June 5, 1998 |
In his best-known poem, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," Oscar Wilde declared that "each man kills the thing he loves. " In his own flamboyant life and tragic death, the reverse turned out to be true. The price society exacted from Wilde for his passionate love for Lord Alfred Douglas is the natural dramatic focus of any screen biography. The playwright and wit was well served in the '60s by Robert Morley in Oscar Wilde and Peter Finch in The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Brian Gilbert's Wilde is superior to both the earlier efforts and not just because it takes advantage of the greater sexual candor now possible and even expected in movies.
February 20, 1998 |
Yong Soon Min's exhibition at Temple Gallery, "Bridge of No Return," addresses 50 years of divided nationhood and all its personal and public ramifications. The nation is Korea, and the package of layered symbolism that Min has created to represent various aspects of the partition will challenge even those viewers who know something of Korea's recent history. Formally partitioned in 1948, Korea is the Cold War's last battleground. The two Korean states, North and South, are implacably hostile to one another, so the separation remains absolute.
December 10, 2003 |
Chestnut Hill oozes with charm, and it's no accident. The quaint village of twinkling lights and Belgian blocks is the result of careful planning by residents so determined to preserve, promote and protect their neighborhood that they volunteer untold hours to the myriad committees of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Founded in 1947, and energized by a 1954 fight over development of what became the Market Square Shopping Center and Chestnut Hill Village apartments at Willow Grove and Stenton Avenues, the nonprofit organization effectively runs Chestnut Hill.
July 9, 1989 |
Improving Malvern aesthetically by renovating old Victorian houses was high on the Malvern Borough Council's agenda Wednesday, but keeping Malvern habitable seemed to be more on the mind of some Malvern residents. As the council was concluding its work session, in which it showed slides of Victorian houses to encourage renovation, council Vice President Stephen J. DiOrio made public a letter from Malvern resident David Burton expressing alarm about rats in the borough. In introducing the letter, DiOrio noted: "There are at present, and there has been for some time, three properties that are eyesores and direct violations of the code of enforcement for even minimum standards of the upkeep of property . . . in the Malvern area.
December 7, 2012 |
MOST OF US read or look at art in order to feel something - to experience sensations perhaps unavailable to us in everyday waking life. But it's not just our feelings. Encountering the visions of the past, we also begin to acquire a sense of how people used to feel as well. These are the issues that animate the work of the literary critic and poet Sianne Ngai. In her new book, Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting ($39.95, Harvard University Press), she considers how those feelings help us form judgments about the aesthetic world, how we know to describe something as "interesting" or adorable.
January 30, 1986 |
Since it was founded nearly 10 years ago, the Fabric Workshop has served as a design laboratory for artists who have been invited, through brief residencies, to apply their aesthetics to fabric printing. The idea of artists' collaborating with craftsmen - in this case skilled textile designers and printers - dates back to the 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement, originally defined in England by William Morris and John Ruskin. The Arts and Crafts credo held that producing handsome and well-made functional objects was not only socially desirable but morally uplifting.
September 26, 2010 |
Wharton Esherick, who died in 1970 two months shy of his 83d birthday, was one of the Philadelphia region's most innovative and influential artists, yet his work hasn't received as much public attention locally as his legacy warrants. Esherick began his career as a painter and printmaker - his last significant solo exhibition appears to have been one of prints at Chestnut Hill's Woodmere Art Museum in 1984 - but he's remembered primarily for his striking modernist furniture and his transformative architectural interiors.
June 5, 1987 |
I could have done the right thing last weekend. I could have stayed home in sweltering South Philly and continued my atrocious assault on innocent pieces of white pine door trim. But it is hard to stay home on a hot weekend, and commit yet another criminal act in the name of carpentry, when there is a vermilion 1987 Corvette convertible with a full gas tank sitting out by the curb. So we packed a small bag (you don't pack a large bag when traveling in a Corvette convertible)
April 17, 2011 |
The torrent of advertising for prescription drugs, patent medicines, and medical procedures in mass media suggests that Americans are more concerned about health issues, and more susceptible to health-related marketing, than ever before. This makes "Health for Sale" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art both timely and historically fascinating; that it's also a cornucopia of graphic imagination is a bonus. This exhibition of more than 50 vintage posters that promote medical products and address public-health issues was drawn from the museum's William H. Helfand collection, itself a subset of the museum's incomparable Ars Medica collection of more than 3,000 works of medical art. Helfand, a retired pharmaceutical executive, has been an indefatigable collector of medical prints, posters, and related ephemera for more than 55 years.
November 27, 1994 |
Ever so cautiously, the Bristol Borough Council members are testing the temperamental waters of the art world in their search for a sculpture to serve as the focal point of a redesigned Market Street wharf. In a vote this month, the council decided to commission a model from a Philadelphia artist, but the question of what the sculpture should look like is still under debate. What's turned the eight council members, who are more accustomed to discussing financing ambulance squads and levying taxes, into art critics is a state grant for the improvement of the Delaware River waterfront.