United States, perhaps we can examine what the U.S. was up to in Egypt using reason instead of patriotic emotion. The Egyptian furor over such seemingly idealistic work may strike us as wild and idiotic, but in fact, the Egyptians have a right to be suspicious. America's attempt to promote democracy around the world through private organizations has unsavory beginnings and a sometimes troubling history...
COMMENTARY
March 7, 2012

2011

Andy Warhol in 'Headlines' at Washington's National Gallery
The National Gallery of Art zooms in on the Pop artist's appetite for gaudy tabloid newspapers and their influence on his work.
Andy Warhol, the guru of Pop art, reveled in a lifelong obsession with newspapers, especially tabloids and their garish headlines. As a teenager, he saved pages with photos of his favorite Hollywood stars. Throughout his life he packed hundreds of newspapers into boxes he called "time capsules" to whet the fancy of the future. He collected scores of fraying clippings about himself in 34 scrapbooks. But most important, he used newspapers, especially the front pages, to model and inform some of the most important works of his fine art. It is hard to imagine Warhol the artist without his headlines...
photo gallery
ART
October 9, 2011

Marc Chagall among friends in Philadelphia
In a twist, the city's Museum of Art combines his earlier works with his 'School of Paris' contemporaries to reveal the artist in a communal phase.
Marc Chagall was an enormously popular 20th century painter, revered by the public for his rooftop fiddlers, biblical lore, upside down lovers and fanciful visions of Jewish shtetl life in the old Russian empire. Art historians and critics, however, have always had difficulty placing him among the many currents of modern art; to them, he often seemed unique, special, one of a kind. Some also found him repetitive and sentimental. But Chagall was not always a loner. In an innovative exhibition, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has decided to concentrate on his younger years when, far from unique, he and a band of mainly East European, mainly Jewish artists honed their craft in Paris...
ART
April 24, 2011

Book review: 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World' by James Carroll
Examining the violent histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
James Carroll's latest book is very ambitious. Invoking history, anthropology, social psychology, geography and theology, the author, a former Catholic priest, delves into the stories of the violence unleashed by the organized religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam throughout their existence. He anchors the book by describing how each has used the city of Jerusalem, holy to all three, as a symbol or metaphor or touchstone. The book's title and subtitle, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World," suggest that Carroll intends to demonstrate that the tumultuous past of these religions is vital in understanding why Jerusalem and, of course, Israel and the Palestinian territories have become a hotbed of political, nationalist and religious conflict and violence. But Carroll, a newspaper columnist, prolific novelist and the author of the popular "Constantine's Sword," a history of 2,000 years of Christianity's anti-Semitism, has something else in mind...
BOOK REVIEW
April 17, 2011
Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World
by James Carroll
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

A Fresh Look at Paul Gauguin
The French artist spun myths about himself and his exotic travels to boost sales. A new show in Washington, D.C., examines these tales and his work.
Many artists and historians look on the painter Paul Gauguin as one of the founders of modern art. His work in the 19th century brimmed with innovation. He tried to paint with his mind rather than his eyes. He colored grass red and figures of Christ yellow. He played with perspective. His obsession with primitive peoples engaged and influenced Picasso. Yet, as Gauguin specialist Belinda Thomson points out, the innovations that excited everyone 100 years ago "are not necessarily those that have the strongest appeal" in the 21st century. Old innovations do not surprise anyone; they turn into clichés instead. Gauguin's paintings must be regarded differently now. They must be examined, Thomson says, for "their beauty and complexity"...
ART
March 13, 2011

True to the Peace Corps
The corps' celebrity and size may have diminished, but its longevity is a testament to its importance.
In some ways, the Peace Corps, which celebrates its 50th anniversary Tuesday, is a shadow of what it once was. It had so much pizzazz in the early days that newspapers proclaimed the names of new volunteers as if they had just won Guggenheim fellowships. Now, the number of volunteers — 8,655 — is about half of what it was at its highest in 1966, and not everyone knows the Peace Corps still exists. The first director — the irrepressible, inspiring Sargent Shriver, who put the program together in six months — made the cover of Time in 1963. The current director — Aaron Williams, a former volunteer with decades of experience in international development — barely gets his name in the papers. At a panel discussion at George Washington University a couple of years ago, Christiane Amanpour, then chief foreign correspondent of CNN, listed factors that had contributed to American worldwide popularity in the past. "There was a Peace Corps," she said. Yet the Peace Corps, despite its loss of celebrity and size, has improved a great deal during its 50 years...
COMMENTARY
February 25, 2011

Book review: 'The Shah' by Abbas Milani
A comprehensive new biography of the ousted Iranian leader finds him 'a tragic figure.'
It was uncanny to read the closing chapters of this splendidly detailed biography of the last shah of Iran while tumultuous and jubilant crowds in Egypt drove Hosni Mubarak from power. The parallels were so close they seemed to come out of some fanciful fiction. Like Mubarak, the shah—in power for 37 years—was blinded by a megalomania and a thirst for power that isolated him from the needs and demands of his people. Like Mubarak, the shah, spurning the advice of others, refused to initiate reforms until it was too late to satisfy his critics. Like Mubarak, the shah, who fled Iran in 1979, had maintained a facade of strength and stability that lulled the United States into believing that the iron-clad strength of its Middle Eastern ally was in no danger of cracking. But the biographer Abbas Milani, the head of the Iranian studies program at Stanford University, is not trying to depict the life and downfall of the shah as a model for political upheavals in the Middle East...
BOOK REVIEW
February 20, 2011
The Shah
by Abbas Milani
(Palgrave Macmillan)

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Los Angeles Times articles

by Stanley Meisler

complete articles are available for purchase at the LA Times Archives

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