INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FORCULTURAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
Reposted from AAM
Download a PDF copy of this tip sheet.
This tip sheet was developed with the help of Katherine McNamee, the Director of Human Resources for the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and is based on practices from several organizations committed to equitable recruitment including AAM.
With the right approaches, museums and other organizations can develop recruiting practices that mitigate biases and focus on relevant skills and qualifications. Creating consistency and fairness in the process will ensure that all candidates have the same opportunity to showcase their skills and talents. The following tips cover how to identify needed resources, write job descriptions, find and assess candidates, conduct interviews, choose finalists, and track results with equity in mind.
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Reposted from Axios
Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. jumped to a record level in 2022, up 36% from the year before, an annual audit by the Anti-Defamation League shows.
Why it matters: It's the third time in five years that reported episodes of antisemitism — from the distribution of hate propaganda to threats, slurs, vandalism and assault — were the most on record since the ADL began tracking such incidents in 1979.
The big picture: The surge in antisemitic cases comes as the FBI and human rights groupswarn about rising numbers of hate crimes in the U.S. — and amid concerns that some public officials and social media influencers are fueling the problem by normalizing incendiary rhetoric.
By the numbers: The ADL found reports of 3,697 antisemitic incidents in 2022. Incidents skyrocketed in each of the major audit categories:
Zoom in: States with the most incidents were New York (580), California (518), New Jersey (408), Florida (269) and Texas (211).
Zoom out: The ADL audit includes criminal and non-criminal acts of antisemitism.
State of play: An FBI report in December said hate crimes in the U.S. fell slightly in 2021, but the agency warned the figures likely were off because of a shift to a new reporting system that led some of the country's biggest police departments not to report numbers.
What they're saying: "This report lays bare some data around why the Jewish community has been feeling so vulnerable," Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL's Center on Extremism, told Axios.
Flashback: A British national held four people hostage in a Texas synagogue in January 2022 after the synagogue's 10 a.m. Shabbat services.
Between the lines: A growing number of elected Republicans are openly promoting "white replacement theory," a decades-old conspiracy theory that's animated terrorist attacks.
What's next: The ADL is recommending that elected officials more aggressively denounce antisemitism and that federal and state governments do more to prevent antisemitism online.
The 2023 edition of CFM’s annual forecasting report is now available as a free PDF download. TrendsWatch: Building the Post-pandemic World explores how museums can emerge from the past three years better and stronger, using opportunities presented by pandemic disruptions to create a more just, equitable, and resilient world.
Historically, TrendsWatch has published right around now (late March, early April). This year, for the first time, AAM members and subscribers received the report three months early, in the Jan/Feb issue of Museummagazine. The new PDF complements the magazine by:
Because TrendsWatch covers rapidly moving trends, the months between writing and release often are filled with new developments. For example, in the section on The Future Workforce I noted the potential for two intersecting trends—four-day workweeks and four-day school schedules. In the past couple of months:
Implications for museums: As more parents choose four-day schedules, when available, to accommodate the four-day school week of their kids, might museums see “weekend attendance” spread out beyond Saturday and Sunday? As schools struggle to fit mandated instructional hours into a shorter week, will school field trips (already in decline) be further curtailed?
(BTW—since this year’s TrendsWatch published, many people have asked me whether telework is “going away.” While conclusions on this point vary widely, according the latest research from Pew, about a third of workers with jobs that can be done remotely, a chunk that equals about 39 percent of the total workforce, are working from home all the time—a sixfold increase from the pre-pandemic baseline. An additional 41 percent of that group is working on a hybrid schedule, with some days remote and some in the office.)
In The Partisan Divide I shared troubling signals that, while visiting museums is currently a nonpartisan activity and trust in museums remains high across the political spectrum, museums are becoming caught up in a new wave of politically fueled culture wars. Unfortunately, the past few months have only bolstered this concern.
Implications for museums: This trend presents museums with difficult challenges. How can museums stay true to their missions and their values, without becoming targets in a new round of culture wars? How can our sector navigate the fine line between using the trust accorded museums to present challenging ideas, and losing that trust by seeming to be partisan?
I’ve also been thinking about the potential intersection of three of this year’s themes: A Digital (R)evolution(the maturation of museum digital practice); the rise of a values-based approach to Repatriation, Restitution, and Reparations; and Changing Climate Risk. Climate projections warn that the South-Pacific island nation of Tuvalu will be submerged by the end of this century. Late last year, in the face of this threat, Tuvalu’s foreign minister announced that the nation is going to shift its territorial and cultural identity onto the Metaverse.
Implications for museums: There are already several excellent examples of digital platforms that draw on the data of museums across the globe to serve the needs of communities displaced or decimated by violence. (See, for example, Digital Benin and the Jewish Digital Recovery Project.) How might museums work together in service of communities damaged or displaced by climate change, serving as stewards of their heritage and providing digital connections to history and culture even to people scattered across the globe?
There will be two opportunities to dig into these topics more deeply at #AAM2023 in Denver next month. At my TrendsWatch session on Friday (May 19) at 11:30 I’ll do more of the above—sharing current news and recent thoughts about these issues. I hope you will consider joining the discussion tables (12:30 – 1:30) that will follow that presentation. I’ll provide some prompts for the conversations and look forward to the lively conversations that ensue. See you there?
Reposted from Security Management Magazine
The single biggest challenge many leaders face is getting people to do things they have never done before. And it's not a question of merely maneuvering and finagling until people take your side—it’s a legitimate trial of explaining a concept and outlining why it’s valuable.
Former U.S. Navy SEAL John Gretton “Jocko” Willink noted in an interview, “If I’m manipulating you, I’m trying to get you to do something. If I’m leading you, I’m trying to get you to do something.”
What’s the difference you ask? Intent.
Willink explained further: “If I’m manipulating you, I’m trying to get you to do something that’s going to benefit me. If I’m leading you, I’m trying to get you to do something that’s going to benefit you, that’s going to benefit the team, and that’s going to benefit the mission.”
So, how do we change people’s mindsets in business to get them to do something new that’s going to benefit them, that’s going to benefit their team, and that’s going to benefit their mission and help them achieve their strategic goals?
In the military or hostile environments, people tend to compromise or change their mindsets to execute something new because they do not want to let the person standing beside them down. It’s that purpose or being part of something bigger than themselves that motivates them. The same principle often applies in private industry. A 2019 Glassdoor survey of 5,000 leaders across the globe found that people prioritized a company’s mission and culture above money in choosing their next employer.
How can security leaders leverage this motivation to improve buy-in?
Generally, there will be three types of reactions a leader receives upon change initiatives.
The team player. These individuals are highly motivated and malleable/coachable, and they will buy in from the beginning of the change process.
The opposition. There will also always be those who resist change. If presented with effective metrics and results from the program, eventually they will either buy-in, leave, or be weeded out.
Prospects. There are those standing on the sidelines who want to play, but they might be unaware of how to get in the game. How does one convert prospects to team players? It takes consistency, discipline, and time.
Think ABC: Always Be Clear, right from the start.
When presenting new initiatives to strategic business partners, clearly define the strategic mission, vision, and values of what it is you are trying to achieve. Know your audience, speak their language, present the information so it could be easily understood by a 10-year-old, and be brief and to the point.
What is your purpose? What is the business you are in? Why are you, the risk manager, there at that specific moment in time? What is it you are trying to achieve? If your goal is the start of a new project, the strategic mission will be more finite and fit under the overall strategy of the business. The strategic risk management goal will still be to support business partners while reducing cascading effects, impacts to assets, reputational loss, injury, or death in the workplace. Anything new must call back to that core mission.
One example is onboarding new hires, as well as third party suppliers, vendors, or partners. The purpose is to ensure delivery of clear and comprehensive training about the organization’s security policies and procedures, including how to handle sensitive information, how to identify phishing and social engineering attacks, and how to report any suspicious activity. The strategic goal goes further—it is to build a culture of trust and credibility with our people, while reducing the risk and impact of insider threats, and ensuring that “everyone is playing the game” regarding alignment with security mission and goals.
The evaluation of security programs is key to retaining long-term buy in and concerting any prospects or naysayers into team players. Remember: evaluation equals measurement and monitoring multiplied by continuous improvement multiplied by repetition (E=MCR2).
Evaluate. What is the baseline? Where are you today, and where do you want to go? The ABCs clearly define the strategic goals we are trying to achieve, so now we must come up with specific metrics that can be evaluated.
For example, one may want to reduce downstream supply chain risk management risks regarding their third- or fourth-party partners, vendors, or suppliers. Reliance upon outside service providers can create cascading effects that affect operations within any of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors listed by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). These cascading supply chain risks may potentially bring your operations to a grinding halt—or at the very least increase your risk to fraud and abuse—and evaluating the organization’s specific risk profile on this front helps to explain the reasons behind a new initiative.
One example would be the December 2021 ransomware attack on the payroll system Kronos. One private sector energy company within the New York City tri-state area was a victim of this attack, and it triggered cascading effects for thousands of workers and close to 100 locations, putting energy to more 1 million homes in jeopardy. The company was forced to use Excel spreadsheets and paper records for two months because it lost safe access to the payroll system. Thousands of workers were now responsible for self-reporting their hours worked. This reallocation of human resources opened up the company to fraud and abuse, but it also had a negative impact to the overall operations within the organization.
Starting with a baseline provides risk managers empirical evidence and quantifiable metrics. Leveraging data helps us as security and risk leaders, build trust and credibility with our business partners we are supporting. By speaking the same language—that of business—and providing visualization of data to leadership, this demonstrates business acumen, expertise, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence. These actions help gain advocacy, while elevating security and risk from an obstacle to a partner, who is there to support our business partners and courageous leaders achieve their mission and strategic goals.
How do we set this in motion? It begins with using a risk management approach:
Measure and monitor. Put a system in place to keep track of the metrics created. The type of system depends on the organization’s size, resources, and regulatory requirements; it might be as simple as a Google doc or Excel spreadsheet, or it may be a single pane of glass dashboard that ingests your entire defense-in-depth stack of disparate solutions holistically across the enterprise, providing real time monitoring. This is actionable intelligence that risk managers can then use to advise business partners so they may make more accurate informed decisions.
When presenting metrics, remember to speak the same language of the business leaders we support, and limit the use of acronyms. The goal here is not to show how smart you are when presenting to business partners. Rather, aim to present actionable intelligence in a way leaders understand so that they may make more informed decisions that benefits them, the team, and the mission.
Continuous improvement. This may be one of the hardest phases a motivated leader faces, because it is now time to listen, both to your people and your data. Consider gathering feedback through one-on-one discussions, surveys, and town halls. Open office hours are also an option. For example, every Friday the CEO of a large healthcare organization made himself available for one hour in the on-campus cafeteria, where it was common knowledge that he was approachable and available to anyone within the organization for a discussion.
Technology is another piece of the puzzle here, and data can be used to inform conversations with leadership and drive decisions. There are also physical infrastructure, people, and processes that must be accounted for, observed, and questioned through some form of measurable process. Some examples include visual inspection, education, training, exercises and drills, business impact analysis, HR policies and procedures, and open discussions.
This all starts with a conversation where questions are asked, and leaders must be willing to not only listen, but also act and course correct.
Continuous improvement is achieved through consistent behavior that is coupled with consistent evaluation, measurement, monitoring, and optimization—which in turn produces more motivated team players. On the technology side automation can assist here, acting as a force multiplier to help security personnel ingest the exponential amount of actionable intelligence at scale. This unbiased, data-driven process ensures efficacy of critical controls, while continuously improving the availability of systems to achieve more positive outcomes.
The goal is to have your team come to you with ideas on how to optimize the process moving forward. This means they have bought in.
Rinse and repeat. This process is a continuous feedback loop, which is then rinsed and repeated. The process is dynamic, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. Therefore, once you have reached this step, go back to the beginning, reevaluate, and start over.
Consistent and ongoing effort to improve operations to better match the strategic goal of the organization can prove to team players, prospects, and the opposition that your initiative is a worthwhile one and here to stay.
Reposted from Art News
The Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston shuttered early on Saturday, the 33rd anniversary of the theft of several famous works. The museum said it was informed climate activists from the group Extinction Rebellion were planning to a stage a “guerilla art installation” inside the museum, according to local media.
“Climate activists have been protesting around the world, unfortunately using
art museums as a stage to promote their cause,” the museum said in a statement.
“Isabella Stewart Gardner envisioned her Museum as a place of sharing art, community and conversation. She was an advocate of all forms of art, as well as the environment, especially horticulture,“ director Peggy Fogelman said. “While it is our mission to uphold Isabella’s values, we do not support this type of tactic that targets art institutions and could possibly put the Museum’s collection, staff and visitors at risk.”
The Boston chapter of Extinction Rebellion tweeted the local CBS News affiliate broke its embargoed press release and that it did not plan to damage any property through its nonviolent, nondestructive demonstration. According to photographer Lita Kelley, the group planned to hang original artwork that highlighted biodiversity loss in three empty frames in the museum’s Dutch room where paintings had been stolen.
As a result of the museum’s closure, the Extinction Rebellion protesters carried flags and red banners, and staged a “die in” in front of the museum on Saturday afternoon. Two people wore animal costumes.
On March 18, 1990, thieves dressed as Boston police officers broke into the museum and took 13 pieces of art estimated to be worth more than $500 million. The works included Johannes Vermeer’s The Concert, several by Edgar Degas, three pieces by Rembrandt, and Édouard Manet’s Chez Tortoni. The Isabella Gardner Museum is offering a $10 million reward to anyone with information that could lead to their safe return.
People who bought advance tickets to the Isabella Stewart Gardner were issued refunds and the museum reopened on Sunday.
Reposted from ArtSentry
Museums, art, and cultural institutions often hold a history heavy in Western and Euro-centric views. Additionally, these cultural centers haven’t always been equally accessible to everyone within the greater community.
To support diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiatives, museums and their counterparts must address the social and systemic exclusion many still feel in museum culture. Here are some ways for cultural institutions to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for their visitors.
A staff that’s representative of the diverse community around you can make the environment more welcoming and inclusive for visitors of diverse backgrounds. From volunteers and interns to leadership and board members, the more diversity within your team, the more diverse and inclusive your facility will be.
As a museum or art and cultural institution, you have the opportunity to curate inclusive events and exhibits that represent a multitude of perspectives. For the inclusive experience of your visitors, it’s important to involve multiple perspectives in the curation, development, and presentation of each event or exhibit. To do this, look for ways to involve new voices from the community or within your team to introduce different perspectives and create internal strategic goals to measure your progress.
To provide equitable access, museums and institutions need to first recognize and understand the different needs within their community, then find ways to meet them through programs, initiatives, or events. Eliminating these obstacles provides more equitable access for all visitors.
Equitable financial access might include free admission days or discounted entry through community partnerships. To provide equitable geographic access, your institution might organize transportation for groups to visit together or bring educational or cultural experiences to the community through after-school programs, online platforms, or community events.
To understand your community's unique and diverse needs, consider hosting community discussions or speaking with local community leaders. Make it a goal to collaborate and engage directly with the community you’re seeking to serve to provide more equitable and inclusive experiences for them.
Keep DEAI top-of-mind for all your staff to build a continuous, sustained effort towards equity and inclusion. With transparent policies and regular check-ins to see if you’re meeting your own DEAI goals, you and your team will naturally devise new ways and strategies to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for your museum or institution.
Beware of treating DEAI initiatives as one-time events or seasonal objectives. It requires a shift in your organization's internal culture for a true departure from the past. Change begins with awareness but is sustained by vigilance.
Creating a more inclusive and equitable environment is part of a sustained effort that will continually evolve and improve to meet the needs of today. Be aware and learn about the needs of your community, your current gaps in representation and diversity, and the systemic and structural history in which your institution exists. Look for opportunities to engage with your community and incorporate multiple perspectives into your work. Finally, be proactive and try new things, whether it's reaching out to your community first or creating internal benchmarks for equity and inclusion for your team. Committing to change is the first step to creating a more inclusive and equitable environment.
Reposted from iNews UK
Since Russia launched its full bloody invasion of Ukraine last February, innumerable acts of destruction have been wreaked on its towns, and atrocities against its people. But away from the front line, in the burnt-out shells of theatres and across the bullet-riddled busts of poets, another battle is being waged.
Ukraine’s culture itself has become a new front in the war. It has not been merely caught up in the crossfire. Russia has looted ancient treasures from Kherson’s museums; emptied libraries of Ukrainian books; repressed the Ukrainian language itself. The Ukrainian language has been repressed in occupied areas, with teachers and civil servants detained, threatened or worse for refusing to teach enforced Russian curricula in schools.
Writers and artists have been murdered. The conductor Yuri Kerpatenko was shot for refusing to participate in a concert in occupied Kherson. The children’s author Volodymyr Vakulenko was kidnapped, killed and thrown into a mass grave.
This is not collateral damage but a cultural “genocide”, according to Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Culture Minister. Libraries, museums, galleries, churches, memorials, statues, schools and universities have all been damaged or destroyed since February 2022. About 1,600 cases of possible damage have been documented, including 122 museums, 684 monuments and over 500 religious sites.
Unesco has verified 241 which should have been protected under the Hague Convention. This “deliberate destruction” of Ukraine’s culture, history and language is likely an attempt to erase its identity, the UN said last month.
Vladimir Putin has claimed repeatedly that Ukraine is not a country, but a sub-region of Russia, without culture, history or identity.
So any expression of that becomes a threat to the idea of a Russian empire comprising the former Soviet Union. Over its history, Ukraine has been subjected repeatedly to repression, or Russification, first under the tsars and then the Soviets.
The Ukrainian language has been banned hundreds of times. During Stalin’s Great Terror a generation of writers and artists – the “Executed Renaissance” – were persecuted and murdered. What Mr Putin is doing appears to be a continuation of this policy.
“A lot is at stake,” says Volodymyr Sheiko, director-general of the Ukrainian Institute in Kyiv, which promotes the country’s culture. “If we win this battle we can survive. If we lose this cultural battle, Ukraine will not survive eventually, even if it wins the war militarily, in the longer term.”
However, unluckily for Mr Putin, his efforts to stub out Ukrainian identity and culture have sparked a surge of interest around the world, with people discovering Ukrainian writers, fashion and filmmakers.
Books are now being translated in swathes. Ukrainian ballet companies and orchestras are touring the West. In May, Ukrainian music will be centre-stage once again at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.
Ukrainian fashion designers are participating in London Fashion Week. The Kyiv designer Ivan Frolov recently dressed Beyoncé for her Dubai performance, as well as Sam Smith in the music video I’m Not Here to Make Friends.
Even Ukrainian borscht, a soup made with beetroot, was inscribed on Unesco’s list of intangible heritage in need or urgent safeguarding.
“The surge of interest has been incredible since February,” Mr Sheiko tells i. “All the doors that had been closed suddenly opened. It’s never been easier to get things staged – literary festivals, new publications of Ukrainian works, translations, poetry.
“We were approached to put together literary programmes for international book fairs etc. Similarly, we’ve seen an interest from film festivals, theatre festivals, publishing houses, mainstream media, museums, galleries, universities, who wanted to programme something about Ukraine.
Oksana Zabuzkho, author of Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex and one of the country’s foremost writers, has described how there used to be three “token” Ukrainian writers known to the rest of the world. “Nowadays,” she says, “you have an avalanche of names and you have ‘literature’… this has changed in the past year.”
Peter Doroshenko, director general of the Ukrainian Museum in New York, said visitor attendance had “skyrocketed” since the February invasion. “It’s a kind of turbocharger,” he says. “From month to month, [interest] accelerates at such a large level… that it’s almost hard to keep up.”.
Mr Sheiko adds: “Ukraine’s survival and sustainability and prosperity will depend on how effectively and efficiently we can protect and safeguard our culture and identity today.” However, he adds regretfully: “It took a war for so many people to understand that this is an interesting country worth looking at.”
Even Ukrainians themselves are rediscovering and celebrating their language and culture. A growing number of Russian-speakers now refuse to speak it. Last year a poll found that 76 per cent of Ukrainians considered Ukrainian their native tongue, up from 57 per cent in 2012. After Mr Putin gave a speech on 21 February 2021 that suggested he planned to invade, the phrase “this is my last tweet in Russian” trended on Twitter in Ukraine. After the invasion, posts on social media of Ukrainians announcing they would no longer speak the language went viral.
Professor Ogarkova said her students at university were now choosing to study Ukrainian subjects. “They are making their choices in favour of Ukrainian, culture and tradition. So, it has become something prestigious, interesting… this is a kind of trend,” she says.
Previously, Ukrainian culture was overlooked by many, she adds. “We had that image of Ukrainian culture as old-fashioned, boring, not interesting,” she said. Now, however, “we were discovering for ourselves that there are a lot of things that deserve our attention.”
Marina Pesenti, an independent researcher and board member of the Ukrainian Institute, points out that Ukrainians’ interest in their own history and culture has been rising since Russia illegally annexed Crimea and began the war in the Donbas. There has been a “cultural flourishing” since 2014,” she tells i. “It’s not something new that happened a year ago all of a sudden, because there has been quite a big transformation in the cultural sector in Ukraine .”
Yet “this massive rethinking of history and identity is happening,” now, she adds. A shift has taken place since February 2022, and people understand that something has changed. With each continued assault against their culture Ukrainian artists further interrogate and explore what it means to be Ukrainian.
This is now a “war of narratives”, declares Ms Zabuzkho. “This about-turn started when attacked with annihilation… … that Ukraine should not exist.”
For many artists, war is now their focus. Many are helping by joining the army. The well-known writer Andriy Lyubka is raising funds for vehicles for the front line. The novelist Victoria Amelina has stopped writing novels and retrained as a war crimes investigator. Many are volunteering in other ways to help the war effort. As the writer Oleksandr Mykhed, who has taken up a “virtual residency” at Oxford University, says: “You could not protect your family from a rifle with your poems.”
Others see their art as their most powerful weapons. Oleksiy Sai, an artist, said: “I envy those who fight with arms, but for now I am more effective as an artist.”
In January, one of his films was exhibited at the World Economic Forum at Davos in January. It depicts Russian war crimes, and features radio intercepts of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. In one recording the girlfriend of a soldier is heard encouraging him to rape Ukrainian women, but warning him to use a condom. The film was also shown at Nato’s headquarters and at the European Parliament.
“There’s no more illusion that art would live in a kind of separate reality from what we live through,” says Professor Ogarkova. “In Ukraine because everything is about politics.”
But for many artists, creating art in the midst of such horrors is impossible. “At the moment, what is happening is documenting war crimes,” says Ms Pesenti. “Of course, there are first reflections, radio programmes, articles, but not so much works of art because it takes time. Some are traumatised.”
Andrey Kurkov, another of Ukraine’s foremost writers, best known for the novel Death of a Penguin, said he was unable to keep writing novels after the war broke out, but turned instead to documenting its early days and writing newspaper columns for international audiences. Amelina has given up writing novels and turned to poetry. Nonetheless, in one poem, No Poetry, she claims: “This is no poetry too/ Poetry is in Kharkiv/ volunteering for the army.” Meanwhile, for Lyubka, “a writer who does not write has become a symbol of this war”.
“This is something that is common to many artists now,” says Ms Ogarkova. “War is something which goes beyond any kind of representation. The wounds are so fresh, the experience is so tragic that you have problems to fix it in artistic form. Representatives of Ukrainian culture who are unable to create.”
Furthermore, creating and exhibiting new art, literature or music has huge challenges during wartime. All public funding for cultural projects has been paused, many writers have fled abroad, and cultural institutions have been physically damaged. “The war has had a devastating impact on Ukrainian culture,” says Mr Sheiko.
However, Ms Pesenti expects a flowering of Ukrainian culture after the war. “There will be this rethinking of the war experience, of the trauma, which is going to take, I’m sure, many years,” she says. “If Ukraine is given a chance to speak in its voice it certainly will have lots of stories to tell.”
At the same time, as Ukrainians embrace their own culture, there has been a fierce reaction against Russian culture as part of a move to ‘de-Russify or “decolonise”. Mr Tkachenko has called for Western allies to boycott Tchaikovsky and other Russian artists until the war is over, pointing to the Kremlin’s use of culture as a “weapon of war”.
Many Ukrainians now refuse to play Russian music or read Russian literature. Shops are refusing to sell Russian books. There have been mass pulpings of Russian books, while Ukraine’s parliament adopted a law banning their import. Writers including Kurkov, who formerly wrote in Russian, have vowed to stop writing in the language until the war is over.
Streets named after Alexander Pushkin or Anton Chekhov are also being renamed after Ukrainian writers. Volodymyr Yermolenko, a philosopher and the editor in chief of UkraineWorld, has condemned streets’ Russian names as a legacy of the imperial past. “Every prominent Russian name was a way to exclude a Ukrainian one. Street names were a tool to erase local memory,” he has said.
Even Kyiv-born Russians are at risk of being dragged into the culture war. Recently Ukraine’s national writers’ union called for the Bulgakov Museum, where The Master and Margarita writer Mikhail Bulgakov was born, to be closed down, citing the author’s dislike of Ukrainian nationalism. Zabuzkho has described Bulgakov’s work as “propaganda literature”. However, the museum’s director, Lyudmila Gubianuri, defended Bulgakov as a “man of his time” whose “work is definitely part of Ukrainian cultural space”, and the culture minister has – for now – kept the museum open.
Mr Sheiko rejects such terms. “I don’t like the words boycotts, cancel, ban, sensor. It’s not about that. It’s about looking at all the imperialist and colonialist tropes, that are woven into Russian culture, both classical and contemporary, in film, in music, in literature,” he says. “Tchaikovsky might not be part of today’s contemporary Putin’s Russia, but it’s used very effectively as a tool of cultural expansion, of propaganda, of cultural domination by the Putinist regime… And that doesn’t allow other countries cultures to be visible in the world.
“We call the world to actually give that space to cultures that have traditionally been underrepresented internationally.”
Ukraine is now claiming figures formerly taken to be Russian, such as the avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich was born in Ukraine and spent a considerable part of time in Ukraine. “I believe 30-40 per cent of Russian culture is built on Ukrainian culture, and which is never talked about rarely, rarely written,” claims Mr Doroshenko.
“Many artists in early 20th century who were all Ukrainian-born and raised, maybe moved to Petrograd or Moscow, and they’re all labelled Russian. I don’t know how that happened. Because last time I checked, Picasso was born and died a Spanish artist and not a Parisian.”
Even the Ukrainian Government has set up a website encouraging the public to upload their poetry, declaring “Every poem, every line, every word is part of Ukrainian history… wars end but poetry does not.”
As Volodomyr Zelensky said at the Venice Biennale last year, at the opening of the exhibition This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom: “There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world what cannot otherwise be shared.”
Reposted from Sarasota Magazine
The Sarasota artist colony of painters and writers who flourished here in the ’50s and ’60s is long gone, and with it a remarkable group of men and women. These people set the tone of the town and did it so well that, today, the arts remain as central to Sarasota’s identity as its beaches. There may be one or two of these individuals left, but, as a group, they are fading into history.
Some ended up world famous. Syd Solomon’s paintings are in most major museums, John D. MacDonald is credited with creating modern crime fiction and MacKinlay Kantor’s story The Best Years of Our Lives is firmly embedded in our national psyche due to the classic movie based on it. Burl Ives, meanwhile, remains integral to the Christmas season thanks to his “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.” And Julio De Diego, one of the more interesting of the painters, married Gypsy Rose Lee, the most famous stripper in the world, and spent the next several years managing her burlesque show.
And then there was Ben Stahl. In his heyday, he was one of the most famous Sarasota artists of all. One of the country’s top illustrators, he was so good he could almost cross the line into fine art. He had an entrepreneurial streak a mile wide and was always trying something new and potentially profitable. He set out to write a novel and it became a bestseller and then a Disney movie. He co-founded the Famous Artists School with his pal Norman Rockwell. He even opened his own museum, the Museum of the Cross, in which he exhibited a series of his own paintings depicting the stations of the cross—the final hours of Jesus’ life.
For three years in the late ’60s, the museum was one of the town’s major tourist attractions. Then, on April 16, 1969, it became something else—the scene of Sarasota’s most baffling mystery.
When Ben and Ella Stahl moved to Sarasota in 1953, the town had already acquired an arty reputation. The stage had been set early. Bertha Palmer had brought her favorite Monet down to hang over her fireplace at the Oaks and John Ringling’s art collection, both eccentric and eclectic, opened to the public in 1936.
Artists like Ben moved here for the simplest of reasons. It was a great place to work. The weather was beautiful, as were the colors of the Gulf and the tropical vegetation. Life here was also relatively cheap, there were many kindred spirits and there was even the circus to liven things up. People still talk about the social life back in those days, and some of the tales get quite racy. The alpha male artist or writer with an inflated ego and a drinking problem—we had our share.
Ben was not like that. I knew him during the last year of his life, and found him charming and great company, yet always a little reserved. Unlike most of the artists, he didn’t talk much about himself. He was the sort of person who, when he left the room, everybody started talking about him.
There was a lot to talk about. He had been one of the top illustrators in the country at a time when illustrators were in high demand. It was the golden age of magazines, and it was men (they were invariably men) like Ben who drew the illustrations that accompanied the articles and the ads. Ben illustrated more than 750 stories and covers for the Saturday Evening Post, the gold standard of 1950s mainstream media.
And it wasn’t just the Post. His work also appeared in Vogue, Ladies’ Home Journal, Collier’s and more. He even drew Coca-Cola ads. He was the guy who got the plum assignments. Esquire hired him to do 12 portraits of beautiful young girls, each one typical of her European country.
He had his own style, or rather a style that pulled from the work of many famous artists—a little Renoir, a little Degas, a little Picasso and, when he was getting serious, a little El Greco. But he had a happy view of life. His favorite subject was a voluptuous nude, blissfully plump and smiling. I happen to know, because I own one. I won it from him in a poker game.
Of course, the Saturday Evening Post would only publish so many nudes, so he had other specialties. He had an affinity for religious paintings, very dramatic in color and composition, with figures posed to suggest the Old Masters. But he could please anybody. Even the Air Force, which hired him to do a series of paintings for their academy in Colorado Springs. His work even hangs in the Pentagon.
Ben became a leader in Sarasota’s artist colony, perhaps the most vocal. “He was a domineering presence in the community,” wrote Marcia Corbino, “a catalyst who was stimulated by obstacles.” He was always advocating for increased funding for the arts and getting into spats with politicians. He raised a terrible ruckus when members of the Florida Legislature refused to pay him for a portrait they commissioned of Gov. Claude Kirk.
His talent was not limited to painting. After an argument with John D. MacDonald about which was more difficult, writing or painting, he set out to write a novel. How hard could it be? The result was Blackbeard’s Ghost.
And, since he happened to have an appointment in California, he decided that while there he should talk to Walt Disney about his book, as yet unpublished. Walt was intrigued by this person from Florida who somehow managed to get his phone number and invited him to lunch at his studio. Three days later, Walt bought the movie rights and William Morrow called, looking to publish the novel. The book won prizes and the movie was a success. Everybody was pleased, except Ben, who told people, “The movie was horrible.”
The reason for Ben’s trip to Los Angeles was just as unlikely and just as thrilling. He was to paint a nude portrait of Ursula Andress—the original Bond girl—that would hang over the bar in a movie called 4 for Texas, also starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Anita Ekberg. Stahl’s work was often used for movie publicity. He did a series of paintings to promote Ben-Hur in 1959.
The Stahls had four children, whom many old timers around town remember from high school. The family was well known for their lavish home. It was designed by Sarasota School architect Victor Lundy and is credited with being the first of the Siesta Key showplaces. Ben did his best to adjust to modernism, but all those glass walls bothered him. There was nowhere to hang paintings. “It took us 10 years to rework it and make it livable,” he complained.
Ben had been somewhat of a child prodigy himself. His grandmother saw his talent early and took him to museums. But he had no formal education and never went to art school. At 16, he began working at a commercial art studio. That same year, he placed a watercolor in a prestigious exhibit.
To Ben, the role of the artist was not that of a tortured soul but rather an explainer, a guide. The artist was there to entertain, delight and inspire. It was this attitude that made him such a great teacher. Practically all the visual artists in the colony taught. Sarasota in the ’50s was clogged with art schools. There was Syd Solomon’s school, the Hartman school, Hilton Leech’s school, Jerry Farnsworth and Helen Sawyer’s school—they were everywhere.
Continue Reading the Original Post
Reposted from BBC News
A cyber attack is stopping a museum from accessing its artefact database more than a year after the initial breach.
Benefit payments, planning applications and house sales were all delayed when Gloucester City Council was hit by hackers in 2021.
A council report has now revealed the Museum of Gloucester is still being affected by the cyber incident.
The museum's database had been used to create exhibitions at the venue.
Council officers first became aware their systems had been compromised on 20 December 2021.
Malware, which is software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorised access to a computer, had made it onto their systems.
The harmful software was embedded in an email which had been sent to a council officer, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Gloucester City Council has had to rebuild all of its servers as a result of the attack, which has been linked to Russian hackers.
The latest estimate suggests the bill to the taxpayer is approaching the £1m mark.
Council officers said the museum's access to the collection database was "rather fundamental".
Opposition leader Jeremy Hilton said: "It is very worrying that in a council report it was mentioned that the museum services had not had access to its collections database, hindering important investigation into the city's historic monuments.
"I hope this important information isn't lost forever or that officers will not have to spend their valuable time inputting data all over again."
Culture and leisure cabinet member Andy Lewis said he believed no records had been lost.
Reposted from Artnet News
Dutch police have identified the culprits behind a brazen heist at last year’s edition of the European Fine Art Fair, or TEFAF, as members of the so-called Pink Panther Gang, a notorious criminal organization from the Balkans that has been active since 2001.
“Sources surrounding the investigation” have fingered the Panthers in the crime, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported, though the crime remains unresolved beyond the connection to the gang. The news is a vindication for the Dutch detective Arthur Brand, known for his work recovering stolen artworks and antiquities, who voiced his suspicions that the gang was involved in the weeks after the June 2022 heist.
The Pink Panthers are known for their bold daylight robberies, posing as well-dressed customers and then acting with precision to quickly make off with millions in stolen jewels. Other thefts have involved crashing cars into buildings.
The gang got their name after a 2003 robbery at London’s Graff Jewelers that the Daily Mail compared to the 1975 Inspector Clouseau film The Return of the Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers—echoing a scene from the movie, police found one of the stolen diamond rings hidden inside a jar of face cream.
The $33 million caper was, at the time, the largest diamond heist in British history, with the thieves making off with 47 pieces of jewelry. A decade ago, the Guardian estimated that the Panthers had made off with €330 million ($422.5 million) in stolen diamonds and jewels over the course of some 341 thefts. The size of the gang has been estimated at 200 to 300 operatives, overseen by a core group of 30-or-so thieves.
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