America’s favorite and most controversial doll, Barbie, is sporting a brand new look. Barbie’s maker, Mattel, has just launched her “Museum Collection,” a series of three dynamic dolls, dramatically coiffed and dressed in gorgeous gowns that are inspired by some of history’s most notable artists. Blonde Barbie flaunts a “Starry Night” dress that riffs on Vincent van Gogh’s magical masterpiece, which is on permanent view at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Barbie as a black-haired beauty struts in striking evening attire, based on Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which is the major attraction at the Neue Galerie in New York. Meanwhile, brunette Barbie modestly models a classic ball gown, which references the Renaissance realm of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Amusingly, Barbie goes beyond art alone when seeking cultural inspiration for her outfits by choosing the sails of the Sydney Opera House as the point of departure for a dress that’s the perfect foil for her boyfriend Ken’s colorful Samurai-inspired costume. Now all they need is a stylish Hamptons’ destination for their next date.
Commissioned to create a work in response to Rembrandt van Rijn’s most famous painting, The Night Watch, at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer invited controversy by instead making an installation of three glass-and-steel vitrines, filled with objects that reference the Netherlands’ other influential artist, Vincent van Gogh. Kiefer’s monumental triptych, La Berceuse (for Van Gogh), addresses the work of Van Gogh through his portrait of Augustine Roulin, the wife of the postmaster of Arles, and paintings of sunflowers from the same period, while reflecting Rembrandt’s heroic portrayal of 17th-century Dutch militiamen, which hangs opposite, in its glass.