America’s First Professional Songwriter, Stephen Foster (We’re Still Under His Shadow)

Stephen Foster

“Historians now credit him with having pretty much invented the American pop song in its purest form: the bastard stepchild of the parlor song and the minstrel song, of the European and African strains of American music.” (And that child is very much a bastard – ever heard the second verse of “Oh, Susannah”? Yikes.)

War, Secret Love, Death – Keys To Tove Jansson’s Moomintrolls


“You could read this as being the lesbian love between Tove and Vivicka. They have their secret love in this suitcase, and when they open the suitcase and show it to the whole of Moominvalley it is also a picture of how they show their love to the world. It’s a really beautiful story.”

Decline Of The Public Intellectual


“A generation ago, political scientists were public intellectuals. We wrote lucid prose. We spoke to the issues of the day. We advised President John F. Kennedy. But now all we care about is math, jargon and one another.”

Amazon Publishing Makes a Move Into Germany

Amazon Publishing logo

“Amazon Publishing is starting a new German-language publishing program that will be based in Munich … Many of the titles first released in Germany will [subsequently] be published in English-language editions by AmazonCrossings.”

Sotheby’s Under Attack (And How What The Auction House Does Might Utterly Change)

Sotheby's Spring 2010 Impressionist, Modern, Contemporary Art Preview

There’s a “battle between the Sotheby’s Old Guard and a financier who views artworks as financial assets that trade in a market made by the auction houses. The confrontation figures to get bitter and bruising between now and May, but at its center there sits a rather more exalted question: How do you properly value art?”

The Most Famous Playwright Most of Us Have Never Heard Of

Jon Fosse

Jon Fosse is “perhaps Europe’s most-performed living dramatist, translated into 40-odd languages. In 2010, he won the biggest prize in global theatre, the £275,000 Ibsen award,” and last year he was thought to be a frontrunner for the literature Nobel. Why does the English-speaking world know so little of him?

Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.12.14

Randolph College’s Maier Museum Is Punished
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-03-12

Economics of deaccessioning (a bit theoretical)
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-03-12

Speak, memory
AJBlog: Performance Monkey | Published 2014-03-12

Making it as a Writer: MFA vs NYC
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-03-12

Pierre Boulez video interview: ‘I am a composer. I still am a composer’
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-03-12


Here’s What LA’s Creative Economy Looks Like In 2014


“The distinction in creative labor, put simply, is that artists have autonomous control over the direction of their creative output, whereas members of the “creative industries” produce products on spec. While both trade the products of their labor for capital, the latter, professionalized class dwarfs the former in economic clout, and so is dramatically more lucrative and stable an avocation.”

Giant Paper Sculptures on Park Avenue

giant paper sculptures

They’re not actually made of paper (they’re aluminum and fiberglass), but they sure look like it. The seven pieces make up Alice Aycock’s Park Avenue Paper Chase, now going up in the median of Park Avenue in upper midtown Manhattan.