“The University of Toronto embarked on a fourteen-year process of repatriating the bones of more than 1,700 individuals in its possession. But until recently, such agreements tended to be the exception, not the norm. In the meantime, the legal status of artifacts—which can serve as evidence in land claims negotiation—remains a long-standing sore point.”
“Marfa Contemporary, … [which] offers a year-round exhibition program, workshops, educational initiatives, and a residency program, … is permanently closing its doors. The space has been led by curator, art historian, and educator Kate Green since 2017. Green will soon take up the post of curator at the El Paso Museum of Art.”
“Admission cost is a secondary factor when considering a museum visit.” More specifically, “a lack of time… or a simple lack of interest… were far more important factors in one’s decision not to visit museums than were admission fees.” So this suggests the Met has a bigger problem than admission fees.
“As long as there has been transportation to faraway places, people have been sneaking on board. … The stowaway fad, however, was a different kind of social phenomenon. It was part of the attention-seeking aesthetic of the Jazz Age, a larksome activity similar to flagpole sitting, outrageous swimming challenges, and ‘buildering’ – the art of climbing skyscrapers. … And, in the new age of the mass media, each stowaway’s story of success incited more attempts.”
“That’s why I lost weight … If you’re singing repertoire that only two other people in the world sing, congratulations, you’ve won the voice lottery! You can sing anywhere you want, you can write your own checks. But there are a million Norinas and Adinas and Lucias, so it’s much more competitive. There are roles I wasn’t even considered for because of the way I looked. I thought that I’d worked way too hard and was singing far too well (I believed) to be stopped before I could even enter the room. Someone would look at my photograph and say, ‘No. Too fat!’ It ain’t right, but it’s life.”
Traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Tel Aviv via Rome, Myrna Herzog was told that there was no room in the cabin for her 17th-century instrument and she’d have to gate-check it. (The airline says Herzog declined the chance to purchase a seat for the gamba; she denies this.) She went public with photos of the damage, and the story has hit major newspapers in Europe as well as The Daily Mail and Fox News.
Macmillan CEO John Sargent: “The person who told me said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ and I said yes, and they said, ‘We have just received a cease-and-desist letter from the president of the United States.’ The reason I was stunned is that it is actually hard to conceive that a sitting president of the United States would issue a cease-and-desist order, because it is extraordinarily unconstitutional.”
Chase Johnsey “says that he no longer believes the company” – the travesti troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo – “stands for openness and gender freedom. He claims that he and other dancers have been mistreated, sexually harassed and discriminated against for appearing too feminine in classes and rehearsals, adding, ‘We’re being bullied for expressing our femininity and we’re being given ultimatums just because we don’t live up to some masculine idea of what a gay man is.” (includes video)
Holdren, who became the magazine’s lead theater critic last summer after Jesse Green moved to the New York Times, won the $10,000 prize for “The Revolution Will Not Be Hashtagged: A Misguided ‘Joan of Arc’ at the Public Theatre,” published at Culturebot last April.
The Kleban Prize, established by the lyricist of A Chorus Line, goes to promising lyricists and librettists. The 2018 award winners are Alan Schmuckler (lyrics for Diary of Wimpy Kid: The Musical), Amanda Yesnowitz (lyrics for Somewhere in Time), and Christian Duhamel (book for My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend).
“There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility,” said the investors, who collectively control $2bn of Apple stock.
The Bachtrack stats report that “the composer with the most performances in 2017 has returned to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, while Hallelujah choruses will be sung around the world to celebrate that Handel’s Messiah reclaimed its position as the top performed work. The Bachtrack database listed a similar number of events to the previous year, around 32,000.”
James Poniewozik: “I have no idea if Oprah Winfrey could be president. I have no idea if she should be president. I certainly have no idea why she might want the demotion. … But anybody who does run for president could do worse than to study her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes.”
The technique (if that’s the word) that art dealer Michael Findlay recommends in his book Seeing Slowly: Looking at Modern Art is to stand in the middle of the gallery room, pick a work that catches your eye, and simply look at it for at least three (and up to 15) minutes. No reading the wall text or listening to the audio guide. Elena Goukassian gives the method a try to find out if it helps her appreciate better an artist whose work she’s never related to or liked.
“When museums are free we can see one painting every day on our lunch breaks. We can come back again and again to see all of the things we’d miss in just one visit. We can go on cheap dates. We can take our children and not worry about wasting our vacation budget if they throw a tantrum after 10 minutes. Students can come on school trips and learn not just about art or history or science, but also about experiences and institutions – museums themselves – that might otherwise feel closed off to them.”
“The newly opened Weltmuseum in Vienna has come under fire for displaying a severed head from Brazil – a war trophy that had belonged to the Munduruku people. … The discussion in Germany and Austria follows similar debates in France and the UK over the past 15 years, sparked by a rise in the number of demands for the return of human remains to their communities of origin, usually non-European and often former colonies.”
“[He] devoted almost all of his 35-year career to his unusual combination of art-making and teaching, and to the group, which exhibited as Tim Rollins + K.O.S.” (It stands for Kids of Survival.) “In a classroom with a barely functioning sink and broken windows boarded up with plywood, Mr. Rollins and his most interested students had begun to function as a workshop when they hit on the idea of using books for both inspiration and material.”
“‘I can’t create the objects I crave to look at,’ he [once] said, ‘so I collect them.’ … His personal collection featured more than 400 drawings, including rare works by Goya, Van Gogh and Andrea Mantegna and price-setting items by Rembrandt and Samuel Palmer. But he insisted that ‘great art collecting need not be based on a great fortune; education, experience and eye are more important.’ He spoke from his own history.”
Is There Anything New In Costume Exhibits?
Yes, maybe. Vogue magazine recently wrote: “Couture Korea proves that in the often choked-up calendar of museum fashion exhibitions, there are still fascinating new subjects to explore that are fresh and full of feeling.” … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2018-01-08
Britain, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and 1966
What was the real heart of the ’60s? That depends, of course, on what we really mean when we talk about that much-mythologized and contested decade. … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2018-01-08
My Debt to Eugene Thaw, the Late Dealer, Collector, Connoisseur, Scholar, Donor, Mentor
I’ve never met an art dealer as brilliant and multifaceted as Eugene V. Thaw, who died Jan. 3 at the age of 90. Selling works of highest quality, from old masters to modern, he advised the … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-01-08
Big man, small screen
Seeking to rest my weary mind, I brought a short stack of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mystery novels with me to Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, where Mrs. T and I retreated last week … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2018-01-08
Recent Listening: A Porter, Porter And King Collaboration
Randy Porter Plays Cole Porter, special guest Nancy King (Heavywood)
If Randy Porter played more widely outside the US Pacific Northwest, he would likely be lauded as one of the leading contemporary … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-01-08
A few years ago we launched a simple, yet transformative project asking our nonprofit arts organizations to become polling places. This opened up their relationship with their local community and provides a way to have a non-transactional relationship with their neighbors. It also shows that we are community members who care about the local legislation and policies that affect our lives as individuals and as organizations that serve our neighbors. In many cases it also is an opportunity to expand the audience of who these organizations are reaching. The primary goal is to expand the definition of who the organization is and how do they fit into “more art everywhere”.
The New York-based PEN America and California-based PEN Center USA told The Associated Press on Monday that they will be called PEN America. Suzanne Nossel, currently executive director of the New York chapter, will oversee the new entity along with an expanded board of trustees that will include members from both chapters. Nossel said in a statement that the decision came out of a “shared sense of urgency” about free expression in the U.S. and overseas.
Of three serious finalists, newly opened records reveal. “Greene was supported by the committee’s chairman, Anders Osterling, who called him ‘an accomplished observer whose experience encompasses a global diversity of external environments, and above all the mysterious aspects of the inner world, human conscience, anxiety and nightmares.'” But the two others on the committee disagreed.
Machado’s debut book, Her Body and Other Parties was a finalist for the National Book Award, and she was interviewed by the Paris Review about it as well. So of course The Guardian asks her about writing sex. “What’s the secret?” the paper asks. The reply: “Letting some sex scenes be pleasurable, letting bodies be real.”
A rather grouchy Louis Menand, after dissing the various dictionaries’ choices and suggesting that, perhaps, the word of the year ought to be a hashtag (#), argues that his choice of the emblematic word of these times is apt precisely because so many words are being deliberately distorted: “‘Fake’ once meant ‘counterfeit’ or ‘inauthentic,’ like a fake Picasso or a fake birth certificate. It is now used to mean ‘I deny your reality.'”