“In one of journalism’s most challenging jobs, Mr. Lehmann-Haupt was The Times‘s senior daily book critic from 1969 to 1995 … Readers and colleagues called him a judicious, authoritative voice on fiction and a seemingly boundless array of history, biography, current events and other topics, with forays into Persian archaeology and fly fishing.”
Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary poses the question “What is the relationship of art to money?” to a handful of prominent figures in the contemporary art world, including richer-than-god Koons, Sotheby’s chairman Amy Cappellazzo, self-styled populist critic Jerry Saltz, and the painter Larry Poons. Their answers, while often brazen, land ambivalently, creating an incomplete portrait of an art world that seems completely resigned to the status quo.
Here’s how archaeo-acousticians went about modeling, and then reproducing, the sound in the prayer hall/nave at four different points in the building’s history: when it was new in the 780s (you could hear a prayer clearly throughout the room), after subsequent enlargements (more echoes and “acoustical shadows”), and a renovation and expansion in the 1000s (a prayer “echoes as though it was recited deep inside a cave”).
“Long a staple of television, the technique has gained traction in recent years as an antidote to the kind of smash-cut film editing that first became popular in the ’90s before passing into cliché. But the execution of extreme close-ups requires a certain bravery on the part of actors: nary a blemish, a crow’s-foot wrinkle, or clogged pore will be spared the camera’s unblinking scrutiny.” Thank heaven for CGI.
Those who fund science research increasingly expect the public to be fully engaged with the scientific process. The Wellcome Trust in the UK and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation in the US are ploughing big money into science communication, and the results of this investment are far more exciting than a million TED Talks and podcasts.
“What kind of responsibility should fair organizers have to protect the buyers? It would be discriminatory for a fair to restrict the inclusion of a dealer because of past issues and bad press, but at the same time, buyers will assume that fairs are curated to some extent, and that those selling there have been screened by the organizers … In fact, most fairs charge for galleries to exhibit and sell in them, and so there is a financial disincentive to be choosy about who shows.” Noah Charney considers possible solutions.
“Yegor Mostovshikov is under no illusions about the names he and his co-founder chose for their media company, Mamikhlapinatana, and their main online news platform, Batenka, da vy transformer. Neither make any sense to the uninitiated, whether they speak Russian or English. … [Nevertheless,] over the last year, Mamikhlapinatana‘s monthly turnover more than doubled and it has grown from a side project, which Mostovshikov and co-founder Anton Yarosh ran in their spare time, to employing over 40 permanent staff.”
As a library, its details are impressive: The building has four floors, 240,000 square feet of internal space, a podcast and YouTube production studio, a performance hall, a grand reading room, a children’s library, a digital commons, heated handrails, an interior blending hyper-modern touches with traditional wood at almost every turn and $500,000 in indigenous placemaking work, mostly in the form of artworks. It also has 450,000 books.
How important was Washington’s addiction to land speculation to the course of American history? Kind of important – and undiscussed in most biographies. “As America’s god of the passage from colony to nation, Washington looked east to the past and west to the future. And when he faced west, he faced Indian country.”
Even today, where all you need is a social media account to be able to reach a potentially large audience, music competitions offer way more than just visibility. It’s like opening a window to let fresh air circulate: you need talent to travel, to become aware of what’s out there and to meet fellow musicians to work with. Plus, many competitions offer inexperienced players the chance to attend masterclasses led by world-class artists, and this is something not even a million Instagram likes can give you.
When I left NYCB I was looking at my decision as very black and white: either dance or school, with nothing in between. I imagined I’d go into a career completely separate from the ballet world. It would have relieved some of the pressure to have known that you can marry the two. Sometimes it’s a bit of a struggle, or even entertaining, to run from coding school to rehearsal, put your pointe shoes on, and be up and moving. But it is possible.
So why are these four books so special? It has to do, I think, with the concept of the original—a concept we have almost entirely lost touch with. The Beowulf Manuscript is not just composed of words that serve as the basis for every translation of the epic poem. It’s foremost an object, the only one of its kind. It is not merely a representation of a story; it is the story.
Under magnetic resonance imaging, they observed the mechanics of how the artists make the distinctive beats that sound like percussion instruments using only their mouths. In gritty black and white, their tongues leap and flip; a sound like a snare drum snaps out.
Almost 90 percent of the class’s members, or 24 million workers, live in urban counties, with more than 60 percent of them in urban counties in large metropolitan areas with over 1 million people. Just a bit more than one in 10 members of the creative class live in rural communities. But these broad trends mask more nuanced patterns in the distribution of the creative class across urban and rural communities.
When it comes to actual replacement fees, there’s more than just buying a new copy. I mean, hey, sometimes a library decides not to replace the thing that’s been lost or destroyed. Maybe the item wasn’t circulating all that well anyway or it’s a dead technology (i.e. VHS and microfilm and goddamn laser discs) that the library doesn’t want to keep in stock. Perhaps the patron will just pay a set fee that the library has created a policy for in the event of loss/damage. It’s all up to that particular branch, baby!
Regarding warning messages, researchers evaluated them to be sure they could be understood with a literacy level of 5th grade or lower. They initially hypothesized that the threat of fines alone was most likely to scare off illegal downloaders. But they were surprised to find that people are equally leery of being monitored by unknown entities — and pairing the repercussions proved most effective.
The idea that racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted views automatically disqualify a historical figure from admiration is misguided. Anyone who cannot bring themselves to admire such a historical figure betrays a profound lack of understanding about just how socially conditioned all our minds are, even the greatest. Because the prejudice seems so self-evidently wrong, they just cannot imagine how anyone could fail to see this without being depraved.
“Not only does [the episode] ‘Mac Finds His Pride’ contain heartfelt dialogue — like Mac admitting to Frank, ‘I don’t know where I fit in as a gay man and it’s starting to get to me. I’m not feeling very proud.’ — but it ends with a five-minute, show-stopping contemporary-dance number featuring Rob McElhenney and professional ballerina Kylie Shea.” Here’s the inside story of how McElhenney, who insists to this day that he cannot dance, pulled it off.
“The 25-year-old Joan Mitchell Foundation has worked tirelessly to promote her legacy while providing critical support for working artists, particularly women and artists of color. [Mike Scutari] recently had an opportunity to connect with the foundation’s CEO, Christa Blatchford, about the foundation’s evolution, the growth of artist-endowed foundations, and some of the larger trends permeating the arts philanthropy landscape.”
Many, maybe most, American orchestras would be very happy to program more contemporary work. But it’s not as simple as just deciding to do it, and there are more complications than simple fear of low ticket sales. Patrick Castillo, who is both a composer and a “recovering orchestra administrator” (he’s held senior artistic positions at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony), explains what the issues are and what the new music community can do to help.
“Kaitlyn Hova is many things: a violinist, a web developer, a designer, a composer and a neuroscientist. And it was the blurring of these interests that bore a clear and clever idea. … Hova and her husband, who cofounded Hova Labs, have developed the Hovalin, an open source, 3-D printable acoustic violin.” Here is an excerpt from her Q&A and demonstration at last year’s Long Conversation at the Smithsonian. (video)
“Faded and fractured, the reddish-orange image depicts a plump but slender-legged animal, probably a species of wild cattle that still lives on the island, or simply dinner in the eyes of the artist, if one streak of ochre that resembles a spear protruding from its flank is any guide. The animal is one of a trio of large creatures that adorn a wall in the Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo.”
The reattribution of Kitchen Maid (ca. 1620) “is the result of new conservation and research by the institution’s chief paintings conservator, Zahira Bomford … When she removed layers of wax, resin and repainting that marred the painting and completed various technical studies, she and others at the museum became convinced that her hunch was true.”
The CDN Central Library, designed by the starchitectural firm Snøhetta, physically straddles the light rail line that divides the city’s business and cultural districts from the much-poorer East Village. The city authorities and designers deliberately created a pleasing space for residents of all income levels to use for free, not to mention providing the access to computers and the internet that middle-class people take for granted.
It’s not just the election of Jair Bolsonaro (though that’s the tipping point); it’s the growing stridency of his conservative, and especially Evangelical, base, who (egged on by rumors and distortions on social media) have begun denouncing the work of some experimental artists and cultural figures as blasphemy or pedophilia. Some of those artists, facing death threats and not trusting the new government to protect them, are leaving the country.
“The artistic director of the Gogol Centre theatre said he did not understand the meaning of the prosecution’s indictment, which he compared to a ‘broken printer’ that repeats ‘absurd’ claims over and over. … Last week, Serebrennikov was nominated in three different categories for Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask theatre award,” and his staging of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, which he directed remotely while under house arrest, opened in Zurich.
“Preference for realistic art is a robust predictor of support for Brexit,” writes a research team led by Noah Carl of Nuffield College, Oxford. “The effect was comparable to the difference in support between those with a degree and those with no education.”
Sasha Waltz & Guests brings her Kreatur from Berlin to BAM.
The Wall Street Journal pays me to go see plays each week and write about them, which is my idea of a terrific way to earn a living. I have yet another reason for loving my job, though, one that might just be of even greater importance, which is that it forces me to engage each week with a brand-new set of experiences.
“[Five] renowned defectors from the Cuban National Ballet took the stage at the 26th Havana International Ballet Festival as part of a wide-ranging and profound reconciliation between Cuba and its millions of expatriates and exiles around the world. … Asked about his feelings upon performing once again in Cuba, [one of the returnees] began to cry.”