Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Legacy of Lace

From Victoria:
Just as the tranquil canals that wind their way through Bruges, Belgium, are woven into the history of this ancient Flemish city, so, too, is the time-honored craft of lacemaking. This centuries-old heritage continues to thrive, with new generations plying pins, bobbins, and thread to create ethereal art. Within the amber-stone walls of Kantcentrum, Bruges’s Lace Center and Museum, agile fingers flit and fly in a mesmerizing, clickety-clack dance, performed at a speed that doesn’t seem humanly possible. Part of the Adornes family estate, the circa 1899 building was once home to the Apostoline Sisters lace school, one of many in Bruges. (Read more.)

Exposing The Lie Of Socialism

From the November 13, 2019 issue of The Federalist:
On Sept. 16, 1989, Boris Yeltsin was a newly elected member of the Soviet Parliament visiting the United States. Following a scheduled visit to Johnson Space Center, Yeltsin and a small entourage made an unscheduled stop at a Randalls grocery store in Clear Lake, a suburb of Houston. He was amazed by the aisles of food and stocked shelves, a sharp contrast to the breadlines and empty columns he was accustomed to in Russia.

Yeltsin, who had a reputation as a reformer and populist, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Stefanie Asin, a Houston Chronicle reporter. He marveled at free cheese samples, fresh fish and produce, and freezers packed full of pudding pops. Along the way, Yeltsin chatted up customers and store workers: “How much does this cost? Do you need special education to manage a supermarket? Are all American stores like this?”

Yeltsin was a member of the Politburo and Russia’s upper political crust, yet he’d never seen anything like the offerings of this little American grocery store. “Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” Yeltsin said. (Read more.)

Ancient Pictish Hillfort

From Ancient Origins:
According to Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (, King's Seat Hillfort is situated on a prominent hill top above an important bend in the River Tay at Dunkeld, overlooking Strath Tay to the north and south. While the fort has been known about for at least the last century, only basic plans of the surviving earthworks have been made and no previous archaeological investigations have ever taken place, until now. 
The archaeological project was conducted by PKHT, Dunkeld & Birnam Historical Society and AOC Archaeology Ltd with around 30 community volunteers, secondary school pupils from Pitlochry High School and students on archaeological fieldwork training from the University of the Highlands and Islands . These new results from the King’s Seat dig follow the trust’s successful five-year project in Glen Shee, studying a prosperous Pictish farming community dating to the late 6th century to the mid-9th century. (Read more.)

Friday, February 28, 2020

Costumes and Production Design for 'Emma'

From Variety:
Austen’s love story is also a stark exploration of class differences among the wealthy Emma (Anya Taylor-Joy) and the poorer Harriet Smith (Mia Goth) and Miss Bates (Miranda Hart). Byrne conveyed that dichotomy with a sameness of outfits for Harriet and Miss Bates and a great number of choices for Emma. A privileged woman like Emma would have a dressmaker, says Byrne, while Harriet might have a limited number of pieces in her wardrobe — outfits that also weren’t as elegantly embroidered. A “clean and perfectly presented” wardrobe denotes a person’s social position, says Byrne. 

The number of accessories characters wear can also point up the difference in standing. “Some directors shy away from [accessories],” Byrne says, so as not to overshadow the costumes, but for this film she used gaudy bows and necklaces to enhance comedy and economic discrepancy. Quinn also delineated class disparity via changes in the sets. “We made everything a lot plainer” for the lower-class houses, she explains. De Wilde is a big fan of Georgian “frippery,” Quinn adds, such as overly decorated cakes and wall hangings — these were used as focal points in the parties Emma attends. “Pink and green wallpaper and drapes really make a statement.” (Read more.)

From Tatler:
Jane Austen’s classic has been given a fresh lease of life with a stylish, witty new adaptation from director Autumn de Wilde, which hits cinema screens today. Starring a buzzy cast of up-and-comers, including Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O’Connor and Callum Turner, alongside comedy greats Bill Nighy and Miranda Hart, the film is a bonnet-filled delight. But for the true Austen disciples, enjoyment of Emma is sure to be enhanced by a trip to some of its spectacular filming locations. Here, Tatler rounds up the destinations to head to for your very own Austen adventure. (Read more.)

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Bernie and Islam

From The Hill:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won the endorsement of a top Muslim political group Thursday. Emgage PAC, which calls itself the biggest Muslim political action committee in the country, says it is backing Sanders because of his “inclusive” presidential campaign, and it hopes that its endorsement spurs Muslims to the polls.
“More than any other presidential candidate, Senator Sanders has built a historically inclusive and forward-thinking movement: one that represents America as a set of ideas grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of a dignified life,” Wa'el Alzayat, Emgage PAC’s CEO, said in a statement. "Our endorsement is intended to galvanize Muslim Americans at the polls to ensure that our voices are heard. Furthermore, we hope that this endorsement marks a new era of presidential candidates including Muslim American voices in the political process and policy-making decisions," he added.
The group said it made its decision to endorse Sanders after conducting a “comprehensive evaluation” of the 2020 contenders and a survey of its members. “It is an honor to receive this endorsement from Emgage Action,” Sanders said in a statement. “While Donald Trump has demonized our Muslim communities, our movement is working to bring Muslims and people of all backgrounds into the political system. Together we will create an economy, justice system and immigration system that are rooted in human rights for all.” (Read more.)

The Habits You Pick Up in France

After living in France one ever after demands good bread, good wine, good cheese and good coffee. From The Local:
Perhaps unsurprisingly in a country that prides itself on its cuisine and fine wines, many of the new habits that people reported centred around food. Whether is is discovering new favourites, gaining a better appreciation for fresh and seasonal produce or just making time for lunch, many people reported that their eating and drinking habits had changed radically since moving to France.
Alison Johnson, who has lived in Burgundy for almost three years; said: "We have started having regular lunches, discussing the taste of everything we eat, greeting everyone when we meet and buying bread every day."
Mike Owens, who has lived in France for 12 years, cited "drinking hot chocolate from a bowl" as the major change in his lifestyle, along with ditching American-style breakfasts.

David Ricardo Hernandez, who has recently moved to Metz after living in Rouen for two years, said: "Now I drink more wine, I buy bread only in the bakery and not in the supermarket, l cook much more often here, I check the food, in USA I never did that.

"France gave me the habit of being conscious of me, acknowledging the importance of health and care for myself." (Read more.)

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Fidel Castro Did Not Give Cuba Literacy or Better Healthcare

Any "literacy" programs were part of Communist re-education. From Intellectual Takeout:
On CBS’ 60 Minutes, Senator Bernie Sanders recently praised the achievements of communist Cuba. An interviewer asked him about his 1985 comments that Cubans supported communist dictator Fidel Castro because he “educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society.” In response, Sanders defended those comments, by stating that when “Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program.”
But Castro did not give Cubans literacy. Cuba already had one of the highest highest literacy rates in Latin America by 1950, nearly a decade before Castro took power, according to United Nations data (statistics from UNESCO). In 2016, The Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler debunked a politician’s claim that Castro’s rule significantly improved Cuban healthcare and education. In today’s Cuba, children are taught by poorly paid teachers in dilapidated schools. Cuba has made less educational progress than most Latin American countries over the last 60 years.
According to UNESCO, Cuba had about the same literacy rate as Costa Rica and Chile in 1950 (close to 80 percent). And it has almost the same literacy rate as they do today (close to 100 percent). Meanwhile, Latin American countries that were largely illiterate in 1950—such as Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic—are largely literate today, closing much of the gap with Cuba. El Salvador had a less than 40 percent literacy rate in 1950, but has an 88 percent literacy rate today. Brazil and Peru had a less than 50 percent literacy rate in 1950, but today, Peru has a 94.5 percent literacy rate, and Brazil a 92.6 percent literacy rate. The Dominican Republic’s rate rose from a little over 40 percent to 91.8 percent. While Cuba made substantial progress in reducing illiteracy in Castro’s first years in power, its educational system has stagnated since, even as much of Latin America improved.
Contrary to Sanders’ claim that Castro “gave” Cubans healthcare, they already had access to healthcare before he seized power. Doctors frequently provided free healthcare to those who couldn’t afford it. As The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler noted, “As for health care and education, Cuba was already near the top of the heap before the revolution. Cuba’s low infant mortality rate is often lauded, but it already led the region on this key measure in 1953-1958, according to data collected by Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a Cuba specialist and professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh.”
Cuba led virtually all countries in Latin America in life expectancy in 1959, before Castro’s communists seized power. But by 2012, right after Castro stepped down as Communist Party leader, Chileans and Costa Ricans lived slightly longer than Cubans.
Back in 1960, Chileans had a life span seven years shorter than Cubans, and Costa Ricans lived more than two years less than Cubans on average. In 1960, Mexicans lived seven years shorter than Cubans; by 2012, the gap had shrunk to just two years. (Today, life spans are virtually the same in Cuba as more prosperous Chile and Costa Rica — if you accept the rosy official statistics put out by Cuba’s communist government, which many people do not. Cuba has been credibly accused of hiding infant deaths, and exaggerating the life spans of its citizens. If these accusations are true, Cubans die sooner than Chileans or Costa Ricans).
Cuba has made less progress in health care and life expectancy than most of Latin America in recent years, due to its decrepit health care system. “Hospitals in the island’s capital are literally falling apart.” Sometimes, patients "have to bring everything with them, because the hospital provides nothing. Pillows, sheets, medicine: everything.”
(Read more.)

The Untold Truth of Oat Milk

From Mashed:
But what you might not have known is that Oatly's actually been on the market for nearly three decades, according to Time. Rickard Oste, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden, began producing his own oat milk in the '90s, while researching ways to produce milk alternatives for those with a lactose intolerance — he used oats because they're a particularly prominent crop in Sweden.

When he'd gotten the process down to a tee, Öste founded Oatly, selling the milk to a small but devoted crowd of milk-loving Swedes. The company's milk never made its way across the pond until 2016, when it took American markets by storm.

Although Oregon-based Pacific Foods company was the first oat milk producer to come onto the American scene back in 1996, Oatly is certainly to credit for the modern oat milk craze, as Pacific's oat milk never really reached the same levels of popularity as its Swedish counterpart. (Read more.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

9th Circuit Upholds President Trump’s Protect Life Rule

From the Susan B. Anthony List:
Finalized in 2019, the Protect Life Rule advances President Trump’s promise to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. Under the Protect Life Rule abortion centers cannot serve as taxpayer-funded family planning centers (“co-location”). In addition, Title X locations cannot refer for abortion. The Protect Life Rule does not prohibit Title X providers from providing neutral, nondirective counseling about abortion and does not prevent anyone from obtaining Title X services. It does not reduce family planning funding by a dime. Instead, it directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities. Similar regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan (500 U.S. 173). 
Represented by the Thomas More Society, SBA List has filed 10 amicus briefs in support of the Protect Life Rule and the federal government in multiple cases being litigated throughout the country. In August, Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion business – announced it would drop out of the Title X program and forego nearly $60 million in taxpayer funding rather than comply with the rule. A Marist poll in January of this year found that 60 percent of all Americans – including 42 percent of Independents and 35 percent of Democrats – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. (Read more.)

An Ancient Egyptian Game

From Live Science:
A game board that dates back to before the reign of the pharaoh Hatshepsut may represent the transformation of the game senet from fun pastime to religious symbol. Senet is ancient, dating back some 5,000 years to Egypt's first dynasty. The game was played on a board with 30 squares arranged in a 3-by-10 rectangle. The precise rules are lost to history, but players had to move a set of pawns across the board, with moves determined by throws of a set of two-sided sticks. The squares were blank except for squares 26 to 29, which contained the same progression of symbols: one for goodness, one for water, one for the number three and one for the number two. (Read more.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Collapse of Havana

From two years ago, but more pertinent than ever. From USA Today:
Some 3,856 partial or total building collapses were reported in Havana from 2000 to 2013, not including 2010 and 2011 when no records were kept. The collapses worsened an already severe housing shortage. Havana alone had a deficit of 206,000 homes in 2016, official figures show. The housing crisis is one of the most pressing challenges facing Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who vowed to improve housing after taking charge of the communist nation of 11 million people in April. (Read more.)

The Holocaust of the Disabled

From LifeNews:
In January 2017, the Germany Parliament [Bundestag] commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp. The focus that year was on the more than 300,000 victims of Aktion T-4.

“For a long time, the euthanasia victims were the forgotten victims,” Maike Rotzoll, Deputy Director of the Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine in Halle, told Deutsche Welle. “That’s why it’s enormously important for us that this ceremony took place in the Bundestag. I think it’s also enormously important for the relatives, who experienced the topic being taboo for so many years, to be allowed to speak and for this group of victims to be honored in this way.”

Fries’s essay is a first-rate contribution to this remembering, a powerful reminder of the power of words—when unchallenged–to exclude an entire category of human beings from the protection of the law . You should read his essay in its entirety. (Read more.)

Monday, February 24, 2020

What is Burgundy?

From The Drinks Business:
In 880 AD this territory would be made into a duchy of West Francia, one of seven powerful dukedoms (alongside Champagne, Aquitaine, Normandy, Brittany, Gascony and Flanders) in the kingdom and one which was further sub-divided into several counties, each managed by a count – one must remember this is the beginning of what we now call ‘feudalism’, a system of vassalage where land was held by nobles with obligations to a monarch – covering Chalon, the Charolais, Mâcon, Autun, Nevers, Avallon, Tonerre, Senlis, Auxerre, Sens, Troyes and Auxonne. The duchy’s administrative centre was Dijon, which had grown from its Roman origins into a flourishing mercantile town.

Between 880 AD and 1004, the duchy would be ruled by various nobles and families until it was annexed by Robert II, king of France and member of the new ruling House of Capet. In 1032, Robert II’s son, also called Robert, rebelled against his older brother King Henry I and was given the Duchy of Burgundy as part of the peace terms.
An unpleasant and violent man, his descendants would nonetheless rule as Dukes of Burgundy until 1361, powerful and important nobles in France. We shall return to them later. (Read more.)

Bernie in Soviet Russia

From The Federalist:
Nobody knows what paid for the construction and maintenance of Soviet culture palaces. In a planned economy with its web of subsidies and bribery, such things are not transparent. The trade union fees, however, were levied on everyone enrolled in a trade union, meaning every worker, because all those employed by the government were automatically enrolled in one, and everyone worked for the government — or at least pretended to. As the Soviet joke went, “We pretend we work, and they pretend they pay us.”

To be in awe of those palaces of culture performances in the late ’80s, a visitor would have to be really, really — I mean really — incurious. I understand the Sanderses went on their honeymoon surrounded by the KGB minders, but wow! The newlyweds were shown performance venues, but did they make an effort to meet an artist? Their tour was literally a Potemkin excursion through the Soviet Union: the best of architecture, no real people. (Read more.)

The Last Neanderthals

From The BBC:
Neanderthals may have clung on in the region until as recently as 24 to 33,000 years ago, according to the dating of one of the layers in Gorham's cave. This puts this area as one of the last known places where Neanderthals lived. They may have spread to the surrounding coastal areas too, but the water has risen considerably in the last 30,000 years. This means any other fossil evidence has long been submerged. "We are lucky that in Gibraltar because of its steep cliffs, the evidence has stayed in these caves," says Clive. Clive, along with his wife Geraldine and son Stewart, has been excavating these caves for many years. All three are scientists. 

While the front part of the cave is relatively open, bathed in natural sunlight with a direct view of the ocean, the back is darker and splits off into several chambers. The caves remain cool in the summer and slightly warm in the colder months – a perfect place to rest tired eyes and stay safe from dangerous predators. (Read more.)

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Prosecution of Daleiden

A travesty of justice. From The Federalist:
As an undercover journalist, California shield laws should have protected Daleiden from warrants to seize his videos or recording equipment, yet that’s exactly what Harris’ California justice department did.

“It’s blackletter California law that you are not supposed to get a search warrant to seize the unpublished materials of a journalist, whether citizen journalist or professional journalist,” Daleiden told Tucker Carlson in September. “But that’s what Kamala Harris did … to protect [Planned Parenthood] from further scrutiny from the crimes of selling aborted baby body parts.”
The prosecution of Daleiden and Merritt could set a detrimental precedent for undercover journalism. In the same year Daleiden released his alarming videos speaking to employees of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement company StemExpress, animal rights activists in California used similar tactics of undercover recording on farms and in slaughterhouses to expose the mistreatment of chickens, yet they faced no legal consequences from the state. (Read more.)

Medieval Ethiopia

From Apollo:
Our understanding of the history of the emperors who ruled over late medieval Ethiopia is still quite fragmentary but, as far as we can tell, life at their courts was marked by violence, betrayal, and power struggles. Perhaps the most prominent among these rulers, who belonged to a house that rose to power in 1270 and traced its descent back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, was Zar’a Ya‘eqob (r. 1434–68). What is known about his reign has hitherto been gleaned mostly from Ethiopic texts in ancient parchment manuscripts, some still preserved in the country’s hard-to-access monasteries, others now in Western collections. However, objects such as icons and wall paintings can also provide insights into the culture and society of this period and, through an interweaving of text and image, present a fuller account of one of the most important rulers in Ethiopian history.
A retelling of his life could begin with a late 15th- or early 16th-century Ethiopic manuscript now kept in the Giovardiana library in Veroli, the frontispiece of which bears an image of the Virgin and Child. It contains a collection of texts known as the ‘Miracles of Mary’. The nucleus of these stories about the miraculous interventions of the Virgin, which vary in number and content in each manuscript, was written in 12th-century France, but the work was translated into Arabic in the 13th century, and into Ethiopic at the end of the 14th century at the behest of Emperor Dawit II (r. 1382–1413), Zar’a Ya‘eqob’s father. Because the Ethiopic version was soon enriched with local traditions about the Virgin’s miraculous powers, it is a valuable source for understanding the political and religious history of Ethiopia from the 15th century onwards.
One of the stories in the Giovardiana manuscript describes the miraculous birth of Zar’a Ya‘eqob. According to this text, his mother, Queen Egzi’ Kebra, had miscarried her first child and almost lost him, too. Seized by spasms five weeks into her pregnancy, she asked a priest called Athanasius to pray to the Virgin Mary on her behalf, after which her pains ceased and about eight months later, in 1399, the future emperor was born. Local traditions make this the first of many miraculous interventions of the Virgin Mary into the life of Zar’a Ya‘eqob, whose devotion to her reached the point of zealotry. (Read more.)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Is America Suffering A Mental Health Crisis Or A Moral Crisis?

From The Daily Wire:
Resignation and defeat seem to pervade the American landscape. We can barely even register notions of the common good, never mind what is objectively good for ourselves. The moral and ethical foundation that ought to buttress us in times of hardship and fatigue is cracked and crumbling, if not altogether broken. While the Left has certainly deconstructed our values into oblivion, we cannot disregard our collective spiritual and moral lassitude in this crisis either. At best, only frail and brittle platitudes inform our collective moral pedigree these days. There are no longer discernible footholds to guide us out of the various trials and tribulations that assail us. Instead, we are told to inoculate ourselves with all manner of pills and potions. Others simply turn to illicit drugs and alcohol to remedy the existential aches. (Read more.)

Coffee and Revolution

From History:
Parisian Cafés, with their social egalitarianism, were an ideal location for Republican agitation and organization during the French Revolution. A royalist of the era complained: 
“Where does so much mad agitation come from? From a crowd of minor clerks and lawyers, from unknown writers, starving scribblers, who go about rabble rousing in clubs and cafés. These are the hotbeds that have forged the weapons with which the masses are armed today.” 
The Paris's Café de Foy hosted the call to arms for the storming of the Bastille. During the Enlightenment, the Café Procope had been the place where men like Rousseau, Diderot and Voltaire gathered to hone their philosophies and art. After the Revolution, Parisian café culture again became the haunt of writers and thinkers gathering to exchange ideas and work on their next masterpiece. 
Expatriates like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot met at La Rotonde. French poet and critic Apollinaire worked on his art review, “Les Soirées de Paris,” at the Café de Flore, sitting alongside André Breton. By midcentury, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre debated and created philosophies from its tables. (Read more.)

Friday, February 21, 2020

Food for Mardi Gras

From Aleteia:
One of the reasons New Orleans has become nearly synonymous with Mardi Gras, especially in America, is that the holiday is celebrated well beyond just Fat Tuesday. For the weeks leading from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday, the Mardi Gras season is in gear, featuring daily parades (weather permitting) and community events that become grander the closer we get to Lent. While the turning of a feast day into a feast season is a good tourist draw, the Catholic population can appreciate a heightened awareness of their faith. This in turn helps the faithful remain mindful that the solemnity of Lent is soon to be here. (Read more.)

Pornography: A Public Health Crisis

Pornography endangers everyone, but most especially women and children. How many innocents are raped as a result of someone's porn addiction? It must stop. From
Families have brought in their children to our clinic, boys and girls, ages 6-11, who were addicted to internet pornography. By addicted, I mean they were “hooked” after one or two exposures to pornography and would go to great lengths to gain access. For example, one little girl was getting in trouble at school for stealing iPhones from women’s purses to gain access to pornography and acting out the scenes she had seen on an infant sibling. An 11-year-old boy who could not get access to pornography at home was breaking into a neighbor’s home in the middle of the night to access their computer. These were good kids from good homes whose developing brains had been hijacked by a highly addictive and traumatizing material. Their parents also noted that their children were “different” in that they had become unable to bond, had normalized views about sexual violence against others, and their personalities had become eerily flat. (Read more.)

Manila House

From Boundary Stones:
2422 K St. NW, nestled in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood just down the street from the George Washington University, looks like any other D.C. row house. But for the Filipino community in D.C. during the 1930s through the 1950s, it was a haven - a source of culture, community, and comfort. As those who remember it fondly today can testify, 2422 K St. NW wasn’t just a row house; it was the Manila House. 
Although today there are only a couple of Filipino-Americans still living who visited the Manila House in its heyday, stories of the house have been documented by Filipino writers and have been passed down in families. “I first learned about Manila House 24 years ago, in 1993, when I interviewed my father Clemente Cacas and his friends, Fernando Aguilar and Mateo Perez,” recalled Rita Cacas, writer and archivist of D.C. Filipino history.[1] “They described the house as a place for taxicab drivers like themselves to hang out, play cards and attend dances for ten cents on weekends.”[2]
It was a place of leisure for certain, but the Manila House was also much more than that. It provided Filipino-Americans a unique space to connect with each other and with their culture in a city that could be isolating. 
Filipinos began to settle in and around D.C. as early as 1900, but their numbers were small.[3] According to U.S. Census data, there were only 294 Filipinos living in D.C., 327 in Maryland, and 126 in Virginia as of 1930.[4] The Asian population at large in D.C. was only 780, or 0.2% of D.C.’s total population.[5] Many Filipinos came to the D.C. area to work as government workers in the office of the Philippine Resident Commissioner, as cab drivers, or as officers in the military[6]. Many Filipino men enlisted in the U.S. Navy in particular. Since Washington was the center of government work and Annapolis housed the U.S. Naval Academy, the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area was attractive to Filipino immigrants who sought work in those fields. Still, Filipinos found themselves just one small part of a large metropolitan area. 
The city was still largely segregated, with African-American communities in the southeast and southwest quadrants of Washington and white communities in the northwest and northeast quadrants.[7] Nila Toribio-Straka was just a child during the 1940s, but she remembers how her parents had to navigate the racial dynamics of the city. “[They] would be walking down Pennsylvania Ave, or wherever… and if a Caucasian person walked toward them, they had to cross the street and walk to the other side,” she explains.[8] “If they were on a bus, and again if a Caucasian came, they had to go to the back of the bus.”[9] (Read more.)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fabricating Fashion: Textiles for Dress, 1700–1825

A fashion trend begun by Queen Marie-Antoinette. From Art Institute of Chicago:
In a portrait by Jean Baptiste-François Désoria, Constance Pipelet wears an elegant gown similar to a white cotton muslin dress from about 1800 (above), both simple garments that belie the complex global networks necessary to supply Europeans with imported fabrics like Indian muslin or Chinese silk. Drawing upon the Art Institute’s permanent collection, Fabricating Fashion illuminates the artistry that enabled the creation of these intricate textiles and garments. Presenting these works alongside portraits and prints from the period, this exhibition highlights the rich legacy of their mostly anonymous creators and tells a fuller story of the people who made and wore fashionable textiles in Western Europe between 1700 and 1825. (Read more.)

How is Climate Change Deadlier Than Abortion?

From Return to Order:
Bishops need to be involved in political battles, but that is not their chief function. They must uphold Church teaching even when it is not politically correct or opportune. Thus, American Catholics must question why the bishop is raising this issue now. Pro-life Catholics have reached the height of their political power mobilizing millions nationwide. They have turned the tide to the point where nearly half of all Americans identify as pro-life. No one, not even the president, can ignore the influence of the pro-life movement. This influence is starting to bear fruit in the appointment of pro-life judges. Some are even saying that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is possible. By denying abortion’s preeminence, the bishop is undermining decades of work in the trenches by countless Catholics and other Americans to end the intrinsically evil sin of procured abortion in America and the world. (Read more.)

Ancient Automatons

From Classical Wisdom:
The majority of technology developed by the Greeks seems to have only been for entertainment, spectacle, and toys. However, the Antikythera mechanism (1st century BC), recovered from a sunken ship in the Aegean Sea, appears to be the first analog computer, and it was designed to make astronomical calculations possible in order to determine the timing of the Olympics. There is little record of the Romans developing automatons, however, they were great engineers. It seems that, like the Greeks, they used automatons as toys, entertainment and public spectacles. Mark Anthony had an automaton of Julius Caesar, made of wax, depicting Caesar rising from his deathbed and turning, slowly, to display his twenty-three bleeding wounds to the crowd. This started a riot and led to Brutus and the other killers of Caesar fleeing the city. There are also reports that Roman temples used mechanical birds and figurines in a similar manner to the Greeks. (Read more.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

An Icon of American Painting

Hot Moon by Milton Avery
From Artsy:
Known to many as the “American Fauvist,” Avery painted the world around him––his wife, Sally; daughter, March; and the landscapes they traveled to––in broad planes of poetically juxtaposed colors. In works like Checker Players (1943) and Cello Player (1944), Avery captured the human figure as a series of large, chunky shapes. Rather than rendering the details of his subjects, Avery found his voice in the hues he observed, and used his feelings as fodder to render the underlying atmosphere of a scene. And yet, for much of his life, Avery’s career was eclipsed by  American Realism and the rise of  Abstract Expressionism; his work was too abstract for the academics and too representational for the AbEx scene. And despite his selling prices today (a painting can easily earn $3–$5 million at auction), he rarely sold work in his lifetime. Despite these difficulties, Avery continued to paint lilting abstractions of his family, shorelines, and forests until his death at the age of 79. The relentlessness with which Avery painted perhaps made sense given how accustomed he was to dealing with adversity, thanks to a youth frequently touched by death and poverty. (Read more.)

The Guillotine: A New Democrat Symbol

You've got to be kidding. From The Blaze:
Bre Kidman unveiled a new campaign logo last week: a guillitone, the execution apparatus commonly associated with the French Revolution that was used for the beheadings of King Louis XVI and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette. But fear not, Kidman, who hopes to challenge Republican Sen. Susan Collins in November, says using an image of the deadly device in campaign materials is not meant to be taken literally.

"We're not going to start a guillotine in Monument Square (in Portland) and start beheading people," Kidman clarified to the Portland Press-Herald. "It's a symbol of the work we have to do to overcome flaws in our system – flaws that have become deeply evident in the last few weeks." (Read more.)

A Lost Anglo-Saxon Monastery

Where the first King of England was crowned. From Live Science:
Newly unearthed remains may come from the monastery where England's first king, Edgar the Peaceful, was coronated more than 1,000 years ago, according to Wessex Archaeology, an archaeological company and charity in England.  The so-called smoking gun emerged during an excavation at the famous Bath Abbey, ahead of planned renovations there. During the excavation, archaeologists were surprised to find hints of Anglo-Saxon architecture in two structures next to the abbey. These are the first known Anglo-Saxon structures in all of Bath, a city that was founded by the Roman Empire and that is known for its thermal hot springs. The two apsidal (semicircular) structures, or apses, were found below street level, underneath what once made up the cloisters of the 12th-century cathedral built over Romano-British deposits. The cathedral is just south of the abbey church. (Read more.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A Review of Hartwell House

Where the French Royal Family lived in exile. as told in the novel Madame Royale. From The Guardian:
The French royal family lived here in exile. In fact, it was in the ornate library that Louis XVIII signed his accession to return to the French throne. ‘Why wouldst thou leave calm Hartwell’s green abode?’ asked Lord Byron of Louis’s departure. Indeed....We stayed in the Duchess d’Angouleme room, once occupied by the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It features a sumptuous four-poster bed and cosy window seats from which to view the parkland....The dining room is formal, old-fashioned, and rather wonderful. For traditional afternoon tea, head to the drawing room or library, for cakes and scones on a silver cake stand. (Read more.)

Inside a Southern California Rental Empire

I guess this is why so many live on the street. From LAist:
Many of Nijjar's tenants live in starkly different conditions, fighting off roaches, rats, bedbugs, bees, maggots and mold, all while struggling to get even minor issues fixed. At many of these rentals, low-income residents feel stuck in unsanitary, dangerous housing.The sprawling rental empire grew from modest beginnings in the 1970s into a behemoth. According to a KPCC/LAist analysis of government data and a review of public records, businesses connected to Nijjar account for at least:
  • an estimated 16,000 units spanning Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Kern counties, and reaching Sacramento, Fresno and Arlington, Texas
  • $1.3 billion in real estate
  • 4,400 parcels of land
  • 4,300 eviction lockouts in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties between 2010 and 2018
  • one in 20 evictions in San Bernardino County over the same time period
  • 170 business entities, including corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability corporations
Tens of thousands of California's poorest tenants -- many just a step away from homelessness -- have endured conditions in housing run by PAMA Management, which can be dirty, dilapidated and even deadly. That's according to code enforcement documents, lawsuits and public data, as well as interviews with plaintiffs' attorneys, fair-housing advocates, tenants and ex-employees. Those sources point to alarming issues at properties run by Nijjar's company.
At a Pomona trailer park owned by a Nijjar entity since 2005, typhus broke out in 2015. The medieval, flea-borne disease can kill if left untreated. Public health officials came in, trapping feral cats and opossums. On one opossum, they counted 1,087 fleas. It was L.A. County's first typhus outbreak since 2009. Since the outbreak, the state has twice suspended PAMA Management's permit to operate the Pomona park, citing electrical hazards and sewage leaks.
At another PAMA property, a manager testified that rats would swim in garbage water, walls would "bubble up" with mold and roaches "would fall over your body." At a third property, a lawsuit said a cockroach infestation was so severe that one of the insects climbed into a girl's ear, requiring surgery for the bug to be removed. At yet another complex, crime was so rampant that LAPD officers were afraid to patrol the property, leading the city attorney to file a lawsuit. (Read more.)

Neanderthal DNA

From Fox 43:
We all likely have a bit of Neanderthal in our DNA — including Africans who had been thought to have no genetic link to our extinct human relative, a new study finds. Evidence that our early ancestors had babies with Neanderthals first emerged in 2010 when the first genome, extracted from the bones of the Stone Age hominims who populated Europe until around 40,000 years ago, was sequenced.

They found that modern Europeans, Asians and Americans — but not Africans — inherited about 2% of the genes from Neanderthals, with our ancestors apparently hooking up with their stocky cousins only after they moved out of Africa. However, researchers from Princeton University now believe, based on a new computational method, that Africans do in fact have Neanderthal DNA and that very early human history was more complex than many might think.

“This is the first time we can detect the actual signal of Neanderthal ancestry in Africans,” said Lu Chen, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI) and a co-author of a new paper that published Thursday in the journal Cell. Joshua Akey, a professor at LSI who led the study, suggested their findings cast doubt on the widely held “out of Africa” theory of human migration — that modern humans originated in Africa and made a single dispersal to the rest of the world in a single wave between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago. (Read more.)

Monday, February 17, 2020

Is Charles I a Martyr?

Charles I with his son, the future James II
From Charles Coulombe at The Catholic Herald:
Indeed, surprising as it may sound to Catholics, the King is the only individual the Church of England has ever tried to canonize. The reason is that it was made very clear that his life would have been spared had he been willing to sanction the abolition of bishops in the Church of England by Cromwell.
His feast day was removed from the Book of Common Prayer by a Whig government in the mid-19th century, but the Anglo-Catholic wing of the CofE fostered devotional societies who ever since have tried to bring the holiday back. Chief among these are the Society of King Charles the Martyr and the Royal Martyr Church Union. Interesting as all these facts may be to students of English history and Anglican beliefs, what interest could the question of Charles I’s sanctity possibly have for Catholics? Quite a bit, really.
For one thing, his cultus plays a prominent role in that Anglican Patrimony which Pope Benedict XVI created the Personal Ordinariates to preserve within the Catholic Church. When various Eastern Orthodox groups have been reconciled to the Church, they have been allowed to continue to venerate a number of post-1054 figures as Saints. So, might our newly admitted brethren of Anglican background be able to do the same with Charles I?
A close reading of his life and reveals some striking points. Raised by a Catholic mother and married to a Catholic Queen, Charles demonstrated a sympathy for Catholics unseen since Mary I died. At various times throughout his reign he negotiated with several Popes for reunion, assuring them that his beliefs were the same as theirs – a fact that helped bring him to the axe. He venerated Mary and the Saints and believed in the Real Presence.
It must be remembered that this was two centuries before Apostolicae Curae, meaning Rome had not yet ruled Anglican Orders invalid and it was still very much an open question whether Anglicans had the Apostolic Succession. Though in retrospect they did not, it was a doctrine Charles was willing to die for.
Moreover, shortly after Laud was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, Urban VIII twice offered him the Red Hat: something that could not have been done without Charles’s permission. (Laud refused the offer.) The King vowed to return Church lands – including monastic properties – to the Church if he won the war. The famed Bishop Bossuet declared that Charles’s blood was in atonement for Henry VIII’s great sin.
Although feeling unable to release the imprisoned Catholic priests in London he inherited from his father, he allowed them to visit their flocks by day. Charles was no more able to save them from the Long Parliament then he was Laud or Strafford. As a husband and father, he rates with Bl. Emperor Charles I of Austria. At the end of the day, Charles I certainly considered himself to be of the same religion as the Pope – and died for his actions based upon that belief. Miracles were attributed to him after his death.
Catholics may not venerate him publicly as a saint. So, in Ordinariate parishes, Requiem Masses (such as are offered for Louis XVI – despite Pius VI’s private opinion that he, too, was a martyr) would be more appropriate than Masses honouring him as a saint. They may also pray privately for his intercession, given his prior cultus and efforts toward reunion. (Read more.)

Bernie and the Catastrophe of Socialism

The love affair of young Americans with Bernie Sanders is the result of their disturbingly disastrous belief that they are entitled to what other people worked for. Pied Piper Bernie seduces young followers with his seductive lie: “You deserve and I will give you everything for free.” Ponder that, folks. In Bernie's America, no one has to work for anything.

Unless Bernie is another Jesus Christ who can feed 5,000 with a few fish and loaves of bread, Bernie's free everything means everyone will get a crumb -- long lines waiting for a crumb of healthcare, food, and so on. Far too many youths are Bernie Bros, true believers of his absurd mystical Promise Land where everyone gets a free ride.

Decades ago, we allowed New Leftist progressive zealots to infiltrate our schools. They taught our kids to hate the traditional family, God, America, and capitalism. They are still teaching our kids craziness such as “all whites are born racist” and “calling a boy a boy or calling a girl a girl” is hate speech. Anti-American schools have created this generation of entitled gimme, gimme, gimme Bernie Bros.

Almost 20 years ago, a newbie in politics, I accompanied our Republican Executive Committee official to a high school assembly. A Democrat and Republican spokesperson pitched the virtues of their party to the students. The Democrat promoted socialism using feel-good language, fairness, and a desire to take care of everybody. The Republican gave a brilliant intellectual speech of which I am confident did not resonate with the students.

Inside I was going nuts. I wanted to say, “Look kids. You and Larry have summer jobs as waiters. You work your butt off, remembering patrons' food orders correctly and swiftly filling their empty glasses; doing everything in your power to make their dining experience enjoyable. For your excellence, patrons tip you generously. (Read more.)

The Rise and Fall of the Duchess of York

Another sad royal story. From Jezebel:
When Sarah Ferguson first joined the long-running primetime soap opera The Windsors in the 1980s as love interest to Prince Andrew, she was a popular figure, both inside and outside of the family; for a while, she was cast in a role very close to that of Meghan Markle, as the breath of fresh air livening up the stiff royal scene. But while Markle was welcomed as a progressive figure, a woman with a thriving career and a history of philanthropy and activism, Fergie’s narrative was that she was jolly, rowdy, horsey, charming—and, thrillingly, just a bit vulgar. For instance, Vanity Fair reported that Prince Philip was “tremendously taken with her off-color after-dinner jokes.”

It didn’t help that she was paired with and compared to Diana, who was more beautiful than ever and yet increasingly publicly miserable as Fergie arrived on the scene. At first they were “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” as the media dubbed them, a couple of girls having fun together. But in 1987, Vanity Fair asked, “Is Fergie’s Fizz Leaving Di Flat?” The subhead made it even more clear that Fergie was her foil: “In the year since her wedding, the rambunctious redheaded Duchess of York has charmed the Queen, captivated Prince Philip, and romped away with the hearts of the British public. Her angst-free antics have highlighted the mounting pressures on the Princess of Wales.”The narrative quickly turned against Ferguson. The very same qualities that had gained her praise—her cheerful informality—were deployed against her. For instance, she drew criticism for her performance in It’s a Royal Knockout, a variety show meant to demonstrate the young royals were hip and approachable, a.k.a a perfect vehicle for Ferguson. It was organized by her brother-in-law, Prince Edward, and featured several other members of the family including Anne and Andrew, but Fergie came off particularly poorly. What had once been refreshing was now recast as undignified; suddenly the vulgarity wasn’t thrilling. It’s probably not a coincidence that around the same time Fergie began to put on weight. “It became fat Fergie against wonderful Diana,” Harry Arnold of The Sun told Tina Brown. (Read more.)

Good news for the Duchess, HERE. We wish her well! Share

Sunday, February 16, 2020

A Global Catastrophe

From The Gatestone Institute:
The global persecution of Christians has reached unprecedented levels: "260 million Christians experience high levels of persecution" around the world, notes the recently published Open Doors World Watch List 2020, an annual report that ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted for their faith.

Additionally, "2,983 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons. On average, that's 8 Christians killed every day for their faith": "9,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked," and "3,711 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned." (Note: All quotes in this article are from the World Watch List 2020 report.) Dictatorial paranoia continues to make North Korea (#1) the worst nation. "If North Korean Christians are discovered, they are deported to labor camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot."

Otherwise, and as has been the case in all statistics and reports on the global persecution of Christians, not only does "Islamic oppression" remain the chief "source of persecution" faced by Christians in seven of the absolute ten worst nations, but 38 of the 50 nations composing the list are either Muslim-majority or have a sizeable Muslim population. (Read more.)

Authentic Profanity

From The History Quill:
Writing historical fiction presents its own particular challenges, not least when it comes to dialogue. How does an author create a sense of time and place without sounding faux-archaic or having characters proclaim “ye olde clichés”? Worse still, the unwitting author can sometimes use words or phrases of sufficient modernity to rudely jerk the reader out of their pleasant suspension of disbelief. I have done that myself, which is why this has become a topic close to my own heart. The thing that brings it into sharpest focus is swearing.
Swearing is an extremely useful item for any writer to have in their toolbox. The technical term for swearing is ‘using intensifiers’, and indeed that is exactly what it does. A carefully used, well-placed curse can give a character’s emotion more impact on the reader than a whole paragraph of description. It portrays that character’s mood or mental state in the most immediate manner. If you get it wrong, however, it can sound gratuitous, silly, or just plain anachronistic.
Most serious historical fiction authors will go to great lengths to try to be authentic to the events and culture of the time period they are writing in. Unfortunately, when it comes to cursing, a problem arises where what once sounded shocking to our ancestors now seems banal, childish or worse, laughable. In contrast, the everyday language used in the past can now be deemed unacceptable.
Using authentic curses can just seem plain odd to a modern reader. In sixth form, I had to read Sheridan’s School for Scandal and recall the hilarity with which we snotty-nosed 1980s kids regarded each utterance of Egad or Sdeath, 18th Century expletives which would have then been regarded as outrageous. The text’s original readers found the “D” word so terrible it could only be printed as D___ (I am talking about “Damn” by the way, in case you were thinking of another D word). Shakespeare’s use of curses like Swounds or Sblood met similar chortling.
In his Holcroft Blood series, set in the 17th Century, Angus Donald is careful to scatter enough original slang through his dialogue to give a sense of the era without overwhelming the reader with obscure or (to modern eyes) laughable expletives. Despite the name of the main character, Donald avoids using too much authentic swearing like Sblood. This once-shocking curse is a contraction of “By God’s Blood”, which gives us a clue to the origins of swearing. In the past, people first swore by their gods. They made oaths, promises to achieve deeds that they asked their Deities to witness and approve or aid them in their endeavors to fulfill them. It was the solemnity of the religious element that originally brought censure to swearing. These were words that should only be said in the most serious of circumstances. (Read more.)

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Requiem Mass for Louis XVI

On January 21, 2020 a Requiem Mass was offered for King Louis XVI in Paris at the parish of Saint-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile. Share

Limbaugh: A Genius at Radio

From Victor Davis Hanson at The National Review:
Even stranger still, his ascendance coincided with the presumed nadir of radio itself. It was supposedly a has-been, one-dimensional medium, long overshadowed by television. Even in the late 1980s, radio was about to be sentenced as obsolete in the ascendant cyber age of what would become Internet blogs, podcasts, streaming, and smartphone television. Stranger still, Limbaugh has prospered through two generations and picked up millions of listeners who were not born when he first went national and who had no idea of why or how he had become a national presence.

He certainly did not capture new listeners by adjusting to the times. While tastes changed and the issues often metamorphosed, he did not. He remained conservative, commonsensical, and skeptical of Washington and those in it, as if he knew all the predictable thousand faces of the timeless progressive project, whose various manifestations reappear to mask a single ancient and predictable essence: the desire of a self-appointed group of elites to expand government in order to regiment the lives of ordinary people, allegedly to achieve greater mandated equality and social justice but more often to satisfy their own narcissistic will to power. It was Limbaugh who most prominently warned that lax immigration enforcement would soon lead to open calls for open borders, that worry about “global warming” would transform into calls to ban the internal combustion engine, and that the logical end of federal takeover of health care would be Medicare for All. (Read more.)

The Kingdom of Kush

From Ancient History:
Kush was a kingdom in northern Africa in the region corresponding to modern-day Sudan. The larger region around Kush (later referred to as Nubia) was inhabited c. 8,000 BCE but the Kingdom of Kush rose much later. The Kerma Culture, so named after the city of Kerma in the region, is attested as early as 2500 BCE and archaeological evidence from Sudan and Egypt show that Egyptians and the people of Kush region were in contact from the Early Dynastic Period in Egypt (c. 3150 - c. 2613 BCE) onwards. The later civilization defined as 'Kushite' probably evolved from this earlier culture but was heavily influenced by the Egyptians.

While the history of the overall country is quite ancient, the Kingdom of Kush flourished between c. 1069 BCE and 350 CE. The New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1570-1069 BCE) was in the final stages of decline c. 1069 BCE, which empowered the Kushite city-state of Napata. The Kushites no longer had to worry about incursions into their territory by Egypt because Egypt now had enough trouble managing itself. They founded the Kingdom of Kush with Napata as its capital, and Kush became the power in the region while Egypt floundered. 

Kushite kings became the pharaohs of Egypt’s 25th Dynasty and Kushite princesses dominated the political landscape of Thebes in the position of God’s Wife of Amun. The Kushite king Kashta (c. 750 BCE) was the first to establish himself on the Egyptian throne and appointed his daughter, Amenirdis I, the first Kushite God’s Wife of Amun. He was followed by other great Kushite kings who reigned until the Assyrian invasion of Egypt by Ashurbanipal in 666 BCE.

In c. 590 BCE Napata was sacked by the Egyptian pharaoh Psammeticus II (595-589 BCE) and the capital of Kush was moved to Meroe. The Kingdom of Kush continued on with Meroe as its capital until an invasion by the Aksumites c. 330 CE which destroyed the city and toppled the kingdom. Overuse of the land, however, had already depleted the resources of Kush and the cities would most likely have been abandoned even without the Aksumite invasion. Following this event, Meroe and the dwindling Kingdom of Kush survived another 20 years before its end c. 350 CE. (Read more.)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Tented Rooms

Why they associate tented rooms with Marie-Antoinette, I do not know. The Empress Josephine loved them, though. From House Beautiful:
VIP Cabanas, circus tents, canopy beds in sky-high turrets: There's something dramatic about bold fabric hugging the walls and draped overhead. Not since Napoleon's time have tented rooms been this popular—but designers today are reimagining them with so much contemporary style. The fabric-cloaked ceiling trick—whether simply tacked on or fully upholstered—offers practical value as well: It can help insulate a drafty space, hide architectural flaws, and even mask soffits and pipes. Keep reading to see eleven fabulous, over-the-top tented rooms for a design lesson in raising the roof. (Read more.)

Managing Mental Illness

From The Washington Post:
That is why the president declared at the first White House Summit on Mental Health, “My administration is strongly committed to helping Americans suffering from mental illness.” And the administration has already taken action. Last year’s funding bill provided $3.9 billion for mental health programs, a $328 million increase. We invested in evidence-based programs including early detection, assisted-outpatient treatment and supported our law enforcement professionals. Finally, the administration solicited and approved the first-of-their-kind demonstrations for states to improve access to the full continuum of care these individuals desperately need.

But more remains to be done: President Trump is proposing to modify the outdated Institutions for Mental Disease payment exclusion, the long-standing Medicaid policy that prohibits federal reimbursement for many Medicaid-eligible patients who receive care in certain inpatient facilities dedicated to mental disease. These important changes will provide more than $5 billion in new federal funding to states that ensure a full continuum of care is in place to assist in getting people with serious mental illness the care they need and, in many cases, off the streets and out of prisons. (Read more.)

The Bad Boy Prince Who Became a King

From Nancy Bilyeau at English History Authors:
He was a younger brother in a royal family, not expected to ascend to the throne of England when born. He threw himself into a military career. He was wild and boisterous, given to carousing, and fell deeply in love with an actress. During their many years together, she financially supported him. Sometimes mocked by the public, he had a warm heart, a generous nature, and a willingness to listen that gave him a popularity few others in his family enjoyed. Meet William, Duke of Clarence, and later King of England from 1830 to 1837. (Read more.)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Art Dealer Who Championed Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani

Femme au chapeau by Henri Matisse

From Artsy:
The list of artists Weill championed goes extraordinarily on, full of hundreds of names—some blue-chip, some forgotten. Between 1901, when she opened Galerie Berthe Weill, and 1941, when she shuttered the space due to rising anti-Semitism and the onset of World War II, she hosted countless shows. “We took the risk of going modern,” the dealer wrote in her memoir.
Her risk-taking was admirable, but it didn’t always pay off. There wasn’t a thriving market for artists who were just starting out—or for women artists. And the painters Weill did manage to sell weren’t reliable sources of income, either. As her artists grew higher in profile thanks to shows with Weill, they left her shop for established dealers like Ambroise Vollard, Paul Rosenberg, and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. These gallerists could offer stipends and the security of an exclusive contract—expenses Weill simply couldn’t afford without resorting to showing recognized, safe artists (something the prickly and opinionated dealer was against).
“Weill [was] a discoverer,” Le Morvan explained. “The first [access point] to the market for artists who are then spotted by galleries of larger sizes which offer better prices.” Weill was constantly replenishing her roster as successful artists moved to more established galleries, a pattern still playing out for scrappy and visionary dealers today.
“She’s doing something innovative and she’s in unknown territory, and it’s not easy but she’s doing it,” said Robert McD. Parker, an independent art scholar on a team mounting an upcoming Berthe Weill exhibition. The traveling show will include around 80 works that passed through Galerie Berthe Weill—though it won’t display them on clotheslines like she would do when she ran out of wall space. The exhibition will open at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2022 and at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery the following year, and it may travel to additional venues. (Read more.)