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Facing African-American History Through African-American Art

When the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting The Annunciation in 1899, they became the first American museum to acquire a work by an African-American artist. That purchase announced a new era of recognition of African-American art and artists just as much as the painting itself announced a new style of art moving away from stereotypical “black” scenes towards a freedom of aesthetic choice. Persons of color could express themselves in any way, even abstraction, but faced the new problem of remaining true to themselves at the same time. The new exhibition Represent: 200 Years of African American Art and accompanying catalogue show how these artists faced the challenges posed to them by art and society and provide all of us with a fascinating guide to facing African-American history—tragic, tenacious, transcendent—through its art.

Healthy Eating Should Be Delicious

“If you want people to eat healthy food it has to taste good,” says Steven Masley, a physician, nutritionist, and a trained chef. Masley is also the author of The 30-Day […]

Dreams of De-Westernization

BEIJING AND SHANGHAI – Every single Western writer in China will face a tough decision in 2014: “Do I translate Chinese terms or not? If negated, this could lead to […]

Why Van Gogh Is Ready for His Close Up

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up,” says washed-up silent film star Norma Desmond in the final scene of Billy Wilder’s unforgettable 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. Gloria Swanson […]

A Freakonomic Analysis

If you haven’t read the popular non-fiction book Freakonomics, I highly recommend it.  Or, if it’s more your speed, you can visit the website associated with the book.  The authors […]

The Neurobiology of Evil

Is a person’s propensity toward evil a matter of malfunctioning synapses and neurons? Michael Stone, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and author of “The Anatomy of Evil,” says […]

Uneasy Listening

What’s the problem with iTunes, iPods, and other convenient listening devices, asks The Los Angeles Times’ Steve Almond? Nothing, except for the devaluation of the music experience.