For example, in 2015 a small New Jersey auction house offered for a few hundred dollars what it thought was an anonymous 19th-century painting; Bertrand Talabardon was pretty sure it was an early Rembrandt – and he was right. Nina Siegal looks at the ‘sleeper’ phenomenon and the culture around so-called “sleeper-spotters.”
“Opera North is great at delivering obscure fan references, classical music in-jokes and offering a creative approach to backstage insight. In recent years its online and offline communications have captured the spirit of life behind the curtain. When we work in the arts it’s easy to forget how special the view from the wings can be, and its campaigns for Kiss Me Kate, Eight Little Greats (which tours this autumn) and its season guides feature artistic photography opening up what’s usually unseen for its fans. And for those new to opera, exclusive access is a great way to welcome them into the club – it’s almost like you’re one of the team.”
“As artistic neighbors go, Howard Shalwitz and Michael Kahn appear to be miles apart. Shalwitz runs the new-plays troupe Woolly Mammoth Theatre; Kahn heads the classical Shakespeare Theatre Company. Woolly seats 265; the STC’s two stages combined hold more than 1,200. … Swinging up and down Seventh Street between the Lansburgh and Woolly from morning till night, these are glimpses of a day in the life as Shalwitz and Kahn gear up for their latest shows and power down their leadership roles.”
“Last weekend’s NFL drama touched on many issues, including police brutality, racism, and free speech. For many who opposed the protests, however, it all came down to one thing: respecting the flag and our country’s national anthem. But while critics claim that the anthem is above politics, radical uses and re-writings of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ are, in fact, older than the song as we know it.” (audio)
The case concerns two works, White Palm on Red and Green Snail on Blue, that were among hundreds stolen from a cache of works belonging to one of Matisse’s sons stored at a Paris warehouse shortly after that son died in 1989. Many of those works were recovered; these two turned up at Sotheby’s Paris in 2008 with no line of provenance submitted, and without authentication, the house wouldn’t sell them. So the consignor is suing the Matisse family.
Richard Brody picks them: There’s plenty of great dancing in studio-era Hollywood, but the cinematic master of dance is Busby Berkeley, whose career and creativity were at their zenith in the nineteen-thirties and early forties but whose genius reached a latter-day height in the musical “Small Town Girl” (YouTube, Vudu, and Google Play), from 1953.
The gap in attendance between adults living in the 20% most deprived areas and the 20% least deprived has fallen to its lowest in five years, to 15 percentage points – down from 18 percentage points in 2012, and 21 percentage points in 2014.
Engagement in music activities among young people aged 11 to 15 has been on a slow and steady decline since it reached a peak in 2011/12 when 77% reported participating. But this proportion has fallen dramatically over the last year from 70% to 61%.”
Well, it’s the earliest one anyone has found, anyway, and it almost sounds like a parody of itself: “an untitled, previously unknown work that he wrote at the age of 10.”
Yes, she is the daughter of William Morris, and yes, their art is similar. But actually, we might think that because her work was mistaken for his for decades: “Subsequent archival research has revealed that it was actually the work of his daughter. May Morris was one of the leading artists of the Arts and Crafts movement whose designs for everything from wallpaper to baby’s Christening mittens became the defining feature of many a wealthy, progressive household at the beginning of the 20th century.”
During the many hours of Erik Satie’s “Vexations,” the reporter says, “I felt, by turns, agitated, frozen and delirious. But I also left with the clearest mind and best hearing I’ve ever known. Here’s how it happened.”
The problem: “Moneyball-ization assumes that all information is reliable information, algorithms are unbiased magic, and big data can also paint the big picture.”
He didn’t start life as an opera queen – “As a budding young journalist in New York, he was known to take potshots at the etiquette and artifice of what he saw as an aristocratic pastime. Whitman cultivated a more democratic persona and preferred popular songs, which he called ‘heart’ — as opposed to ‘art’ — music.” – but bel canto won him over, and massively influenced Leaves of Grass too.
Good news? Or … not really? “A greater number of minority and female directors with their first gigs is no guarantee, however, that more of them will go on to become established directors. The study also tracked the careers of directors before and after their first directing jobs. It found that 66 percent of new directing hires had already been affiliated with the series for which they directed. Of this group, only 40 percent were subsequently hired by other series. Membership in the pipeline is no guarantee of future success.”
Long before Haki Madhubuti established Third World Press – now turning 50 – on Chicago’s South Side, he was a 14-year-old living in Detroit. “His mother gave him a firm order: Go down to the public library and check out ‘Black Boy’ by Richard Wright.” That changed the course of his life, and of publishing for African Americans.
For instance: “You know those scented, ‘personal’ travel candles that are supposed to set the mood, calm your mind, and give you double points on your AmEx? Take one with you to the church in Rome so you don’t have to rationalize and/or feel bad if you can’t buy one.”
Matilda lavishly depicts the true story of Czar Nicholas II’s affair with a ballerina – but the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the Czar in 2000, and now there have been Molotov cocktails, arson, and threats to burn down (or blow up) movie theaters that show the film.
The news isn’t exactly scintillating. “The continued rise of streaming services, and their need for a constantly renewed library of content, means that informational documentaries will continue to be made. … They demand little of the viewer and are easy to digest, not to mention relatively cheap to produce. But at the same time, in the case of literature, they reduce their subject to a series of outworn clichés, where the lives of all writers begin to resemble each other.”
Seriously, this helps makes sense of our weird reactions: “It begins to make sense why, whenever the former neighbours of a serial killer are interviewed, they consistently report not being able to believe that their neighbour actually killed multiple people.”
While some of these 10 warriors have been exhibited elsewhere, the institute is enhancing the experience with augmented reality technology to digitally recreate weapons and other objects that were originally held by the statues. The original artifacts crumbled and vanished as earthen walls and roof timbers collapsed during the warriors’ long occupancy of three underground pits.
At the age of 41 (he turns 42 on Saturday), Mr. Coates has become one of the most influential black intellectuals of his generation, joining predecessors including Ms. Morrison, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Dr. Cornel West. “He’s a rock star,” said Dr. Nell Irvin Painter, professor emeritus of American history at Princeton University, adding that Mr. Coates is asking questions that even “other historians have not been asking.”
“The images spread as they do because, taken together, they can seem to reveal hidden truths about a president who remains, for all his spotlighting and swaggering, a cipher. This is an era, after all, in which the American public, primed with Making a Murderer and American Crime Story and NCIS, embraces forensic analysis as a form of entertainment. In that context, each new image of the president, and each image of the people and things surrounding him, takes on not only the quality of art—provocative, illustrative, asking to be analyzed—but also the quality of a mystery.”
The Ballet Nacional Sodre in Montevideo has been making strides and leaps (ahem) since the former international star, a native of neighboring Argentina, became director of the company in 2010. The announcement that he’s resigning as director made news in South America last month, but he’s not actually leaving the company: he’ll focus solely on training its dancers.