One Man’s Quixotic Attempt To Recreate A Vermeer


“What seemed to make this the height of folly was that Tim Jenison, born in 1955, had no training or experience as a painter. Moreover, in Johannes Vermeer, he was embracing an artist whose canvases, for all their immense charm and quotidian content, are among the most complex, difficult and well … mysterious in the annals of great Western art.”

The Case Of The Illustrator (Who Earned Little) And The Painter (Who Got $5.7 Million)


“There is, then, an undercurrent of injustice to the astronomical price of Glenn Brown’s imitation: he has reaped a larger financial reward. Chris Foss must settle for something else: the plain knowledge that he defined and popularized a niche—a noble success, but one that seizes fewer headlines than seven-figure auction prices.”

Staging Gay Liberation

Matthew Baldwin, in The Act, written by Thomas Hescott and Matthew Baldwin.

“As two plays set amid the 1960s gay rights movement open in London, their writers, Jon Bradfield and Thomas Hescott, discuss charting gay life before their time and why theatre is a good place to explore oppression.”

New Research: Being Dishonest Can Boost Your Creativity


“After Harvard Business School researcher Francesa Gino reported in 2011 that that highly creative people are more likely to engage in unethical activities, she began to wonder whether dishonesty could actually enhance creativity. Her latest paper suggests the answer is yes.”

And Now: John Cage, The App


It’s 4’33” and it’s not as daft as you might think. “With a swipe of the i-hand on the interface – which records your realisation of the piece, mapping it on to the durations that Cage provided for the three movements of the work – you can hear 4’33”s from all over the world.”

Corcoran Failure – The Enron Of The Arts?


“When it comes to leadership, the Corcoran boards of the last decade are the rough non-profit equivalents of the boards that ran MCI and Enron in the for-profit sector. Like trustees at MCI and Enron, Corcoran trustees committed no crimes, but they numbly bumbled, doing much damage on the way down.”

A Global “Grand Partnership” For Arts And Culture?


“The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and the English Arts Council are establishing a ‘Grand Partnership’ for arts and culture, for the United Kingdom mind you. I say let’s make it a ‘Great Grand Partnership’ by making it a worldwide partnership.”

Smashing Ancient Urns. Why Isn’t Ai Wei Wei Also A Vandal?

ai weiwei installation

“I must admit I’m confused. I want to see it as a devastating satire on the modern world’s alienation from the past. Ever since the Chinese Revolution began in the early 20th century, political and economic ruptures have cut off China in particular from its ancient culture. Is Ai Weiwei parodying that? Or is he mocking western art-lovers who think all Chinese art is ancient (as they may have, back in 1995)?”

Was Bach Really a Teenage Hoodlum?


That – in so many words (“a reformed teenage thug”) – is what conductor John Eliot Gardiner argues in his new biography, asserting that Bach, for all his musical skill and piety, grew up to be rebellious, resentful, and mistrustful of authorities for his entire adult life. Scholar and former American Bach Society George B. Stauffer takes a look at the evidence.