Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ...
Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits
This page features links to reviews of movies, documentaries and exhibits with a historical theme. Listings are in reverse chronological order. Descriptions are taken directly from the linked publication. If you have articles you think should be listed on the Pop Culture page, please send them to the editor firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-9-09)
"It's impossible to know exactly if they are genuine," says Richard Westwood-Brookes, of Mullocks auction house, which sold the picture for £10,000 along with 12 other watercolours that it claimed were by the Nazi leader. "It's like if someone gave you a piece of wood and said 'this is from the Battle of Trafalgar', you wouldn't be able to tell 100 per cent if it was. You can never be entirely sure. Nobody came forward despite a huge amount of publicity before the sale to say that the paintings were fake....
SOURCE: BBC (5-8-09)
The Motherland statue is leaning at such a precarious angle that many people are scared of going near it.
Rising water levels are causing the foundations of the memorial to subside.
It commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad, when the Soviet army eventually managed to defeat the invading German forces in what is widely seen as a turning point in World War II.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (5-8-09)
However, because the 67 words were written by the late George Harrison it means that, from today, the modest composition will be on permanent display at the British Library.
The unrecorded lyrics were written by Harrison as the Beatles were reaching the height of their creative output. The song, for which no music survives, has emerged after Hunter Davies, the band’s biographer, rediscovered it in his archive of Beatles material. He has lent it to the library indefinitely and told The Times that he intends to leave it to the nation in his will...
SOURCE: http://www.pww.org (5-1-09)
When confronted with consequences of this man-made disaster, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld blithely told the press, “Stuff happens.”
Dr. James Phillips, director of the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project at The Field Museum here [Chicago], had a different view. At a May 4 press conference announcing a State Department-funded program to train 18 Iraqi scientists in modern conservation techniques, Phillips said the U.S. should have had a plan to protect the museum and sites from “day one.”
Phillips said he thinks the U.S. has an obligation to help pick up the pieces as the war and occupation wind down.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-5-09)
Unlike straightforward portraiture, therefore, the painter of conversation pieces must be able to paint interiors, still lifes, flowers and landscapes. A direct outgrowth of Dutch 17th-century domestic portraiture, the genre became fashionable in England in the 1720s and '30s, when Hogarth, to take one example, painted more than two dozen such group portraits.
There was a revival of interest in the conversation piece in the 1760s, in part because of the new King George III's taste for family portraits by the German painter Johann Zoffany, but also because the English artist Nathaniel Dance...
Some people have a second language. Some people have a second religion. They grow up in one, but in such proximity to another that, even though they don't practise and believe it, they're intimately familiar with it. It's not their faith, but they know its forms and its feelings. This isn't my case at all. I was raised in a moderate rural C of E Christianity, and didn't make a proper acquaintance with any other living religion for a...
The anachronistically-named black Labrador was the faithful companion of RAF Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led the British mission to destroy German dams in 1943. The dog is central to the plot: not only was he the mascot of Gibson's 617 Squadron, but after he was killed in a car accident, his name became a codeword for the bombers' prime target.
While the name was still acceptable when the original movie was made in 1954, that is no longer the case. So the film-makers, who include New Zealander Peter Jackson, director of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, are faced with an unenviable choice: ditch historical accuracy or risk widespread offence.
The executive producer, Sir David Frost, asked the actor...
Almost 200 works of art from the male-only Orthodox enclave in northern Greece are on show at the Petit Palais in Paris until July. Most of the works have never previously left the peninsula, from which women – and even most female animals – have been banned since 1045.
The 20 monasteries of Mount Athos house one of the largest collections of Christian art in the world. Direct access to these treasures is notoriously difficult to obtain for men, and impossible for women.
But Paris has been granted the privilege of hosting this "world premiere", largely as a result of France's presidency of the EU last year. The Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dora Bakoyannis, described the exhibition as a "cultural event of the first order".
"The treasures exhibited here are a part of European...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-6-09)
It will bring together dozens of his works to be displayed alongside paintings by those who influenced him, including Canaletto, Claude, Lorrain, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Ruisdael, and van de Velde.
Professor David Solkin, co-curator, said: "Every artist learns from artists who come before. But nobody else does it with so many."
He said at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries London was "flooded with Old Masters" and major exhibitions, opening up the eyes of British painters and "overwhelming" a lot of them.
"But Turner thinks, 'I can do what they did even better," said Prof Solkin
Among the paintings to be shown together will be Turner's The Deluge (1805-13), which he painted as a...
SOURCE: Tehran Times (5-7-09)
The project involved collaboration with Press TV, Iran’s English language international television news channel.
This well-funded work analyzes the long struggle of Iran and the West to come together, which has been ongoing ever since the revolution.
The documentary presents interviews with a wide range of world leaders who reveal the inner dealings of all governing administrations over the past thirty years, both from within Iran’s own administration and from the Western counterparts. These include Vladimir Putin, Jimmy Carter, Mohammad Khatami, Bill Clinton, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Colin Powell, Ali Larijani, Farah Pahlavi, Madeline Albright, and Javier Perez among many others.
Britain-based Iranian scholar Majid Tafreshi, Press TV senior advisor Hassan Beheshtipur, series Iranian producer Mohammad...
SOURCE: Slate (5-6-09)
You may be the victim of a great Western fantasy. Whatever image you chose, you can blame photography, which has done more than anything to construct our vision of the West, whether it's cowboys and Indians or parking lots and strip malls. If you have any doubt about this, check out "Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West," an exhibition at MoMA.
As the show's curator, Eva Respini, notes in her catalog essay, photography...
SOURCE: Romenesko (5-6-09)
SOURCE: G.W. Bowersock in the New Republic (5-1-09)
SOURCE: AFP (5-5-09)
Stierlin, author of a dozen works on Egypt, the Middle East and ancient Islam, says in a just-released book that the bust currently in Berlin's Altes Museum was made at the order of German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt by an artist named Gerardt Marks.
The historian, who has been working on the subject for 25 years, said he based his findings on several facts. "The bust has no left eye and was never crafted to have one. This is an insult for an ancient Egyptian who believed the statue was the person themself."
SOURCE: BBC (5-3-09)
There are more than 40 of them stretching over 170km (105 miles).
But, until now, they have never been fully documented, their vast scale only recorded with handmade maps.
That is now changing, following a three-year project to create the first fully comprehensive three-dimensional image using laser scanners.
SOURCE: swissinfo.ch (5-2-09)
A group of specialists has pointed an accusing finger at a new exhibition of ancient African ceramics held at the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva. But those responsible for the exhibition reject the criticism.
In a signed opinion column, entitled "Le pillage de l'histoire africaine" (The pillaging of African history) in the French-language newspaper Le Temps on Monday, Eric Huysecom, an archaeology professor at Geneva and Bamako universities, condemned the looting of African cultural heritage.
His criticism is particularly directed at the "African Terra Cotta: a Millenary Heritage" exhibition, organised by well-known Geneva collector, Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, who specialises in ancient art from Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The article was signed by a dozen cultural heritage experts, including Hamady Bocoun,...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-4-09)
But a new study claims Vincent Van Gogh may have made up the story to protect painter Paul Gauguin who actually lopped it off with a sword during an argument.
German art historians say the true version of events never surfaced as the two men both kept a "pact of silence" – Gauguin to avoid prosecution and Van Gogh in a vain attempt to keep a friend with whom he was hopelessly infatuated.
SOURCE: NYT (5-1-09)
The Library of Congress’s online catalogue lists just 43 books about Saul and 297 about David, with scores more in separate categories for drama, poetry and fiction. The database ARTstor links to just 59 artworks about Saul and several thousand of David, including the famous Michelangelo sculpture, as well as plates, tapestries, busts and ancient coins. A Google search even brings up a King David mouse pad.
Now comes a television series, “Kings,” which is giving Saul his star turn, and in its way introducing viewers to a more complex understanding of the Davidic narrative, one that accords with the perspective of many Bible scholars. Put...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (5-3-09)
I felt conflicted. I have great respect for the scholarship of people like Sir Percival, but, as a vase-lover, I found these incredibly important pots, well, a bit ugly.
Don’t get me wrong: these are magnificent examples of ceramic art, made with a sophistication of technique that potters in Europe were unable to match for 350 years. But I can’t help thinking that maybe scholars rate them not because they are particularly beautiful, but...
SOURCE: Tehran Times (5-4-09)
The martyr’s house in the 12th district of Tehran near the Baharestan neighborhood was converted into a museum. This is part of the long-term program of the Tehran Municipality.
Nader Karami, the mayor of the 12th district attending the ceremony said, “We intend to change the house of one martyr in each district into a museum, or a cultural center. Martyr Rajaii’s house was entrusted to the Martyrs’ Foundation and, having preserved the basic structure, was converted into a museum.
He further pointed out the good characteristics of Rajaii and said he used to spend all his time and energy on people, which is a great lesson for today’s managers.
Tehran Mayor Qalibaf also remarked that it is the duty of the organization to introduce figures like Rajaii to the younger generation.