Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, Longtime New York Times Book Critic, Dead At 84

“In one of journalism’s most challenging jobs, Mr. Lehmann-Haupt was The Times‘s senior daily book critic from 1969 to 1995 … Readers and colleagues called him a judicious, authoritative voice on fiction and a seemingly boundless array of history, biography, current events and other topics, with forays into Persian archaeology and fly fishing.”

The Art World Defined By Price? A Little Simplistic, Isn’t It?

Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary poses the question “What is the relationship of art to money?” to a handful of prominent figures in the contemporary art world, including richer-than-god Koons, Sotheby’s chairman Amy Cappellazzo, self-styled populist critic Jerry Saltz, and the painter Larry Poons. Their answers, while often brazen, land ambivalently, creating an incomplete portrait of an art world that seems completely resigned to the status quo.

Re-Creating The Medieval Acoustics Of The Mosque-Cathedral Of Córdoba

Here’s how archaeo-acousticians went about modeling, and then reproducing, the sound in the prayer hall/nave at four different points in the building’s history: when it was new in the 780s (you could hear a prayer clearly throughout the room), after subsequent enlargements (more echoes and “acoustical shadows”), and a renovation and expansion in the 1000s (a prayer “echoes as though it was recited deep inside a cave”).

Extreme Close-Ups: Why, And How, Dramatic Movies Are Relying On Them

“Long a staple of television, the technique has gained traction in recent years as an antidote to the kind of smash-cut film editing that first became popular in the ’90s before passing into cliché. But the execution of extreme close-ups requires a certain bravery on the part of actors: nary a blemish, a crow’s-foot wrinkle, or clogged pore will be spared the camera’s unblinking scrutiny.” Thank heaven for CGI.

How Science Is Using The Arts To Communicate

Those who fund science research increasingly expect the public to be fully engaged with the scientific process. The Wellcome Trust in the UK and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation in the US are ploughing big money into science communication, and the results of this investment are far more exciting than a million TED Talks and podcasts.

When Looted Antiquities Turn Up For Sale At Art Fairs, Who’s Responsible?

“What kind of responsibility should fair organizers have to protect the buyers? It would be discriminatory for a fair to restrict the inclusion of a dealer because of past issues and bad press, but at the same time, buyers will assume that fairs are curated to some extent, and that those selling there have been screened by the organizers … In fact, most fairs charge for galleries to exhibit and sell in them, and so there is a financial disincentive to be choosy about who shows.” Noah Charney considers possible solutions.

Mushrooming Multimedia Company Wants To Be The Russian ‘New Yorker’ (Despite Its Insane Name)

“Yegor Mostovshikov is under no illusions about the names he and his co-founder chose for their media company, Mamikhlapinatana, and their main online news platform, Batenka, da vy transformer. Neither make any sense to the uninitiated, whether they speak Russian or English. … [Nevertheless,] over the last year, Mamikhlapinatana‘s monthly turnover more than doubled and it has grown from a side project, which Mostovshikov and co-founder Anton Yarosh ran in their spare time, to employing over 40 permanent staff.”

Calgary’s New Public Library Tries To Bridge The City

As a library, its details are impressive: The building has four floors, 240,000 square feet of internal space, a podcast and YouTube production studio, a performance hall, a grand reading room, a children’s library,  a digital commons, heated handrails, an interior blending hyper-modern touches with traditional wood at almost every turn and $500,000 in indigenous placemaking work, mostly in the form of artworks. It also has 450,000 books.

A New Biography Of George Washington Situates Him Firmly In A World Of Native Americans, And Brings Up New Historical Questions

How important was Washington’s addiction to land speculation to the course of American history? Kind of important – and undiscussed in most biographies. “As America’s god of the passage from colony to nation, Washington looked east to the past and west to the future. And when he faced west, he faced Indian country.”