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Wednesday, November 8


Study: A Failure In Higher Ed? A new study offers some dismal news about what college students learn in four years. "Seniors scored 1.5 percent higher on average than freshmen. In other words, four years and a couple hundred grand doesn’t buy much knowledge of American history. If the survey had been administered as an examination, seniors would fail with an average score of 53.2 percent The more elite institutions do not perform better than their less prestigious cousins—far from it." New Criterion 11/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 6:39 pm

Speaking In Tongues: And The Brain Scan Says ... "The passionate, sometimes rhythmic, language-like patter that pours forth from religious people who 'speak in tongues' reflects a state of mental possession, many of them say. Now they have some neuroscience to back them up. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. ... The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior." The New York Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:00 am

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Visual Arts

Investing In A ROM Story How do you get a big donor to step up and invest in your museum's story? You appeal to his interests. That's what the Royal Ontario Museum did, and it paid off big yesterday.
The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/08/06 Posted: 11/08/2006 7:15 am

Big Night At The Auction House Sotheby's makes a strong showing with Impressionists and Modern. "Throughout the evening, paintings by masters like Cézanne, Modigliani and Matisse that had been up at auction in recent years not only sold but also brought solid prices. Although there were few fireworks and only an occasional bidding war, the evening totaled $238.6 million, Sotheby’s highest auction total since spring 1990 and right in the middle of its estimate, $219 million to $299 million."
The New York Times 11/08/06 Posted: 11/08/2006 6:05 am

Max Ernst Painting Stolen From Art Colgne Fair "The abstract, untitled painting from about 1957 was noticed missing from the stand of Salis & Vertes, a gallery with branches in Salzburg, Austria, and St. Moritz, Switzerland, as employees were packing up at the end of the fair."
Bloomberg 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 4:59 pm

Lloyd Webber Foundation Can Sell Picasso That's what a judge rules. "The auction was halted after a German man claimed his ancestor was forced to sell the work during the 1930s."
BBC 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 4:45 pm

  • Christie's Still Might Not Sell ALW Picasso "Even though a Manhattan judge dismissed an attempt to block the sale of a $60m Picasso belonging to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christie’s looked set to withdraw the painting from auction on 8 November."
    The Art Newspaper 11/07/06 Posted: 11/07/2006 4:35 pm

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An Opera Cheesecake Calendar Chicago's OperaMode is making one of opera divas. "Some singers declined, fearing the exposure would harm their budding careers. Others stuck out more than their necks. Within a couple of weeks, OperaModa had 40 applicants for 13 slots." Chicago Tribune 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 7:59 am

Rzewski - Our Greatest? Frederic Rzewski is, writes Mark Swed, "the greatest pianist-composer of our time and something of a legend in modern music. Less a Beethoven, perhaps, than a latter-day leftist Liszt, Rzewski is also our anti-Liszt. He refuses to play the celebrity or music industry game. He operates as a hit-and-run artist, usually gone before you know what hit you." Los Angeles Times 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 6:57 am

Ho Hum, A Prize For New Classical Music? Why does contemporary classical music have such a bad image? "Compare this to the pull of contemporary visual art - the Turner Prize, for example, or the equivalent award for modern fiction, the Man Booker Prize. Both events generate reams of newspaper copy and huge public interest, leading to vast increases in the commercial viability of the prizewinner." New Statesman 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 6:34 pm

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Arts Issues

Portrait Of A Chicago Arts Exec (Female And White) "The Illinois Arts Alliance estimates that nearly 70 percent of Chicago-area arts organizations have female administrators (executive director or equivalent positions), based on an admittedly unscientific 2003 survey. 'It's a field that is predominantly female and predominantly white'." Chicago Tribune 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 8:02 am

Boxing And Phil And Klimt, Oh My What will Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year look like? It will be culture in broad strokes. "Last night the Liverpool Culture Company honoured that broad definition when it unveiled its long-awaited programme, a £95m mixed bag of 70 events ranging from the Berlin Philharmonic and a Gustav Klimt exhibition to the European senior boxing championships and a footballers' wives fashion show." The Guardian (UK) 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:55 pm

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Hearing Kiki Smith Coming Kiki Smith is an art-world fixture. "The hardest thing is to get past your taste — past your own formulaic way of doing things. Otherwise you’re stopped by what you know, which is limited. Chance is what a lot of artists use. In my case, I’ll arrange ways for things to be unpredictable." New York Times Magazine 11/05/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 6:55 pm

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What Les Miz Meant To Musical Theatre "The cultural impact of 'Les Misérables,' a product of its time, arriving at the end of the Cold War when politics went global and superpower alignments began to thaw, was revolutionary, and not only because it depicted the aftermath of the French Revolution." New York Sun 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 6:48 am

Aggregating The National Theatre Audience To Make Money "Seven major regional theaters around the country — from Seattle, Wash., to Providence, R.I. — have put video monitors in their lobbies to carry information and advertising. Movie theaters and some nonprofit theaters have long had TV monitors in their lobbies, but the new effort is part of a move to develop a national video network for advertisers." The New York Times 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 6:08 am

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Lam Wins Giller Vincent Lam, a Toronto East General doctor who wrote a collection of short stories called Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, wins Canada's Giller Prize. "My parents came to this country when multiculturalism was just beginning to be acknowledged. As their son and as the second generation, I am proud to be here." Toronto Star 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 7:20 am

Poking And Prodding Shakespeare Ron Rosenbaum has "now done for Shakespeare studies what he did for Hitler studies: he has researched and interviewed the foremost living scholars, theater directors, actors, and critics, added summaries of the work of a few seminal critics of the last century, interjected asides concerning his own encounters with the poems and plays as well as with particularly memorable productions, and withal tried gamely to make the scholarly and critical issues being 'warred' over seem anything but parochial." Commentary 11/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 6:47 pm

Pictures? Words? It's All Literature Should we take graphic novels (comics) seriously as literature? "Studies have shown a link between comics and increased literacy skills. Often, comics readers are just plain readers, and many fans of prose literature attribute their love of reading to comics. We also can't forget that we describe the act of reading comics as just that: reading. There's no other word that can adequately describe how we interact with stories told in that medium." Wired 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:06 pm

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Time Warner Pulling Out Of Chinese Theatre Deal "Warner Brothers International cinemas operates six cinemas with local partners and had planned to expand that to about 30, encouraged by a 2003 policy letting foreign investors hold up to 75 percent of cinema ventures in selected cities." Yahoo! (Reuters) 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 8:09 am

Google Gets Into Newspapers, Radio Ads After announcing it would start offering ways to buy ads in newspapers, Google says it's also getting into the radio ad busines. "Google is generally testing its ability to move into offline media, saying this week that it would help customers buy advertisements in 50 U.S. newspapers." Los Angeles Times 11/08/06
Posted: 11/08/2006 7:00 am

New Hollywood Economics Squeezes Stars "Movie and television studios, facing escalating budgets, rampant piracy and the uncertain future of new media, are demanding concessions from talent. But as actors, directors and writers feel the squeeze, many are not happy about it. Worse, the tension is not likely to ease soon. As studios are set to begin contract negotiations with talent in January, all sides are girding for battle." The New York Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 6:19 pm

FCC Throws Out Some Indecency Charges, Upholds Others "The Federal Communications Commission changed its mind and dismissed charges against two television shows it had deemed indecent but upheld its findings against two others." Backstage (AP) 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 4:53 pm

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Successfully Reinventing Sadler's Wells Dance "A recent Arts Council report cited contemporary dance as the fastest-growing art form in Britain, but even so few could have predicted the scale of the response to Alistair Spalding’s most popular seasons – of flamenco, hip-hop or Brazilian dance. By the end of his first year, audience figures were up by 40 per cent, and this year is likely to see a similar sort of increase." Financial Times 11/07/06
Posted: 11/07/2006 5:44 pm

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