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The Day Vincent Died – the 125th Anniversary of the Death of Vincent Van Gogh

Exactly 125 years ago today, Vincent van Gogh died in his brother Theo’s arms in Auberge Ravoux. On the 125th anniversary of Vincent’s death, the Van Gogh Museum celebrates the life of the world-famous artist at his final resting place. Willem van Gogh en Machteld van Laer, descendants of Van Gogh’s brother, Theo, laid sunflowers and yellow dahlias on the painter’s grave in Auvers-sur-Oise, the French village where Vincent spent the last three months of his life.

Exactly 125 years ago today, Vincent van Gogh died in his brother Theo’s arms in Auberge Ravoux. On the 125th anniversary of Vincent’s death, the Van Gogh Museum celebrates the life of the world-famous artist at his final resting place. Willem van Gogh en Machteld van Laer, descendants of Van Gogh’s brother, Theo, laid sunflowers and yellow dahlias on the painter’s grave in Auvers-sur-Oise, the French village where Vincent spent the last three months of his life.

July 29, 2015, by Jack Dziamba -New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday

Van Gogh – the Writer

Today is the 125th Anniversary of the Death of Vincent Van Gogh. In honor of Van Gogh’s life, we are re-blogging from one of our first posts.

Everyone (now) knows Van Gogh, the Artist, bu few know Van Gogh the Writer.  However Vincent was an excellent writer. Here and below, for example, read the  letter to his brother, Theo, from Arles dated September 9, 1888. In this letter, Nan Gogh writes a coherent and articulate explanation of why he chose the colors he used in his painting, Night Cafe.

The Van Gogh Letters

The Van Gogh Museum and the Van Gogh Letters sites are two spectacular responses to the use of the new media for the display of fine art. The Letters are astounding. They are capable of being displayed in the original handwriting, by line, and in several languages. Also, viewers can see the original illustrations that were included in the letters, and can click on it to see the history of the times, area, etc.

The Letters are able to to displayed by period, place, date, with sketches. The following features exist for a comprehensive viewing experience:
Original Text. Displays the original text.
Line endings. Displays the original text with the original line endings. The lines are also numbered.
Facsimile. The facsimile view shows images of the letters. Clicking on a facsimile activates a zoom tool with which you can zoom in on the page. For more detailed information about the facsimile itself, click on the ‘physical description’ beneath the facsimile.
Translation. Here you find the English translation of the letter.
Notes. Displays the editorial annotations to the text. Individual notes can also be accessed by clicking the note number in the text or translation. If a note refers to a person, work of art, book or biblical passage, the reference is provided with a hyperlink. Clicking the hyperlink executes a search for that person, etc. In the case of a reference to an illustrated work of art, clicking the small sunflower icon displays the illustration.
Artworks. Displays thumbnails of all illustrated works of art mentioned in the annotations. Clicking the image will show a larger view of the work.
Recall previous letters. The numbers of recently viewed letters are shown next to the present letter number in the Letter title bar. Clicking a number returns you to that letter.

The Van Gogh Museum

The museum site links both the Letters and the Google Art Project so as to make the experience immediate, convenient, and unique. Thus, it uses every advantage of art in the new media to make it more than the museum catalogue online. Indeed it is superior in many ways to a museum visit. It serves as a museum visit to see the original text in quiet contemplation; without crowds, noise, distraction.

Van Gogh’s Night Cafe

The Van Gogh Letters are extraordinary in that they reveal that Vincent was an excellent writer, and allows us to see his own explanations of his paintings and use of color. One is his letter to his brother, Theo, from Arles dated September 9, 1888. In that letter, he gives a very coherent and articulate explanation of what he tried to do in the painting, Night Cafe.

“In my painting of the night cafe, I’ve tried to express the idea that the cafe is a place where you can ruin yourself, go mad, commit crimes. Anyway, I tried with contrasts of delicate pink and blood-red and wine-red. Soft Lous XV and Veronese green contrasting with the yellow greens and hard blue greens. All of that in an ambiance of a hellish furnace, in pale sulphur. To express something of the power of the dark corners of a grog-shop. And yet with the appearance of Japanese gaiety.”

The museum also has its own YouTube clip on the Google Art Project.

And, Vincent even has his own blog.

H/T Mark Dziamba and the Van Gogh Museum.

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VISIT VENICE – Art, History, Romance via the NEW MEDIA

July 22, 2015, by Jack Dziamba – New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday

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                                      TO BEGIN:  Click Here

Summer – Art, History, and Romance in Venice

Since it’s summer, we seem to be concentrating on stunning visual tours, or on books to read at the beach (and elsewhere).

So, this week it’s Venice via tools of the New Media.  You can explore: Adventure, History, or Romance

simply by scrolling down the site to this page, and selecting what you want to see.

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Famous Art in Venice

“Thanks to the collaboration between the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Google Cultural Institute, the International Gallery of Modern Art – Ca’ Pesaro is now part of Google Art Project: an online platform through which the public around the world can access high-resolution images of works of art in the collections of museums partners in the initiative, with the goal of democratizing access to culture and to promote its preservation for future generations.
For Ca’ Pesaro are uploaded 50 high resolution images of some of the most representative works of the collection and the museum display. These include The Rabbi of Vitebsk by Marc Chagall, the beautiful Judith II (Salomé) by Gustav Klimt, the great paiting of Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida Sewing canvas, The Thinker by Auguste Rodin and the famous Zig Zag by Wassily Kandinsky. To remind some Italians: Felice Casorati with The ladies and the fundamental work of Medardo Rosso, Madame X and Ecce Puer.
Visitors to the Art Project platform can browse the works based on the name of the artist, the title, the type of art, the museum, the country, or the period of time, appreciating these masterpieces in their total beauty allowed to see even the most accurate detail. Among the features available, ‘My Gallery’ allows users to save specific views of selected artworks and build their own personal gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole gallery can be shared with friends on social networks. Also, ‘Compare’ allows people to examine two works of art ‘side by side’ in the same screen to look more closely at how the style of an artist has evolved over time, or connect his artistic trends, or look deep into two details of a same work.”  (Source: Ca’ Pesaro Venice.)
Famous Sites in Venice
venice bridge

You can also take a 360 tour of some of Venice’s favorite sites such as the Doges Palace, The Bridge of Sighs (above), St. Mark’s Square, and others right here.

And, ET Goes to Venice

H/Ts: Open Culture,  and the Google Art Project




July 16, 2015. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday. By Jack Dziamba
"Pushkin's Farewell to the Sea" by Ivan Aivazovsky and Ilya Repin (1877)

“Pushkin’s Farewell to the Sea” by Ivan Aivazovsky and Ilya Repin (1877)

While you may not choose Alexander Pushkin for reading at the beach this summer, the flowing will change your mind. With our attention spans getting shorter and shorter, tools of the New Media bring animation to poetry, so that in 15 minutes, ( 5 for reading the text of this post, and 10 for the film), you will learn and appreciate more about Pushkin, than you know now, or perhaps learn in a semester.

Pushkin at the Beach

“Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (/ˈpʊʃkɪn/;[1]Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкин, tr.Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin; IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr sʲɪˈrɡʲejɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn]; 6 June [O.S. 26 May] 1799 – 10 February [O.S. 29 January] 1837) was a Russian author of the Romantic era[2] who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.

Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. His matrilineal great grandfather was Abram Gannibal, who was brought over as a slave from what is now Cameroon. Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.

While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar’s political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.

Notoriously touchy about his honour, Pushkin fought as many as twenty-nine duels, and was fatally wounded in such an encounter with Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès. Pushkin had accused D’Anthès, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment of attempting to seduce the poet’s wife, Natalya Pushkina. (Source: Wikipedia)

Pushkin’s Poem “The Mermaid” Brought to Life in a Masterfully Hand-Painted Animation

Josh Jones  of  Open Culture, recommends watching the ten-minute film first. He writes, “Though presented in Russian without subtitles, you will—even if you don’t speak Russian—find yourself seduced.”

He writes,

“Pushkin’s work remains viscerally compelling, even in translation: into other languages, other genres, and other media, as in the animated film above of a short poem of Pushkin’s called Rusalka, or “‘The Mermaid.”‘

Pushkin, Poetry, and the New Media

New Media tools and technology can be used to give “reading,” and “reading poetry,” a new meaning, one which meets the time and attention “demands” of the 21st century.

As Jones writes about Pushkin’s  poem, “The Mermaid,”

“Animated in a masterful hand-painted style by Russian artist and filmmaker, Alexander Petrov, [with subtle and haunting music] the film tells the story of a monk who falls in love with a beautiful and dangerous mythical water spirit. You can read a paraphrase, translation, and interpretation of the poem here.”


Jones tell us that,

“Petrov, who painstakingly paints his images on glass with oils, has also adapted the work of other dramatic writers, including another fellow Russian artist, Dostoevsky. His take on Hemingway’sThe Old Man and the Sea won an Academy Award in 2000, and most deservedly so. Petrov does not adapt literary works so much as he translates them into light, shadow, and sound, immersing us in their textures and images. His Rusalka, just like the poem on which it’s based, speaks directly to our imaginations.” (Source: Open Culture).

Total time: 15 Minutes – Easily done at the beach.


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July 8, 2015 NewPost Goes UP Every Wednesday

Ah, summer. What’s better than packing the kids in the old van and heading out to the Grand Canyon ?

Re-blogged from Open Culture


“With Google’s Street View we can amble through New York City’s High Line Park, around the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, and down the cobbled streets of Ouro Preto, Brazil. Now we can also take a virtual hike along the rim of the Grand Canyon, following Google’s cameras along the historic Bright Angel trail from its start at the south rim all the way down the Black Bridge over the Colorado River and on to the Phantom Ranch camping area.”

It’s a perfect way to check out the terrain before taking off for an Arizona vacation.”


“Unlike views in Google’s earlier Street View maps, the Grand Canyon photos are taken along rocky, narrow trails where no car, snow mobile, or motorbike could ever go. So how did Google collect all of the necessary images?”





You have got to see this 360 panoramic of the Canyon.

“The Grand Canyon project is the first to utilize Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera apparatus worn by a hiker that takes a picture every 2.5 seconds. Trekker weighs 40 pounds and is operated by an Android phone held by the hiker. It has 15 cameras pointed in different angles that can be combined to create panoramic views.”

“Follow the South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point for majestic 360-degree views of the misty blue Canyon. It took three days to capture the main trails of the Canyon’s south rim. Two teams hiked down the Bright Angel Trail, camped at Phantom Ranch and hiked out the next day along the South Kaibab Trail. Another team stayed at the top, collecting images from the rim and from Meteor Crater outside the park.”


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E-Book Pricing – Apple, Amazon, the Courts, and You

E-Book Pricing: Apple, Amazon, and the Courts

E-Book Pricing: Apple, Amazon, the Courts, and You

 July 1, 2015 New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday

E-Book publishers have not developed any new technology, in a long, long time, “E- BOOKS – IS THE E-BOOK DEAD, OR JUST ASLEEP?” Instead they are still mired in disputes about pricing, and Price Fixing. Here’s the latest.

Court Ruling: Apple Conspired with e-book Publishers

7/30/15 From: CNET by Shara Tibken contributed to this report.

“The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 vote on Tuesday that Apple conspired with five major book publishers to fix pricing on e-books to establish itself in the space and damage Amazon’s standing in the marketplace.Reuters was among the first to report the news, earlier Tuesday. The judges said Apple violated antitrust law by working with the book publishers to set new pricing terms. The loss means Apple must now pay $450 million as part of an earlier settlement agreement: $400 million to consumers and $50 million in attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs’ counsel. Apple was quick to criticize the ruling.”

The e-book Market

“The e-book market has ushered in a new yet controversial era in the world of book publishing. Publishers were initially suspect of delivering digital books to e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, for fear of e-book sales cutting into profits on traditional printed books. The Apple case also illustrated their concern with e-book pricing models.”

“Over the last few years, however, publishers — happily or not — have embraced e-bookstores, including Apple’s iBookstore and Amazon’s Kindle marketplace. Apple’s store currently has over 2.5 million e-books available, while Amazon’s store has more than 3 million.”

The “Agency Model” Pricing

“The new ruling is the latest in a string of setbacks over the past several years as Apple has tried unsuccessfully to argue that it did not act inappropriately by partnering with book publishers through its iBooks e-book platform.”

“In an attempt to improve its position in the e-books market with its own iBooks in 2010, Apple offered a contract that allowed publishers to determine the price of e-books. The pricing system, called the “agency model,” meant prices would go up and publishers would in turn make more from the sale of each title.”

“Amazon, its top competitor at the time, was using a traditional pricing model that allowed the e-retail giant to offer a sales price on e-books. While the revenue was lower per sale, Amazon argued that it followed traditional pricing on regular books, which gave retailers latitude to offer pricing on their own terms to follow demand.”

Price Fixing Law Suits

“Apple and major book publishers were rolled into lawsuits across the US, including one from the US Department of Justice, filed in 2012. The European Union also launched an investigation into the matter, arguing that the agency model could be in violation of competition law. But the EU promptly closed its inquiry after the parties settled.”

In a series of statements and e-mails revealed during the DOJ case, Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs told one publisher in 2010 that the publisher could benefit by joining Apple to ‘see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.’ At the time, Amazon had kept most e-book prices to $9.99.”

As the lengthy investigation wore on, the major book publishers accused of collusion with Apple in the DOJ case settled out of court for their alleged involvement in the agency model pricing. Apple continued to argue that it was innocent, but last year it agreed to a settlement with the Justice Department after a federal judge ruled, in 2013, that the company had violated antitrust laws.

Amazon Pricing Under Investigation by the EU

“Amazon is now in its own legal trouble over e-books. Earlier this month, the EU’s competition watchdog, the European Commission, launched a formal investigation into Amazon’s deals with e-book publishers. The European Commission said it’s particularly interested in determining whether Amazon’s contracts with the publishers violate competition rules by requiring the e-book publishers to disclose to Amazon more favorable terms in deals they may have signed with competitors, like Apple.”

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June 24, 2015 – New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday

Juilliard Open Studios App

This blog is devoted to the Book and Fine Art in the New Media,institutions which use New Media to fufill the mission of making Art available to everyone- everywhere. On May 28, 2015, The Juilliard School announced the release of the free App,  Juilliard Open Studios. As stated in the Juilliard Digital website, “Juilliard Digital products offer everyone—from beginners to connoisseurs—new opportunities to learn about and find inspiration in timeless works of art.” 

Fine Art in the New Media

The App is a cool blend of innovative New Media technology, and a number of interactive features (described below) which brings you right into the studio. The app is free, as is the first episode. Additional episodes are by subscription ($7.99/mo), supporting The Juilliard School’s educational mission, including scholarships and outreach programs.

“Juilliard Open Studios is an App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that provides behind-the-scenes looks at Juilliard’s educational process. The app offers an insider’s view of classes, rehearsals, coachings, and productions in development.

The app uses innovative technology to connect users, whether novices or connoisseurs, to an entertaining collection of dance, drama, and music episodes.  Juilliard Open Studios is available in the App Store worldwide in English and Chinese (traditional and simplified).”

Interactive Features

“The app’s interactive features, which include layer-in-layer video, circle insights, voice-over commentary, interviews, and scrolling dance guides, scripts, and scores, allow users to direct their own experience and view content from different perspectives. The app is free to download and will launch with seven episodes.”

App and First Episode Free*

“Each user can access one episode for free; the complete, growing library of content can be accessed with a monthly subscription ($7.99 per month). By subscribing, users will be supporting all aspects of Juilliard’s educational mission, including scholarships and outreach programs.”

Free Episode Trailers

While the App is subscription based, you can view trailers (approximately 6 minutes each) from the First Episode free at  http://digital. Juilliard.edu/open-studios. Below is one titled “First Movement,” performed by Adria Ye  with commentary by world renowned piano pedagogue Veda Kaplinsky.

Juilliard Faculty Members

“In the first year, episodes in the Juilliard Open Studios app will feature renowned Juilliard faculty members and alumni such as Emanuel Ax, Terese Capucilli, Wynton Marsalis, and Stephen Wadsworth, as well as guest artists including dancers Marcelo Gomes and Luciana Paris, trumpeter Jon Faddis, choreographer Larry Keigwin, and playwright Tony Kushner. “

Special Features

“Juilliard Digital will release a second app in late June: a single-download deep-dive into Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” quartet with the Juilliard String Quartet. This app will give users access to in-depth commentary, historical context, HD video of complete performances, and special features including the ability to highlight individual instruments, a scrolling score, and an innovative visualization of the music called the BeatMap.”

App Developers

Juilliard Opens Studios has been developed by Juilliard Digital – part of The Juilliard School – and Touchpress, a pioneering app developer and the creator of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, The Elements, and Liszt Sonata in B Minor, among other apps.

*Scholarship Program for the App Episodes?

As mentioned above, The app is free to download and will launch with seven episodes. Each user can access one episode for free. However, it is hoped that the Juilliard will introduce a “Scholarship Program” whereby those who cannot afford the $7.99 monthly subscription can access them for free. Perhaps Juilliard Digital and Touchpress are already working on such a Program?

Source: The Juilliard School

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Art Basel in Basel 2015 “Unlimited” (VIDEO)- Fine Art in the New Media

Art Basel in Basel 2015-  Unlimited

The Unlimited sector of the international art fair Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, presents large scale installations, paintings and sculptures, performances and videos in Hall 1 of Messe Basel. This video provides you with a first look at the exhibition, which is always one of the highlights of Art Basel.


Art Basel

“Art Basel stages art shows for Modern and contemporary works of the highest quality, sited annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong.Each show has participating galleries, exhibition sectors, artworks and parallel programming produced in collaboration with the host city’s local institutions.

Art Basel provides a platform for galleries, giving them access to an international audience of collectors, museum directors and curators. The shows attract people with an appreciation of modern and contemporary art who experience Art Basel as a cultural event.”

Fine Art in the New Media- Vernissange TV

By the use of You Tube (now, an old New Media tool), Huff Post and Vernissange TV have made it possible to see high quality videos of major art fairs, wherever they may be held. This, in itself is a major project in the creative use the tools of the New Media to make Art accessible to anyone in the world.

Moreover, the quality of the Vernissange TV videos are a an exceptional primer on the use of video to produce an art experience as if one were there. Notice the cleanness of the video, framing, editing, outstanding shots of the Art, and the simple ambient sound,  producing an effect almost as if you were one of the people in the video viewing there at the Fair.  Notice also, that the focus is on the Art itself, with no distracting talking heads or text.

VernissageTV (VTV) is the Internet’s unique TV art project, which covers exhibitions and events in the fields of contemporary art, design and architecture. It produces films and videos for our web series, as well as for museums, galleries, art spaces, art fairs, and art publications.” Vernissange TV is now in its 20th Season, and its archives contain some 240 pages of art, shows, fairs, and interviews going back to September 2005. Talk about an Art binge!

Art Basel in Basel

Art Basel in Basel, which began in 1970, takes place in June and marks the summer reunion of the international art world, hosted by the Swiss city of Basel, which has been a cultural capital for centuries. In 2014, the show featured more than three hundred galleries from thirty-six countries, attracting more than ninety-two thousand artists, collectors, gallerists, museum directors, curators, and art enthusiasts.

More details about Art Basel

“The show is divided into eight sectors:

Galleries: The anchor of Art Basel is its Galleries sector, over 230 of the world’s leading galleries of Modern and contemporary art show 20th – 21st century artworks. Visitors are presented a breadth of works including paintings, drawings, sculpture, installations, prints, photography, video and digital art by more than 4,000 artists.

Feature: The Feature sector emphasizes precisely curated projects that may include solo presentations by an individual artist, or juxtapositions and thematic exhibits from artists representing a range of cultures, generations, and artistic approaches.

Statements: In this sector, Art Basel presents exciting new solo projects by young, emerging artists.

Edition: Leading publishers of editioned works, prints, and multiples exhibit the results of their collaboration with renowned artists.

Unlimited: Unlimited is Art Basel’s pioneering exhibition platform for projects that transcend the limitations of a classical art-show stand. It was launched in 2000 under the direction of Samuel Keller with Simon Lamunière as curator until 2011. The innovative work includes out-sized sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances. Since 2012, Unlimited is curated by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer.

Parcours: Parcours engages the city’s historical quarters with site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances by renowned international artists and emerging talents. Parcours is curated by Florence Derieux and is open to the public.

Film: Art Basel’s week long program of films by and about artists is curated by Berlin film scholar Maxa Zoller and Zurich collector This Brunner.

Magazines: Art publications from around the world display their magazines in single-magazine stands or the collective booth.

Outside the exhibition halls, the city of Basel’s cultural institutions – including Fondation Beyeler, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kunsthalle Basel, Tinguely Museum, and Kunsthaus Baselland – offer museum exhibitions.” (Source: Wikipedia.)

H/T Huff Post


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