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Archive for the ‘Humanities’ Category

Chicago’s art and architecture

Thumbnail : Chicago’s art and architecture

  Chicago has wonderful architecture, public sculpture and art. The photo above shows “Cloud Gate” by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor. Below is a picture of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry and home to the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Both “Cloud Gate” and the Pritzker are located in Millenium Park, which is […]

Battle over humanism at the science museum

Thumbnail : Battle over humanism at the science museum

  The New York Times published an excellent article by Edward Rothstein last week on the science museum. He visited science museums in the US and internationally, and discovered a variety of conflicting approaches, which he speculates may be “a sign of the science museum’s struggle to define itself.” One of Rothstein’s most interesting findings […]

The Pacific starts

  (Video: The Pacific trailer) HBO aired the premiere of its new ten-part series, The Pacific, last night. It was, as the network says, an “event”. The Pacific is a drama about the US Marine Corps operations in the Second World War’s Pacific theatre. Many are referring to it as similar to Band of Brothers (a […]

Childe Hassam redux

Thumbnail : Childe Hassam redux

  When I saw rows and rows of American flags flying on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan the other day I was reminded of  the flag paintings of the American impressionist artist Childe Hassam, made from 1916 onwards. Here is Hassam’s painting “Flags, Fifth Avenue”: In his landmark history, American Visions, Robert Hughes writes that Hassam delighted […]

Samuel Barber centennial

  (Video: Barber String Quartet, No 1, in b minor, Op11, mvt 2-3) Today, March 9th, marks 100 years since the birth of Samuel Barber, the great American composer. Barber’s most famous work is his Adagio for Strings. In a nice piece in the New York Times, Johanna Keller writes: “If any music can come […]

Big Love and Mad Men: is America free-floating with anxiety?

While most of the country was watching the Oscars, HBO was airing the finale of Season 4 of Big Love, its drama about a polygamous family in Utah. Big Love has been one of the best dramas on TV these past few months. It is interesting how its focus on a non-mainstream family raises questions about family life […]

From post-modern formalism to moral questioning

Thumbnail : From post-modern formalism to moral questioning

Paul Auster’s latest novel, Invisible, is a meditation upon the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It explores the intensity of experiences in that period, and how our responses to those experiences can shape and pre-occupy us for the rest of our lives. The central character of Invisible is Adam Walker, who we meet as a […]

Morgan’s study

Thumbnail : Morgan’s study

  During the Panic of 1907, as Wall Street was crashing down and the contagion was spreading globally, JP Morgan, then 70 years old, summoned the heads of New York’s banks and trusts to his library and study. He famously locked the doors, and forced them to work through the night and eventually agree to a deal to bailout the weaker […]

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