Posts Tagged ‘museums’
August 2, 2013 | by Drew Bratcher
The city is our best shot at escaping the city. Within the big, frantic city, we find places to breathe. Twice in the last month, dozens of times in the past year, I have taken refuge in the National Gallery of Art. Washington has beer joints. Washington has baseball. But when money is tight and the stress intolerable, there are few luxuries like strolling along a wall of Modiglianis for free.
Often the museum has been a family retreat. My wife goes for Whistler’s Symphony in White, a rather suggestive portrait of the artist’s redheaded mistress perched at the end of a corridor that has the feel of a wedding aisle. Beckett, our three-year-old, digs the dragon figurines in the gift shop. Of the galleries, the eighteenth century British, flush with gundogs and lapdogs, are the ones he hates least. Beckett wants a dog, preferably a beagle, for Christmas. A dog or a razor scooter, of which there are no paintings on view.
April 22, 2013 | by Clare Fentress
- E. L. Konigsburg, author of beloved children’s titles The View from Saturday, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, and, most famously, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has died, at eighty-three.
- Speaking of people in museums past closing hours, Whitey Bulger is the subject of another book. (Considering he is “known to be a book reader,” maybe he won’t mind too much.)
- In other Boston news, The New Yorker talks literature, violence, and the Caucasus in light of last week’s tragic events.
- And in case you missed this informative memo to tweeters: Chechens are not from the Czech Republic.
- The 2012 LA Times Book Prize winners have been announced.
September 14, 2011 | by Terry Southern
In 1962, Olympia Press editor Maurice Girodias published Terry Southern’s story “New Art Museum in Hamburg Blown Up” in the first issue of the short-lived literary magazine, Olympia (it ran for only four issues). Southern’s trenchant and funny piece was in excellent company: the issue also featured ten episodes from William S. Burroughs’s The Soft Machine, poems by Lawrence Durrell, a selection from Southern’s pornographic novel, Candy, and a suppressed chapter from J. P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man. This was not a publication to be taken lightly.
Southern’s story was relegated to “long-lost” status before his son, Nile, proposed it for inclusion in Gabriel Levinson’s forthcoming anthology, A Brief History of Authoterrorism. We’re pleased to welcome it back after nearly fifty years.
June 8, 2010 | by The Paris Review
“We do not allow anyone to see it, let alone photograph it,” the director of Vienna’s Federal Museum of Pathology at the Narrenturm told Lena Herzog when she first attempted to visit. Herzog was drawn to the collection of what eighteenth-century monks in her native Russia called “lost souls,” and what nineteenth-century doctors described as “incompatible with life”—unborn fetuses and newborn infants who, by virtue of nature’s mutations, were unable to survive but who were preserved by early modern collectors as objects of scientific inquiry and private wonder. These human and animal specimens were often displayed next to maps of the earth and of the stars—evidence of a desire to define boundaries and map the unknown.
Herzog first encountered a similar collection as a student in St. Petersburg in 1988, and her reaction was swift and clear: “What I saw was extraordinary and subversive. It defied belief . . . The Russian Orthodox church declared the souls of these babies ‘lost’—they had no place in hell, or heaven, or even limbo. They were dead on arrival and had no place to go. Yet what was in the jars shimmered with a strange beauty.” For Herzog, that strange beauty is “something that shocks with a promise of some answer but gives none.”Read More »