Van Gogh: Harmonizing brutal extremes

An extraordinary exhibit appearing at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art this summer includes a strong Van Gogh still life, painted in Paris in 1887, reproduced here, called Lilacs.  Given all the technology, it's actually not too bad a copy, via the Santa Barbara Independent.  But even better than the painting might be the curator's note.Continue reading “Van Gogh: Harmonizing brutal extremes”

The Holy Family: Tennessee Williams on Van Gogh

As mentioned in an earlier post, while at the University of Iowa's dramatic writing program, Tennessee Williams, then a complete unknown, set out to write a play about Vincent Van Gogh. He didn't get past a few scenes, but the idea still fascinates.  In a letter to a friend William Holland, dated 11/18/1937, he wrote:Continue reading “The Holy Family: Tennessee Williams on Van Gogh”

The Tennessee Williams play about Van Gogh

True story: Early in his career, after a first try at The Fugitive Kind, Tennessee Williams set out to write a play about Vincent Van Gogh. He didn't get far: He had a writing assignment at a theater lab, and his assignments kept him so busy, he said, he hardly had time for "independent work." Continue reading “The Tennessee Williams play about Van Gogh”

Gladwell: Owning an NBA team like owning a Van Gogh

From a fascinating new longform site devoted mostly to sports, Grantland, the famous analyst and writer Malcolm Gladwell argues:  Pro sports teams are a lot like works of art. Forbes magazine annually estimates the value of every professional franchise, based on standard financial metrics like operating expenses, ticket sales, revenue, and physical assets like stadiums.Continue reading “Gladwell: Owning an NBA team like owning a Van Gogh”

Best lit journal for backpacking

Without a doubt, Threepenny. Not because they're especially interested in the mountains or the environment (they're not). Because the richness and spontaneity of the writing flows well out of doors, and because the physical form they have chosen — thick paper, broad sheets, light weight — packs well, and works well as tinder, or evenContinue reading “Best lit journal for backpacking”