Recent links of note:
“Remembering Jayne Wrightsman”
Keith Christiansen, The Art Newspaper
Jayne Wrightsman, an influential patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, died this week at the age of ninety-nine. Keith Christiansen, the John Pope-Hennessy Chairman of the Met’s European Paintings Department, remembers her generosity, wisdom, and eye for great art. Visitors to her artful (and art-filled) Park Avenue apartment, where she hosted the best and brightest of the art world, were always amazed to see the works she kept there—many of them future donations to the Met. Wrightsman was responsible, either directly or through her influence, for the Met’s acquisition of El Greco’s Christ Healing the Blind (ca. 1570), Vermeer’s Study of a Young Woman (ca. 1665–67), Gérard’s 1808 portrait of Talleyrand, and many more artworks, and she stayed actively involved with the museum until her death. Christiansen describes a cartoon of Wrightsman that, in his view, just about sums her up: she’s in rags on the museum’s steps, begging for change after spending everything she had on her “poor relative,” the Met.
“A Master of Dance at 100”
Robert Greskovic, The Wall Street Journal
The centenary of the American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919–2009) was April 16. That evening, a multi-city celebration of his work, called “Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event,” took place in London, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. Cunningham’s choreography continues to challenge dancers, particularly his versatile and demanding use of the back. For this reason, Robert Greskovic writes, the programs were a mixed success—but they also attest to the high standards Cunningham set for dance. Watch films from all three locations on mercecunningham.org.
“The flame of conviction”
Anthony Burgess, The Times Literary Supplement
Flame into Being, Anthony Burgess’s book on D. H. Lawrence, was published in 1985 and will be reissued in June. Read a 1986 Writer’s Monthly essay about its composition, recently reprinted in The Times Literary Supplement, in which Burgess describes his rather Burgessian theory of biography: “You’re presenting yourself as much—or nearly as much—as you’re presenting Lawrence. . . . It is your peculiar uniqueness, good or bad, that the world wants.”
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