Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random Musings 8

This week the New Orleans Museum of Art (pictured here) made the official announcement that my friend and colleague Russell Lord has been named their new Freeman Family Curator of Photographs. In their press release, they noted that in his position he "will be responsible for the care, interpretation, and presentation of NOMA's wide-ranging photography holdings. In addition to developing exhibition programming that expands scholarship in photography and actively engages audiences, Lord will continue to acquire works that enrich the museum's collection." You can read the full press release here and be very impressed by his credentials and experience, but the announcement also made it into The Art Newspaper, Houston Chronicle, Washington Examiner, and other national newspapers. bklynbiblio readers may recall SVH and I attending Russell and Dana's wedding two years ago, but he and I also have been at the Met and school together, and we've taken a few art trips together too. I'm absolutely thrilled for him, but I am seriously going to miss the two of them when they leave Brooklyn in a couple of weeks. I am comforted by the fact that SVH and I are now planning a spring trip to the Big Easy.

Speaking of SVH, recently she sent me this link to a news post and short video about what is being called America's smallest library. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, with 150 books housed in an old phone booth, this library in upstate NY has been a great success within the community. Check out the short video about it when you're on the site. And people think no one reads printed books anymore...

Have you watched the miniseries Downton Abbey yet? If not, you have no idea what you're missing. It is one of the best things to come out of the UK since high tea and Ewan McGregor. The show takes place from 1912 to the breakout of World War I and captures the lives of the Earl of Grantham's family and his servants below stairs. The writing and acting is top-notch, with bouts of drama and humor that hook you in so much that you don't want to stop watching it. Not only has it now this past week won 6 Emmy awards, including best screenplay for Julian Fellowes and best supporting actress for the perpetually brilliant Maggie Smith (pictured here as the Dowager Countess), the miniseries also now ranks in the Guinness Book as the most critically acclaimed show in television history. The New York Times also recently had an interesting interview with Fellowes about the success of the show. Don't rent it, just buy the DVDs, it's that good. I own a set and I am looking forward to watching it again soon...because the sequel has premiered in the UK this past week and will be on TV in the US in January!

Finally, you must watch this very cool video that recently came across my Google Reader from the blog How to be a Retronaut.  In 1784 German designers made an android that resembled Marie-Antoinette and presented it to the Queen of France. Working in ways akin to a music box, when wound with the key to play the android performs a musical composition by striking on the strings with hammers. It's incredible to watch the figure come to life, admittedly even creepy at times. But the talent and ingenuity it took to make this truly is a testament to the Enlightenment and the interest of men and women who wanted to explore new ideas about science and technology. The video has subtitles for those who don't understand French, but really the android "speaks" for herself.

No comments: