Recent links of note:
“Long-Lost Monet, Sent Away for Safekeeping Before WWII, Found in Louvre Storage”
Brigit Katz, Smithsonian.com
One of the enduringly intriguing side notes to the history of the Second World War has been its calamitous effect on art. From refugee artists fleeing central Europe during the rise of the Nazis, to the valuable collections that were stolen or lost over the course of the War, to damaged and destroyed architectural wonders, World War II forever altered the shape of art history. As a recent story shows, we are still discovering the extent of its effect to this day. This week, the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo revealed that a lost painting by Monet, once owned by the wealthy Japanese art collector Kōjirō Matsukata, was happily discovered in a Louvre storage space. Water Lilies: Reflection of Willows (1916), an important contribution to his “Grande Decoration”project, has suffered extensive damage but will undergo conservation efforts at the Louvre before its scheduled display in Tokyo in 2019. Matsukata reportedly bought the work directly from Monet, and later sent it and other works in his extensive collection to France as the War began in hopes of keeping it safe from damage.
“The oddness of Isaac Newton”
Oliver Moody, The Times Literary Supplement
In the annals of the history of science, Sir Isaac Newton is, naturally, best remembered for his indispensable contributions to classical mechanics, calculus, and optics. Less frequently discussed, but also well known, was the deep religious fervor that he paired with his more empirical studies of life. Rob Iliffe, a professor of the History of Science at Oxford University and a founder of the Newton Profect, has penned a new book (titled Priest of Nature) on the religious and philosophical side of the English thinker’s intellectual life, revealing a both unorthodox and backwards-gazing man. As Oliver Moody notes in his review of the book in The Times Literary Supplement, Newton was “equal parts litigator, millenarian, numerologist, moralist, and paranoid conspiracy theorist”: a man who, had he shared the greater part of his beliefs with his colleagues, would have certainly been expelled from his academic posts and left unable to write the groundbreaking texts for which we remember him today. The review and book are notable also for their in-depth analysis of the Cambridge colleges of Newton’s time, which clearly shared more in common with their “medieval antecedents” than with the secularized academic world of today.
“In a New Era for the Met, a Yankees Hat Might Be Enough for Entry”
Sopan Deb, The New York Times
Yesterday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s controversial decision to charge a mandatory admissions fee for out-of-state visitors took effect, but it seems like the institution won’t be building their border wall any time soon. The Met seems to have prepared extensively for the change, which promised to present a number of logistical challenges, by introducing formalized ticket lines and new “roving” staff members who can sell tickets on the fly with an iPad. Sopan Deb of The New York Times reports on the new admissions experience, for which it seems that wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap into the Museum is sufficient proof of in-state residency (for now). A useful (if sartorially problematic) scheme for those wanting to pay pennies.
From our pages:
“In grateful praise of a tenor recital”