The Hidden, All Too Contemporary, History Behind Middlemarch

No, it’s not that many mediocre men are threatened by smart women (timeless!) or that mismatched marriages can destroy those in the marriage (also timeless!). It’s about plague. – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, 02.12.21

When Science Doesn’t Cut It

Director Iram Parveen Bilal (I’ll Meet You There) explains: “I’m the daughter of a physicist mother and a chemistry professor father. … We were told from the get-go that education is your passport. And when I came to Caltech, I realized that even though I was good at science, it came naturally to me, it wasn’t ticking the passion clock. I wanted to interact with people. I was in the subbasement of an applied physics lab in Caltech, you know, streaming DNA strands on semiconductor chips.” Hence,...
Tags: Art, Media, Caltech, Iram Parveen Bilal, 02.13.21

Why Are The Met’s Trustees Sitting Idle While The Museum Contemplates Selling Its Treasures?

The problem isn’t earned income lost to tourism (that is, no tourism). The problem is the trustees. “Met trustees established a special fund to deal with the pandemic crisis. So far, according to the museum’s spokesperson, the board has raised ‘just north of $25 million.’ That is, in a word, pathetic. Since the pandemic began, America’s billionaire class has seen its wealth rise to astonishing levels.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, America, Visual, 02.14.21

Missing ‘Bridgerton’? Turn To TikTok

First there was Ratatouille: The Musical or Ratatousical, which raised more than a million dollars for actors, with the no doubt bemused blessing of Disney. Then TikTok went sea chanty. Now? It’s Bridgerton: The Musical. (Bridgertousical?) “Barlow and Bear’s frequent postings on social media have drawn lots of attention, including from Bridgerton cast members. And the pair says they’ve been approached by several people in the entertainment industry about developing the project professionally.” ...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Barlow, Bridgerton, 02.13.21

Moving The Louvre’s Collection Far From The Floods

In 2016, when the Seine flooded its banks, museum workers toiled 24 hours a day to haul thousands of artworks out of underground storage for their protection. Cut to now: “For more than 16 months, a stream of trucks has quietly hauled treasures from the museum’s central Paris basement, and other sites, to the Louvre Conservation Center, a fortress of culture set up in the town of Liévin, near Lens.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Paris, Seine, Visual, Liévin, 02.12.21, Lens The New York

Cole Porter Created A Pro-Immigration Protest Ballet In The 1920s

Of course he did. “Like modern immigration laws, the [1921] Emergency Quota Act inspired a wave of pro-immigration activism, and Porter, who was born to the state’s wealthiest family and lived abroad after graduating from Yale, was part of it.” – Indianapolis Monthly
Tags: Art, Indianapolis, Dance, Yale, Porter, 02.12.21

The Modernist Poet Who Understood The Precarity Of Civilization

Aime Césaire, whose Discourse on Colonialism remains (all too) relevant – and who protested to some effect in 2005after French President Jacques Chirac instructed schools to teach about the “positive role” of colonialism – was also “an imaginative writer who molded the French language to make a personal poetry characterized by hypnotic physicality, ritualized anguish, and metaphorical exorcisms.” – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, Words, Jacques Chirac, Aime Cesaire, 02.13.21

Legendary Casting Director Lynn Stalmaster Has Died At 93

You know his work even if you don’t know of the man. “Stalmaster’s accomplishments are too numerous to list exhaustively, but among them: He became the first casting director to receive an honorary Oscar in 2016; he was the first casting director to receive a solo title card in a film’s credits, for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968); he cast about 400 films and TV shows from 1955-2017; and he helped launch the careers of countless actors who went on to be major stars.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, People, Lynn Stalmaster, 02.13.21

Will Covid-19 Kill The Pandemic Movie?

Maybe, but then again, the form has a way of shifting with new information to meet the times. However, it will have to be something other than documentary: “Unless there emerges a bizarre public hunger for films in which tired parents try to connect their tablets to Google Classroom during a phone call with their boss, it is hard to think that anyone will want to watch the reality of this pandemic reflected back at them.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Media, Google Classroom, 02.11.21

What The ‘To All The Boys’ Trilogy Has Meant For Its Star

Lana Condor on the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy author Jenny Han: “When we first were talking years ago, she said, ‘I just want you as Lana and as a young Asian-American girl to have the same opportunities that Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss would have or Kristen Stewart as Bella from Twilight.’ And that was before we even knew we would have three movies. I’ve never had anyone say that to me, particularly as an Asian-American actress.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Jennifer Lawrence, People, Kristen Stewart, Bella, Lana, Lana Condor, Jenny Han, 02.12.21

Brenda Ballin, Longtime And Well Loved Guide At The Met, 91

Ballin started volunteering as a docent in the 1970s. “Whatever lucky group she had in tow was pretty much guaranteed a good show. Along with an extensive knowledge of the artworks, she contributed sharp opinions and a wicked sense of humor to the proceedings, making a walk through the American Wing or a ‘highlights of the museum’ tour a much livelier excursion than a museum visitor might expect.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Ballin, 02.12.21, Brenda Ballin

What We Talk About When We Talk About Amy Tan

Maybe Asian American writers should stop dissing Tan. “I understand the resistance to being lumped in with her; I feel it, too. But when I recently re-read The Joy Luck Club, I could not help but to be moved by the stories of mothers and daughters, how they accumulate layers and imbue domestic life with the power it has always had: to travel through time and space, to contain rooms beyond literal rooms, where imperfect people intersect in messy ways.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, Amy Tan, 02.12.21

The Indianapolis Museum Of Art’s Job Ad Asked Director To Maintain A ‘Traditional, Core, White Audience,’ Which Did Not Go Over Well

The explanation of the current CEO and director of the Indianapolis Museum didn’t, perhaps, help. Charles L. Venable said that “the decision to use ‘white’ had been intentional, and [he] explained that it had been intended to indicate that the museum would not abandon its existing audience as part of its efforts toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum, Charles L Venable, 02.13.21

The Secret Life Of Museums During Lockdowns In The UK

Each lockdown has meant something different for the staff, especially of science and natural history museums. For instance, James Maclaine, senior fish curator at London’s Natural History Museum, has to keep the flesh-eating beetles alive and make sure the freezers are running. “We have a lot of material in freezers which we haven’t been able to process yet and if anything goes wrong there it would be extremely unpleasant for all concerned.” – BBC
Tags: Art, UK, London, Natural History Museum, Visual, 02.13.21, James Maclaine

What’s The Best Place To Work (And Work Only) From Home?

Turns out it might not be sitting on the couch behind your daughter in the TV room. (Who could have known, pre-pandemic?) – Fast Company
Tags: Art, Ideas, 02.12.21

How A Few Women, In Just A Couple Of Years, Changed The Course Of Art In The U.S.

Women Artists for Revolution (W.A.R., of course) weren’t shy about their rallying cry in 1969. “The group ignited a robust movement against gender discrimination within, and widespread exclusion from, New York City’s patriarchal art industry, particularly by galleries and museums who saw art made by women as inherently illegitimate and therefore ineligible for serious consideration.” – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, New York City, Visual, 02.13.21

Can Theatre Help Heal The United States’ Political Divides?

Well, that sounds hokey. But it’s powerful, a program from Georgetown that, a co-founder says, shows “there is a particular power that performance has, to allow us to listen deeply, bear witness and ultimately empathize with each other.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Theatre, United States, Georgetown, 02.12.21

Get Watching: The First Oscars Shortlists Are Out

Of course, we’ve all probably been watching quite a few things during the past year, but have those things included Academy-honored movies? Time to start, perhaps. – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Media, Academy, 02.10.21

A Right-Wing Mayor Opens Museums In France Despite National Restrictions

Not that left-wing art-lovers can’t sympathize (and a socialist mayor in another town is planning to defy the national orders as well), but … well, honestly? This is another seemingly bizarre restriction. A member of the Louvre’s board: “Right now, you can go and buy lingerie! … But how come museums — something that is paramount for social cohesion, for education, for entertainment — are still forbidden?”- The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, 02.12.21

Malls And Nail Salons Are Open, But Not Museums?

Dear Gavin Newsom, this makes no sense at all. Signed, a lot of LACMA and other art-lovers in California. Weirdly: “LACMA can open its Resnick Pavilion gift shop but not the galleries within the same Resnick Pavilion — even though the two share a front door and a ventilation system. The same goes at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, where you may visit the gardens with an advance reservation, then mill around the indoor gift shop at your leisure.” – Los Angeles Times ...
Tags: Art, California, Audience, Gavin Newsom, Visual, LACMA, Botanical Gardens, Resnick Pavilion, Huntington Library Art Museum, 02.12.21

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