Why Do Some Of This Era’s Photos Look So Much Like Renaissance Paintings?

It’s not an accident. Ask Reddit. “These comparisons, while often funny, also come across as shockingly honest. They push aside the veneer of the present and the sense that what we are experiencing is unique to the time we live in. What’s left are raw emotions, echoing through centuries.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Visual, 01.16.21

Helga Weyhe, Germany’s Oldest Bookseller, 98

The store, which has endured through the creation of Germany, two world wars, Communism, and reunification, not to mention Amazon, was a family affair. “Weyhe was a lifeline of sorts to her customers. She traveled far and wide after East Germans were generally allowed to leave for tourism, bringing back her infectious enthusiasm for the outside world. ‘She brought a little bit of the world to Salzwedel,’ Ms. Lemm said.” – The New York Times
Tags: Amazon, Art, Germany, People, Lemm, Salzwedel, 01.14.21, Helga Weyhe, Weyhe

Why Do Some Mock Romance So Very Hard When It Sells Better Than Hotcakes Ever Will?

In the UK, for instance, publishing company Mills & Boon (the company that just landed Fergie as an author) publishes 700 books a year and sells one book every 10 seconds or so (and that’s only 16 percent of the romances sold per year in the UK). Author “Annie O’Neil, the writer of 25 Mills & Boon books, said people will say to her face that the books are easy to write, that she follows a formula. ‘I say to them, ‘Have you ever fallen in love? It must be exactly the same way my husband and I fe...
Tags: Art, UK, Fergie, Words, Mills Boon, 01.15.21, Annie O'Neil

Artist Kim Tschang-Yuel, 91, Painter Of Water – And The Trauma Of War

“Kim’s drops can seem to sit miraculously atop his raw canvases or be in the midst of gliding down them, leaving a trail of moisture. They glimmer with light and cast shadows, and while vividly present, they are always on the verge of evanescing.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Kim, 01.15.21, Kim Tschang Yuel

Hollywood, Like Many Americans, Has Been Looking For Villains In All The Wrong Places

And casting villains, that is to say law enforcement and others deeply committed to white supremacy, as heroes. But the new documentary MLK/FBI isn’t confused: it “weaves a deeply troubling portrait of King being hounded and harassed by the FBI, while the murders of his fellow activists went strangely unsolved.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Media, Fbi, 01.15.21

The Gatsby Glut

Hurrah for copyright expiration: There are many new editions, with introductions and critical essays by voices that haven’t been heard enough in the American canon. Then there are the graphic novels, editions with lavish new art, a novel about Nick Carraway’s life before Jay Gatsby, The Gay Gatsby (Just how is that different from the original, you may wonder? It’s overt), and, well, vampire Gatsby. We eagerly await the musicals. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Words, Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, 01.14.21

The Inaugural Poet, 22 Years Old, Is Probably The Youngest In US History

Amanda Gorman will read a poem called “The Hill We Climb” at the inaugural ceremony on Wednesday (assuming it goes according to plan). “Unlike most 22-year-olds, Gorman has experience in inaugural poetry, having written one for the inauguration of Harvard’s president Larry Bacow.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, US, Harvard, Words, Gorman, Amanda Gorman, 01.15.21

Trey Devey Shares his passion for Arts Education

“If we are empowered with creativity, with collaboration, with all of the skills that come from practicing the arts… that will lead to the breakthrough ideas.” Trey Devey, President of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, speaks to the power of arts education.
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Trey Devey, 01.16.21

A Black Dance Company In Los Angeles Gets Serious Funding

Black arts groups are “historically passed over for foundation funding of this magnitude,” but the Lula Washington Dance Theatre won over its grantors. The history of Black arts groups needing funding to get more funding is long and depressing – but things may be changing. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Los Angeles, Dance, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, 01.15.21, Black Dance Company In Los Angeles

What A New Video Game Teaches Us About The Ancient Greeks And Masculinity

For one thing, “we need to reorient our understanding of gender and beauty to talk about hotness in antiquity.” – Wired
Tags: Art, Visual, 01.16.21

The Biggest Mystery Of Bridgerton Is About That News Pamphlet

What’s Lady Whistledown’s business model? Seriously: To produce and print enough scandal sheets to feed the appetite of the ton, surely Lady Whistledown owns a printing press or something. And how does she pay her workers? Also, let’s talk about that typeface. – Slate
Tags: Art, Media, Lady Whistledown, 01.15.21

The Musical Fantasy World Created By Teens That Has Spawned Three Concept Albums For Broadway Shows

Yes, it’s partly because of TikTok and the world of duets, collaborations, and free-flowing (but in this case, very directed) creativity. But it’s so much more: “Averno [is] the setting of a sprawling, cross-platform universe over TikTok (125,000 followers), Instagram (47,000 followers), Spotify (1.4 million streams), YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr. It encompasses podcasts, livestreams, novels and short stories, TV and film scripts, an extensive alternate-reality game and, yes, musicals — all at d...
Tags: Art, Spotify, Instagram, Theatre, Audience, YouTube Twitter, Tiktok, Broadway Shows, 01.15.21

Can TV Writers Help Curb The Pandemic?

TV writers have helped changed public opinion on drunk driving, cigarette smoking, and – in the opposite direction – marriage equality. Why not mask-wearing, social distancing, and getting vaccinated? – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media, 01.15.21

Coventry Rebuilt Itself After WWII, But Now Town Planners Want To Knock Those Buildings Down

Coventry is the UK 2021 city of culture. But … yikes. “Much of the city’s pioneering postwar urban fabric is under threat. A gargantuan planning application has been submitted to demolish half of the town centre and replace it with a shopping mall with flats on top, in what has been condemned as a violent assault on the city’s modernist heritage, just when it should be being celebrated.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, UK, Visual, 01.15.21

Hey America, Our To-Do Lists Will Never Get Shorter

Well, not in the foreseeable future, anyway, unless we can accept some “okayist” awards instead of trying to be number one all of the damn time. “Two developments that are making a substantial group of Americans busier, Sayer explained, are that a larger share of the country now takes on the combined ‘social roles’ of worker, spouse, and parent, and that the expectations of each have risen. Increases in busyness, she told me, are a matter of ‘both feeling like there’s more [to do and] feeling t...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Sayer, 01.15.21

Dancers Are Still Trying To Break Down Gender Stereotypes In Ballet

Ashton Edwards, an 18-year-old student at the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division, got tired of studying for and dancing “male roles.” Last year, the dancer said was ready to go after something else – en pointe work. Peter Boal, the ballet’s artistic director: “Ballet can be a little bit slow. We said, ‘Why not? Lead us and we will work with you.’ ” – NPR
Tags: Art, Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Peter Boal, 01.16.21, Ashton Edwards

An Author And Editor Says To Stop Thinking Books Have Meaning For Everyone

Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning: “I grew up middle class and I went to school, and from the school bus you’d see kids washing plates in the gutter, working at these little roadside eateries. We had to get school uniforms made, and the tailor’s apprentice would be a person your age. Books are very meaningful to me; at the same time, I believe books do nothing for a lot of people, and that is a very valuable truth too.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Audience, Megha Majumdar, 01.16.21

The True Events That Inspired The Movie One Night In Miami

The film is based on a one-act play by Kemp Powers (a long one-act play), and the playwright calls it “a work of fiction powered by the truth” – the truth being that Malcolm X, Cassius Clay before he was Muhammed Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown, “four modern legends, really did hang out for one night in Miami, and yes, they really did bond over vanilla ice cream. – Vulture
Tags: Art, Media, Miami, Kemp, Jim Brown, 01.16.21, Malcolm X Cassius Clay, Muhammed Ali Sam Cooke

Mary Catherine Bateson, Author Of ‘Composing A Life’ And Daughter Of Margaret Mead, 81

Bateson, an anthropologist like her famous parents Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, had a busy and famously documented life. “Still, it wasn’t her babyhood, her lineage or her scholarship — an expert on classical Arabic poetry, she was as polymathic as her mother — that brought Dr. Bateson renown; it was her 1989 book Composing a Life, an examination of the stop-and-start nature of women’s lives and their adaptive responses — ‘life as an improvisatory art,’ as she wrote.” – The New York Times...
Tags: Art, People, Margaret Mead, Bateson, Gregory Bateson, Mary Catherine Bateson, 01.14.21

The Stagehands Union Says It’s Time To Let Them Run Mass Vaccine Sites In Now-Empty Performance Spaces

This seems almost too obvious when one considers it. The people who know how to set up almost any kind of venue, run crowd control with various safety protocols, and already showed they can help create field hospitals? “The response to the tweet has been positive with union members chiming in offering their support. ‘We REALLY want to help,’ wrote one Twitter user, while another suggested using movie studio lots.” – Variety
Tags: Art, Ideas, 01.16.21

The Movie Soul Is About A Black Man, But In Some Countries, He’s Voiced By A White Guy

Europe, excuse us, but what are you doing? “Asta Selloane Sekamane, one of the activists who criticized the casting … said in an interview that no one can claim there wasn’t enough Black talent to fill the main roles, because actors of color were hired to voice some of the minor parts. ‘It can’t be the constant excuse, this idea that we can’t find people who live up to our standards,’ she added. ‘That’s an invisible bar that ties qualification to whiteness.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Europe, Issues, 01.16.21, Asta Selloane Sekamane

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