This week: Imaginative conservatism, a resurrected Moses oratorio, Luigi Valadier and the pope & more from the world of culture.

Paul Behnke, Study for Seraph, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, Courtesy of the artist, on view at The Painting Center.


Imaginative Conservatism: The Letters of Russell Kirk, by James E. Person Jr. (University Press of Kentucky): In this month’s issue of The New Criterion, we were pleased to publish several essays on Russell Kirk, all of which were delivered as lectures at a conference we held this October, titled “Permanent Things: a symposium.” Kirk’s centenary in 2018 was the occasion for much new scholarship on the intellectual, a piece of which came in the form of the volume Imaginative Conservatism: The Letters of Russell Kirk. This delightful collection of missives, edited by James E. Person Jr., ranges from 1940, when Kirk was a graduate student at Duke, to 1994, the year of his death. It will, I think, be a boon to Kirk scholars for decades to come. —AS


Molly Herman, Corrosive Corazon,Oil and collage on linen, Courtesy of the artist, on view at The Painting Center.

“The Painting Center: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition,” at The Painting Center (January 8 through 26): When The Painting Center opened in New York in 1993, its founding members sought to create just what its name implied: a new center to exhibit painting in New York. Forty-nine artists appeared in the inaugural show at 52 Greene Street in Soho, including Jake Berthot, Louise Fishman, Bill Jensen, and Milton Resnick. The work of more than a thousand artists has since appeared in its programs of juried and curated exhibitions. Now relocated to Chelsea, the center is celebrating its twenty-fifth year with a silver anniversary exhibition featuring the work of past and current members, on view through January 26. The center will host an opening reception and celebration this Thursday, January 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. JP


The violinist and director of The Academy of Sacred Drama Jeremy Rhizor. Photo: Music Before 1800.

“Music Before 1800: Academy of Sacred Drama,” at Corpus Christi Church (January 13): It’s the Year of Moses for the Academy of Sacred Drama, a musical group and literary journal that will spend the year performing and studying works about the Old Testament prophet, beginning on Sunday with the seventeenth-century oratorio Mosè: La creation de’ magistrati by Giovanni Antonio Gianettini. The performance at Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan will be the first time the work has been heard in concert for more than three hundred years, and will include a mid-concert lecture and with a dessert to follow. —HN


Luigi Valadier, Herm of Bacchus, 1773, Bronze, alabastro a rosa,bianco e nero antico, and africano verde, Galleria Borghese, Rome. Photo: Mauro Magliani.

“The Power of Patronage: Valadier and Pope Pius VI,” presented by Jeffrey Collins, at the Frick Collection (January 16): Next week marks the last chance to see “Luigi Valadier: Splendor in Eighteenth-Century Rome” at the Frick. The show is a riot of precious metals, bringing together more than sixty objects from the master silversmith’s workshop. Two Wednesdays from now, on January 16, Jeffrey Collins of the Bard Graduate Center will speak on Valadier’s commissions for Pope Pius VI. —BR

Vladimir Nabokov in 1969. Photo: Giuseppe Pino (Mondadori Publishers).

From the editors: “2019 Winter Juried Exhibition,” at Blue Mountain Gallery (through January 26). The exhibition, juried by Elisa Jensen, includes a painting by our Assistant Editor, Andrew Shea.

From the archive: “The condescending smile of the supreme enchanter,” by John Simon (February 1991). On Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years by Brian Boyd.

From the current issue:“The politics of the imagination,” by R. R. Reno. On Russell Kirk and the cult and culture of openness.

Broadcast:Daniel McCarthy on Russell Kirk, worldly conservative.