Elementary School Teacher Fired After Allowing Students To See Pictures Of Classic Art Including Nudity

"The saga began when Mateo Rueda had fifth and sixth grade students do a color study exercise. In the last few minutes of class, Rueda had students go to the library and look through art books and boxes of postcards so they could select which paintings best exemplified the color relationships they had been studying. That’s when Rueda realized that some of the postcards, which he claims had been in the library long before he started teaching there, included some nude paintings, including Iris Tree, by Amedeo Modigliani, François Boucher’s Brown Odalisque, and The Valpincon Bather by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres."

A New Golden Age For Soul (And What That Looks Like)

"For much of the 2010s, the charts have been dominated by pop stars who weren’t necessarily delivering the most personalized, introspective music. Big productions and a litany of guest appearances on every release undermined the impact of singer-songwriters, as artists like Jazmine Sullivan and Bilal remained on the fringes of the mainstream. But this year, the pendulum swung for sincerity. Black singer-songwriters once again are redefining popular music and reshaping contemporary soul."

John Portman, Architect Of Soaring Hotel Atriums And Transformer Of Skylines, Has Died At 93

Portman's buildings "often evoked oohs and aahs from the public, but were not always a hit with critics, who called them concrete islands, self-contained cities within cities — serving their patrons yet insular, even forbidding to outsiders. But by combining architectural talents with the savvy of a real estate entrepreneur, Mr. Portman was hugely successful and a rarity among contemporaries: both an artist and a tough businessman."

The Australian True Crime Writer Who Says She Can Now ‘Die Happy’

Helen Garner, after James Wood praised her in The New Yorker: "I used to have all sorts of secret, spiteful feelings because I never won any prizes in Australia for my non-fiction. I put a lot of energy into acting like I didn’t care. I did, quite a lot. It has literary value and I have worked on it as hard as any fiction I’ve written. So I felt deeply gratified and relieved of enormous amounts of anxiety and mortification."

Stephen Albert, Executive Director Of Chicago’s Court Theatre, Has Died At 66

Albert had a long history of working in theatre, including, before Court Theatre, as "the longtime managing director at Hartford Stage in Connecticut, an assignment that followed similar leadership posts at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and the Alley Theatre in Houston. At Court, he presided over a robust period of growth, coupled with the cultivation of a much closer alliance with the University of Chicago, on whose campus the long-independent theater is housed."

An Architecture Critic Takes On The Border Wall

The L.A. Times' Christopher Knight worked hard to convince the Border Patrol that he should be able to see the wall prototypes - and that an architecture critic's experience and expertise were relevant. But once he got there, he says, "my critical instincts seemed divided against themselves. The slabs in front of me seemed at once the most and least architectural objects I’d ever seen. They were banal and startling, full and empty of meaning. Here were the techniques of Land Art, medieval construction, marketing and promotion, architectural exhibition and the new nativism rolled uncomfortably if somehow inevitably into one."