Casts were a booming trade in the late 19th century and museums competed for the most sought after examples. The availability of casts, even though they were multiples, was limited, especially towards the end of the century when the damage caused by taking moulds was finally acknowledged.
Guardian Australia revealed last week that the ABC is breaking up its historic music and reference libraries and making 10 librarians redundant to free up floor space and save on wages. Sources say management plans include packing up all 22,000 books in Sydney and Melbourne – apart from a few “special items” – and sending them to Samoa. The books have been targeted because management wants the library space for the IT division. But insiders have mocked the idea, saying developing countries do not always want discarded books because of the high cost of transporting and storing them as well as question marks over their relevance.
The stats are deeply ugly: “In 2016, only 7 percent of the directors behind 250 of the year’s highest-grossing domestic releases were women. (In television, things are a bit better: Thirty-two percent of first-time episodic directors during the 2016-17 television season were women.) From there, women directors get lower budgets on average, and their projects are played on only one-third as many movie screens as male-directed films, according to a study cited in 2016 in The Hollywood Reporter.”
Alex Ross looks at Florence Price (1887-1953), whose works are undergoing a modest revival that, Ross argues, ought to be much bigger.
Walking the walk in terms of serving underserved communities, MPR has beta-launched an online local-and-global-news channel for Minnesota’s 31,400 Somalis, the state’s second-largest group of foreign-born residents.
Two months after two longtime hosts were fired from the New York public radio giant – which was shortly after news broke of John Hockenberry’s egregious misconduct as host of The Takeaway – stories of a dysfunctional workplace culture are spreading, the station’s number-two has been demoted but not dismissed, and WNYC’s president tries to correct longstanding problems and fend off complaints about her management and high salary.
“Eleven major fixtures of Texas Monthly‘s editorial team have quit since a hedge fund bought the publication for $25 million in October 2016 … According to multiple interviews with former staffers, the environment inside the Austin-based publication is now largely characterized by fear and precariousness, with employees worried about job stability and unsure if they can trust their leadership.”
We cannot say that Rebekah Mercer and her family foundation are dictating museum exhibitions by virtue of her board seat, and the museum, in a statement, has said that she is not and that “its funders do not shape its curatorial decisions.” But that’s not really the issue. As a funder of climate-science disinformation, Ms. Mercer stands in direct contradiction to the museum’s mission “to discover, interpret, and disseminate — through scientific research and education — knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.”
New beginnings often start with a truthful assessment of a situation. But it would seem Artforum has not followed through on their promise of being a “place of transparency, equity, and with zero tolerance for sexual harassment of any kind,” which they trumpeted on their website in October.
A pseudo-scientific chart on the side of each label purports to rate objects according to “Innovation,” “Design,” and “Implementation,” resulting in a final “Fail-o-Meter” score, with no explanation as to the metrics involved. In essence, the Museum of Failure is a BuzzFeed listicle come to life.
“There is a quotation from Proust: ‘To release that fount of sorrow, that sense of the irreparable, those agonies which prepare the way of love there must be … the risk of an impossibility’. I think that passion for a lost book, often like love for a person, arises from the impossibility of reading it.”
“In previous academic deaccessions, alumni, the public and art professionals piled their ire upon university presidents and trustees. It seems to me that the auction houses are equally culpable. They are training their sights on financially pressed colleges and museums as part of their business development strategies. This is art-world ambulance chasing.”
“When I first became interested in vintage typewriters, collecting them was not a popular hobby. Finding another typewriter collector was almost as difficult as finding the actual machines. But over the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in mechanical typewriters—a renaissance of sorts. An object that had been deemed useless after the emergence of computers and relegated to the junk pile is now being celebrated.”
Describing the funder as “a family at war with many of those it seeks to serve,” Ruth Wishart, who joined the inaugural board over seven years ago, said board members had not been given sufficient time to make decisions and that she no longer wanted to back the funder’s “flawed” choices.
“I am guilty, for putting her in that car, but not the way that people are saying I am guilty of it,” Tarantino told me. “It’s the biggest regret of my life, getting her to do that stunt. There are certain things I can’t get too far into the weeds on, but I will any questions you have about it.”
Looking back, every successful medium has either “killed” a predecessor (in the manner that television displaced radio in the home, or that streaming video is chipping away at cable) or “colonized” time and attention that was unused or used for something else. However, that was somewhat easier when people actually had free time. Today, we live in a media environment where billions of dollars are spent fighting for the time spent “waiting at the bus stop.”
“‘Our main goal is really to help dancers,’ says David Makhateli, a former principal with The Royal Ballet who launched the Grand Audition with his wife, dancer Daria Makhateli. With 10 artistic directors from a wide range of countries present, a dancer who might not fit one company’s requirements has many more opportunities to be noticed. … Most [participating] companies are based in Europe, but American directors have also taken part in past editions.”
Richard Caring reportedly spent somewhere between £20 million and £30 million last year to buy The Girl with a Red Beret and Pompom. Picasso evidently did not give the painting a title himself – so Caring decided to rename it “Annabel”, after a nightspot he owns in London’s Mayfair district. As one might expect, art historians are aghast.
So pronounces no less an authority than Dance Magazine about the two New York Giants players about the commercial in which they recreated the famous duet from Dirty Dancing. “And yes,” writes Courtney Escoyne, “they did The Lift.”
“The theater was so small, it was named the Little Theater. That was 106 years ago, and since then it has been reincarnated many times – renamed, repurposed, rehabilitated. Now known as the Helen Hayes Theater, … the 589-seat playhouse has a new mission: … to present work by living American playwrights, a form of counterprogramming at a time when Broadway is dominated by musicals, revivals and British imports.”
He didn’t begin his acting career until his 40s, but he worked steadily ever since – winning a Tony for John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves, earning several Emmy nominations for playing the Crane brothers’ father on Frasier, taking character roles in such films as Moonstruck and Say Anything. Above all, he was one of Chicago’s favorite stage actors; he took more than 30 roles with Steppenwolf alone, and he performed with many other companies there, large and small.
Magnificent Gesu Exhibit: Ask and You Shall Receive
As great projects often do, the amazing exhibition on view at the Fairfield University Art Museum began with an impossible dream. … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2018-02-04
John Mahoney, R.I.P.
John Mahoney, who died today at the age of seventy-seven, was an actor whose talents were discovered comparatively late in life — he became a member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1977, having previously … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2018-02-05
Berkshire Museum Saga: Proposed Agreement to Resolve Art-Sale Dispute Expected Soon in Court
It looks like an agreement may be in the works (subject to court approval) between the Berkshire Museum’s trustees and the Massachusetts Attorney General, regarding the museum’s controversial deaccessions. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-02-05
Would you vote for Julius Caesar?
Be honest – would you vote for any of these dodgy, blundering political contenders? The talking point around Nicholas Hytner’s production of Julius Caesar has been that many of us get to swarm around … read more
AJBlog: Performance Monkey Published 2018-02-05
The French horn presents composers with an interesting challenge. Inextricably tied to the heroic aspirations of the Romantic era, it often struggles to find a range of expression that lies outside of Wagnerian fantasies. … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2018-02-05
Monday Recommendation: Sultanof On Big Bands
Jeff Sultanof, Experiencing Big Band Jazz: A Listener’s Companion (Rowman & Littlefield) … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-02-05