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Will The Vatican’s New Restoration Donation App Ruin Everything?

August 17, 2015 - 2:56pm

“Patrum sounds lovely and philanthropic, but it is pandering to the culture of restoration that does as much harm as good. Italy is full of artistic marvels. They need careful protection and obviously, that includes restoring where restoring is essential. But it is a delicate balance. The problem with restoration is that it excites people – it becomes a story,”

As Another Mega-Bookstore Opens, The Refrain Continues: Print Books Are Doing OK

August 17, 2015 - 1:30pm

“Waterstones managing director James Daunt, who built the eponymous Daunt Books chain, dubbed Amazon a ‘ruthless, money-making devil’ in 2011. A year later he signed a deal to sell its Kindle ebook reader, but Waterstones has struggled to sell the devices and has reduced the amount of space given over to them in its stores.”

Listen To John Cage And Morton Feldman In Conversation

August 17, 2015 - 12:25pm

“Unlike the more formal records of Feldman or Cage speaking or writing, you’re privy in these conversations to the two men working ideas out rather than presenting finely worked philosophies or arguments. It’s like being given access to their combined creative process at a key moment in both of their musical lives.”

The First Big Test For Apple Music

August 17, 2015 - 11:50am

“So far Apple’s new service has had a mixed reaction in the music and tech press, and its impact on the music charts over all has been minimal. In a comparison of Nielsen streaming data for a dozen popular albums, most had increases of 10 to 20 percent in the week that Apple Music’s numbers were first incorporated into the charts, but had flat results or even a loss the next week.”

The Emptiness Of The Invented City

August 17, 2015 - 11:00am

Pico Iyer on Pyongyang and Las Vegas: “Plato’s Cave can look much the same in East or West, whether its screens are projecting images of tumbling cheerleaders or brigades of goose-stepping soldiers.”

‘Straight Outta Compton’ Wins Big At The Box Office Without Superheroes

August 17, 2015 - 10:31am

“Summer movies have become so monolithic over the last decade that releasing the film at this time of year was brazen, and I think youth culture responds to brazen.”

Jeff Bezos Says Amazon Is Nothing Like The Damning NYT Article

August 17, 2015 - 10:15am

“Bezos wrote that he ‘very much’ hoped workers did not recognize the workplace depicted in the article — ‘a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard.'”

She Sculpted New York’s Frederick Douglass, But She Can’t Afford Her Studio Anywhere In The City Anymore

August 17, 2015 - 10:00am

“The relentless tide of gentrification has made it impossible for her to stay. One by one, the craftsmen and artists have vanished from the red brick building on Jay Street where Ms. Koren worked. The cabinetmaker? Gone. The photographer? Gone. The lamp maker, the painter and the dealer of 1950s furniture? All gone.”

Can Anything Save Small Businesses In New York?

August 17, 2015 - 9:45am

“When I say they’ve destroyed New York’s old stores, bars, restaurants, hangouts, I’m saying the real estate market has destroyed the sacred watering holes and gathering places of the 20th century.”

Network Bans “Dukes Of Hazzard” Reruns. Why?

July 2, 2015 - 12:11pm

“The flag will remain charged whether publicly visible or not, and so TV Land banning The Dukes of Hazzard is a banal gesture of how little we are prepared to confront the horror of Charleston, the continuing gritty day-to-day horror of all kinds of hatred aimed at all kinds of minorities.”

Misty Copland’s Promotion At ABT Signals New Era For Company

July 2, 2015 - 11:21am

“Along with Ms. Copeland’s ascendance, the company’s other, less-heralded promotions announced Tuesday suggest a new era at Ballet Theatre—one with a stronger emphasis on promoting dancers who have made a commitment to the company, especially in the early stages of their training.”

Sotheby’s Just Had Its Biggest Ever Sale Of Contemporary Art

July 2, 2015 - 10:58am

“Warhol’s ‘One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate)’ fetched £20.9m, smashing its pre-sale estimate of £13-18m. This was Warhol’s first such work of a dollar, painted by hand in 1962. A bidding frenzy powered Lucien Freud’s 2002 work ‘Four Eggs on a Plate’, which was originally a gift to the late Duchess of Devonshire, to sell for £989,000, nearly ten times the pre-sale estimate of £100-£150,000.”

Big Changes Ahead For American Public Media? (An Ominous Memo Leaks)

July 2, 2015 - 10:07am

“Some inside the public-radio walls are speculating that the reason for the siren has to do with the struggle to get institutional funding, a fairly common problem these days. An APM spokesperson denies that is the case. In fact, this person says, APM is growing and is working under a balanced budget.”

Greece Needs Money. Britain Wants The Parthenon Marbles. A Deal To Be Made?

July 2, 2015 - 9:24am

“For the last few years, amidst her financial crisis, Greece has flirted with the idea of selling off state historical assets. Since Greek independence, Graeco-British relations have been shadowed by the Elgin marbles: relief panels from the Parthenon, along with major pediment sculptures, which were purchased by the 7th Earl of Elgin in 1798.”

Paris Okays Its First Skyscraper In 40 Years – A Giant Pyramid

July 2, 2015 - 9:22am

“A common sight in most major capitals, skyscrapers have faced deep opposition in Paris ever since the 300-metre high Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Universal Exposition. Paris’s socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo, diluted opposition to the new Tour Triangle last November after some of its planned office space was sacrificed for childcare and cultural centres.”

The Smithsonian’s Air And Space Museum Is Falling Apart (Here’s Why)

July 2, 2015 - 9:05am

“The Air and Space Museum, designed by Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum Architects (HOK), is marked by its four marble-clad pavilions, separated by three recessed steel-and-glass atria. Construction started in 1972 and continued until the museum opened on July 1, 1976. It has undergone basic repairs since, but the systems and materials are running on borrowed time in part because certain building components were “downgraded” as part of the original construction to reduce cost and hit the stunningly low $40 million budget.”

So This Is The End Of iTunes

July 2, 2015 - 8:08am

“Apple still makes billions per year on iTunes downloads. But Spotify, Pandora, and other startups have eroded that business, first with their free streaming services and more recently with a paid subscription model. It’s been clear for a while now that streaming is the music industry’s future: iTunes Store sales dropped an alarming 14 percent in 2014 while revenue in the streaming sector jumped 28 percent. So Apple had a choice: Hold fast to a fading business model, or hasten the transition by getting out in front of it. It made the only sensible call.”

Russian Wins Tchaikovsky Piano Competition

July 2, 2015 - 1:00am

“Russian Dmitry Masleyev on Wednesday won first prize for the piano at the prestigious Tchaikovsky international music competition in Moscow.”

Are The Arts Dying Because Of Indifference?

July 2, 2015 - 12:51am

“For while the fine arts can survive a hostile or ignorant public, or even a fanatically prudish one, they cannot long survive an indifferent one. And that is the nature of the present Western response to art, visual and otherwise: indifference.”

Book Subscription Service Stops Offering Romance And Erotica Titles Because Its Readers Read Them Too Much

July 1, 2015 - 9:22pm

“Scribd appears to have slightly underestimated just how much can be consumed at their all-you-can-eat literary buffet – especially by fans of romance. Because Scribd has to pay the authors of the books they make available on their site, it is now shelling out more money than it can make back in subscriptions, thanks to the voracious appetites of romance and erotica readers.”