“Die Meistersinger” in Covid Times

Lise Davidsen, Michael Volle, and Klaus Florian Vogt in the Met Meistersinger Like every lifelong Wagnerite, I regard any
Tags: AJBlogs

"[Hunter] Biden has described his art as 'literally keeping me sane,' and more than one painting here features text..."

"... detailing his addiction and recovery. ('He began to write a new story,' reads the trippy self-portrait.) The painting of the bald figure bears a citation of the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides. Mr. Biden has scrawled these quotes, curiously, in a gold paint marker, the sort of craft-shop instrument beloved of scrapbookers. The gold marker recurs throughout this show, outlining bare trees and mountain ridges, rounded Gaelic characters, and quite a few snakes, some of which appear to have...
Tags: Art, Law, Biden, Ann Althouse, Hunter Biden, Jason Farago, Hunter -RSB- Biden

This Nigerian Nobel Laureate’s Got A New Book, 50 Years After The Previous One

Wole Soyinka has received the Nobel Prize in Literature. He has written more than two dozen plays, a vast amount of poetry, several memoirs, essays, and short stories, and just two novels. His third novel is out now, nearly five decades after the last one. – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Words, Wole Soyinka

What Happens When You Try To Hack Opera With Gamers, Techies And Artists?

“Western opera was invented because people from different disciplines came together to reimagine theatre. They leveraged the best of all the art forms and the best of modern technology.” – Ludwig Van
Tags: Art, Music

Frances Glessner Lee created dollhouses of death and changed forensic science

Frances Glessner Lee  (1878-1962)  created an extremely detailed series of miniature true crime scenes  which she called the "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death." She created these miniatures in order to train homicide investigators to "convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell." — Read the rest
Tags: Art, Video, News, Dollhouses, Forensics, Frances Glessner Lee

Two High Profile Projects Aimed At Reviving Memphis

Two ambitious new projects by leading architecture firms are at the forefront of the renaissance, using design to lift Memphis’s image in the eyes of its citizens and the outside world. – The New York Times

Trial In Spain Of Former Director Of Valencià d’Art Modern Accused Of Buying Forgeries

Consuelo Císcar is accused of using €3.4m in public funds to buy 98 works of art by the late artist Gerardo Rueda that she knew were forged. Císcar was in charge of the museum between 2004 and 2014. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Spain, People, CISCAR, Consuelo Císcar, Gerardo Rueda

Staging on a budget? 30 dollar store finds to spruce up your listing

Inflation is a growing concern for many Americans. These affordable but attractive dollar store finds can help agents get a home showing-ready on a budget.
Tags: Design, Radio, Inflation, Agent, Mark Zandi, Dollars, The New York Post, Staging, Open Houses, Agent Tips, Moody's Analytics, Home Showings, Diy Staging

Globalization Has Been Widely Misunderstood. It’s Important To Be Clear About It

We are at a critical juncture: a relatively long period of stability in mainstream thinking about economic globalisation has given way to a situation of dramatic flux. – Aeon
Tags: Art, Featured, Ideas

Has The Pandemic Shown Us How America Could Fund The Arts And Artists Properly?

The shutdown introduced many ordinary people to the precarity that gigging artists have always faced, and the expanded unemployment benefits — with fewer restrictions than usual — may offer an example of how to make sporadic gig work more tenable. – The Brooklyn Rail
Tags: Art, Issues

The Trauma That Upended Kenneth Branagh’s Life At The Age Of Eight

He’s been reeling from it, one way or another, ever since, and it’s the reason he made his latest film, Belfast. – The New York Times Magazine
Tags: Art, People, Belfast, Kenneth Branagh

A Social History Of Laughter

In the early years of the 18th century a select group of philosophers began to conceive of laughter as something that might police the boundaries of sociable conduct. – History Today
Tags: Art, Ideas

“The Internet At Its Utopian Best”: In Praise Of The Public Domain Review

“‘A frictionless world’ in which evidence of the imagination floats around in the empyrean ‘without cost, without registration, and without restrictive conditions on their use, … a Borgesian Library of Babel, the Review is a labyrinth to get lost in.” – The Times Literary Supplement (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Public Domain Review, Borgesian Library of Babel the Review

How A Small Labor Dispute At Strathmore Hall Led To Baltimore Symphony Withdrawal

The escalation of events — from a contract with about a dozen employees to an ugly public battle between two of Maryland’s flagship arts institutions — has alarmed civic, arts and union leaders. – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Music, Maryland, Strathmore Hall

Broadway Attendance Down. But What Does It Mean?

The anecdotal evidence, gleaned from social media and private conversations with industry leaders, suggests a variety of challenges — lingering fears of the coronavirus, the disinclination by some patrons to wear masks and resistance to high ticket prices. – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Featured, Theatre, Audience

Divers Are Discovering Golden Treasure From An Ancient Indonesian Empire

“Local divers exploring Indonesia’s Musi River (on the island of Sumatra) have found gold rings, beads and other artifacts that may be linked to the Srivijaya Empire, which controlled sea trade across large swaths of Asia between the 7th and 11th centuries C.E.” – Smithsonian Magazine
Tags: Art, Asia, Indonesia, Visual, Sumatra, Musi River, Srivijaya Empire

What Makes the Mona Lisa a Great Painting: A Deep Dive

This past summer we featured a short video introduction to the Mona Lisa here on Open Culture. You’d think that if any painting didn’t need an introduction, that would be the one. But the video’s creator James Payne showed many of us just how much we still have to learn about Leonardo’s most famous work of art — and indeed, perhaps the most famous work by any artist. On his Youtube channel Great Art Explained, Payne offers clear and powerful analyses of paintings from van Gogh’s The Star...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, America, History, Warhol, Seoul, Hopper, Mona Lisa, Picasso, Da Vinci, Gogh, Leonardo, Payne, Leonardo da Vinci, Hieronymus Bosch

CNN’s Online Video Is Much More Divisive Than What It Airs On TV, And Here’s Why

Yes, of course, it’s ultimately to make more money, but here’s a glimpse of just how different the content is and a look at the structural reason for that difference. – Columbia Journalism Review
Tags: Art, Media, Cnn

The Bionic Gloves That Let João Carlos Martins Play Piano Again

His international career was hobbled over and over again by a breathtaking series of mishaps, comebacks, and more mishaps that ultimately left him unable to play at all. Then an industrial designer saw Martins on TV and had an idea … – GQ
Tags: Art, Music, Featured, Martins, João Carlos Martins

Some Dancers Are Starting To Rebel Against The Zero-Body-Hair Standard

Says one choreographer, “It’s not the first fight I would pick about the homogeneity of bodies on stage. But there’s something archaic in dance – where your body is policed in certain ways. You’re taught not to have agency over your body.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Dance

Broadway Box Office Slips Again. Did It Open Too Soon?

Big picture: the 27 shows currently running grossed $19.66 million together last week, with 168,169 butts in seats. That’s a 11% box office drop from the week before, and a 5% drop in overall attendance. – Forbes
Tags: Art, Theatre, Audience

Afghan Dance Teachers In Exile, Cut Off From Students And Homeland

Makhloot had an entire crew of professional hip-hop dancers in Kabul (including one woman) and hoped to compete in breaking at the 2024 Olympics. Fahima performed and taught sema, the meditative whirling dance of the Sufis. Both had to flee quickly when the Taliban took over. – Dance Teacher
Tags: Art, Dance, Taliban, Kabul, Fahima, Makhloot

New Marvel Film “Eternals” Banned In Saudi Arabia And Kuwait

Sources report that the decision is because Disney’s Marvel Studios refused the request to cut a male-male kiss. Eternals is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature an LGBTQ+ superhero. – Variety
Tags: Art, Media, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Disney s Marvel Studios

Alice Childress Should Have Been The First Black Female Playwright On Broadway, After 66 Years, Her Play Is Finally There.

Her Trouble in Mind treats a touchy subject, even now: it’s about an interracial cast rehearsing an anti-lynching play written and directed by whites. In 1955, the Off-Broadway producers made her tack on a happy ending; in 2021, it’s playing as she intended. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Featured, Theatre, Broadway, Alice Childress

Archaeologists Have Mapped Genghis Khan’s Lost Capital — And It’s Not What You’d Expect

Using equipment designed for geophysics, researchers scanned the site of Karakorum, chosen by Genghis and built by his two successors, and found that the city was larger than previously thought, extending well beyond the walls, 40% of it was empty, and Mongols didn’t live there. – Haaretz (Israel)
Tags: Art, Mongols, Visual, Genghis Khan, Genghis

Ian Fleming Estate Authorizes New 007 Series

Kim Sherwood has struck a deal with HarperCollins to write three contemporary thrillers set in the world of James Bond but where the original 007 is missing, presumed captured or even killed. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, James Bond, Words, Kim Sherwood

‘We must tell our stories’: Lenny Henry introduces a Black British culture takeover

Across the arts, Black British artists are making their voices heard. To mark the moment, Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder have guest-edited the Saturday magazine’s culture sectionBlack lives matter. Before it is an organisation or capitalised political movement, it is just a simple statement of fact. Black people’s lives are important and have meaning. However, too often when we discuss the meaning of the phrase, we frame our discussions around how our lives are not valued. Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Books, Music, Race, UK News, Culture, Lenny Henry, Black Lives Matter Movement, Marcus Ryder

Replay: Thomas Beecham conducts Delius

Thomas Beecham and the Chicago Symphony perform Delius’ “On the River” (from the Florida Suite) on TV in 1960: (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Thomas Beecham, Chicago Symphony, Delius, Florida Suite

Watering a dry soul

I review the new musical version of The Visitor in today’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s an excerpt. *  *  * Turning a perfect movie into a stage musical is almost always a fool’s game. The only way the results are guaranteed to work is if you add a perfect score, as Stephen Sondheim did with “A Little Night Music” and David Yazbek did with “The Band’s Visit.” Otherwise, the resulting show rarely makes an impression sufficiently strong enough to be memorable in its own right. “The Visitor,...
Tags: Art, Stephen Sondheim, Mccarthy, Ajblogs, Tom McCarthy, David Hyde Pierce, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey, Kwame Kwei Armah, Daniel Sullivan, David Yazbek

Return engagement

Forgive my absence from the blog this week—I was, as Patrick O’Brian would say, overpressed with sail, and I needed some time to myself to get caught up. I’m now ready at last to resume regular postings. Longtime readers of “About Last Night” will remember my friend Laura Demanski, who used to co-blog with me under the pseudonym “Our Girl in Chicago” once upon a time. Laura and I are still the closest of friends, and I’ve been mourning the recent death of her mother Lucile, about whom yo...
Tags: Art, Chicago, Ajblogs, Laura, Greg, Patrick O'Brian, Lucile, Laura Demanski, Greg Demanski

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