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Horst: Photographer of Style

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‘Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.’
Horst, 1984.

At the V&A through 4 January 2015:

“Horst P. Horst (1906-99) created images that transcend fashion and time. He was a master of light, composition and atmospheric illusion, who conjured a world of sensual sophistication. In an extraordinary sixty-year career, his photographs graced the pages of Vogue and House and Garden under the one-word photographic byline ‘Horst’. He ranks alongside Irving Penn and Richard Avedon as one of the pre-eminent fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century.

An international figure, Horst worked predominantly in Paris and New York. Born in Germany, he became an American citizen in 1943, changing his surname from Bohrmann to Horst. His extraordinary range of work outside the photographic studio conveys a relentless visual curiosity and life-long desire for new challenges. The huge collection of prints, drawings, notebooks, scrapbooks and letters that Horst carefully preserved throughout his life, alongside thousands of prints in the archives of Condé Nast, bear witness to his virtuoso talent.”

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Khan Academy + Met Museum + You = World Class Met Museum Content Online


New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday


As reported by artdaily.org

“Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Sal Khan, founder and Executive Director of Khan Academy, announced the launch of a partnership that will provide expanded access for visitors around the world to the Metropolitan Museum’s online resources through Khan Academy.

Khan Academy seeks to provide free, high-quality education to anyone anywhere. It offers lessons in a variety of subjects, including math, science, and the humanities, and features lectures from noted educators.

The topics and tutorials from the Metropolitan Museum that have been posted on Khan Academy’s website include commentary, by a range of the Museum’s experts, that is presented in the context of its world-renowned, encyclopedic collection of works of art. This extensive content will complement and broaden Khan Academy’s existing art history content significantly.”

The content that the Metropolitan Museum has made available on Khan Academy falls into three topics with 109 videos. The topics are:

82nd & Fifth. Episodes of the Met’s award-winning online series 82nd & Fifth are now available on Khan Academy. Curators talk about works of art that changed the way they see the world: one curator, one work, two minutes at a time. (95 videos)

Extravagant Inventions. On what did the rulers of late 18th-century Europe spend their money? On wars, palaces, and the arts—and also extravagant mechanical furniture. Both the King of Prussia and the Empress of Russia entertained themselves and their guests with ingeniously concealed and automated drawers as well as hidden compartments built within some of the most elegant desks and tables ever devised. (5 videos) • Making, Finding, and Conserving. Go behind-the-scenes at the Met to explore how some of the world’s finest art was created, how it is conserved, and even how it was discovered. (9 videos).

For Educators, more than 100 connections to related lesson plans to assist teaching across content areas.

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 New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday


My Harvard Classics is an interactive Harvard Classics Reading Guide on the Web. With a click of the mouse you are taken directly to the exact volume and chapter for each day’s reading. Each volume of The Harvard Classics may be downloaded for free. It is another great example of the use of the “New” Media (Digitization and the Internet) to make Literature accessible to everyone. Here, some of the greatest book are made available free, and which can be downloaded and read at PDFs, without owning an e-reader, or on any e-reder.

As stated on their webpage

“The Harvard Classics are a collection of the most important books, scientific writings, philosophical arguments, poems, fiction, drama, political theory, pivotal speeches and sacred texts from the entire range human of intellectual activity. The Harvard Classics are the works of 302 of the greatest minds whose writings and discoveries are the foundation for all human knowledge today. You will be certain to cover most of the readings you were supposed to read in high school and college but did not get around to. Finally able to check those off your to do list. The Harvard Classics were designed to give all the elements of a general university or liberal education at home in one year with 15 minutes of diligent reading a day using an exclusive reading schedule. The mission of the Harvard Classics is to provide the means of obtaining such knowledge of ancient and modern literature as deemed essential to be a cultivated person.”

harvard classics icon_400x400


“My Harvard Classics, LLC was founded on November 7, 2010. We created My Harvard Classics after discovering that there was no place online dedicated only to the Harvard Classics. We knew that there needed to be a place that made the Harvard Classics the central focus and would really open the full potential of the Harvard Classics in the digital era. As a result My Harvard Classics offers more than any site to give you a convenient, full and exciting experience as you journey through the powerful collection. My Harvard Classics allows you with the click of a mouse to transport oneself into the age of Pericles or the Gardens of the Medici at Florence. The collection is the modern version of Aladdin’s lamp and makes one a master of treasures more rare and lustrous than those which adorned the palaces of Persia.”


“The Harvard Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909.

‘”Before the reading plan represented by The Harvard Classics had taken definite form, I had more than once stated in public that in my opinion a five-foot, at first a three-foot, shelf, would hold books enough to afford a good substitute for a liberal education to anyone who would read them with devotion, even if he could spare but fifteen minutes a day for reading.'” Dr. Charles W. Eliot


“Our mission is to bring the Harvard Classics into the 21st century and straight to your fingertips with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. We believe the Harvard Classics offers tremendous educational power and will help improve humanity as we embark on an ever increasingly technological journey toward the future. We now more than ever before need to be well rounded humans, rooted in knowledge of the primary source material for all current intellectual advancements in every subject. The primary source is where the first thought and foundational principles of all disciplines we know today began. They began as the writings of geniuses in a vast array of skills and studies that now constitute the foundation of all intellectual activity today. The Harvard Classics is the collection of the most important primary source material. We seek to increase and enhance your link to that source.”


According to our friends at Open Culture,

“You can still buy an old set off of eBay for $399. But, just as easily, you can head to the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg, which have centralized links to every text included in The Harvard Classics (Wealth of Nations,Origin of Species, Plutarch’s Lives, the list goes on below). Please note that the previous two links won’t give you access to the actual annotatedHarvard Classics texts edited by Eliot himself. But if you want just that,you can always click here and get digital scans of the true Harvard Classics.”



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 New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday


No matter how many times you may have been there, or not been there at all, everyone has a mental image of Notre Dame de Paris.

Normally this image is of the  front of the Cathedral, mostly shrouded in gray. Notre Dame de Paris is located on

“the eastern half of the Île de la Cité that Notre Dame lies. Roman catholic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Paris, Notre Dame is one of the first Gothic cathedrals, amongst the finest example of sacred gothic architecture, with outstanding stained glasses, stone carvings and the first flying buttress built during history. The cathedral was desecrated during the French revolution and was rendered famous with Victor Hugo’s the hunchback of Notre Dame, written to raise awareness in a building which was an heritage in state of despair. In the square in front of the Cathedral lies the Point Zero, from which the distances from Paris are measured.”

- Source – Arounder


However, few have been able to see the vibrant colors of the interior (and not just the windows) as well as shown by Arounder,  which “features thousands of attractions and places to see such as prestigious museums and historical cathedrals, unspoiled natural paradises and UNESCO sites.”

 Arounder uses the krpano Panorama Viewer,  ( http://krpano.com) a small and very flexible high-performance viewer for all kind of panoramic images and interactive virtual tours. The viewer is available as Flash and HTML5 application. The viewer is designed for the usage inside the Browser on Desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux) and on Mobiles/Tablets (iPhone, iPad, Android, …)

Arounder is a fine example of Fine Art in the New Media, using its resources and technical expertise to make art accessible to everyone, everywhere.


Click on the video segment, “Notre Dame Interior 02″  to see the magnificent interior.


Arounder is a division of VRWAY Communication, a media company in online, offline and mobile industry, with registered office in Luxemburg and operation’s headquarter in Switzerland.

Arounder features 100+ world’s top destinations including thousands of attractions and places to see such as prestigious museums and historical cathedrals, unspoiled natural paradises and UNESCO sites as well as the most luxurious hotel and the finest restaurants all over the world.

AROUNDERTOUCH Selected by Apple among “top 10 Apps” in 57 countries, ArounderTouch App brings Virtual Reality Panoramas from Arounder directly to smartphones and tablet.

AROUNDERMAG The virtual magazine available for iPad which allows readers to interactively visit the most beautiful destinations through a combination of panoramic images and exclusive reportages.



H/T Art Daily

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AMAZON: BOOK, PUBLISHER, SELLER, YOU. (Update below 11/13/14)*

Vanity Fair:” The war is really about the future of publishing—and maybe of culture.” Photo Illustration by Stephen Doyle

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30 pm ET


Amazon v. Hachette. The December 2014 issue of Vanity Fair contains an article, “The War of the Words”, by By Keith Gessen.The  intro gives a good summary of the present state of affairs between Amazon and Hachette,

Amazon’s war with publishing giant Hachette over e-book pricing has earned it a black eye in the media, with the likes of Philip Roth, James Patterson, and Stephen Colbert demanding that the online mega-store stand down. How did Amazon—which was once seen as the book industry’s savior—end up as Literary Enemy Number One? And how much of this fight is even about money? Keith Gessen reports.


As Keith Gessen writes,

This past year has seen hostilities between Amazon and the publishers, which had been simmering for years, come out into the open, filling many column inches in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, not to mention numerous online forums. The focal point of the dispute has been a tough negotiation between Amazon and the publisher Hachette, with some public sniping between the companies’ executives (who have otherwise kept out of view). Hachette, it should be said, is no slouch: it is owned by the large French media conglomerate Lagardère. The other big publishers are similarly well backed. HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Simon & Schuster is a part of CBS. Macmillan and Penguin Random House are owned, or co-owned, by hefty German corporations. Nonetheless, all the publishers feel bullied by Amazon, and Amazon, in turn, feels misunderstood.


When the Kindle was introduced, Amazon announced that the price of new books would be $9.99. As Gessen writes,

The heart of the matter was that it was so much less than $28, the average price of a new hardcover book. Another problem with $9.99 was just how close it was to $7.99 or $6.99. Publishers believed that Amazon would eventually go even lower, putting intolerable price pressure on print books and the places that sold them. With print gone, what exactly would publishers be left with? They could still select and edit and market books, but their chief task, getting the books into stores across the land, would be eliminated.


A good explanation of the “So What?”, was written by Bob Kohn in an op-ed article appearing in the New York Times on May 30, 2014, “How Book Publishers Can Beat Amazon,”

 “If you wish to understand what’s really happening between Amazon and Hachette — and, indeed, all the major book publishers — you need to know the meaning of the word monopsony.

The Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, when sitting on a lower court, once described monopsony as the “mirror image” of monopoly. Unlike a monopoly, which occurs when a seller of goods has the power to unlawfully raise prices of what it sells, a monopsony occurs when a buyer of goods has the power to unlawfully lower the prices of what it buys. Each violates antitrust laws: As the Supreme Court has long recognized, they both result in a misallocation of resources that harms consumers and distorts markets.

Take the e-book market, dominated by Amazon, which buys what a federal court once found to be 90 percent of all e-books sold in the United States. The monopsony power of Amazon, which has a current market share of 65 percent of all online book units, digital and print, is not just theoretical; it’s real and formidable. When Macmillan, the fifth largest book publisher, displeased Amazon in 2010 by proposing certain changes in business terms, Amazon exercised what has been described as its “nuclear option”: It promptly deleted the “buy” buttons in the Amazon online store for all of Macmillan’s books. In an instant, Macmillan’s entire business was in jeopardy.”


 Credit Jennifer Heuer; Photograph by byllwill/Getty Images

“With a major publisher out of the market for new manuscripts, authors would receive less money. And less money would mean fewer authors, and fewer books. (Nor are self-published authors safe from the power of a monopsony: While a traditional publisher like Macmillan needs an author’s consent to change the terms of his or her publishing agreement, Amazon reserves the right to change any provision of its agreement with any author at any time for any reason.)

How did Amazon attain such monopsony power? By providing valuable services? Perhaps, to some extent. But consider that from the moment it introduced its Kindle product, Amazon sold e-books at prices far below what it was buying them for. If Amazon bought an e-book from Hachette for $13, it resold it to a consumer for $9.99, losing $3.01 per e-book. It should come as no surprise that under these circumstances, e-book buyers flocked to Amazon.

But there was a problem. When a company has dominant market power and sells goods for below marginal cost, it is engaging in predatory pricing, a violation of federal antitrust laws.”


Book, Publisher, Seller, You. The story is a long an continuing one. Just read the rest of the Vanity Fair Article. Stay tuned.


BREAKING NEWS Thursday, November 13, 2014 11:39 AM EST
Amazon and Hachette Resolve Bitter Publishing Dispute

Amazon and Hachette announced Thursday morning that they have resolved their differences and signed a new multiyear contract, bringing to an official end one of the most bitter publishing conflicts in recent years.
Neither side gave details of the deal, but both pronounced themselves happy with the terms. Hachette gets the ability to set the prices on its e-books, which was a major battleground in the dispute.
“This is great news for writers,” said Michael Pietsch, Hachette’s chief executive. “The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come. It gives Hachette enormous marketing capability with one of our most important bookselling partners.”
An Amazon executive, David Naggar, said Amazon was “pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices, which we believe will be a great win for readers and authors alike.”
The agreement broadly follows a deal Amazon recently worked out with Simon & Schuster.





New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday


A recent article in The Space,The Space A web site Set up by the BBC and the Arts Council of England, about robots on the lose at night in the Tate Britian, exemplifies a “giant leap” in the creative use of tools of the New Media to make art accessible to everyone.

Over five nights in August 2014, the public logged-on to the After Dark web app to take a space-age tour through 500 years of British art.


Equipped with cameras, the robots’ journeys were watched by thousands of people world-wide via the internet, alone in their adventure except for their robotic co-explorers.

A few lucky people, chosen at random, were given the opportunity to actually control a robot themselves, navigating their own journey round Tate Britain’s historic building and collection.

Designed specifically for this task, the robots were fitted with a camera and bespoke lights for eyes, with the ability to look up and down to view the full range of art on display.

Using on-screen buttons or the arrow keys on a keyboard, their operators could turn 360 degrees and move forward. The robots could sense obstacles around them with the use of ultrasound technology and they fed this information back to the operator, helping them to navigate the galleries.



The Robots were created in collaboration with RAL Space (who work alongside the UK Space Agency – UKSA), a world-leading centre for the research and development of space exploration technologies.
Art experts and After Dark robot watchers Grace Adam and Joshua White
Live commentary on 500 years of British art was provided by Tate’s own art experts:
Grace Adam, artist and lecturer
Kate Tiernan, artist, producer and educator
Frank Wasser, artist and educator
Joshua White, freelance lecturer, educator and critic.

The team monitored the live feed from all four robots, explaining what they encountered along the way, from Tudor portraits to modernist sculptures.

After Dark, the brainchild of London-based design studio The Workers, is the [Tate’s] IK Prize 2014 winning project. The IK Prize celebrates digital creativity, supporting innovative ideas and turning them into new ways of enjoying and discovering art.


The Space Set up by the BBC and the Arts Council of England, The Space is a free public space, a not-for-profit public service for artists and audiences around the world.

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Alberto Giacometti’s “The Chariot” – How an Artist Creates

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET


Looking at Giacometti’s sculpture, The Chariot, we ask, “Where did this idea come from, Wwat influenced its creation?”  The creative process of an artist remains a mysterious thing beyond normal comprehension. Even when described directly by the artist, the process defies “rational” comprehension.


When we think of Giacometti’s sculptures, we think of them as grand, as almost life sized. Indeed,  the “Walking Man” series is just that – large, elongated, and somewhat abstract. However there was a significant period in the sculptor’s life when all the sculptures he made were tiny, so tiny that Giacometti carried several of them them in a match box at the same time!

According to the biographer, James Lord, Giacometti’s quest or compulsion at that time was due, in part, to his need to diminish the human figure to

“the least common denominator of the visible. It also withstood [his] destructive impulse which reduced most of the others to dust. All the sculptures made by Giacometti during the wartime years in Switzerland were tiny save one.That one is almost sized … The Chariot is the name the sculptor gave to this work.”   – James Lord, Giacometti: A Biography, 227 – 228, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1983).


As described by  ArtNet,

Alberto Giacometti, Chariot. Inscribed with the signature A. Giacometti, with foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris and numbered 2/6. Conceived and cast in 1950. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's.

Alberto Giacometti, Chariot. Inscribed with the signature A. Giacometti, with foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris and numbered 2/6. Conceived and cast in 1950.
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s.


“Giacometti’s Chariot (conceived and cast in 1950) is a unique painted cast depicting a goddess perched  atop a chariot with large wheels. According to Sotheby’s, it is one of only two examples that remain in private hands and has been in the same private collection for over four decades. It will be the first Chariot to appear at auction in more than 30 years. Though Sotheby’s has not released a firm estimate, Simon Shaw cited the $104.3 million price achieved for Homme qui marche I in 2010, and said: “we believe that Chariot could sell for in excess of $100 million.” Ibid.

“In 1947, Giacometti told his dealer Pierre Matisse: “I saw the sculpture before me as if already done.” In addition to Surrealism, the artist was also inspired by antiquity, including an Egyptian chariot he had seen at the Archeological Museum in Florence. Six casts of Chariot were made during the artist’s lifetime, according to Sotheby’s. Giacometti embellished the patina of certain bronzes by painting directly on the sculpture’s surface. The cast for sale is one of only two painted examples.”


After all this explanation, perhaps the best we can say is that The Chariot speaks for itself. There is one at MoMA

H/T ArtNet


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