Founded 150 years ago and now in its fourth location within Baltimore, A.T. Jones is believed to be the oldest continually running costume shop in the country, and it’s as storied as the plays and operas for which it provides wardrobes.
“Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue,” Tom Nichols would write in the preface to The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Expertise and Why It Matters, which was published by Oxford last year and quickly became a bestseller. “To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything.” Further down the page, he would add: “I’m worried.”
One week after architect Kunlé Adeyemi collected the Silver Lion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, “the Makoko Floating School collapsed. All that remained of the structure heralded as a bellwether of change for a slum and its inhabitants was a flattened pile of planks adrift in the waters of a polluted lagoon. What follows is an account of the school’s stunning rise and fall.”
“We should fear Grant Wood,” noted art critic Gertrude Stein once wrote. “Every artist and every school of artists should be afraid of him, for his devastating satire.” Novelist Jane Smiley travels to the places in Iowa where the painter of American Gothic (and much more) lived and worked – and writes about some of the things Wood wanted to hide.