Category Archives: Culture

Art & Photography Books: “Massimo Listri -Cabinet of Curiosities” (Taschen)

From the Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to Archduke Ferdinand II of Habsburg, these aristocratic virtuosos acquired, selected, and displayed the objects in real-life catalogues that represented the entire world—spanning architecture, interior design, painting, sculpture, gemology, geology, botany, biology and taxonomy, astrology, alchemy, anthropology, ethnography, and history.

Listri

The Wunderkammer, or “cabinet of curiosities,” saw collectors gathering objects from many strands of artistic, scientific, and intellectual endeavor, in an ambitious attempt to encompass all of humankind’s knowledge in a single room.

Marvel at the unicorn horns (narwhal tusks), gems, rare coral growths, Murano glasswork, paintings and peculiar mechanical automata. Browse through illustrations of exotic and mythical creatures and discover the famed “Coburg ivories,” an astounding collection of crafted artifacts. These collections are nothing short of a journey through time, from the Renaissance and Age of Discovery, the Mannerist and Baroque periods, up to the present day. Although many of these cabinets of curiosities no longer exist, others have been meticulously reconstructed, and new ones born.

These marvelous cabinets of curiosities can now be explored by all in this XXL collection. To realize this mammoth undertaking, Massimo Listri traveled to seven European countries over several decades; the result is a set of gorgeous photographs, an authoritative yet accessible introduction, and detailed commentary on each of the 19 chambers highlighting the most remarkable items in each collection. Discover how these timeless treasures both describe and defined civilization, the modern concept of the museum, and our very knowledge of the universe.

The authors

Giulia ML Carciotto graduated in art history from the Sapienza University in Rome. She was a Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute in London, where she also worked for Christie’s. She was editor-in-chief of the art publisher Franco Maria Ricci Editore in Milan, and now teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo and at the Abadir Academy in Catania.

Antonio Paolucci studied art history under Roberto Longhi in Florence and began his career in the management of cultural heritage. He was the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage in Venice, Verona, and Mantua. He later became Director of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence and, for almost twenty years, the Superintendent for the Polo Museale Fiorentino. Most recently, Paolucci was the Director of the Vatican Museums from 2007 to 2016. A specialist in Italian Renaissance art, he is the author of museum and exhibition catalogues, as well as publications on Donatello, Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Benvenuto Cellini, among others.

Read more or purchase

New History Books: “The Year 1000” By Valerie Hansen (Getty Podcast)

Getty Arts+IdeasValerie Hansen explores these early economic and cultural exchanges and their long-term impact in her new book “The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World―and Globalization Began”, which originated as a college course co-taught with Mary Miller, director of the Getty Research Institute. In this episode, Hansen and Miller discuss the state of the world around the year 1000.

The Year 1000 - When Explorers Connected the World - and Globalization Began - Valerie HansenFrom celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a groundbreaking work of history showing that bold explorations and daring trade missions connected all of the world’s great societies for the first time at the end of the first millennium.

People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings’ invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire?

Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment.

For readers of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari’s SapiensThe Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.

Read more or buy book

Travel & Culture Videos: “The Hunt” – Calcio Storico In Florence By Tommaso Fontanella

Director/Writer: Tommaso Fontanella

Producer: Oliver Gallini
Filmmaker: Logan Armstrong, Chris Shepherd

Once a year Firenze turns into a battleground. Four neighborhoods, artisans, craftsmen, bus drivers, butchers and tailors turn into warriors fighting for the “hunt”. Once it’s all over everyone comes back together united as one city.

This is the story of Calcio Storico, a tradition that goes back 500 years.

Social Media Video: What’s Behind “The Rise Of TikTok”

 

TikTok is the most downloaded app of 2020, as quarantines have spurred more and more users to hop onboard and learn about the latest dance trends and memes. But the app also faces a slew of regulatory hurdles, privacy concerns, and allegations of censorship, issues experts say will be new CEO Kevin Mayer’s top priority.

New Travel Books: “Capri – Dolce Vita” (Assouline)

Capri Dolce Vita - Assouline - July 2020Capri, a resort island dating back to the height of the Roman Empire, has long been an extraordinary destination full of ancient charm. Cherished by everyone from physician Axel Munthe, who recommended its clean air to his patients as a cure for bronchitis; to film director Jean-Luc Godard as the setting for his 1963 film Contempt; to literary icons, celebrities, poets, and the jet set, Capri boasts a rich Mediterranean spirit and style that encompasses a wealth of beauty, from gardens to villas to caves to the people walking in the lively Piazzetta, where cars are prohibited and the island’s playful attitude runs rampant. Capri Dolce Vita is a look at this fabled corner of the world through the ages and a celebration of paradise on earth.

Capri Dolce Vita - Assouline - Cesare Cunaccia - July 2020

Cesare Cunaccia is a writer, lecturer, curator, and journalist. He was editor at large for Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue and the antiques consultant for Architectural Digest Italy. He has also contributed to the divisions of Architectural Digest in Germany, China, and Russia, as well as Connaissance des ArtsOpera magazine, and L’Oeil. Cunaccia has published a variety of books, particularly on the Italian artistic heritage, which have been translated into twelve languages.

Read more or purchase

20th Century Art: “The New Realists – Radical Rebellion In 1960’s Europe”

Sothebys LogoIn the 1960s, while America was being wowed by Pop art, Europe had its own answer to bringing life and art closer together. In this episode of Expert Voices, learn about Nouveau Réalism – a groundbreaking movement in which artists created radical and rebellious sculptures and paintings in protest against the rise of consumerism.

Our upcoming Art Contemporain Day Sale (24 June | Paris) features an exceptional private European collection of historical New Realist art, including works by Niki de Saint Phalle, Arman, Daniel Spoerri, Mimmo Rotella and Christo and Jean-Claude.

Infographics: “The New Normal” Post Covid-19

The new normal?


Statista LogoIt is impossible to ignore the ongoing impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on our lives. This month our infographic shows how some aspects of daily life have changed as a result. The widespread closure of schools, for example, is thought to have affected up to 1.38 billion learners as of late March. Meanwhile, the sudden shift to remote working is one such change expected to have long-lasting effects. Following the pandemic, 68% of Germans have stated they would like to work remotely more often.

Our designer Raphael Hammer has created an isometric-style illustration, with each topic area allocated its own quarter of the infographic. Each topic is then afforded its own principle colour and corresponding design details. The almost monochrome effect of the illustrations allows them to perfectly complement the data presented. Especially effective, are the subtle movements which bring the entire graphic to life.

Website

Arts & Culture: David Hockney’s “Lockdown Sunrise” And Other Masterpiece Dawns (Video)

David Hockney created a glorious depiction of a sunrise on his iPad in April and emailed it from his lockdown in Normandy to the Guardian’s art critic Jonathan Jones. He has made pictures from nature every day through this bitter spring as his artistic stand against despair – and what is more hopeful than the sun coming up? Jones describes how the picture reminded him of all the sunrises shut away inside the National Gallery, in London. From Bellini to Monet, Titian to Turner, a private view of some of the greatest masters’ sunrises

Food & Travel: “Bangkok’s Fresh Food Markets” (NYT)

From the New York Times (June 1, 2020):

Finding Euphoria in Bangkok's Food Scene - New York Times June 1 2020The aromas here are rich and pungent — smoked, cured, dried and fresh seafood, along with many forms of meat, both raw and cooked. The awnings over the stalls create a shadowy atmosphere that’s punctuated by thin streaks of dancing light.

Finding Euphoria in Bangkok's Food Scene - New York Photographs and Text by Louise PalmbergTimes June 1 2020
Photographs and Text by Louise Palmberg

Early this year, in search of inspiration beyond the food scene in New York (and not yet locked down by the spread of Covid-19), I spent two weeks visiting and documenting life among the fresh markets and street vendors in and around Bangkok.

It made for an unlikely itinerary since tourists in Thailand often spend only a day or two in the capital before heading south toward the country’s many islands.

Read full article