Culture Canvas

BY Annie Strother  April 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM EST

A weekly roundup of arts and culture headlines.


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Sculptor Elizabeth Catlett, whose stone, wood and clay sculptures addressed African-American identity and civil rights issues, died this week at the age of 96. Influenced by Henry Moore, pre-Columbian sculpture, and the murals of Diego Rivera, Catlett became famous for pieces that depicted strong, black women and civil rights figures. The picture above shows a piece by the artist on display at the Bronx Museum last year. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.

We’ll have a post on the life and work of Catlett later Thursday.

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The Google Art Project, which features digitized works of art and virtual museum tours, has added 134 museums to its site, via The Los Angeles Times.

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Archeologists have uncovered western Europe’s oldest string instrument in Scotland, via the BBC.

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A painting by artist Robert Motherwell that was stolen from a New York art gallery was recovered this week, along with three others, via The New York Times.

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Emma Thompson and Mike Leigh are among the actors protesting the participation of an Israeli theater company at a British Shakespeare festival, via Haarezt.


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The work of Mark A. Landis, an expert art forger who has never been arrested, is on display at the University of Cincinnati, via The Washington Post. The show opened on April Fool’s Day.

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Peter Dinklage’s acting career is the subject of a profile in The New York Times Magazine.

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The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is offering members 100 concerts for $5 a month, via The Pioneer Press.

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A freelance radio producer created an audio walking tour of the East Village’s poetic history, via The New York Times. The project will officially launch with a reading at the Bowery Poetry Club on April 15; for people not residing in New York (or who just can’t wait), the mp3 is available for download.

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A cultural librarian at Harvard University promised that the Digital Public Library of America, an effort to digitize archives of books and offer them for free online, would be available within a year, via Publisher’s Weekly.

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An excerpt from a forthcoming publication of Susan Sontag’s journals appeared in The New York Times this weekend. In it, she writes about forming opinions, falling in love, and lists her likes and dislikes. On art, she writes: “We should not expect art to entertain or divert anymore….Boredom is a function of attention. We are learning new modes of attention — say, favoring the ear more than the eye….If we become bored, we should ask if we are operating in the right frame of attention.”