Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Guggenheim at 50

Guggenh.1 Guggen 2

This is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim. Am I the only one of a certain age who feels that building somehow speaks to our youth? That it appeared – – first the idea of it and drawings/models that were so improbable and playful, and serious and organic/mathematical and unlike anything else just as we were old enough to be standing there ready in mind and spirit to receive it, to think about it, to feel protective of it in some way, to be both amazed and blasé. It didn’t fit; it didn’t really work as a museum, but it was our defiant touchstone of a sort. And with age it had to be restored, repaired. But it’s still sui generis and not quite as influential as it was once expected to be, both triumph and white elephant. But when we were young we gazed upon that single newest thing and thought in poetry

Occasional shout-outs to neglected heroes: Charles Sumner

438px-charles_sumner_statue_cambridge_ma_-_anne_whitney_sculptorStatue of Sumner by Anne Whitney, Harvard Square

“Give me the money that has been spent in war and I will clothe every man, woman, and child in an attire of which kings and queens will be proud.  I will build a schoolhouse in every valley over the whole earth.  I will crown every hillside with a place of worship consecrated to peace.”

Urs Landis

Urs Landis, passionné de dessin, a suivi les cours de l’Ecole des beaux-arts de Zurich. Il est venu s’installer en France, où il travaille pour la presse, l’édition et la publicité. Il est également depuis plusieurs années professeur à l’Ecole supérieure des arts graphiques de Paris.


A mysterious and evocative  1980 ad by the late French (Swiss-born) artist, illustrator and teacher.


A Landis political poster on Portugal’s first free election, 1975. My son, Cliff, and I were there during the campaign. And below a Landis graphic narrative and a few  book covers and illustrations.

From a Landis graphic narrative


More Landis Cavaliers_


Drawings for a book about South America


Illustration from Vogue, 1970


Armel Gaulme’s painting Mourning in memory of Urs, his friend, teacher and colleague.


“Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving; then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.”

Massachusetts Studies Network

massachusettsmapThis pilot network connects people who work in the fields of Massachusetts history, culture and environment, past and present. Discussions, special interest groups, live chats, photo sharing and more.

Visit The Massachusetts Studies Network

Glenna Lang’s New Book: JANE JACOBS

Glenna Janejacobs

“THREE BOOKS, all written by women in the early 1960s, changed the way we looked at the world and ourselves: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, and Jane Jacob’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities. These three books created revolutions in their spheres of influence, and nothing affected city planning and architecture – – or the way we think about how life is lived in densely packed urban centers — more than Jane Jacobs’s far-sighted polemic. . . . [Jacobs] was ridiculed and pilloried by the establishment, but her ideas quickly took hold, and no one ever looked at what made for livable and viable neighborhoods the same way again. . . ”

– From cover copy for Genius of Common Sense: Jane Jacobs and the story of The Death and Life of Great American Cities.


A really important book. The kind of brief, electrifying work that you will buy copies of to give to your most interesting friends. Be sure to add to that list all the teenagers you know – – this book is guaranteed to give them all, young and old, genuine aha! moments about their street, neighborhood, town, city, wherever they live – – wherever they travel.

Leonard Cohen “Live In London”

Sharon Robinson and Leonard Cohen singing Boogie Street . . . damn fine. And her solo version at Weybridge is splendid.


A Sea of Graduates

Dan Bering graduation

Dan Bering (third from left with big smile), new Connecticut College graduate

Diploma in hand !

I love this photo of Dan and some dear friends who came to the ceremony on a very chilly, wet, but totally joyous graduation day.

Boston MFA Renaissance Venice Show is Fabulous

venice catalog cover