Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holy Platinum Jazz Violins, Batman! To the Schools!


- Five cleared of trying to extort £4.25m from duke over stolen Da Vinci painting : Jury issues not proven verdicts against two accused and not guilty for the other three after eight-week trial. "Five men accused of trying to extort £4.25m from one of Britain's richest peers for the return of a stolen Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece have all walked free after an eight-week trial..." Read the full story

- Museums Take Their Lessons to the Schools : "SUTTON, Mass. — Sitting in the dark, knees crossed, looking up at the stars projected on the planetarium dome, the fourth-grade class might have been on a field trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. But instead, they were having what Katie Slivensky, an educator from the museum, calls a “backwards field trip” in a portable, inflatable planetarium set up for the morning in the old gym at Sutton High School — a 50-minute lesson on the stars, moon and planets, tied to state learning standards for physical science, earth and space... " Read the full story


April 22, 1658: Giuseppe Torelli, Italian violist, violinist, teacher, and composer, was born. "Torelli is most remembered for his contributions to the development of the instrumental concerto, especially concerti grossi and the solo concerto, for strings and continuo, as well as being the most prolific Baroque composer for trumpets.

April 22, 1891: Laura Gilpin, American photographer, was born. "Known for her photographs of Native Americans, particularly the Navajo and Pueblo, and her Southwestern landscapes, Gilpin said she made her earliest dated autochome in 1908 when she was 17 years old. She found her true vision in the peoples and landcsapes of the American Southwest, and she published several books on the region. She went to become one of the great masters of the art of platinum printing, and many of her platinum prints are now in museums around the world. She said "I have always loved the platinum printing process. It's the most beautiful image one can get. It has the longest scale and one can get the greatest degree of contrast. It's not a difficult process; it just takes time." Over a thirty-year period from 1945-1975 her work was seen in more than one hundred one-person and group exhibits."

April 22, 1916: Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was born. "Violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom, he is commonly considered one of the twentieth century's greatest violin virtuosi. His recording contract with EMI lasted almost 70 years and is the longest in the history of the music industry. He made his first recording at age 13 in November 1929, and his last in 1999 at age 82. In total he recorded over 300 works for EMI, both as a violinist and as a conductor."

April 22, 1922: Charles Mingus, American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and human rights activist, was born. "Having released numerous records of high regard, Mingus is considered one of the most important composers and performers of jazz as well as a pioneer in bass technique. Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. Mingus was also influential and creative as a band leader, recruiting talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations. Nearly as well known as his ambitious music was Mingus' often fearsome temperament, which earned him the nickname "The Angry Man of Jazz"."


“California Pottery: From Missions to Modernism”

By Bill Stern.
Published in San Francisco by Chronicle Books in 2001.

From the 1920s to the 1950s, designers including Rockwell Rockwell Kent and Edith Heath, and producers including Bauer, Catalina, and Vernon Kilns, were involved with California potteries. They made strikingly colorful dishware, garden pottery, and decorative and architectural tiles. The pieces reflect the style of the times, from Arts and Crafts and romantic Mission styles of the 20s to the Moderne styles of the 1930s, and the Modernist style of the 1940s and 50s. This enjoyable, well-illustrated book provides a history of California's diverse and colorful pottery.


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