Just how heavy and cumbersome was medieval armor? Who wore it? What did it look like? To find out, watch How to Mount a Horse in Armor and Other Chivalric Problems, an entertaining, informative, and deliciously snarky presentation by Dirk H. Breiding, assistant curator of the Department of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. [more inside]
Auditioning for the MET Orchestra: "Why is there so much pressure? In part, because the candidates must prepare an exhaustive list of some of the most important and demanding parts ever written for their instrument. For Boris’ audition, the list included a solo concerto plus eighteen excerpts from fourteen operas. Rob’s audition included even more excerpts from both the symphonic and operatic repertoire, in which he had to demonstrate his abilities on no fewer than nine different instruments." [more inside]
Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative Party's former Chief Whip, resigned his position last September after he allegedly called police officers "f–cking plebs", [previously] although he has consistently denied this. New video evidence indicates that the leaked police logs of the incident were false and that a serving police officer may have been involved in a conspiracy to unseat a Cabinet Minister. [more inside]
A few days ago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art published online 368 full text titles also downloadable as pdfs. They range from major exhibition catalogues such as the 1983 Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomical Drawings from the Royal Library or the 1992 Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain, exhaustive lists of holdings (European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volumes I and II), art books like Degas: The Artist's Mind or The Great Wave: The Influence of Japanese Woodcuts on French Prints, facsimile editions such as The Cloisters Apocalypse: An Early Fourteenth-Century Manuscript, social history titles covering subjects such as fashion or dance, technical manuals for those wanting to know how The Care and Handling of Art Objects works and much, much more.
Nipples at the Met: "A database of all the nipples on view in the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Updated regularly
Andy Ihnatko writes a charmingly enthusiastic post about listening to the same aria, from the same production, sung in two very different ways: by the star, and by the understudy: Rachele Gilmore’s 100 MPH Fastball [more inside]
"London Bridge is currently closed to the public and a section 60 in place due to the presence of a depressed swan." - The Metropolitan Police Twitter Feed: Giving you the lowdown on all the criminal shit that's going down in London town. [more inside]
With kettling becoming a commonly deployed tactic by the London Met, students from the University College London are fighting back with Sukey, launched this morning. [more inside]
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
Don't Eat the Pictures! Sesame Street gets locked inside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [more inside]
For all the hoo-ha about Callas first bringing real acting to the operatic stage, one has only to view the footage of Risë Stevens legendary 1952 “Carmen” to see what kind of Method she brought to the Met. Stevens was the definitive gypsy wanton, and her performance has it all— fire, ice, and that impossible balance between elegance and sluttiness. Her technique is superb—licking her fingers before extinguishing the candles in what will be her death chamber, then flicking off the wax; flinging her unwanted lover’s ring at him, spitting out a contemptuous “Tiens!”. The Metropolitan Opera Guild honors the Bronx-born singer, now 92. More inside.
The Robert Rauschenberg Renunion Tour [NYT]: Prolific American artist Robert Rauschenberg (previously discussed here) has a show opening at The Met on Tuesday (Dec. 20). [More Inside]
Capturing the Unicorn : How two mathematicians helped the Met to digitally stitch together the Unicorn Tapestry. (via)
The Met's Timeline of Art History. From Tibet to ancient Greece by way of Mesoamerica and musical instruments. An index by theme.
The Met Museum has an online gallery exploring the work of Da Vinci. It allows you to zoom in and out on specific parts of a work thus enabling minute exploration. It's stuff like this that makes the web indispensable.