“The ‘color war’ between British artists Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor has entered a new, rainbow-hued round of conflict.”
The frescoes in the Hall of Constantine were painted by Raphael’s students after the master died in 1520. But contemporary sources recorded that Raphael did complete two figures in the room – and the recent restoration of the frescoes helped scholars identify which ones they were.
“The refrain is always the same: Who cares if the fifth Transformers is drawing little enthusiasm in the United States when it’s doing well in China? But that defense is becoming more specious, as international audiences are also seemingly growing tired of the endless assembly line of action films, while the biggest box-office story of 2017 is the success of smaller-budgeted original films.”
“When did this love for ‘crumbling Venice’ begin, and why has it taken hold with such tenacity? By the time Victorian historian and art critic John Ruskin encountered the city in the 1840s, he thought Venice was so neglected that she might melt into the lagoon ‘like a lump of sugar in hot tea.’ It’s true that Ruskin feared any further deterioration, but what appalled him to an even greater extent was any attempt to modernize the city.”
“In 1967, the term ‘Arabic literature,’ for most Western readers, meant two books, the Quran and The Arabian Nights. But that year, readers were handed a full menu of contemporary fiction in Arabic with the publication of Modern Arabic Short Stories, an anthology that showcased the work of 20 writers, including Yusuf Idris, Tayeb Salih, Zakaria Tamer and Naguib Mahfouz, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988.”
“Called 1000 GESTALTEN, which translates in English as ‘1,000 figures,’ it was a performance in which actors covered in grey, crusty clay moved silently and steadily through the city in a transfixed state. For the days leading up to July 5, these figures started appearing all over Hamburg, slowly growing in numbers until culminating yesterday in a giant formation in which a “transformation” took place, the actors breaking free from their clay shells.”
The Department of Justice filed a civil complaint in New York, and announced that Hobby Lobby had agreed to the fine and to forfeit thousands of antiquities including cuneiform tablets and clay bullae that prosecutors said were smuggled through the United Arab Emirates and Israel to the United States using deliberately false labeling practices.
“When, in the nonprofit sector do you see revenue growth like this? The sponsoring organization’s 990 reports on GuideStar show that the organization’s revenue has grown from $185K in 2011 to $3.8M in 2015.” And how many nonprofits do you know of whose conventions draw well over 100,000 participants?
“Started in 1999 by then-computer science student Aaron Peckham, the crowd-sourced online dictionary that The New York Times calls the ‘lexicon of instant argot’ has grown over the past two decades into an internet behemoth.” Problem is, the definitions are submitted by ordinary users. In other words, as Clio Chang argues, “it is a pure product of the internet hordes” – and the hordes have contributed some very ugly stuff to the site, stuff that Peckham seems uninterested in policing.
The Royal Shakespeare Company will put the devices on a group of theatre patrons in July and simulcast viewers in August; the idea is to measure not only whether one medium is more or less emotionally involving, but also whether violence in mainstream movies has desensitized screen viewers to the brutality in the play. And which play’s brutality will be the test case? The one that’s really notorious for gore.
Metropolitan Museum’s Empty Director’s Chair: Text of Dan Weiss Memo to Staff
Now that Metropolitan Museum director Thomas Campbell has officially left the building (as of June 30), who will serve as acting director until a new director is chosen? Surprisingly, the short answer appears to be: … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-07-05
“Nielsen released its latest annual midyear music report, and thus far in 2017, on-demand audio streams topped 184 billion, up 62.4% over the same time period last year. When video streams are added to the equation, the total soars to 284 billion streams, an increase of 36.4% versus the first half of 2016. The gains in streaming have been more than enough to offset the continued decline of physical and digital sales: overall audio consumption has grown 8.9% despite a 17% dip in the former and a 19.9% drop in the latter.”
Roy Lichtenstein died in 1997. What might he think of all this, if he were alive today? He was a Democrat; he created prints in support of Dukakis, in 1988, and of Clinton-Gore, in 1992. But his overriding drive was to bring qualities of high art into taut accord with motifs from commercial mass culture. There is a term for that kind of aspiration: American.