Recent Posts

The Networks of U.S. Governance

Anne-Marie Slaughter— Since I write a great deal about networks, interviewers often ask me about Donald Trump’s network, pointing out that he “certainly seems to understand how to use a political network” in a way that bypasses mainstream media and pundits. That’s a fair question, but one that also reveals

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Of Peaches, Pears, and Politics

Patricia Mainardi– Édouard Traviès’s 1831 lithograph shows a man gesturing towards a display of caricatures while saying “You have to admit that the head of state looks pretty funny”. It could serve as a banner for all political cartooning, an art that is at its best in difficult times. Simply

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Cnut: Danish Warlord and Anglo-Saxon King

Timothy Bolton— The events of Cnut’s life are relatively straightforward to chronicle. He was born sometime in the decade before the year 1000 in Denmark, as the second son of its king, Sven ‘Forkbeard’, who had seized the country a decade or so before that from his own father, Harald

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The Talmud and Rabbi Akiva

Barry W. Holtz— What does it mean to live in a culture that is rooted in a foundational document, a document from an earlier time written in a language that is both archaic and at times obscure? Americans have grappled with this question for over two centuries and the prospect

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The Joys of Being a Natural History Artist

Debby Kaspari— I’m a natural history artist, and try to draw and paint from living animals whenever possible. Some of what I do in the field might turn out to be finished art, and some of it will become raw material for studio works. But making the art is only

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Spotlight on Josef and Anni Albers

Ivy Sanders Schneider– Josef Albers was a hugely influential German-born American artist and educator. This week — between March 19th, the day he was born in 1888, and March 25, the day he died eighty-eight years later — we highlight aspects of his life to commemorate his work and enduring legacy. Josef

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The New Power of Popular Protest

Nathan Stoltzfus— The new administration’s condemnation of dissent and the arrogation of more and more power in the president’s hands have made street protest and its images more forceful. The president made his way to power by creating images of himself with broad brush strokes vague enough to appeal to

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A Multimedia Exploration of Thomas Wilfred’s Art of Light

“[G]limmers of unfathomable light” … a “yolk-colored blob” … “a sensuous array of abstract composition moving in suspended and unknowable sequence” … “vivid tendrils and clouds, soaring and seeping like magma” … “bruises seen in time-lapse”. All of these descriptions represent attempts to capture in words the strange beauty of

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The Private Life of Il Duce: Mussolini and His Last Lover Claretta Petacci

R. J. B. Bosworth— During the American election campaign last year, a splendid cartoon did the rounds. It displayed Donald J. Trump dressed in military and militant uniform. His telling wedge of blond hair jutted from beneath a Fascist helmet. The caption read ‘Il Douche’. Then and now some commentators

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