Thursday, January 28, 2010

War And Peace

"World leaders meeting in London on Thursday agreed on a timetable for the handover of security duties in Afghan provinces starting in late 2010 or early 2011."

Associated Press "Afghanistan Conference Agrees on Exit Timetable" January 28, 2010


Music theater: Ping Chong’s staging of the ‘Rheingold Curse’


The Icelandic Edda: Myth and the Mind - Wagner, Tolkien and Beyond

Roundtable discussion with:

H.E. Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Ambassador of Iceland
Dr. Alexander Stein, psychoanalyst, The Boswell Group
Taru Spiegel, Library of Congress
Professor Donald Crosby, Wagner Society, Washington, D.C.

Presented to accompany tonight's Sequentia Ensemble’s production of "The Rheingold Curse", this discussion examines the Edda’s place in Iceland’s culture, past and present, and the symbolic use of archetype and leitmotif to bypass the conscious mind and reach the heart to convey meaning.

January 28 6:15 - The MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ROOM (First Floor) in the Jefferson Building

Header credit: (c) Copyright controlled. 2009. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Which Pan Cogito Studies A Picture Of The Small Parking Lot Of The New Beijing Central Academy Of Fine Arts Museum, China

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Beijing's New Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum

MacArthur Fellow Xu Bing (b. 1955) moved to New York City in 1990, and returned to Beijing as Vice President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2008.

Photo credit: (c) Patrick Burgoyne for London's Creative Review 2009.

Matching Shanghai And Hong Kong, China, Nation's Capital To Open Sleek Aerotrain Linking Dulles International Airport And Downtown Washington, D.C.

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Correction ... the $1.5 billion Dulles Aerotrain -- opening tomorrow -- will merely circle beneath the Dulles Airport Concourse.

Header credit: Copyright 1997-2010 Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority 1 Aviation Circle Washington, DC 20001


National Centre for the Performing Arts (China)

NCPA Original Opera: Xi Shi Apr. 15-19, 2010 19:30

The new 2,398-seat Chinese National Opera House is the Centre's largest venue and boasts the most advanced staging equipment available. It will host the most elaborate productions from the world's most creative artists.

Photo credit: (c) Hui Lan, Beijing, China, 2009. Xpresso Design, Inc., China. With thanks.

Interior of the new 2,398 seat Beijing National Opera House, Beijing, China.

Photo credit: (c) Sipa Press/Rex Features 2009. Copyright controlled.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Could The Haiti Tragedy Teach The Affluent In The Overdeveloped World To Eat Better?

Photo credit: (c) Reuters 2010. Copyright controlled.

Thinking Ahead For The Economic And Human Development Of The Children, The Grandchildren, And The Great Grandchilden ...

"While saving lives and providing humanitarian relief remain the absolute priority of the international community in helping Haiti deal with the devastation of the earthquake, information is beginning to arrive about the state of the country's heritage: the National History Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers, situated in the north of the country, and about Jacmel, in the southeast.

The National History Park, an early 19th century complex, which includes the ruins of a royal palace and the largest fortress of the western hemisphere, appears to have been largely spared by the quake. But UNESCO is still waiting for detailed information about the impact of the quake on the property which was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1982.

Reports of extensive damage are coming in from Jacmel, the colonial city the Haitian authorities placed on their "tentative list" in 2004 with a view to proposing its inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List."

UNESCO World Heritage List.

Header credits: Citadel, Haiti. Copyright © 1992-2010 UNESCO World Heritage Centre, All Rights Reserved; and © UNESCO/G. Hyvert 2010.

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Source: Herblock "The philanthropist" December 5, 1930. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Works And Days

Photo credit: (c) Getty Images 2010. Copyright controlled.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hear Them Calling

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Photo credit: (c) Reuters 2010. Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Believe It Or Not! ... Where's Europe?

Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a major city (pop. 280,000) in the current European Union, while Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Odesa, and Yalta, Ukraine are still far down on the ‘waiting list’ for membership in the European Union behind Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

Header: Western Opera houses of Llubjana, Lviv, and Odesa, Europe. Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

As Interest In American Civilization Reaches Near All-Time High, Is The Washington National Opera Poised To Abdicate Its World-Class Status?

"A full year of open doors at the National Museum of American History, combined with a robust bump from the crowds in Washington for the inauguration, brought a record number of visits to the Smithsonian in 2009.

Last year, according to numbers released this week by the Smithsonian, the institution's 19 facilities received 30 million visits. The last time the Smithsonian counted that many was in 2000 and 2001 ..."

Jacqueline Trescott "Smithsonian Institution has record year in 2009, with 30 million visits" Washington Post January 7, 2010

Header credits: New covered courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (c) and Susan Biddle and the Washington Post. Copyright controlled. Not pictured: National Gallery of Art of Washington, D.C.

Washington National Opera

Peace On Earth ... Goodwill Toward All Mankind

Credit: (c) Copyright controlled 2009.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Merry Christmas To My Eastern Orthodox Readers

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Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Photo credit: (c) Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Maturity v. Beginnings Of Decay?

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"It is indeed remarkable that the field has moved from a posture of resistence to new works [and newer works] only a few decades ago to one today in which new works projects [and newer works] are protected priorities, even during the most severe economic downturn in memory."

"Conductors, directors and singers have to grow as artists when they bring life to music and characters that have no [or more limited] prior performance history."

Quotations source: OPERA America


OPERA America at 40 years old.

The troubled WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA at 55 years old.


Header credits: (c) Ken Howard 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 04, 2010

"Synecdoche": The Relationship of Big to Small in the Work of Byron Kim
January 10, 2010 at 2:00 PM
East Building Concourse, Auditorium

Byron Kim, artist, in conversation with Molly Donovan, associate curator of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art

Header credit: Copyright © 2010 National Gallery of Art, Washington DC


National Gallery of Art of Washington, D.C.'s FACES AND PLACES is a two-part interactive activity inspired by the National Gallery’s extensive collection of American naive artists, a gift to the nation from Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch. Elements from more than 100 paintings have been included in these presentations. Using these two programs, young artists can create portraits, landscapes, or genre scenes of daily life. (Shockwave, 6 MB) .

FACES encourages children to create and personalize portraits by changing the facial characteristics of various sitters. Easy-to-use interactive tools allow users to modify the expressions and hairstyles of the subjects or to add decorative elements to a stylized domestic interior.

PLACES is a panoramic landscape activity that introduces children to the fundamentals of landscape and genre painting while offering a glimpse of life in rural America from the late 18th through the mid-19th century. Music and surprising animations enliven the scene, as children experiment with perspective, composition, color, and scale.

shhh ... don't tell the Washington arts establishment!


(River Run encourages younger children to orchestrate a flowing array of colorful shapes and patterns online.)