“Artist and printmaker Lilian May Miller constructed her personal image as consciously as she did her artwork. When she was in Japan, she wore Western clothing, often favoring Amelia Earhart-esque ties and mannish blazers. On a 1929 lecture tour in America, on the other hand, at a time when Japanese women were casting off kimonos, she wore traditional Japanese dress. She cropped her hair short, went by Jack among family and friends, and described herself as unable to work up ‘even the ghost of’ a romantic interest in men.”
“While inspecting the property for damage, workers discovered additional layers of walls that they did not know existed. The inner walls, hidden behind the outer walls, contained insulation that took on water and remain potentially infected with bacteria that could grow if left in the basement.” Re-opening of the venue, home to Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet, has been postponed from May until at least September.
“In more than a dozen books and thousands of lectures that were an awe-inspiring form of performance art, Dr. Scully sought to impart several central ideas: that buildings help define a culture, that architecture should be a humanizing force and that a well-built community can foster a well-lived life.”
Independent drama schools where such legendary teachers as Stella Adler, Uta Hagen and Sanford Meisner are getting squeezed by the rising costs of space, competition from university-based programs, and smaller pools of students – students who, often as not, are more interested in audition-skills classes than in honing their craft.
“It’s understood close to half of the current 36 dancers employed by the national ballet company will have left by the new year, not all by choice – less than six months after a new artistic director took over. It’s the second year in a row the national ballet company … has gone through an artistic upheaval.”
Dale Johnson, alongside longtime president Kevin Smith, saw the company through more than one crisis and led it to become one of the most admired regional opera houses in the country, one with a special emphasis on producing new work.
Yes, one expert says, what you might suspect is the reason actually is the reason: “It all goes back to Harry Potter.”
Avram Finkelstein: “For public discourse to pierce through the churning perpetual motion machine of the American commons, it needs to come in bursts. Manifestos don’t work. Sentences barely do. You need sound bites, catchphrases, crafted in plain language. The poster is exactly that, a sound bite, and vernacular to the core. The poster perfectly suits the American ear.”
Though, of course, humans use organization for good and for evil: “The index card was a product of the Enlightenment, conceived by one of its towering figures: Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and the father of modern taxonomy. But like all information systems, the index card had unexpected political implications, too: It helped set the stage for categorizing people, and for the prejudice and violence that comes along with such classification.”
Ariane Mnouchkine, a founder of the Théâtre du Soleil (the founders got the theatre’s acreage in 1970 by squatting at a building the army abandoned), lives her values, including getting ready to cancel a hugely expensive trip to the U.S. if three Afghanistan-born actors can’t get visas. “Among the 100 members of her troupe, 26 countries are represented and as many languages spoken. In an era of creeping nationalism and ambient xenophobia, Ms. Mnouchkine stands firmly opposed to reflexive demonization.”
The signatories include art historians like Lucy Lippard and Hal Foster, and artists as well, in the wake of the final meeting of NY’s Mayoral Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers. “These monuments are an affront in a city whose elected officials preach tolerance and equity. … We encourage the Commission to seize this opportunity to make a brave, even monumental, gesture that will resonate for generations to come, rather than a politically expedient fix that will be easily absorbed — and quickly forgotten — by the status quo.”
Composer David Lang wrote the Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, and “more than 1,500 broken musical instruments have been sourced from the dusty corridors of the School District of Philadelphia, which has no budget to fix them.”
“The quarter-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long) panorama toured the U.S. after it was completed in 1848. A section was featured at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. But the panorama deteriorated after so much traveling on wagons and trains, rolling and unrolling. Paint dried up and flaked off, and the panorama was put into storage.”
“Arguments from economic rationality can obscure as much as they reveal. For if capitalism meant the transformation of land and lives into units of wealth-producing human capital, it also meant the transformation of sickness and death into a currency of wealth-reducing decapitalization. And this poses a question: wealth for whom?”