Culture Canvas

BY Annie Strother  February 3, 2012 at 9:58 AM EDT

A roundup of the week’s arts and culture headlines.

 
Don Cornelius, the creator and host of “Soul Train,” died this week at the age of 72. The New York Times quotes Lonnie G. Bunch III, the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: “He was able to provide the country a window into black youth culture and black music… For young black teenagers like myself, it gave a sense of pride and a sense that the culture we loved could be shared and appreciated nationally.”

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Websites devoted to art sales stand to become heavyweights in the wheeling and dealing of fine art, reaching out to investors and forming partnerships with highly-regarded galleries and museums, via The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal reports that art values and sales in 2011 rose at major auction houses.

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NBC is launching its own publishing house exclusively for e-books, via Wired.

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The Rhode Island School of Design and the U.S. Department of State are launching an initiative to promote cultural artistic exchange, via The New York Observer.

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Shukree Hassan Tilghman’s documentary ‘More Than a Month’ follows his campaign to end Black History Month, celebrated each February. Tilghman argues that the designated month sets African-American history apart from the rest of the country’s past, cramming the study and recognition of African-American contributions into a few weeks. The film features numerous opinions and interviews from around the country, via ITVS.

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Netflix is developing five original series, available only to costumers who stream video. The first of the series, Steven Van Zandt’s ‘Lilyhammer’, will be available Monday, via The Wall Street Journal.

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Architect Frank Gehry is designing a new jazz venue in Los Angeles pro bono, via The Los Angeles Times.

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Chicago’s Navy Pier is about to be redesigned, and the five finalists in the competition revealed their plans for the site this week, via WBEZ.

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Camilla Williams, thought to be the first African-American woman to perform with a major opera company in the United States, died this weekend at the age of 92.

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Gothic surrealist Dorothea Tanning died this week at the age of 101.

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Influential artist Mike Kelley died this week at the age of 57.

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Opera star and Tony Award-winner Patricia Neway died this week at the age of 92.