Historical

Kerry James Marshall: Challenging racism in art history

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For centuries black people appeared in art as slaves or exotic novelties – and the painter Kerry James Marshall wants to challenge these racist ideas. He talks to Alastair Sooke. “When I go to the movies, I’m expected to identify with all of the characters, and most of them are white,” says the African-American artist Kerry James Marshall, sitting on ... Read More »

The Vatican Library’s Amazing Documents Are Finally Online

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The news: The Vatican Library is getting an e-upgrade. The official library of the Holy See is undertaking a massive digitization project designed to upload hundred of thousands of books and images from its physical archives into an online database. As Business Insider reports, nonprofit organization Digita Vaticana Oculus was founded in 2013 with the goal digitizing 80,000 manuscripts. That’s just ... Read More »

Obituary: Gough Whitlam’s Ideas Must Live On

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The local embodiment of a global movement, Gough Whitlam made himself a symbol of Australian social democracy. Remembering his life is a wake-up call to a new generation, writes Ben Eltham. E. Gough Whitlam, Chifley Memorial Lecture, 1957: “The way of the reformer is hard.” Edward Gough Whitlam, the 21st Prime Minister of Australia, died this morning. It’s a measure ... Read More »

An Intimate Portrait of Edward Snowden

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Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’s documentary about Edward Snowden, premiered to a sold-out audience at the New York Film Festival on October 10. The film was not originally part of the festival lineup, its inclusion only announced less than a month prior. The premiere understandably generated an overwhelming amount of anticipation, promising a personal look at the enigmatic figure who leaked a ... Read More »

As a Briton, I hang my head in shame. We must return the Parthenon marbles

The marbles were created for the Parthenon in Athens

Now Amal Clooney has reignited the debate over the Parthenon’s crowning glory, it’s time we rectified a historic wrong. Reunite these ancient sculptures with their home Almost every day I take a walk around the Acropolis. “Around” is the operative word, because the Greeks have gone to great lengths to unite their Athenian antiquities with a pedestrian path. At the ... Read More »

Scientists Say We’re About to Enter a New Epoch in Human History

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The news: Scientists are gathering in Berlin, Germany today to debate whether humanity’s impact on the planet (think global warming) is drastic enough to merit a new name that will mark the reign of humans: the Anthropocene. The interdisciplinary body of 30 scientists, called the Anthropocene Working Group, has a self-imposed deadline, 2016, to submit a formal proposal that would make the ... Read More »

These Are The Real Stories Behind Some Of The Most Beautiful Colors In Art

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Manganese black. Yellow ocher. Vermilion. Ultramarine. These pigments sound delicious. Their names are so sharp and elegant, it’s as if the terms emote more meaning than just color. We can smell logwood, taste cochineal, touch mummy brown. There is just something (quite scientifically) alluring about a perfectly saturated glob of paint or an electric mound of powdered hues, especially when ... Read More »

Chinese President Xi Jinping warns against ‘immoral’ art

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has told artists, authors and actors that their work should present socialist values and not carry the “stench of money”. Mr Xi delivered a speech to some of China’s leading creative figures, according to state news agency Xinhua. He told them not to pursue commercial gain at the expense of artistic and moral value, Xinhua said. ... Read More »