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Showing posts from December, 2019

How Hanukkah Became “Jewish Christmas”

Hanukkah (traditionally a minor Jewish holiday) commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE and the victory of a small band of Jews, the Maccabees, against the Seleucid Empire, which had outlawed Judaism. The “Festival of Lights” celebrates the miraculous eight days a small amount of sacred oil kept the,,, read more .

The Sackler Family is Angry About Their Name Being Removed from the Walls of Tufts

It’s famously been a bad year for the Sackler family, a group of people who became enormously wealthy through the Connecticut-based company Purdue Pharma, which profited hugely via the widespread sale and marketing of fatally addictive painkillers. Due to the connection between the Sackler family and unimaginable pain and suffering, a number of institutions recently elected to stop taking money from them, including but not limited to: London’s National Portrait Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You’d think the Sacklers would be used to being shunned by now, but it turns... read more .

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys Focus on Collecting African-American Art

In May 2018, in a buzzing salesroom at Sotheby’s New York, the hammer fell on Kerry James Marshall’s Past Times (1997), a sprawling masterpiece that surveys a contemporary pastoral scene in which black figures are seen picnicking, boating, golfing, and playing croquet. Not long after, the price—$21.1 million, the highest figure for a work by a living African-American artist at auction—set off a fierce debate. Were black artists suddenly too trendy and recent rises in attention an overcorrection for generations of... read more .

The Met Hires Denise Murrell, Curator of Acclaimed ‘Posing Modernity’ Exhibition

Denise Murrell, the curator behind the highly praised exhibition “Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today” that opened last year, will now hold the post of associate curator for 19th- and 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a newly created position that will involve her working closely with... read more .

'Macron knows how to deal with the unions, not the Yellow Vests'

How the Superrich Took Over the Museum World

With the recent opening of its sleek new quarters, the Museum of Modern Art has solidified its position as one of the world’s leading showcases for high culture. Designed by the “starchitect” firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the renovation cost $450 million; that comes on top of the $425 million the museum spent on an earlier makeover, in 2004. That redesign came under... read more .

The Lies We're Told About Appalachia

Granny Hazel taught me how to feed the chickens. Hold the ear of dried corn in both hands and twist to pry the kernels from the cob, then throw it out into the yard for the waiting chickens to eat. I loved watching them peck away at the ground, eating the corn our family had grown that summer. At 5 years old, I’m sure I thought the chickens were her pets. Maybe I thought she just fed them like that because she... read more .

They Lied to Us All Along, We Knew It, and the Afghanistan Papers Prove It

Barack Obama and the Politics of Not Yet

As Obama inserts himself in the 2020 election - with some news reports suggesting he may engage further to help prevent a Sanders nomination—he is fast becoming a symbol of the divide within the Democratic party, between those who caution against (or fear) real change and those who are long tired of waiting. Even Obama’s policy record has become a split screen. Some of his fans—no doubt also longing for a President who can speak complete English sentences and not start a new scandal every week—reminisce about what they consider his bold progressive achievements, usually starting with the ACA. More skeptical observers point to his expansion of drone warfare, continued bombing of the Middle East, record deportations, record wealth inequality, bankers and... read more .

France’s Pension Reform Met with Massive Protests and Strikes

The Julian Assange Case