In 2012, Terra began convening local curators and scholars, soliciting ideas for publications, exhibits, and programs that would clarify Chicago’s role as a “catalyst and incubator for innovations in art and design.” The result is a still-growing 29-exhibit, 100-plus-program, 60-institution collaborative effort that includes academic research, multiple books and catalogs, and a four-part public television documentary.
Perhaps for all visits to cultural institutions by those of us who want to see those institutions thrive and carry on into the future, it’s time to reconsider—not just the math, but the underlying reasons why we believe museums matter, for all of us, regardless of our ability to pay for admission.
“The project involves restoration of the Castle and the Hirshhorn, the addition of an underground visitor center with amenities including restrooms and food service, and upgraded and centralized mechanical systems. The Haupt Garden, which is the roof of the subterranean Quadrangle building, would be replaced and the building’s entrance pavilions would be moved closer to the Mall.”
Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, is planning a complete rehang of the gallery, five years after the last major transformation of the displays in 2013. In an interview with The Art Newspaper, he outlines a new vision for the collection based on three “pillars”: art and society, history and the present, and Britain and the world.
“Over the last few days, the classical music media has become aware of a small but telling scandal. A Berlin-based concert curator, dramaturg, and VAN contributor named Arno Lücker published a shred on his blog. The video, part of a mashup genre in which new audio tracks are added to videos so that musicians appear to be playing embarrassingly badly, features the violinist Daniel Hope, accompanied by the pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi. Hope now wants to haul Lücker into court.”
“Classical music conducts its business behind a screen of secrets, lies and euphemisms. A maestro is never absent without leave, only ‘indisposed’. No maestro ever gets fired. He becomes Emeritus. Truth gets buried beneath a dungheap of flummery. The real reason for the recent departure of at least one classical performer in this country will not be publicly explained, even though it is well known backstage. The code of silence in classical music is as tight as Sicilian omertà. Speak out, and you’re dead meat.”
“Most of the final-year art history students I spoke to recently at one of the UK’s leading universities had heard about the Salvator Mundi, or at least its price. But when I put an image of a well-known Titian on the screen, only one of them (of around 40) could identify the artist. I asked what they had all been doing for the past few years; “reading” came the unenthusiastic answer.”
A carefully designed 10-week study found outdoor lessons “boost subsequent classroom engagement, and boost it a great deal,” writes a research team led by Ming Kuo of the University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign. “After a lesson in nature, teachers were able to teach for almost twice as long without having to interrupt instruction to redirect students’ attention.”
“On January 18, 1958, the first Leonard Bernstein ‘Young People’s Concert’ was broadcast live on television. Through the 1960s, the programs took off and were seen in 40 countries, alongside American exports The Flintstones and Bonanza. WNYC’s Sara Fishko considers Bernstein’s TV-friendly presence, in this episode of Fishko Files.” (audio)
She walks an interesting line between unconventionality and orthodoxy. Apart from Kaija Saariaho, whose music she played at her Kennedy Center recital in November, most of her favorite composers are white and male; she reacts vehemently to the idea of selecting a composer by any criteria other than her own visceral response (like, for instance, gender).
“Many within Hollywood, like Albert Lewin, director of The Moon and Sixpence, were keen to work with the famed surrealist, yet these offers of collaboration rarely came to much. ‘Man Ray was very firm,’ [curator Max] Teicher says. ‘If he was going to do a film, he was going to do everything: the lighting, the set design, everything. They [Hollywood insiders] looked at him like he was crazy, because that’s not how Hollywood worked.”
Jerry Saltz: “As with much minimalism, these prototypes are hard-edged geometry and impervious materials brought into the American landscape of the West and arranged to impose order, inspire awe, and try to manage and align mystic political forces — and to make something that while instantly obsolete, like some useless Stalin Gulag project, meant to last forever. Trump has made something that evokes a real monument — one that may correctly be said to stand for everything he believes in. And I think mustn’t be forgotten.”
“The owner of a historic Frank Lloyd Wright building in Whitefish, Montana razed the structure last week, immediately after last-minute negotiations with preservationists attempting to buy it fell through. Designed in 1958 – one year before Wright’s death – as a medical clinic, the 5,000-square-foot building is the first Wright-designed one to be demolished in over 40 years.”
Andy Blankenbuehler, Sergio Trujillo, Josh Rhodes, and Christopher Gattelli all performed in the 1999 show assembled from the late Bob Fosse’s choreography. “[They] didn’t appropriate the distinctive Fosse style. But it’s more than happenstance that the show produced this bumper crop of choreographers. Ask them why, and they make the school analogy.”
“Cathedrals, which attract more than 10 million visitors a year, face spiralling costs of running, repairing and maintaining their buildings.” An investigation launched by the Church of England’s two archbishops found a “confusion of governance and management [that] has increased both operational and financial risks.”
“[The Pacifica Foundation] is at risk of asset seizure following a judgment in October that ordered the network to pay $1.8 million in back rent plus interest to the Empire State Realty Trust. The rent is for the transmitter of WBAI, Pacifica’s New York City station. … Pacifica’s total debt is roughly $8 million, including roughly $2.4 million to Democracy Now! Productions. The network is also in arrears for pension payments.”
“As a playwright, with two ten-play dramatic cycles inspired by classical Greek drama to his credit, he enlarged the ambition and dimensions of theatre … Through his work as a director, and above all as a teacher, [he] changed the way we play and hear Shakespeare. His editing and literary carpentering restored neglected Shakespeare plays to the theatrical canon. He was a dramaturg, a literary manager, before the term was imported from the theatrical world of Bertolt Brecht.”
Mr. Wilson worked his way into comedy writing after starting out in advertising, and in 1978 he graduated from writer to creator when WKRP made its debut. … [He] introduced a different brand of misfits in Police Academy, his first feature-film directing assignment, for which he was also one of the screenwriters.”
“The £80m [Victoria and Albert] Museum Of Design Dundee on the banks of the Tay, housed in a dazzling building inspired by cliffs on the east coast of Scotland, is to open [on 15] September. Details were announced on Thursday for what will be the V&A’s first outpost outside London, and Scotland’s first design museum.”
Ken Burns, Collector, Gets An Exhibition
There’s nothing like a celebrity, even a person behind the camera instead of in front of it, to attract attention – sometimes even deservedly so. I think that is the case for an exhibition opening Friday, … read more
>AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2018-01-18
Women in jazz journalism on gender issues, in NYC MLK weekend
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend ’18 was a big one for jazz in NYC, with the first Jazz Congress at Jazz at Lincoln Center, a glorious Winter Jazz Fest, artists showcases at the conference … read more
AJBlog: Jazz Beyond Jazz Published 2018-01-18
Acker Awards to Honor One-of-a Kind Artists
I don’t know what the late Kathy Acker, who died in 1997, would think of an award given in her name to non-conforming artists. I assume … read more
AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2018-01-18
“There’s a growing body of evidence that even if diversity— the kind that results from immigration — once made America stronger, it may not be doing so anymore. Robert Putnam, a liberal sociologist at Harvard, found that increased diversity corrodes civil society by eroding shared values, customs and institutions. People tend to “hunker down” and retreat from civil society, at least in the short and medium term.”
At a time when creativity, teamwork, adaptability, critical thinking, communication and innovation have been recognised by educators, employers and government as fundamental building blocks for success in society and the workplace in the 21st century, England’s education policy is poised to permit only the brightest and wealthiest to access the creative subjects that will enable them to thrive in this brave new world.