Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bond, Banned, Goya, Vincent, Woody & Hiroshige

- Swann's to Conduct First-Ever Exclusive Auction of British Spy Novels : "On Thursday, April 8, auction house Swann Galleries in New York will offer The Otto Penzler Collection of British Espionage and Thriller Fiction. The sale represents a select portion of the private library of the well-known mystery fiction specialist and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City who amassed his collection of rare spy and suspense books over 40 years". The Story at Seattle pi

- Zimbabwe Artist in Court After Controversial Exhibit : "Zimbabwe artist Owen Maseko was in court in Bulawayo after the government shut down his art exhibit exploring violence blamed on President Robert Mugabe. Owen Maseko's exhibition at the national art gallery in Bulawayo focuses on an uprising that was crushed in western Matabeleland after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. Thousands of civilians were massacred by members of the Shona tribe trained by North Korea and loyal to Robert Mugabe." The Story at Voice of America


March 30, 1746: Francisco Goya, Spanish painter, was born. A romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns, Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown and a chronicler of history and political oppression. "The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet and Picasso."

March 30, 1853: Vincent van Gogh, Dutch artist who popularized sunflowers & Don McLean, was born.

March 30, 1909: New York City's Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, opens. "The Queensboro Bridge has been referenced numerous times in popular culture. The best known use of the bridge was from Woody Allen's film Manhattan, when Allen and Diane Keaton's characters relax on a bench in front of it at twilight; it became the film's poster image. It has been used in the credits of the television series Taxi, Archie Bunker's Place, and The King of Queens as well as being the backdrop of scenes in the films Escape from New York, Spider-Man, and Manhattan. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway traverse the bridge on their way from Long Island to Manhattan. "The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge," Nick says, "is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world". The Simon & Garfunkel song "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" uses the bridge as its namesake. It appears in The Simpsons episode "You Only Move Twice", when Hank Scorpio destroys it to show that he's not bluffing.


“Hiroshige. Birds and Flowers”

“Shunning the popular tradition of courtesan subjects in the 1830s, and inspired by Chinese bird and flower painting traditions and miniaturist techniques, Japanese printmaker Hiroshige concentrated on landscapes and nature scenes, ultimately creating some five thousand prints of bird and flower studies. A pheasant perched against chrysanthemums; an egret crouched among reeds; an eagle soaring high above Edo in a sky full of stars—these are a few of the 91 magnificent color reproductions here (some more than 13 inches long) of his meticulously rendered prints.”


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