Is Snapchat Ruining Museums?

The National Gallery of Art tastefully complements Washington, D.C.’s brutal summers. It’s cool, quiet, and houses some of the finest pieces of Western art—a welcome retreat from the humid swamp outside. But thanks to Snapchat, the outside has barged its way in. Inspired by the internet’s seemingly boundless classical art meme stash, eager Snappers rush … Continued

Culture

The Underappreciated Virtues of the Marching Band

Though TAPS has yet to sound, pessimism for educational music programs continues to grow. Schools everywhere are cutting programs in order to meet fiscal demands, and as a result many music directors are being forced to justify their careers. Despite checking all the boxes for athletics and the fine arts, marching bands are often on … Continued

Entertainment

Was Kathy Griffin’s Anti-Trump Photo ‘Art?’

Artists (whether you like them or not) push boundaries. Sometimes this goes unnoticed, and other times it creates such a stir that a tidal wave of reaction hits as a result. Kathy Griffin learned the hard way that art can provoke in a way that comes with consequences. On Tuesday, Griffin posted a photo of … Continued

Politics

Apple CEO Thinks Dutch Masters Painted iPhones

You know the saying: To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But to Apple CEO Tim Cook, evidently, everything looks like an iPhone. On a recent visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Cook saw Pieter de Hooch’s 1670 painting, Man Hands a Letter to a Woman in the Hall and thought he … Continued

Culture

What the Kissing Kanyes Tell Us about “Sharing” Online

The Internet offers countless opportunities for people to share their favorite moments, stay in touch with childhood friends, and engage in thoughtful exchanges of political views. Oh wait. That’s the utopian dream of the Internet. The real Internet is dominated by a handful of technology companies like Facebook and Google who profit from your compulsion … Continued

Culture

Rembrandt’s Avatar and the Virtues of Creativity

Almost 350 years after the master artist’s death, a new Rembrandt painting has been unveiled in Amsterdam, and it’s creating quite a stir – because the painter this time was a group of art historians, software developers, scientists, engineers and data analysts, and instead of brush and canvas they used an extensive database and a … Continued

Culture

Does American’s Love of Adult Coloring Books Make Us Childish?

In her 2013 book on drawing, Picture This, cartoonist Lynda Barry asks: “What makes us start drawing as small children—and, at around 13, makes us stop?” I thought of Barry’s question in the checkout line at a Stop & Shop recently, where I noticed stacks of adult coloring books displayed next to popular magazines like … Continued

Culture


Why Do Artists Hate Beauty? The Case of ‘Scary Lucy’

It’s commonplace that contemporary art is too often silly, incomprehensible, ugly, or even disgusting. But it isn’t often that a work of art is actually considered terrifying. Recently the hometown fans of legendary comedienne Lucille Ball were stricken at the unveiling of a rather nightmarish bronze statue in her honor. Rightfully nicknamed “Scary Lucy” in … Continued

Culture

Spock and the Return to Paradise

In a scene from the 1991 movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a character asks the Vulcan science officer Spock about a painting on the wall of his living quarters. “It’s a depiction from ancient Earth mythology,” he explains, “‘The Expulsion from Paradise.’” Why does he keep it? “As a reminder to me,” Spock … Continued

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