Monday, March 29, 2010

Ballet Twits, Saving Shit, Royal Albert Hall, E. Power Biggs, & Early Maiolica


- Ballet Stars Now Twitter as Well as Flutter : "In the rarefied world of ballet, where dancers are expected to speak with their bodies, sometimes it seems that aloofness is something to aspire to. Lately, though, the ribbons are loosening. Courtesy of Twitter, dancers are starting to make themselves heard. It isn’t always dainty"... The Story at the New York Times

- The weird alchemy of archaeology -The Northwest Anthropology conference yields some interesting stories about what our waste can teach us. "The alchemists said that you could turn shit into gold, and thus archaeology was born"... The Story at

- Antique-hunting in Arezzo, Italy - Arrezo, Italy's Piazza Grande antiques fair is country's oldest and largest street bazaar. "Prayerful angels carved from oak, grinning terra-cotta cherubs and gold pocket watches with time on their hands. All are stacked on the cobblestones of Arezzo's Piazza Grande. Through the shutters of my hotel window, I watch vendors unload a treasure trove of antiques: gleaming wood dining tables, paintings, pottery, jewelry, copper pots and Murano glass." The Story at the LA Times


March 29, 1871: Queen Victoria opens Royal Albert Hall. "The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings, recognisable the world over. Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from every kind of performance genre have appeared on its stage. Each year it hosts more than 350 performances including classical concerts, rock and pop, ballet and opera, tennis, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and lavish banquets."

March 29, 1906: E. Power Biggs, concert organist and recording artist, was born. "Biggs did much to bring the classical pipe organ back to prominence, and was in the forefront of the mid-20th-century resurgence of interest in the organ music of pre-Romantic composers. On his first concert tour of Europe, in 1954, Biggs performed and recorded works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Sweelinck, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Pachelbel on historic organs associated with those composers. Thereafter, he believed that such music should ideally be performed on instruments representative of that period and that organ music of that epoch should be played by using (as closely as possible) the styles and registrations of that era. Thus, he sparked the American revival of organ building in the style of European Baroque instruments".


"A Descriptive Catalogue of the Maiolica, Hispano-Moresque, Persian, Damascus, and Rhodian Wares, in the South Kensington Museum. With Historical Notices, Marks, & Monograms"

By C. Drury E. Fortnum.
Published in London by Chapman & Hall: 1873.

A thick, heavy catalog of this noted collection, featuring many woodcut illustrations and a dozen beautiful chromolithographic plates. Solon ("Ceramic Literature") notes- "The specimens of Italian and Persian ware in the South Kensington Museum form, perhaps, the richest and most comprehensive collection ever brought together. A catalogue of such a collection, written by one of our most accredited connoisseurs, will always be one of the best text-books on the subject that may be placed in the student's hands."


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