Culture Canvas

BY Annie Strother  March 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM EDT

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


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Tate Modern has purchased 8 million tiny sculptures by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, via The Guardian. At 10 tons, the acquisition of ceramic sunflower seeds is the museum’s largest. In the photograph above, members of the press walk on the ceramic seeds at a preview of the original installation of the work at Tate Modern in 2010. That exhibit featured 100 million of the seeds, which blanketed 1,000 square meters. Photo by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images.

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Turkey won’t lend art objects to major museums in the United States and the United Kingdom, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum, until antiquities disputes concerning Turkish artifacts are resolved, via The Art Newspaper.

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New York’s annual Armory Show art fair begins Thursday. ARTNews reports on its new partnership with an online retailer, making it the latest in a string of art fairs to hawk work on the web.

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Broadway attendance reached a high last year, although there was a decline in attendance by foreign tourists and ethnic minorities, via The Stage.

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The city of Chicago is developing a Cultural Plan, the city’s first in decades. Residents have crammed into public meetings, and their observations have touched on issues of access in the arts, via The Chicago Tribune.

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KONY 2012, a half-hour documentary about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, went viral this week, bringing attention to human rights abuses in Uganda and other nations in central Africa. The film also raised questions about Invisible Children, the nonprofit backing the film.

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Some fortunetellers in Thailand are using the internet and technology to gain exposure; alarming YouTube pronouncements are leaving others in hot water, via The Wall Street Journal.

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The Telegraph reports on London’s only floating bookshop.

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Sheldon Moldoff, who helped draw Batman and other iconic comic book characters, died this week at the age of 91.

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Andrij Dobriansky, who sang at the Metropolitan Opera more than 900 times, died this week at the age of 81.

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Robert B. Sherman, who composed well-loved songs for Disney films with his brother Richard, died this week at the age of 86. The pair wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” one of the signature tunes in “Mary Poppins.”