Category Archives: Art and design

Nailing art at the Hammer

Actors Will Ferrell and Joel McHale have helped to produce a hilarious six-minute advertising spot for the Hammer Museum, at UCLA, in which they pretend to be baffled by works of art at the museum’s latest exhibit, “Stories of Almost … Continue reading

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NYC, drawn from memory

Stephen Wiltshire’s remarkable ability to draw a city from memory came to my attention several years ago in a segment on 60 Minutes or some such show. A British citizen, he was diagnosed with autism at age 3, but his … Continue reading

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“Let’s you and him fight!”

That was my first reaction to this essay by Aaron Betsky criticizing Rem Koolhaas, two icons of modernism. In “The BASEST form of architecture,” Betsky takes aim at Koolhaas’s installation (meaning a temporary gallery) in what may be the world’s … Continue reading

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Best snow sculpture? Maybe

The one above I thought the best because of its architecture. Others on this list are perhaps better, or worse, with or without architecture. Buzzfeed’s headline: “Seriously Cool Snow Sculptures that Will Make You Want Another Storm.” Maybe. Maybe not. … Continue reading

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Frank Gehry’s H.M.S. Foggy

Not sure why I’ve decided to inflict on readers this old post from October 2015 on the day before the day before Christmas. It came to mind after a reader, intent on humoring me or torturing me, sent me a … Continue reading

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Trad and not so trad, cont.

Classicism over thousands of years has developed an architectural language that modernism has not even sought to construct. A language would suggest a reliance on precedent. Among those who have criticized my admiration for Stan Weiss’s interior decor, Eric Daum … Continue reading

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“Aware now of its dullness”

Early in Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Duvalier’s novel set in 17th century Holland, is a passage that launched several thoughts about architecture and design. The teenage girl has just become a maid in the household of the successful … Continue reading

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The telescope as sculpture

Years ago I was wandering through a naval equipment store in Provincetown, on Cape Cod, and found a telescope of high quality and elegant appearance. It was too pricey for me, $500 or so. I wanted something through which I … Continue reading

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Oldest trees in the world

Trees. Isn’t that next month? Well, we can be thankful that these are not Christmas trees. Some of the trees are, allegedly, thousands of years old. Some of them are said to be older than Christianity. Some of them have … Continue reading

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Beauty vs. elegance of cities

My former colleague at the Providence Journal, Froma Harrop, who has a syndicated column and a website called This East Side (about that side of Manhattan; she also lives partly on that side of Providence), recently asked me to contribute … Continue reading

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