Posted 07/30/15

High tops and low

Among the contents of the Allen Ginsberg Papers in Stanford University’s Green Library is a pair of worn and dirty tennis shoes. In the thousand linear feet of correspondence, photographs, manuscripts and notes, reel-to-reel recordings, performance posters, and broadsides, the beat-up sneakers hold their own. Purchased during his 1965 visit to Czechoslovakia, it is reasonable to surmise that Ginsberg wore the nondescript white canvas shoes to march in Prague’s May Day parade, to address a throng of students in the city square, and to cross the tarmac to an outbound plane when he was expelled from the Communist country a few days later

Posted 07/30/15

George Washington's brush with immortality: The hair relics of a sainted hero

The eighteenth century had no pollsters to assess what voters really thought about their politicians, but even without such data, the eulogistic editorials that announced George Washington’s death in December 1799 make clear that the country’s first president had assumed a status as close to sainthood as anyone has ever done in the United States. John James Barralet’s print The Apotheosis of Washington and a spate of similarly grandiloquent depictions of the deceased leader rising into heaven speak volumes about the god-like reputation Washington assumed in the decades following the American Revolution.

Posted 07/15/15

On stage in the garden: The roots of Frida Kahlo’s art at the New York Botanical Garden

After decades of lionization, what more could there be to say about Frida Kahlo? A great deal, as a visit to Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, the new exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden, proves. All it took was a fresh perspective and a unique team of talents.

Posted 07/14/15

Black dolls

Margo Jefferson | Miniature trains and boats; animals and picture books; balls that bounce and tops that spin: these toys belong to non-human worlds. Dolls are the only toys made in our image, the only human-like creatures children are given dominion over

Posted 07/01/15

A charmed life

English inspiration, American creativity, and a bit of historical luck are joined in the author’s house and gardens

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Where to Go in Summer 2015: A Must-Read Guide for Artistic Summer Destinations i