Books: Gardens: Getting Personal

Of course when Dan Hinkley left Heronswood, we knew that he would have to design and plant another garden with wondrous plants. That's true, and his experience with the second garden is detailed in Windcliff: A Story of People, Plants, and Gardens (Timber Press, 2020). A lot of Hinkley's many... [Author: Jane Berger]
Tags: Books, Gardening, Design, Designers, Plants, Hinkley, Heronswood, Dan Hinkley, Garden Design, Jane Berger, Garden Books, Timber Press, Bill Noble, People Plants and Gardens Timber Press

Theatres That Were Already Working On Flexibility Have The Advantage Now

As Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre director of development Jamie Clements notes, “Patrons tend to fall on a continuum between wanting fixed seats and wanting options; providing a flexible membership opened the door to those on the continuum looking for the ability to adjust.” And, obviously, 2020 demands the utmost flexibility from theatres and their patrons. – American Theatre
Tags: Art, Theatre, Atlanta, Audience, Jamie Clements, 11.12.20

The Vanished Botticelli In The Middle Of Lawsuits, Tax Havens, And A Multi-Country Investigation

Who owns the 1485 Madonna and Child? And, perhaps more importantly for art lovers, where is the painting? The tale is long, twisty, and intensely shady. – The Observer (UK)
Tags: Art, Madonna, Visual, 11.15.20

The Pandemic Has Leveled The Playing Field For Smaller Theatres

How did a theatre in West Yorkshire get Derek Jacobi, Stephen Fry, Alfred Enoch, Rebecca Front, Celia Imrie and Griff Rhys Jones? Well, streaming makes some things a little easier. It even snagged a review in The New York Times. And it’s not alone: “With live performances either difficult or impossible since March, many other agile theatre-makers have also been experimenting with recorded audio and video works that blur the traditional boundaries.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Theatre, New York Times, West Yorkshire, Griff Rhys Jones, 11.13.20

An Obama May Save Bookstores, Again

At least that’s the hope of many U.S. booksellers – that the 44th president’s memoir will juice sales in a way that will help offset pandemic losses. “Demand among American customers is so high that Penguin Random House, Crown’s parent company, has printed 1.5 million copies in Germany to bring over on cargo ships.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Obama, Germany, Words, Penguin Random House, 11.15.20

Rome’s Infamous Graffiti Artist Is No Longer Anonymous

And Geco isn’t seen with the same, let’s call it reverence, that many give Banksy. Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi: “‘He has soiled hundreds of walls and buildings in Rome and other European cities, which had to be cleaned using public funds.’ She posted a photo of ‘hundreds of spray paint cans, thousands of stickers,’ and other tricks of the trade that she said investigators had confiscated from the apartment of Rome’s most-wanted graffiti painter.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Rome, Visual, Virginia Raggi, 11.14.20, Banksy Rome

Ugly New Buildings Keep Going Up, And Up, And Up Some More

Rowan Moore found evidence of ugly buildings not only in the UK, but across the world. Why? Modern construction streamlining, perhaps. “It’s not that you can’t design good buildings with modern techniques, but it takes skill and thought. It also takes a degree of influence over detail that modern building contracts, which tend to empower contractors to do what they like, often deny to architects.” – The Observer (UK)
Tags: Art, UK, Visual, Rowan Moore, 11.15.20

Considering Alexander Hamilton’s Legal World, And The World Of The Musical

“Hamilton’s life in ‘musical-theater land,’ as Miranda cast it, and Hamilton’s reincarnation in legal-literature land, as Tucker framed it, remind us that where we stand determines what we see. Perspectives change. As they do, so does our understanding of history.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Theatre, Miranda, Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, Tucker, 11.13.20

The Horse As Witness And Metaphor

Deborah Butterfield’s various horse sculptures have the kind of power that can truly only come from years of history and metaphor. And the artist is aware of all of it. They’re represented the artist/gallery relationship, the idea of male dominion over the earth, and more. Now, she says, “they represent what is/was wonderful about our earth — what we haven’t ruined yet.”  – Glasstire
Tags: Art, Visual, Deborah Butterfield, 11.14.20

Bronx Museum Of The Arts Names A New Director

And it’s the same name as the interim director – Klaudio Rodriguez, born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami, who joins a small but growing coterie of Latinx museum directors in the U.S. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Miami, Nicaragua, Visual, Latinx, 11.13.20, Bronx Museum Of The Arts Names, Klaudio Rodriguez

The Story Of That Viral Image Of Ruby Bridges And Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

The idea came from a 62-year-old Black man, the art from his collaborator, a 23-year-old white woman. “Not long after the photo illustration went viral, Bridges shared it with a comment on Instagram. ‘I am Honored to be a part of this path and Grateful to stand alongside you,’ she wrote.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Kamala Harris, Visual, 11.13.20

Social Media’s Promise Was All About Connection

Instead, it’s turned us into separate – and sometimes extremely hostile – factions. “Particularly when we’re scared, we regress further into tribalism and tend to trust the information relayed to us by our tribe and not by others. Normally, that’s an evolutionary advantage. Trust leads to group cohesion, and it helps us survive.” Not so on social media. – Fast Company
Tags: Art, Media, Social Media, 11.13.20

Lynn Kellogg, Debutante Turned Hippie In ‘Hair,’ Has Died Of Covid-19 At 77

Kellogg played Sheila in the Broadway run of the countercultural musical. Hair “has always been an ensemble show, but Sheila is the closest thing it has to a female lead.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Broadway, Sheila, Kellogg, 11.13.20, Lynn Kellogg Debutante

As A New Potential Lockdown Looms, Canada’s Indie Bookstores Are Doing Surprisingly Well

Personalized book and wine deliveries, a mix of weekly children’s online reading clubs, subscriptions services, and a heavy uptick in the use of the internet – all are helping Canadian independent bookstores survive. But another lockdown may be coming before buyers can get their holiday shopping finished, a make or break proposal for small indies. – CBC
Tags: Art, Canada, Words, 11.12.20

How One Theatre Tried To Make Waiting In A Georgia Voting Line A Little More Fun

The theatre chosen as a polling place wanted to make sure first-time voters had a good time just the way they tried in non-Covid times to make sure first-time theatregoers enjoyed their time. So: Snacks, apolitical music, “line-warming” activities, a slideshow, and more. “One of the women working with me day of said, ‘More theaters should run voting. This is what the voting experience should be.'” –
Tags: Art, Theatre, Audience, 11.13.20

Google Arts And Culture As An Agent Of Ethnic Cleansing

In early November, Azerbaijan declared victory over Armenia in the area of Nagorno Karabakh, known as Artsakh to Armenians. “There are thousands of unprotected and inadequately documented ancient Armenian monuments in the recently conquered territory. … These include khachkars, monasteries, and churches that have been in use longer than almost any religious buildings in the world.” They’re at risk of being destroyed. And Google Arts & Culture’s info about the area appears to have been written b...
Tags: Google, Art, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Visual, Nagorno Karabakh, 11.13.20

The Washington Ballet’s Plan For Ballet During Covid-19

They went fully digital for 2020-2021, making a deal with Marquee TV for four performances. The dancers were split up into 10-person pods, with tests before rehearsal and before filming. Composers Zoomed into orchestra rehearsals. It wasn’t easy, but: “Dancing in a mask and the restraints of the protocol, I mean, nobody loves it. But in comparison to not dancing, really, it’s nothing.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Dance, Washington Ballet, 11.12.20

In Nigeria, A New Museum And Archaeology Project – With Help From The British Museum

The indelible museum scene in Black Panther might come to mind, except in this case, the British Museum is going to “work with Nigerian teams on the creation of a new Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) and accompanying archaeology project.” But will Britain give back more than 950 Benin bronzes? Hm. – BBC
Tags: Art, Nigeria, Britain, British Museum, Benin, Visual, 11.13.20, Edo Museum of West African Art EMOWAA

Life Might Just Find A Way

That is, biological organisms may be making choices with goals in mind. This is a big change in the mindset of biology researchers. “The latest research suggests that it’s wrong to regard agency as just a curious byproduct of blind evolutionary forces. Nor should we believe that it’s an illusion produced by our tendency to project human attributes onto the world. Rather, agency appears to be an occasional, remarkable property of matter, and one we should feel comfortable invoking.” – Aeon Magaz...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.13.20

Want To Know How The Pandemic Will Play Out?

Ask some science writers. Or, if you want to stay happy, maybe don’t. “The most optimistic scenario they could muster: a series of deescalating surges, mitigated by a slowly disseminated vaccine and perhaps some herd immunity.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.14.20

Thinking About Indie Bookstores

One bookstore near the High Line in New York: “The last day we were open, I asked customers where they were from. Turned out that they were all British flying back home. The last sale was to an Englishman, who bought Albert Camus’ The Plague. We wished each other luck.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, New York, Words, Albert Camus, 11.13.20

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