Noguchi’s Back, and Garson’s Got ‘im

Art

With two complementary exhibitions, New York’s Noguchi Museum pays tribute to the legendary Japanese-American artist’s innovative lanterns.

(courtesy of Departures)

Noguchi in “Appalachian Spring”

One of the most influential artists of 20th century, the Japanese-American sculptor and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi was widely known for his inventive and diverse body of work—from home furniture (like his 1947 Noguchi table, which was sold by Herman Miller) to public sculptures and gardens in cities like New York and Paris.

This February, New York’s Noguchi Museum will pay homage to one particular strain of the artist’s iconic designs: his Akari light sculptures, or collapsible lanterns made of paper, bamboo, and metal.

Noguchi planning a satellite.

Starting February 28, the museum will host two complementary exhibitions. The first, Akari: Sculpture by Other Means, will include approximately 60 of Noguchi’s lanterns (including 40 individual models), plus archival materials like vintage photographs, advertisements, and brochures; the second, Akari Unfolded: A Collection by YMER&MALTA, will include 29 Akari-inspired lamp designs created by the French design studio. In conversation, the exhibits explore the lanterns’ history, as well as their continued influence on designers.

Read the whole thing here.

Do You Make These Mistakes in English?

Commentary

Poor grammar not only makes you look stupid—it can get in the way of your career!

Even highly intelligent people with a lot of “horse sense” get mistaken for Big Dummies when they say things like this:

“Between you and I, Aunt Fanny’s gotten a lot more fatter since last picnic.”

“I am quite adversed to money matters and business, in fact I’m quite financial indeed.”

“I never seen a girl get ruined by a book.”

“All my children are real eager to rake the yard every Fall, but somehow Sally always gets less leaves than Bob and Sue.”

Chances are—you’ve said things just like this, every day, and had no idea people were laughing at you behind your back! Read More…

Wally Wood Technique

Art

Early Wally Wood, c. 1949. Impossible to contemplate today without seeing it as some kind of latter-day retro parody.

Some comic illustrators of the 1980s and 90s, notably Charles Burns and “Coop,” painstakingly imitated the zigzag highlights technique you see in the foreground coiffure. Read More…

Restoring the American Girl

Commentary
Restoring the American Girl post image

The Guardian‘s recent slash-and-burn job on Taylor Swift (see Steve Sailer here, Nov. 25) pointed up a couple of home truths about race discussion in the media. One is that, as Sailer put it, “It’s Not Okay to be White” in such fever-swamp precincts as The Guardian‘s editorial board. The other is that—hate her or love her—the image of La Swift continues to serve as both whipping-girl and icon of traditional American whiteness.

Tenney Grant, with Boyfriend Logan

Consider this. After years of Diversifying its brand into utter meaninglessness, the American Girl Doll collection recently introduced a girl-singer doll into its lineup. Named “Tenney Grant,” and sporting a miniature acoustic guitar and denim-and-lace outfits, this new entry is quite clearly a proxy for Taylor Swift (or at least the country-singing Taylor of a few years back).

“She’s a breakout songwriter finding the heart to be herself,” reads the catalog copy. “Ready for a true taste of Nashville? Tenney Grant is determined to shine by being just who she is.” To round out her character, the all-American Tenney has even been given a boyfriend, Logan Everett. He’s got  brown hair and blue eyes, and is American Girl’s first-ever boy doll. Read More…

Liz Smith Is Dead at 94

Fashion
Liz Smith Is Dead at 94 post image

Liz Smith, veteran Broadway and theatre columnist, died yesterday of a drug overdose. She was 94.

Frank Sinatra once famously called her a “two-dollar whore” while shoving a pair of greenbacks into Liz Smith’s old-fashioned glass. But others had favorable memories of the legendary gossip scribe.

An old friend, actor Richard Gere, described her thusly: “Liz Smith was the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my lift.” Read More…

Ask the Family Doctor: Can I Give Fish Antibiotics to My Children?

column, Medicins sans frontal-lobes
Ask the Family Doctor: Can I Give Fish Antibiotics to My Children? thumbnail

Dr Molmar

with Ferenc Molmar, MD

I am often asked whether it safe and proper for human beings to ingest antibiotics designed for tropical fish. There are two issues to address here. One is that antibiotics for fish have generally been tested on fish, but not on humans. Therefore, although the the chemical structure of the drug may be similar, you can never be certain of what a fish antibiotic will do to one of us higher vertebrates. Read More…

Ask the Family Doctor: Lepers and Toxoplasmosis

column, Medicins sans frontal-lobes

Dr Molmar

with Ferenc Molmar, MD

Q. Our adopted child from a far-off country has been diagnosed with leprosy. The child is under treatment and the condition appears to be stable. However, a clerical employee in our pediatrician’s offices seems to be a bit of a gossip and told a neighbor from my garden club about our child’s illness. Now the neighbors refuse to let their children play with our child, and some are even demanding that our child carry a bell around and ring it whenever approaching other people. We got hold of an old Salvation Army bell, which makes quite a bit of noise, but this has not satisfied our neighbors. Our child’s school has put our child into a “special needs” class isolated from the other children. The guidance counselor is beginning to suggest that we send our child away to a leprosarium school in Molokai or Louisiana. This problem is causing a lot of stress at home, and my spouse is threatening to leave me. (Note: we are not married.) Read More…

Animal Mummies?

Art
Animal Mummies? post image

This looks absolutely ghastly. These people must be desperate.

Drawn from our renowned collection, the exhibition features choice examples from among the many millions of mummies of birds, cats, dogs, snakes, and other animals preserved from at least thirty-one different cemeteries throughout Egypt. Animals were central to the ancient Egyptian worldview. Most animals had connections to a particular deity. After death, mummified animals’ souls could carry a message to a god.

Brooklyn Museum

Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt

SEPTEMBER 29, 2017–JANUARY 21, 2018

Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor

Hugh Hefner and the World of Art

Art, Commentary
Hugh Hefner and the World of Art post image

The death of Hugh Hefner at age 91 hurled us headlong back into recollections of the 1960s and what Playboy was supposed to be about.

If you weren’t a Playboy reader in those days—and few of us alive today were, let’s face it, since that would imply you were then a male between 25 and 50 years of age, making you about 90 years old today—you had a weird notion of it, one that came filtered through the schoolyard and MAD magazine. Playboy was a dirty magazine, a skin book. It had pictures of “naked ladies.” Read More…

Ask the Family Doctor: Taming the Bed-Wetters

column, Medicins sans frontal-lobes
Ask the Family Doctor: Taming the Bed-Wetters post image

with Ferenc Molmar, MD

Q. My youngest child, now 13, still wets his bed and I would like to cure him before he goes off to boarding school. I remember many years ago when you used to appear on the old Today Show with Jack Lescoulie and you demonstrated a sort of harness that could be used to cure bed-wetting, by strapping the children in at night. Do they still make this, or do you still use this? Read More…

Noted with Pleasure, in the Manner of Terry Southern

Commentary
Noted with Pleasure, in the Manner of Terry Southern post image

Brooklyn recently went to a Tom Wolfe chin-music recital in New York. And my reaction was: you couldn’t drag me to a Tom Wolfe reading for all the smack in China. Not even if the opening act was a mud-wrestling grudge-match between Erica Jong and Susan Sontag. Read More…

Huntington Hartford Museum, 1964 Cartoon

Art


This Esky cartoon is pretty inscrutable today, but Mr J D King points out that the Plaid Stamps sign is an allusion to the Pop Art fad of the period.

Hunt ‘n’ Andy

Mr Huntington Hartford was a much-married playboy and philanthropist who succeeded in running through his entire inheritance (A&P supermarkets) before he died. He pissed a few million away on an entertainment magazine, and then wasted another hundred million by building a modern-art museum on a traffic island by Columbus Circle—then a down-at-the-heels part of town.

A&P were the main providers of Plaid trading stamps. Plaid was a distinctly second-tier brand, the high-end competitor being the Beinecke family’s S&H Green Stamps. Just before the bottom fell out of the trading-stamp industry (late 60s?), you could get Green Stamps at major filling stations.

This was the pre-Oil Crisis era, when competition was fierce among the major chains. They couldn’t compete on price, since they all charged 29/9 to 39/9 for a gallon of basic leaded fuel, so they sited themselves in as many locations as they could (if Sunoco built a station on a corner, Gulf or Esso or Chevron soon went up opposite). And they ran never-ending giveaways and promotions. Read More…