Monday, May 10, 2010

Let's Rock Around the Clock with Those Elgin Marbles at the Centennial Exhibition!!


- Who Draws the Borders of Culture? "Siding with the imperialists drives good people bonkers, I know. It’s akin to Yankees worship, with the Greeks playing the underdog role of the old Red Sox. That said, patrimony claims too often serve merely nationalist ends these days, no less often than they do decent ones, never mind that the archaeological and legal arguments by the Greeks for the Elgin Marbles, while elaborately reasoned and passionately felt, don’t finally trump the British ones..." read the full story

- Is it design, or is it ... art? "Dutch/Belgian design duo Studio Job treat furniture as sculpture, creating a beautiful tale of industry's demise that looks back to the arts and crafts movement..." read the full story


May 10, 1824: The National Gallery in London was founded. "The National Gallery houses a rich collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900 in its home on Trafalgar Square. Unlike comparable art museums such as the Louvre in Paris or the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection. It came into being when the British government bought 36 paintings from the banker John Julius Angerstein in 1824. After that initial purchase the Gallery was shaped mainly by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, and by private donations, which comprise two thirds of the collection. The resulting collection is small in size, compared with many European national galleries, but encyclopaedic in scope; most major developments in Western painting "from Giotto to Cézanne" are represented with important works. It used to be claimed that this was one of the few national galleries that had all its works on permanent exhibition, but this is no longer the case.

May 10, 1866 – Léon Bakst, Russian artist, was born. "Bakst was a Russian painter and scene- and costume designer who revolutionized the arts he worked in. Born as Lev (Leib) Samoilovich Rosenberg, he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts as a noncredit student, working part-time as a book illustrator. At the time of his first exhibition (1889) he took the surname of "Bakst," based on his mother's maiden name. After the mid-1890s he became a member of the circle of writers and artists formed by Sergei Diaghilev and Alexandre Benois, which later became the Mir Iskusstva art movement. His graphics for this publication brought him fame. Beginning in 1909, Bakst worked mostly as a stage-designer, designing sets for Greek tragedies, and, in 1908, he made a name for himself as a scene-painter for Diaghilev with the Ballets Russes. In late 2010, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will present an exhibit of Bakst's costumes and prints."

May 10, 1876: The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair in the United States, opens in Philadelphia. "The exhibition was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. About 10 million visitors attended, equivalent to about 20% of the population of the United States at the time (though many were repeat visitors). Consumer products first displayed to the public included Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, Remington's typewriter, Heinz Ketchup, and Hires Root Beer.

May 10, 1954: Bill Haley & His Comets release "Rock Around the Clock", the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts. "Haley's recording became an anthem for rebellious Fifties youth and is widely considered to be the song that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture in the United States and around the world. The song is ranked #158 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

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