Art


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Just What Exactly Makes Bernard-Henri Lévy A Public Intellectual?

While Lévy’s ideas are unremarkable, his ability to claim public attention is striking. His lengthy career is a reminder that cultivating a controversial persona to build fame and fortune is hardly a technique invented by reality TV or social media.  – Quartz
Tags: Art, People, Levy, Bernard Henri Lévy, 03.19.19


James Dapogny, Who Brought Musicology Skills To Early Jazz, Dead At 79

In addition to performing as a solo pianist and bandleader, “he applied his vast knowledge of music to transcribing early jazz works from recordings, most notably in his 1982 book Ferdinand ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton: The Collected Piano Music, which helped fuel a rediscovery of Morton (1890-1941), who had fallen out of favor but is now widely regarded as the first great jazz composer.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Morton, James Dapogny, 03.19.19


Egyptian Military Sues One Of Country’s Most Popular Novelists For Insulting President

Alaa Al-Aswany (The Yacoubian Building) is accused in the suit of “insulting the president, the Armed Forces, and judicial institutions” in a set of articles he wrote for the Arabic service of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s equivalent of the BBC World Service. Al-Aswany, who currently lives in New York, responded that the lawsuit is “a clear violation of article 65 of the Egyptian constitution, which states, ‘Freedom of thought and opinion is guaranteed.'” – Melville House
Tags: Art, New York, People, BBC World Service, Armed Forces, Alaa Al Aswany, Al Aswany, Deutsche Welle Germany, 03.21.19


Why Elvis Is A Cultural Force 42 Years After His Death

A few rare individuals in every period integrate, express and add to the values of their time and place in a unique way and become symbols of that time. More than any other national figure of the 1950s, Elvis Presley represented American youthfulness and became a generation’s symbol. – Quadrant
Tags: Art, People, Elvis Presley, 02.23.19


Rachel Ingalls, Author Of ‘Mrs. Caliban’, Dead At 78

The daughter of a Harvard Sanskrit professor, Ingalls settled in England as a young adult “and began to publish short stories; her editor at Faber’s, Charles Monteith, said she was ‘a genius – not a word I use lightly’. In 1982 she published her masterpiece, Mrs Caliban, the tale of an unhappy housewife who gives shelter – and more – to a handsome sea creature who has escaped from a research institute. … [The novel,] largely ignored at the time, was republished in 2017 to huge acclaim and she w...
Tags: Art, England, People, Faber, Ingalls, Charles Monteith, Rachel Ingalls, 03.19.19, Harvard Sanskrit


J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Father Of African Musicology, Dead At 97

“In a career stretching back to the 1950s and continuing into his 90s, Dr. Nketia wrote hundreds of articles and books in English and Twi, a Ghanaian language, on topics ranging from music theory to folklore, as well as scores of compositions. … His 1974 book, The Music of Africa, is widely considered a definitive historical study, and Ethnomusicology and African Music, a collection of his writings published in 2005, is used in classrooms throughout Africa and across the world. – The New York T...
Tags: Art, Africa, People, Kwabena Nketia, Nketia, 03.19.19


Dick Dale, ‘King Of The Surf Guitar’, Dead At 81

“In the space of a few short years, the Boston-born, Southern California transplant (born Richard Anthony Monsour) had merged the laid-back, sun-blasted lifestyle of the surf scene with a blistering rhythm of rockabilly and early rock-and-roll. As the mad scientist behind what was dubbed ‘surf rock,’ Dale was, in the words of a 1963 Life magazine profile, a ‘thumping teenage idol who is part evangelist, part Pied Piper and all success.'” – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, California, Boston, People, Dick Dale, Dale, Pied Piper, Richard Anthony Monsour, 03.18.19


Was Shakespeare Really Queer? The Sonnets Are Pretty Clear

Sandra Newman looks at the 126 Shakespeare sonnets (out of a total of 154) addressed to the Fair Youth, at other sonnets and love poetry of the time and place, and at what Shakespeare’s contemporaries said and wrote about male-male sex and love (especially in the theatre). Then she applies Occam’s Razor. – Aeon
Tags: Art, People, Words, Shakespeare, Occam, Sandra Newman, 03.18.19


Actor Richard Erdman, 93

“The mirthful character actor who stood out on the big screen in The Men, Cry Danger and Stalag 17 and then on the sitcom Community … excelled at playing soldiers, sailors, wisecracking sidekicks and pals.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, People, Richard Erdman, 03.16.19


Okwui Enwezor, Documenta And Venice Biennale Curator, 55

Born in Kalaba, Nigeria, in 1963, Enwezor studied political science in the U.S. He entered the contemporary art world by founding a magazine focussed on African art in 1994. He curated the Johannesburg Biennale in 1997: other credits include the 2006 Seville Biennial and the 2008 Gwangju Biennial. – The Art Newspaper
Tags: Art, People, Enwezor, 03.15.19, Okwui Enwezor Documenta And Venice Biennale, Kalaba Nigeria, Johannesburg Biennale


Patricia Arquette Is Enjoying Her Second Act

Arquette’s willingness to take on ferocious characters is serving her well – and so is TV. “Television’s artistic renaissance—and its willingness to tackle complex stories about older women—has offered Arquette some truly challenging characters, roles in which she can physically and emotionally transform herself.” – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, People, Patricia Arquette, Arquette, TV Television, 03.17.19


Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, The Author Of ‘Nate The Great,’ Has Died At 90

Sharmat was the author of more than 130 books, but the Nate the Great series – inspired by her love for detective stories and her dislike of boring children’s books – was her most well-known. “Once she started being published, [her son Andrew] said, there was no stopping her. ‘It was like she was launched into the stratosphere,’ he said. ‘She loved it.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, 03.16.19, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, Sharmat, Andrew -RSB


Edith Iglauer, A Keen, Intrepid Interpreter Of Canada For The US, Has Died At 101

Iglauer, a staff writer at The New Yorker, went to Canada for an assignment about the salmon fisheries of British Columbia, and she fell in love. She was also a war correspondent and, between the war and Canada, one of the first to write about the health effects of air pollution. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, US, People, Canada, British Columbia, The New Yorker, 03.15.19, Edith Iglauer, Iglauer


Groundbreaking Experimental Lesbian Filmmaker Barbara Hammer Has Died At 79

Hammer – profiled in this New Yorker story just a few weeks ago – made 75 short and longer films over the course of her career, winning prizes and praise. Now, “Hammer’s legacy lives on in her films but also with the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, which she formed with money she received when Yale acquired her papers a few years ago.” – The Advocate
Tags: Art, People, Yale, Barbara, 03.16.19


Poet W. S. Merwin Has Died At 91

Merwin “was one of the most highly decorated poets in the nation, and very likely the world. He was the United States poet laureate from 2010 to 2011; won two Pulitzer Prizes, a National Book Award and a spate of other honors; and was lauded for his volumes of prose and translations of poetry from a Babel of languages.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, United States, Merwin, 03.15.19


Vivian Cherry, 98, Photographic Poet Of New York Street Scenes

“[Her] curiosity about people’s lives, inspired by the artistry of photographers like Dorothea Lange, Helen Levitt and Paul Strand, brought her to the city’s streets to take finely observed pictures of immigrants, street vendors, bocce players, construction workers, fruit auctioneers, farriers shoeing Central Park carriage horses, and children watching in amazement as an airplane flew overhead.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, New York, People, Paul Strand, 03.14.19, Vivian Cherry, Dorothea Lange Helen Levitt


Gene Pack, 86, Salt Lake City’s Classical Radio Host For 40 Years

“Pack was host of KUER’s classical-music programming from 1960, when the station went on the air, to March 2001, when the station’s midday format was changed from classical music to all news and talk.” – The Salt Lake Tribune
Tags: Art, People, 03.08.19, Gene Pack 86 Salt Lake City


Here’s The First Winner Of A New Prize For Offstage Work In The Arts

“After spending years behind the scenes as an artistic and executive director of various arts organizations, Kristy Edmunds will take center stage on March 25 in Chicago to receive the inaugural Berresford Prize from United States Artists. The prize, which will be given annually to a cultural practitioner for their work on behalf of artists, comes with an unrestricted award of $25,000.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Chicago, United States, Kristy Edmunds, 03.14.19


Harper Lee Hated Monroeville, Ala. For Turning Her ‘Into A Tourist Attraction Like Graceland Or Elvis’: Letter

“The hypocrites in charge, not a one of whom I know, say they are doing this to ‘honor’ me. What they are doing is trying to drown me in their own bad taste, and are embarrassing me beyond endurance.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, People, Elvis, 03.13.19, Harper Lee Hated Monroeville Ala


Wole Soyinka Tells Henry Louis Gates What’s What

The Nobel laureate talks about politics, law, race/ethnic relations, and corruption in both his erstwhile adopted country (the U.S.) and his native land (Nigeria); about what went wrong in South Africa and which sub-Saharan countries are doing well; and about the time he personally desegregated a hotel pool in Atlanta. – New York Review of Books
Tags: Art, Nigeria, People, South Africa, Wole Soyinka, Henry Louis Gates, Atlanta New York, 03.21.19


The Life And Loves Of Clara Rockmore, The Diva Of The Theremin

She had had quite a life even before she became the first superstar virtuoso of an electronic instrument: she was a child prodigy on the violin who toured with her pianist sister until injury (and a screaming Leopold Auer) derailed her, she happened on Leon Theremin and his invention at a party at the Plaza Hotel, and she turned down his marriage proposal. – Tablet
Tags: Art, People, Leon Theremin, 03.07.19, Leopold Auer


Hal Blaine, 90, The Most-Recorded Drummer Ever

Although he was never a household name, anyone with a record collection almost undoubtedly owns one of Blaine’s songs. By his own count, he played on more than 6,000 tracks over the course of his career. – BBC
Tags: Art, People, Blaine, Hal Blaine, 03.12.19


Hall Blaine, 90, The Most-Recorded Drummer Ever

Although he was never a household name, anyone with a record collection almost undoubtedly owns one of Blaine’s songs. By his own count, he played on more than 6,000 tracks over the course of his career. – BBC
Tags: Art, People, Blaine, 03.12.19


John Richardson, Picasso Biographer, 95

Richardson’s grandest and most acclaimed project was his multivolume biography of Pablo Picasso, the first part of which was published in 1991. (Two more volumes have been put out since; a fourth is expected to follow, though a publication date has not yet been set.) In 2008, Richardson was asked what made his biography different from books on the painter. He told Artinfo, “The fact that I knew him well and he opened up to me.” – ARTnews
Tags: Art, People, Pablo Picasso, Richardson, Artinfo, 03.12.19, John Richardson Picasso


George Stade, Literary Scholar And Satirical Novelist, Dead At 85

“[He was] a Columbia University literary scholar who became an early champion of ‘popular’ fiction within the academy and worked as a critic, editor and novelist, most notably with the grisly satire Confessions of a Lady-Killer … But he was probably best known for helping to spearhead the study of popular fiction in the classroom, and for his frequent — and frequently acerbic — reviews and essays on contemporary literature.” – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, People, Columbia University, 03.10.19


Cellist George Neikrug, 100

He served as principal cellist with the Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and was a widely admired teacher, and he’s best remembered for a still-legendary 1960 performance at Carnegie Hall of Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo with the NBC Symphony under Leopold Stokowski. – The Strad
Tags: Art, People, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NBC Symphony, Ernest Bloch, 03.11.19, George Neikrug, Baltimore Symphony Pittsburgh Symphony


Conductor Michael Gielen Dead At 91

“As a symphonic conductor, he held posts with the Belgian National Orchestra (1969-73), Cincinnati SO (1980-86) and SWR Symphony Baden-Baden and Freiburg (1986-89). He also served as a Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1978-81). He retired from conducting 2014. His service to contemporary music was immense and he championed works by György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Hans Werner Henze, Betsy Jolas, Isang Yun and Henri Pousseur, as well as earlie...
Tags: Art, People, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Freiburg, Cincinnati, Baden Baden, Michael Gielen, 03.09.19, Belgian National Orchestra, Henri Pousseur


Author Elizabeth McCracken On Candlepin Bowling, And On Being An Ambitious Woman

McCracken, author of the new novel The Bowlaways (and quite a few other novels and short stories), explains her character Bertha: “I was thinking about the ways in which women give up things in order to exist in the world. And you have to have delusions of grandeur in order to be grand, but women are not expected to be grand.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, People, Bertha, Elizabeth McCracken, McCracken, 03.09.19


Why Is Alex Trebek – Host Of A Game Show, For Goodness Sakes – So Special?

Let one of his most famous contestants explain. Ken Jennings, owner of the longest win streak on Jeopardy, writes, “When the cameras stop rolling, Alex is a looser, even goofy presence. He takes studio audience questions at every break, sometimes slipping into funny accents or even bits of soft-shoe.” Maybe keep those cameras rolling next time, Jeopardy? – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Alex, Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings, 03.09.19


Gillian Freeman, Writer Of The Groundbreaking Novel And Movie ‘The Leather Boys,’ Has Died At 89

She published the novel in 1961 under the pen name Eliot George, and then the “three years later, when Ms. Freeman wrote the screenplay for a film of the same title, she used her real name. (The opening credits said Ms. Freeman’s screenplay was based on the novel by Eliot George.)” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Freeman, Eliot George, 03.08.19, Gillian Freeman, Ms Freeman



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