Don’t Burn Kevin!

November 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, FILM, POLITICS, Ulalume |
KevHarv

It has come to The Varnished Culture‘s attention that some Hollywood types lack the virtues of the Saints.  Well, fancy!  Turns out that getting drunk and a little ‘forward’ in the 1980s means you go to hell in the 20-teens. Kevin Spacey is getting the Harvey Weinstein treatment, with trimmings, because he not only failed to remember an inappropriate pass from long ago (and thus he must have dunnit) but he formally ‘outed’ himself at the same time, thereby cheapening the sanctity of such a rite of passage (apparently). So forget all about his stage work, or Glengarry Glen Ross, Swimming…

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We Won a Battle – Are We Losing the War?

October 22, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS, Ulalume, Uncategorized |
Bolshevikki_juliste-Itä-Karjala

“I have of late, lost all my mirth, Such that this goodly frame, the earth Seems to me a sterile promontory; Golden fire frets roof in glory Majestical, but foul and pestilent, Vapours gather, and are spent. What a piece of work is man! When he formulates a plan ‘Gainst nature, how very like a god! He presses boots so heavily shod Upon his fellow, so that he will learn That everyone must have their turn Or, dust and ashes, all will burn.” (with apologies to William Shakespeare) October 2017: One hundred years ago Lenin issued his famous call to arms and ‘the people’ (well,…

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The Guggenheim

October 21, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
(photo of the Guggenheim exterior by Vermonster)

(photo of the Guggenheim exterior by Vermonster)

21 October, 1959: The Guggenheim Museum opened to the public. Frank Lloyd Wright’s rather cramped exhibit spaces, commissioned by Solomon R. Guggenheim, certainly had ‘monumental dignity and great beauty,’ but were also as confining as the orchestra pit at the Sydney Opera House. In other words, a wonderful piece of art in itself, but of less than perfect utility. The art on the curving walls takes third or fourth place to the zany spaces created by the architect, thus breaking a principle canon of architecture: a public structure should be a servant, not a master. But it is still an inspiration that…

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Italy – The Grand Tour

October 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Lecture by Robert Reason, Curator, Roche Museum, 19 October 2017 The Varnished Culture having among its burgeoning numbers a life member of the Dante Alighieri Society, we attended this lecture by Mr Reason, who had attended Rome and Naples under the auspices of the prestigious Attingham Trust Italian Art History Programme. It was an interesting, wide-ranging affair that provided a taste of the kind of Italianate antiquity that appealed to David Roche, presented in a manner akin to a whirlwind Women’s Weekly world discovery tour. Even the serene visage of the Capitoline Venus would be deranged: From Palazzos Nuovo of…

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Abstract Expressionism Made Easy

August 25, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |
"Blue Poles" by 'Jack the Dripper' (Jackson Pollock)

"Blue Poles" by 'Jack the Dripper' (Jackson Pollock)

National Gallery, Canberra, August 2017 Abstract Expressionism is easy, and fun! A child could do it, although it generally wouldn’t. It takes an adult with life-tempered chutzpah to attempt it and then whack a frame around it. Here’s a d-i-y trip down Memory Lane:                                       Now, The Varnished Culture can reveal how the high-profile practitioners make good, as evidenced in the world-class display seen recently at Canberra’s National Gallery. Take Frank Stella and his pantheon of floating, by-the-numbers pastiches of violent colour….

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