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12.1.05

That's Good Reading, Newspaper Edition

I will assuage my guilt over not having mentioned the sad passing of Artie Shaw by sending you to an article by Mike Zwerin, Yesterday's idols: Memories of Artie Shaw (International Herald Tribune, January 11):

When I interviewed him 10 years ago, Shaw was living incognito in a northern suburb of Los Angeles, the name of which he made me promise not to print. "I'm an old curmudgeon," he explained. "A recluse. I don't know a soul in the neighborhood. People leave me alone. Word is out that I'm a shooter." People who came up to him saying: "Oh, I really loved 'Begin the Beguine"' made him "want to vomit."
You may remember my post (Icon Maker, December 18, 2004) on an interesting exhibit on the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. Here is another article about it (Celebrating a symbol of friendship, January 7) by Mary Blume for the International Herald Tribune. She informs us that Bartholdi also sculpted the lion (inscribed "AVX DEFENSEVRS DE BELFORT 1870–71") in Belfort, where Pierre-Philippe Denfert-Rochereau led a heroic defense against the Prussian siege of that town, and the quarter-size reproduction in the Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris. She also describes an unrealized project:
Bartholdi as a youth had gone to Egypt with the salon painter Jean Léon Gérôme and had made a sketch for a statue-lighthouse to stand by the Suez Canal. It was twice the height of the Great Sphinx and was called Egypt, or Progress Bringing Light to Asia. For lack of funds it was never made, although Ferdinand de Lesseps, the canal's builder, fancied the idea.
This little biographical article says that other Bartholdi works can be viewed in the United States: a fountain (in what is now called Bartholdi Park) in the United States Botanic Garden here in Washington; a a frieze with four angelic trumpeters on the tower of the First Baptist Church in Boston; and the Lafayette Statue, in Union Square, and the Lafayette and Washington Monument, at Morningside Park, in New York City. I also found a Bartholdi 2004 anniversary site and the Musée Bartholdi in Colmar, where he was born.

For the last link, you will have to read French to appreciate Jean-Pierre Stroobants's article (Anish Kapoor laisse planer sa "Melancholia" sur la Wallonie, January 10) in Le Monde. It reviews the exhibit Melancholia, at the Musée des Arts Contemporains, in Grand-Hornu, Belgium, until March 6 (my translation):
The Indian artist Anish Kapoor spent only a few hours on the site of Grand-Hornu before falling in love with it. The director of the Musée des arts contemporains (MAC's), Laurent Busine, not only wanted to offer him an unexpected commission but also to present in this strange place—an old Walloon coal factory converted into a vast cultural complex, in the heart of an economic desert—the unknown works of a sculptor and painter courted by the entire world.
I know Kapoor primarily from his stainless steel sculpture Cloudgate, in Chicago, which I wrote about this past summer (see my post on August 29, 2004).

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