John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, Manchester Art Gallery, and Contextualizing Art

2006-11-25 - P1000543

As reported on the Manchester Evening NewsBBC, Guardian, and ABC, the Manchester Art Gallery removed John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs with the stated intent that its removal (a supposed artistic act itself) would encourage discussion about how to display such art in the future. Instead, the removal of Waterhouse’s painting seems at best ham-fisted and at worst censorship. While I wholeheartedly agree with artistic criticism and contextualization, the removal of artwork deemed in need of recontextualization is wrongheaded. While Hylas and the Nymphs is well known and available in print and online, the original work itself should remain in place while inviting feedback from its varied audiences and critics. The Manchester Art Gallery’s approach places the work of art in the dark and out of reach for any such debate.

Considering this drastic step by the Manchester Art Gallery, I feel extremely lucky to have seen Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs on a visit to the gallery in 2006 while I was a graduate student at the University of Liverpool. It was during that visit that I took the photo included above. A higher resolution image of the painting is available on the Wikimedia Commons here.

The Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters

Carter Kaplan, who recently joined the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters, circulated the group’s first press release, which you can find here or quoted below. I mentioned these new connections previously on dynamicsubspace.net here.

As Carter says on his website, good things should come of the collaboration between the Williamsburg Circle and International Authors. I wholeheartedly agree.

THE WILLIAMSBURG CIRCLE OF INTERNATIONAL ARTS AND LETTERS

For Immediate Release

February 1, 2012

In January 2012 the WAH Center created a new program called the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters. It is composed of twelve outstanding scholars, publishers, collectors, artists and innovators (see complete member list).

We believe that a strong education in the classical humanities is a fundamental prerequisite for good citizenship in every country in the world today. What is Classical Humanities? It is nothing less than the spiritual, ethical and intellectual foundation for Western culture. Classics is a vibrant, interdisciplinary field that lies at the heart of the liberal arts. It is the lack of a common heritage and common values that gives rise to basic conflicts among peoples. A broad education in the classical humanities can bring about a common understanding and a common set of values.

As many of you know, the WAH Center’s motto is “Peace, Harmony and Unity,” as Yuko Nii, the Founder, has written in the Bridge Concept upon which she founded the institution.

Invitation: We also welcome you to the very first of Our Events on April 14th, 2012 where you can meet our chairman Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser, 19th President of St. Bonaventure University, and learn more about our goals and projects.

If you would like to contribute to our worthy goals, we would very much appreciate your support at our inception. If you are a scholar or artist and contribute $50 yearly as a supporting member, we will list your name with your discipline and contact information (and web-site, if you have one) on a special supporting member page. Click here for benefits.

We would very much like to get your feedback on our project!

Terrance Lindall and Yuko Nii
Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York

 

Smithsonian American Art Museum Invites Public to Vote on Games to be Featured in “The Art of Video Games” Exhibition | Newsdesk

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is planning an exhibit on “The Art of Video Games,” and they want our feedback on the selections for the exhibit. Read below for part of the press release from the Smithsonian and the link to the official site:

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is inviting the public to help select the video games that will be included in its upcoming exhibition “The Art of Video Games,” which opens in Washington, D.C. March 16, 2012. The exhibition is the first to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, is the curator of the exhibition.

Voting will take place online, www.artofvideogames.org, from Feb. 14 through April 7. A valid e-mail address is the only requirement to vote. The website will offer participants a chance to vote for 80 games from a pool of 240 proposed choices in various categories, divided by era, game type and platform. The winning games will be displayed in the exhibition as screen shots and short video clips. The website will include an online forum where gaming enthusiasts can campaign for particular games and voice their opinions about the selections.

via Smithsonian American Art Museum Invites Public to Vote on Games to be Featured in “The Art of Video Games” Exhibition | Newsdesk.

Scary Go Round Painting on eBay

I’m a big, big fan of John Allison’s Scary Go Round webcomic beamed to the Interweb from the far, off strange land of England. He’s selling a painting of the Scary Go Round character Esther De Groot on ebay. The bidding is fast and furious, and it’s on-going until Saturday. Unfortunately, my financial situation precludes my bidding on the painting, but I would like to direct some traffic that way for the artistic and aesthetically inclined art barons looking for the next big thing (or those just interested in buying me an awesome birthday present).

Bid on the auction here, and read Scary Go Round here (updated daily, Monday through Friday–there’s something to be said about webcomic punctuality).