01.10.19

Boogie Fever: The Dance Plagues Of Medieval Europe

A widespread belief of the 15th century held that the bite of a tarantula could only be treated by wild, mad dancing; groups of people would be possessed by a compulsion to dance, and towns would pay musicians to play for the sufferers. (Hence the dance called the tarantella.) “In fact, mass epidemics of dancing have afflicted various parts of Europe since the seventh century, breaking out particularly in times of famine, disease, and political unrest.” — JSTOR Daily

How Did The Catholic Church Go From Being A Major Patron Of The Arts To… Meh

For centuries, the Catholic Church was one of the world’s most important collectors and patrons of art, but in recent decades, the Vatican’s holiday nativity scene has often been one of its most high-profile artistic contributions. This shift didn’t happen overnight—or even in a generation—but across centuries, and it is inseparable from the evolution of modern European nations, the secularization of public life, and the rise of the art market. – Artsy

Diversity? Fine. But How Are We Defining It?

Historically, diversity is something America fights, or accepts begrudgingly with remorse and reservations, or fights anew when it challenges economic dominance. In a country born of the original sin of slavery — to keep labor cheap; to ensure high profits for the richest one percent (sound familiar?) — this shouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising is how we keep being surprised. – Clyde Fitch Report