Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is visiting Chicago! You will be able to follow Hamlet through the city at @cheeruphamlet on Twitter, this Sunday, 5/26/2013. If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still follow along @cheeruphamlet online here.
Auguste Rodin’s sculpture ‘The Thinker’ is shown outside the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. / Paul Sancya/Associated Press [source]
City finances are really bad in Detroit and a once-sacred cow is now looking like cheeseburgers in an ongoing downturn economy. This has led to an unprecedented area of inquiry about ownership of and leveraging as assets valuable historical works in the Detroit Institute of Art’s collection:
The possible forced sale of some of the DIA’s greatest treasures — including some of the world’s most famous paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, and scores of other masterpieces, is sending shock waves through the museum world.
“There would be hue and cry the likes of which you’ve never heard,” said Ford Bell, president of the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, D.C. “The museum should be a rallying point for the rebirth of Detroit and not a source of funds.”
Museums are not required by federal accounting rules to list their collections as assets. However, at the request of the Free Press, art dealers in New York and metro Detroit reviewed a list of 38 of the greatest masterpieces owned by the museum and estimated a market value of at least $2.5 billion with pieces such as Bruegel’s “The Wedding Dance,” van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait” and Matisse’s “The Window” all carrying estimates of between $100 million and $150 million each.
The estimates amount to educated guesses, however, because works of such historical value and quality hardly ever come on the market.
Even by considering selling off artwork, Orr, the DIA and the city are entering uncharted territory. Art law experts said that they were unaware of any precedents of a city being forced to sell works in a municipal bankruptcy.
Read the whole article at:
Golden Rule (Judith Sheindlin) by Shellie Lewis, 24″ x 30″, multi-media on canvas.
One thing Judge Judy has explained to people at least a thousand times in the course of her show is how troubles and conflicts would have been avoided by treating one another as they themselves would like to be treated. Judy rules on cases and rules daytime television. I never was interested in soap operas y telenovelas. I would much rather see a woman with an education in charge of something.
Like the other Good As Gold paintings in the series, this painting is changes with the viewing angle and the quality of light. They all sparkle and look even better when on display together.
I feel just sick that out of all of the information going out on major future building projects, the local new media is failing to ask one question: should the city be spending a total of $1.1 billion dollars on tourism while they are set to close over fifty public schools? The break down on the pending closures falls into a pattern since Rahm was elected:
A city that has closed down close to 100 public schools since 2001, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced he is slashing an additional 54 schools, representing about 8 percent of the 681 public schools in Chicago, the third-largest school district in the country. The cuts would be the largest single mass public school closing in U.S. history and one that will disproportionately affect black and Hispanic students from predominantly low-income families.
Chicago Teachers’ Union Teachers Solidarity Campaign
I know the city needs revenue, and the city loves tourism dollars very much but should the city be spending in this way? Why can’t Navy Pier fund its own expansion? The multi-million dollar construction rebuilding the southern end of the Red Line train system is an investment in infrastructure and was needed. It also leads to that area where a new basketball arena is set to drop.
A tourist destination like Navy Pier and a Big Ten college basketball arena for DePaul University is more of a sweetheart deal for construction companies than a help to the local communities. I do not see city government partnering with the communities that are going to be impacted; changes are just being foisted on them against the protests of local residents and some Aldermen. The long term jobs after the construction concludes are what kind of jobs? Mopping the floors, selling hot dogs, taking tickets at the gates? A purported 3,700 permanent jobs that suck is not a huge improvement for any community. If you asked people what they would want for their children, a job that sucks or an education, the latter wold win. How else could this money be used? Maybe some jobs is better than no jobs, but low end service jobs are usually short term. A bunch of low end jobs amid urban poverty looks more to me like tapping a class of indentured servants rather than offering people a long term employment for moving up the financial ladder. The employees are not going to get a cut of the real pie, like profit sharing or probably even health benefits as many will be part-time or seasonal following the summer or basketball seasons.
The real benefactors are the people and entities that are already wealthy. I worry that there is a bigger objective here: a land grab. This is applicable to the Southside area around the DePaul arena. Crime and poverty worsen in the areas that are stripped of their public schools, people that want to get out can’t sell their homes and foreclosures roll heavy; then cash rich builders with wallets full of city money come in and snap up real estate for pennies on the dollar. The poor, blue collar and lower middle class people get stripped and the real estate gets flipped. A new Wrigleyville will arise after the bulldozers roll through, a pretty Realtor will guide people through the sparkling new properties for sale and she will never say “We took their schools, then we took their homes. It’s just gentrification, really!”
Update 5/24/2013: The Chicago Reader just stepped up to the plate. Thank you, Reader.
I bought a small lot of antique photographs, including the lovely hand coloured tintype [top] and some carte de visite pieces. They are uploaded here at 300 dpi for you to use and enjoy. They should be Public Domain but no promises; if you use them in any fashion it is at your own risk and discretion. Right click and open in a new tab in your browser if you are having trouble downloading the full size image.
Photographer Kelly DeLay set a creative challenge of taking a great cloud photograph ever day. The count as of today is 1,419. The focus of the photographs is on the sky and the cloud formations. Shots are from wherever DeLay is at the time. See this wonderful project at the website: www.clouds365.com. Three images are below.
That time of year again – another Manifest video. I wonder if YouTube is throttling content: it keeps loading low res, so you may have to select HD. The audio on the music is rough because my camera has a tiny in-camera microphone and the bass was blowing it up. Overall, the opening of the art fest had a lot of energy as another 2,000+ art school graduates are unleashed on the general population. Also, a section of Wabash was shut down once more – a return to prior years- to allow for use of the street and make crossing safer.
The Museum of Science & Industry has a nearby underpass with a collection of mosaics. Here are photos of most of them. (One picture came out really blurry.) I usually do not walk that way and finding them was a pleasant surprise. I like mosaics a lot; they seem to be naturally fun to me. That may be an association on my part because mosaics are fun to put together. Also, whacking tiles with a hammer has its therapeutic benefits for stress.
Re-posted from May 8, 2011
Julia Ward Howe [1819 - 1910]
Mother’s Day in America did not originate as a commercialized holiday intended as a sentimental celebration of mothers and motherhood; it started as an anti-war movement. In 1870, after the massive number of deaths from the civil war, a woman named Julia Ward Howe issued a proclamation from Boston, Massachusetts and set forth as an anti-war activist in the USA and UK. She spent the years following calling women to gather and bring an end to war. The original idea of Mother’s Day was for mothers to leave their usual duties in life -ditch the cooking and cleaning, forget the laundry, chores or jobs- and spend a day working toward peace and the end of war as a collective, a call issued to all of the mothers of the world:
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of
Julia Ward Howe
Through the 1890s, the promotion of Mother’s Day as a peace movement and a call for disarmament continued but did not catch on nationally. Julia Ward Howe went on to write other works and campaign for peace, the suffrage movement, the abolition of slavery and democracy.
Anna Marie Jarvis [1864 - 1948]
So how did the holiday get subverted? How has Mother’s Day become about greeting cards, flowers, boxed jewelry and other gifts? How did a political movement morph into Victorian nostalgia? The Wikipedia does such a good job of summing it up:
” The current holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908 as a day to honor one’s mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother’s dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea didn’t take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. She kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a “Hallmark Holiday”, i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create…
Nine years after the first official United States Mother’s Day, commercialization of the holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.
Later commercial and other exploitations of the use of Mother’s Day infuriated Jarvis and she made her criticisms explicitly known the rest of her life.
She criticized the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day, and she finally said that she “wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control …”
My alternative process stained glass windows made with recycled house windows will be on display at the 2013 Zerolandfill Upcycled Art Competition. The show’s main event and opening is this upcoming Saturday, May 11th – doors open at 10:00 am – at the Chicago Center for Green Technology (445 N. Sacramento Blvd., Chicago, IL). Free parking is available in both the front and rear parking lots. Zerolandfill collects and gives away various materials collected from construction companies and industry; artists and crafters can collect things for free. Join their mailing list for updates and information here.