How Scottish Culture Shook Off The “Kilted Straitjacket”

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“A generation emerged in the 1970s that wondered why it was still, so late in the 20th Century, watching men in kilts dancing around swords … when none of us knew anyone who actually did this kind of thing … Scottish national identity began to wrap itself in the cause of social justice – in the idea of resistance to unaccountable wealth and power imposing its will from outside. … This Scotland was also irreverent, self-mocking, and hilariously funny.”

Six Steps To Restore People’s Faith In The (Divvied-Up) Corcoran Gallery


“There’s no rescuing the institution known as the Corcoran from this final crisis. And neither the National Gallery nor George Washington is obligated to try, truthfully. But under the new dispensation, leaders at the college and gallery can restore and even improve upon the things that the old Corc got right. Here are six suggestions for ways that the National Gallery and GW can build stronger institutions for the District.”

Spiraling Tensions At Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture School


The board of the Wright Foundation has decided not to incorporate its school at Taliesin as a separate entity – an organizational decision that, thanks to a change in the Higher Learning Commission’s rules, means the school will lose its accreditation in 2017. The school’s governors and faculty are, unsurprisingly, unhappy about this, amd they’ve begun rebelling against the Wright Foundation.

Shigeru Ban And The Limits Of Virtuous Architecture

shigeru ban

Dana Goodyear considers the tension between the Pritzker Prize winner’s very-high-profile designs for quick, inexpensive temporary structures for use after natural disasters and his very-high-priced work for wealthy clients like the Aspen Art Museum.

Against [Whatever] (Susan Sontag Has A Lot To Answer For)


“In recent years, there has been an ‘Against [X]’ epidemic: against young-adult literature, against interpretation, against method, against theory, against epistemology, against happiness, against transparency, against ambience, against heterosexuality, against love, against exercise, etc. The form announces a polemic – probably a cranky one, and very likely an unfair one.” Exhibit A: Sontag’s “Against Interpretation,” from 1964.

Festivals Have Become Big Business


“Festivals are one of the biggest growth stories in live entertainment of the past two decades and they are still expanding, diversifying from pop, rock and electronic dance music into poetry and theatre. “

Meet France’s New Culture Minister


Fleur Pellerin, who is just turning 41, is the country’s first top minister of Asian descent. “Local commentators suggest that [her previous] experiences handling the innovation and digital economy portfolio will stand the minister in good stead in her new role.”

Did David Chase Just Tell Us That Tony Soprano Isn’t Dead?

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That’s certainly what Martha P. Nochimson and her editors at Vox think. And so an essay of nearly 5,000 words – many of them, from both Nochimson and Chase himself, erudite and insightful – get boiled down (not least by Vox itself) into a seemingly unambiguous answer to what is actually quite an ambiguous question. (What does it really mean to say, “Tony Soprano lives!”?)

David Chase Responds: By No Means Did I Say That Tony Soprano Is Alive

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A publicist for the Sopranos showrunner said in a statement: “To simply quote David as saying, ‘Tony Soprano is not dead,’ is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.” The statement goes on to remind us what Chase has said about the subject many times, and Vox culture editor Todd VanDerWerff offers a defense of the article.

“It’s The Wrong Thing To Ask About ‘The Sopranos'”: Matt Zoller Seitz On The Did-Or-Didn’t-Tony-Die Question

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“I won’t take anyone’s interpretation away from anybody – not because I feel that certain interpretations are more provable than others, but because if you’re trying to ‘prove’ a particular theory about the ending of a consciously ambiguous and at times tactically frustrating work of popular art, you’re watching it wrong.”

This Year’s Opera Olympics

1426990d Opera singer Placido Domingo

“From over 1,000 applications, 40 singers from 17 nations, including the United States, Russia and China, made it through to the main competition, which began on August 25. Following two days of preliminary rounds, 20 singers enter the semi-finals. Ten singers will reach the final round on August 30, which is presented as a Gala Finals Concert with an orchestra conducted by Domingo.”

Science’s Problem With Big Data


“As the rest of the society, from business and economics to journalism and art, wakes up to the power of big data, the world of research is, ironically, not doing nearly enough to embrace the power of information. A big-data mindset involves more than having a lot of petabytes on your hard drive, and science is falling short in three main areas.”

Former Jasper Johns Assistant Pleads Guilty To Stealing Art


“The assistant, James Meyer, was indicted in 2013 on charges connected to a scheme that prosecutors said involved the theft of at least 22 artworks over about six years. Mr. Meyer removed the works from Mr. Johns’s studio in Sharon, Conn., prosecutors said, and delivered them to an art gallery in Lower Manhattan, where they were sold for about $6.5 million.”

Julian Lloyd Webber: Here’s How To Make It As A Young Musician


“To succeed in today’s music business the aspiring musician needs to give almost as much time and thought to business-related matters as they give to practising their art. They need to find their unique space in the market place. They need to find out what they have to offer that is different to everybody else.”

ABT’s Not Just Wringing Its Hands About Lack Of Diversity In Ballet, It’s Going Out To Develop More Dancers


“Classical ballet in the United States has an image problem, as dancers at the top companies are almost entirely white. … In an attempt to make ballet more diverse, the American Ballet Theatre has launched a new programme to search for talents from the excluded communities. Al Jazeera’s Daniel Lak reports from New York.” (video)