A tyrannosaur of one’s own. by Laurie Gwen Shapiro [Aeon] Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more — film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?
The world’s most famous palaeontologist doesn’t understand why anyone wants to collect dinosaurs. Mark Norell sits across from me in his expansive corner office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and launches right in: ‘People are weird. I think: “Who is buying this shit?” No accounting for people’s taste. I have a passion for dinosaurs, but certainly not what I would call “dinosaur insanity”. Dinosaurs are just a medium for me to do science. But if I were doing the same thing on some other organism – you wouldn’t be here.’
Do you like cats? Don't lie, we know you do! Cats at the Museum of Moving Image, and you know it's because you love cats!
Bill Watterson, the famously reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes, has given his longest interview to date, to be published in the exhibition catalog for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum's exhibit, Exploring Calvin & Hobbes.
The Animated Genome is a spirited 5-minute film that uses graphics to explain the makeup of your genome and how it affects life and health. It's part of Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History.
So you’re at a gallery—now what?
The fact is, nobody knows what art is or why people make it. This is blatantly disturbing. Some say the function of art is to generate conversation—an unpleasant thought. I’m not sure we want to put art in the same category as skin disease and Carl Winslow: things to talk about on the internet.[more inside]
This is why so many of us have a bad time at galleries: we try to make art Interesting when we should just let it be weird. Art should never be Interesting.
Along with a career retrospective, the V&A Museum in London will publish an extensive photo book covering Bowie's career to date. Graphic design studio Barnbrook has designed the 'David Bowie is' book which accompanies the V&A's exhibition of the same name. [more inside]
The Guggenheim Museum is claiming to be the first museum to begin issuing new exhibit catalogues as e-books for purchase. But even more exciting to the 20th century art history nerd, they've also partnered with the Internet Archive to offer free digitized versions of out-of-print catalogues going back to the 1930s. [more inside]
American Sabor: Latinos in US Popular Music is a currently traveling Smithsonian exhibition exploring the wide range of Latino artists and influences which have shaped American pop music genres since WWII, from Alice Bag to Flaco Jimenez to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to Joan Baez. The website is rich with maps, interviews, videos, and music samples.
Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera is an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London which examines voyeurism through the medium of photography. In addition to works from professionals such as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller, Shizuka Yokomizo, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe, it includes amateur and CCTV "stolen" images taken both with and without the knowledge of their subjects -- all intended to "explore the uneasy relationship between making and viewing images that deliberately cross lines of privacy and propriety." [more inside]
Omeka is a newly available, open-source web platform, bringing good-looking, functional online exhibitry within reach of smaller museums, libraries, and arts groups. From the Center for History and New Media.
Maps: Finding our place in the world is an exhibit at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, and it runs until this Sunday June 8. That page contains images of a few of the maps. One of the many great things included is an animated map of the US Civil War in 4 minutes (one week per second, timeline noted at bottom, casualty counter rolling in bottom right corner - info about this animation) The exhibition book was previously linked here; that site includes higher-resolution versions of some more of the maps. I was floored by all the stuff they have; in terms of the rarity of the stuff in it, and the geek-delight factor, I think it's probably the best gallery show I've ever seen. [more inside]
The next Turner Prize winners? Art Craziest Nation is a mini-gallery of (in)famous pieces by modern artists, accurately reproduced with Lego by a duo called The Little Artists (John Cake and Darren Neave). The exhibition is at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool until next January. See the Lego version of Damien Hirst's Shark Tank, Tracey Emin's Bed, Jeff Koons' Balls, Andy Warhol's Money, Salvador Dali's Lobster Telephone, and many others. It's all in one single piece, with some of the artists themselves in Lego version - and others whose work is not exhibited, like Matthew Barney and Gilbert & George - hanging around sipping their Lego wine (ok, air) from Lego cups (or even throwing it at the Lego person standing next to them). Liverpool Football Club star Gerrard also featured in a tribute to the team's victory of this year's European Cup.
Tales from the Land of Dragons. 100 years of Chinese paintings. From the overview :- 'In China, painting is one of the "Three Perfections," linked with calligraphy and poetry as the most refined of artistic endeavors. This exhibition ... focuses on the years in which the great traditions of Chinese painting were established, during the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties ... '