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Weekend, March 4-5




Ideas

Harvard - Not What It Used To Be? "For the past three decades, Harvard's reputation for preeminence has not always reflected reality in Cambridge. Who now thinks Harvard is better in engineering than MIT or Caltech? Who thinks Harvard's Law School, hobbled by rancorous dissent, is better than Yale's, Virginia's, or Stanford's? Its Philosophy Department, once the home of William James, C.I. Lewis, and W.V.O. Quine, is now typically ranked below departments at Michigan and Pittsburgh. Harvard's relative decline is not entirely its own fault." Boston Globe 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 1:04 pm

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Visual Arts

Collectivity And The Dynamics Of Art Artist collectives change the dynamics of making art. "One way or another, joint production among parties of equal standing we're not talking about master artist and studio assistants here scrambles existing aesthetic formulas. It may undermine the cult of the artist as media star, dislodge the supremacy of the precious object and unsettle the economic structures that make the art world a mirror image of the inequities of American culture at large. In short, it confuses how we think about art and assign value to it. This can only be good." The New York Times 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 1:48 pm

British Museum Lends To China The British Museum is loaning 272 of its most precious artefacts to the Capital Museum of Beijing in one of the highest level cultural exchanges between the two countries. "Ancient Egyptian tablets, Greek busts and the world's oldest tool will be among the items on display in the first major overseas exhibition staged at the new museum - a gleaming structure of glass, steel and stone that opened in December." The Guardian (UK) 03/03/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 11:58 am

Stolen Matisse Offered For Sale Online One of the paintings stolen in Brazil has shown up for sale on the internet. "Henri Matisse's Luxembourg Gardens, which was taken from the Chacara do Ceu museum in Rio de Janeiro, was advertised on a Russian website. Brazilian police say they believe the stolen pictures are still in Rio." BBC 03/03/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 11:55 am

Corcoran Cuts Staff, Reimagines New Future Washington's Corcoran Gallery has cut staff, including its chief curator. The move comes one month before Paul Greenhalgh takes over as director. "Greenhalgh announced the cuts at a meeting Thursday for staff and faculty of the gallery and its College of Art and Design. He characterized the moves as part of an effort to help redirect the 137-year-old institution." Washington Post 03/04/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 11:00 am

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Music

Peter Gelb New Old Met So Peter Gelb is reinventing the Metropolitan Opera. "Radical as Mr. Gelb's initiatives might seem to Met-goers who prefer tradition to innovation and opera-as-vocal-display to opera-as-musical-drama, Mr. Gelb's bold new vision is in fact a version of a bolder old one, as he acknowledges. Mr. Gelb made reference, in the news conference announcing his plans and in a separate interview, to Rudolf Bing, the Met's legendary general manager from 1950 to 1972. His ambition to focus resources on creating wholly viable theatrical productions echoes one of Sir Rudolf's top priorities when he took over as general manager at the old Met." The New York Times 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 2:36 pm

Ailing Levine Pulls Out Of Important Tour After Fall James Levine has withdrawn from a national tour of the Boston Symphony after taking a fall last week. "The tour, with stops in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, and Washington, D.C., is the orchestra's first major American tour in several years and is designed to show other important musical centers the excitement Levine has generated with the orchestra." Boston Globe 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 1:07 pm

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`King Arthur,' Larmore joining MOB's 36th season Chicago Tribune 03/03/06
The Rehearsal Journal of Audra McDonald Opera News (3/1/06, etc)
Hey, Baby, It's Jimmy New York Magazine 1/16/06
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Arts Issues

Mills: Many Plans For Edinburgh Festival Jonathan Mills defends his appointment as the new director of the Edinburgh festival. "Without going into detail, he suggested expanding the festival into areas in which his predecessor Sir Brian McMaster had not been interested. There was scope, for instance, to do more work in the visual arts, he said, also hinting that he would like to encourage younger people to get involved. 'There's not going to be a revolution. I'm not going to do anything drastic, but there will be changes, gentle, gradual and subtle ones. Like every other organisation the festival has to evolve if it is to remain relevant'." The Observer (UK) 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 3:22 pm

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Row over Israeli tolerance museum BBC News 2/17/2006
The Cartoon Crisis GothamGazette.com 02/06
The Washington Post Freelancer's Guide to Not Getting Fired Washington City Paper 2/16/06
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People

Jowell, Husband Separate In Midst Of Financial Scandal UK Culture Minister Tessa Jowell has separated from her husband after "the 'painful discovery' that he did not tell her the full facts about his controversial financial deals." The Guardian (UK) 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 3:07 pm

Jimmy's Conducting Chair James Levine has a chair he has toi use when conducting. "I found one that seemed the right size and height and that was comfortable. The stage guys took it and reinforced it and put a new seat cover on it. I wound up using it for 10 years of 'Parsifal' and five seasons of the 'Ring' Cycle." Boston Globe 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 12:22 pm

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Theatre

Selling A Canadian Unknown On Broadway "How do you sell $1-million (U.S.) worth of tickets a week to a show that practically nobody's heard of? You cast your eyes across the Broadway musical-theatre landscape, and this is what you see stacked up against your baby: big stars and big brands. How do you position a smart, funny musical from first-time Broadway writers, with an ensemble cast and a lead from Canada?" You get unconventional... The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 2:52 pm

Playwrighting Chicago Chicago's always had a great theatre scene. "Many Chicago playwrights are perfectly happy to stay put -- as long as their work gets out on the road." Chicago Tribune 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 1:29 pm

Color Purple - A New Musical Juggernaut? "The Color Purple" got mixed reviews in New York. "But thanks in part to Winfrey's involvement with the show -- and its iconic title -- it has proved a broad popular hit. According to producer Scott Sanders, the New York production currently has $22 million banked in advance sales." And now a production is opening in Chicago for an extended stay. Chicago Tribune 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 1:22 pm

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Publishing

List: Publishing's New-Generation Power Brokers Who are the most powerful people in UK publishing? The Observer has made a list. "The list we have come up with, then, is a snapshot of an industry in flux, and it inevitably reflects the whims of our panel. To single out 50 players from a great cultural industry is almost impossible. Many of the people whose word counts for most pride themselves on their invisibility. Still, we think we have made good choices about a new generation of players." The Observer (UK) 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 3:39 pm

The New ErotiFiction "Ten years ago the bestseller lists were topped by the frustrated Bridget Jones, a fictional creation less interested in sex than in the cigarette she could smoke afterwards. A decade on and chick lit now seems curiously chaste, as lascivious as a warm mug of Horlicks. But a new kind of explicit bedside reading, both fictional and autobiographical, means the three-for-two counter in Waterstone's now displays the kind of X-rated material more traditionally found in a cornershop in Soho." The Guardian (UK) 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 3:00 pm

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Media

What Effect Does TV Have On You? A new study says TV isn't bad for you. But Virginia Heffernan doesn't believe it. "Television, after all, is the only art form reviewed in this newspaper that is also regarded as a public health hazard; maybe this news will help to clear its name and win it some respect. But I wouldn't count on it. Study after anti-television study has failed to pinpoint the exact perils that viewers are prone to, and yet the idea that television is dangerous persists as an article of faith." The New York Times 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 2:45 pm

Hollywood's Big Problem "Big Hollywood increasingly finds it difficult to make the kinds of high-profile movies that the industry likes to honor with its most important awards. You don't have to have followed all the reports of a box-office slump last year to know that Hollywood is in trouble. To judge by how executives at major studios often talk about their business, in their discussions about closing windows, new platforms and emergent technologies, the movies themselves barely count. What counts is when you can watch a film on your cellphone, not if there is something worth losing your eyesight over." The New York Times 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 2:11 pm

New HD DVDs About To Hit Market The new generation of high definition DVD formats is about to come to market. "As consumers, we have merely been spectators to the three-year fight over the next generation of DVDs. But very soon we will be right in the middle of the fray as high definition discs and decks finally arrive in shops." BBC 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 11:50 am

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Dance

Mark Morris In Miniature The Mark Morris Dance Group is celebrating its 25th anniversary. But Morris himslef is dancing less and less. "I'm barely dancing at all these days. And I don't think I'm going to perform on tour much anymore. But I'm not retired from the stage. I'm sure of that. I'll still be dancing in shows I plan to give in my own building. I like the scale there." The New York Times 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 2:32 pm

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