Author Archives: dilettantemiddlebrow

‘This stuff is coming’ – from New York

The New York Times Book Review devoted much of the January 2 issue to the topic Why Criticism Matters.  Six writers, critics themselves, offer a deluge of quotations by Alfred Kazin and moments of rhetorical beauty, but they still beg … Continue reading

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Concerts in Museums #1: Chanticleer at the Met

Friend of the factory, Sean Speer, goes to hear some dude-singing and grapples with the punctuation of “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.” “Do not fear the sound, it’s a breeze Brushing leaves against the door. Do not dread the murmuring seas, Lonely … Continue reading

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Not Paying Attention to the Arts

A follow up to last week’s post on different ways of paying attention to the arts.  Gene Weingarten’s 2007 Washington Post piece, “Pearls Before Breakfast” makes us ask the same questions about art and its appropriate contexts, this time upside-down.  What … Continue reading


Paying attention to the arts

Three ways of paying attention in the arts – 1.  Classical music: “It’s just music.”  Yeah, but it still requires some close, one-thing-at-a-time attention.  If you can remember what that means, here’s Benjamin F. Carlson on how “the purpose is … Continue reading

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Photography #1: Lee Friedlander (America by Car)

Friend of the family, Leigh Wells, has something to say: Lee Friedlander’s exhibition at the Whitney consists of one hundred and ninety-two densely hung, black & white photographs from his trips across the US in rental cars. The photographs span … Continue reading

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The Present Moment: Spencer Finch in Washington

I strongly support museums that are open to the public where the hoity-toity and hoi polloi can wonder and feign understanding together. As of this week, we also wholeheartedly support the Spencer Finch exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.  … Continue reading

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Museums #2 – A Quality Start

Pre-Game It’s a beautiful day for art here at the hallowed ground of the Ian Potter Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Melbourne. We have an intriguing match-up –  Art + Sport – in the Basil … Continue reading

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