ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Inside The Largest Trove Of Nazi Propaganda

Today, one of the world’s largest collections of Nazi propaganda sits in a climate-controlled warehouse at Fort Belvoir, in northern Virginia. Much of it is virulent; most of it is never seen by the public. - The New Yorker

Figures Are In: North American Movie Box Office Income Was Down 80% In 2020

"As predicted, domestic movie tickets sold between Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 came generated an estimated $2.3 billion (or $2.28 billion) compared to $11.4 billion in 2019, according to Comscore estimates. That's the lowest showing in at least 40 years." - The Hollywood Reporter

Progress Report: BIPOC Representation In American Theatre

"Time will tell if theater grantmakers adopt the coalition’s demands en masse, and some of the demands have yet to make it into grantmakers’ toolboxes in a meaningful way. But at the very least, We See You has done a huge service for funders by creating a checklist of familiar, provocative, and disruptive action items." - Inside Philanthropy

In China, Foreign Films Have Lost Half Their Market Share In One Year

"Imported films accounted for only about a sixth of China's total box office in 2020, a nearly 55% decrease year-on-year, industry data tracker Maoyan Entertainment said Monday. The decline highlights the chaos COVID-19 has wrought on Hollywood release schedules as well as the diminishing appeal of foreign content in what has just become the world's largest film market." - Variety

Author Of ‘War Horse’ Insists He Wasn’t Trying To Censor Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’

" described '21st-century sensibilities' as having prevented the inclusion of the play in Tales from Shakespeare, his retelling of 10 Shakespeare plays for children aged six and older." Morpurgo says that this way of describing his decision is bogus: he had to choose only ten plays, and he felt they should be stories appropriate for eight-year-olds, which The Merchant of Venice is not. - The Guardian

Unknown El Greco Painting Discovered In Spain

The small canvas depicting Christ carrying the cross and wearing the crown of thorns, owned by a private individual, was authenticated after two years of study by a team at the University of Lleida. - ARTnews

Dorms Designed By Louis Kahn In India Saved From Wrecking Ball

The board of governors of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad admitted that an international outcry prompted their decision to call off plans to demolish 14 of the school's 18 buildings designed by Kahn in the '60s and completed in 1974. But the buildings are still considered unsafe to use because of deterioration in their bricks and damage from a 2001 earthquake. - Dezeen

Lee Breuer, Experimental Stage Director, Dead At 83

"A tenacious outsider who refused his sole Tony Award nomination — for his biggest hit and only Broadway show, the Sophocles adaptation The Gospel at Colonus — Mr. Breuer flourished in the scrappier realm of Off Off Broadway, even as the scale of his works and ambitions took him to larger stages, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Delacorte Theater in Central Park and the Comédie-Française in Paris." - The New York Times

As Australia’s Arts Festival Season Begins Amid The Pandemic, All Eyes Are On Sydney

"The Festival is poised to open on Wednesday and its administrators are on high alert. Though Covid-19 case reports remain low, the list of exposure sites is growing by the day. … With Perth Festival following in early February and Adelaide Festival" — the largest arts event in the Southern Hemisphere — "a few weeks later, what happens in Sydney will be keenly observed." - The Guardian

Sydney’s Reopening Theatres Say They’re ‘COVID-Safe.’ Are They?

The Opera House finally became the last of the city's major venues to require masks, but enforcing the policy is not easy, and most of the theatres are selling up to 75% of capacity, as opposed to the less-than-half that's been standard in where venues have been open in Europe and North America. Will these performances become super-spreader events? - The Guardian

IRS: Executors Undervalued Prince’s Estate By $80 Million

The IRS determined that Prince’s estate is worth $163.2m, overshadowing the $82.3m valuation submitted by Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate’s administrator. The discrepancy primarily involves Prince’s music publishing and recording interests, according to court documents. - The Guardian

The TikTok Musical That’s Already Earned $1 Million

At a running time of 51 minutes, and with perhaps only half the numbers required for a full adaptation of the 2007 animated Oscar-winner, this “Ratatouille” is a mere appetizer. But with a winning Tituss Burgess as the human embodiment of Remy, the Parisian rodent who can stir up a mean beef bourguignon, it is a promising first course. And the harbinger of a future property on the school circuit or maybe even in some professional incarnation. (Another leading indicator: The Actors Fund announced that the production surpassed $1 million in ticket sales on its premiere night.) - Washington Post

The Institutions That Used To Support Creative Work

"Artists in the middle of the twentieth century flourished not because the economy was inherently favorable to them, but as a result of powerful economic winds and the groups that joined in an attempt to harness them. Together, creative class groups wielded the crowbar of politics in an attempt to pry some autonomy out of consumer capitalism. If these standards of living were sharply eroded over the last 50 years, it is partly because the institutions that once upheld them had also fallen away." - The New Republic

Frida Kahlo Has Become An Icon – At The Expense Of Her Art?

Her claims to eminence were those of someone who as a woman of her time, and disabled too, needed to find ways to make herself heard. It is Kahlo’s supporters, trumpeting her — rather than name-checking her — as a martyr or mater dolorosa to everything from feminism, racial and sexual fluidity to anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism, that do her a great disservice. - The Critic

Lessons For Classical Music After The Lockdown

"Yes, musical organizations will talk about learning pragmatic lessons from this pandemic. But as the industry begins the long march back toward some semblance of normalcy, let’s hope the lessons internalized also include keeping sight of the art form’s unique modes of immediacy, of intimacy, of direct expression, and of vulnerability. These qualities carried classical music through 2020 — and many of the rest of us too." - Boston Globe

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