Art & Architecture

Podcast: Paris’s Centre Pompidou

January 31st, 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the revolutionary building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. The building launched the careers of these two Pritzker Prize-winning architects and is today one of the world’s most popular cultural institutions and the

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Artistic innovation meets activist politics in early 20th-century Mexico

Matthew Affron and Mark A. Castro– Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950, an exhibition that focuses on an extraordinary moment in the history of modern art, opened in October at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). The show is the product of a partnership between the PMA and the Museo del

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Open letter to Président François Hollande Concerning the Current State of the Centre Pompidou

Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers’s iconic Centre Pompidou in Paris will celebrate its 40th anniversary in January 2017. Francesco Dal Co, author of our newly published book on the building, penned an open letter to President Hollande calling for the restoration of the Parisian landmark, parts of which are now

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Designing the Indecipherable: The Voynich Manuscript

Peter M. Blaiwas — The Absolutely Unique Challenges of Publishing the Voynich Manuscript Fascsimile Book In 2014, Yale University Press approached Wordesign Services to copyedit, design, and produce a facsimile edition of the Voynich Manuscript, a very old, mysterious, beautifully illustrated text. The book would include the first full-size reproduction

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Alexander McQueen: Deliverance

Robert Fairer— The Spring/Summer 2004 Deliverance show was, for me and for many others, a uniquely memorable Alexander McQueen accomplishment.  It expressed breathtaking contradictions: a combination of the classic and the modern; a coexistence of Lee’s singular, visionary genius with the organizing structure of a well-known Hollywood movie.  It was dazzling; it invented a

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Real and Magical—diane arbus: in the beginning with Jeff L. Rosenheim and Karan Rinaldo

Rachel High– Diane Arbus (1923–1971) is one of the most distinctive and provocative artists of the 20th century. Her photographs of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and nudists, are among the most recognizable images of our time. diane arbus: in the beginning is the definitive study

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The Artful Religion of William Blake

Leo Damrosch— Religion was profoundly important to Blake, in a questing and questioning way that is thought-provoking even for readers and viewers who are not religious at all. One of his first experiments in relief etching was a little pamphlet entitled All Religions Are One, which asserts that however much

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Lowlands Travelogue: Utrecht

In Elisabeth de Bièvre’s book Dutch Art and Urban Culture, 1200-1700, the author explains how distinct geographical circumstances and histories shaped unique urban developments in different locations in the Netherlands and, in turn, fundamentally informed the art and visual culture of individual cities. In seven chapters, each devoted to a city, the book

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Why Preservation Should Matter

Max Page— In our “sour little age,” as playwright Tony Kushner once called the world we live in, lines from a law passed fifty years ago this weekend offer welcome uplift.  “The spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage,” declared the National

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Widows and Orphans: Tony Seddon on Type Terms

Tony Seddon— I recently wrote a book titled Essential Type: An Illustrated Guide to Understanding and Using Fonts. When I started the book I assumed, as one does with any writing project, that there would be difficulties of various sorts along the way, but I didn’t figure on there being any

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