Using High Tech To Preserve Imagery Of India’s Ancient Cave Paintings

In the 1990s, art historian Benoy Behl developed his own low-light photography techniques to capture the famous Buddhist murals in the Ajanta caves. Since then, he’s been using digital technology to correct for the deterioration that time and the breath of visitors have caused in the paintings, so that we can see their imagery in something like its original state. – South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Remembering The Arts And Culture Figures Who Passed In 2020

From Olivia de Havilland to Diana Rigg to Ann Reinking; from Kirk Douglas to Sean Connery to Chadwick Boseman; from Elizabeth Wurtzel to Jan Morris to John le Carré; from Vera Lynn to Kenny Rogers to Little Richard; from Terrence McNally to Larry Kramer; from Krzysztof Penderecki to Ennio Morricone; from Julian Bream to Leon Fleisher to Ida Haendel to Ivry Gitlis; from Christo to Luchida Hurtado; and from Sumner Redstone to Alex Trebek. (Click here for a more complete, bulleted list sorted by month.) – BBC

‘Frankenstein’: An Oral History of a Monstrous Broadway Flop, Exactly 40 Years Ago

“When the curtain went up at the Palace Theater on Jan. 4, 1981, the expectations — and the stakes — were high. Frankenstein, an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel, had cost a reported $2 million, at the time a record for a Broadway play. The screen legend John Carradine and a young Dianne Wiest were in the cast, and the unprecedented stage effects came courtesy of Bran Ferren, the wunderkind behind the mind-bending hallucinations in the film Altered States, released two weeks earlier.’ But the reviews were so awful that the producers closed the show the next morning, putting Frankenstein in an exclusive club: Broadway one-night wonders. – The New York Times

Where Writing Historical Novels Can Get You Thrown Into Prison For Life

Yes, there are a number of countries where this is the case. But one that has an ongoing history of jailing its most famous writers, even as it claims to be an elective democracy is Turkey, where Ahmet Altan is now living in a 13-foot-long cell in Europe’s largest prison complex. Fellow novelist Kaya Genç (himself free, at least for now) looks at Altan’s case and at his magnum opus, the Ottoman Quartet, whose last volume, if it’s written at all, will come from behind bars. – The New Republic

BalletX’s New Streaming Platform Starts To Fulfill Its Promise

The Philadelphia company’s response to the pandemic was to try to develop online dance compelling enough that people would pay for it. The result is BalletX Beyond, which streams three new concert dance videos every second month on a subscription basis. One of the latest to create work for BalletX Beyond is former NYCB principal and Broadway star Robbie Fairchild, whose The Cycle was inspired by, and filmed at, Longwood Gardens. – Harper’s Bazaar

David Medalla, Sculptor Who Created ‘Cloud Canyons’, Dead At 78

“[He] was something of a cult figure until recently, with his pioneering sculptures of the 1960s mainly known to European curators and historians, who have featured them in major biennials and surveys over the past decade. But a growing fan base has also come to recognize the artist, who … is [now] best known for his Cloud Canyons sculptures, which feature looping organic-looking forms that emit soap bubbles. Medalla labeled these works ‘auto-creative art’.” – ARTnews

After A Very Rough 2020, Can The Philadelphia Museum Of Art Make The Changes It Needs?

On top of the COVID shutdown and the consequent loss of income and layoff and furloughs, the museum faced the public revelation of abusive behavior by two former managers — and senior administration’s far too slow dismissal of the offenders. As the long-underway interior expansion of the PMA’s main building opens to the public, will the policies and employment culture there be improved as well? The president and board chair say they’re working on it. – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Clever Baritone Works Out Way For Choirs To Sing Together Even Though Everyone’s Safely In Their Own Cars

As one bitterly disappointed singer posted on Facebook after the pandemic had ended all choir rehearsals, “Every time I hear someone go, ‘Hey, is there an app that can let me do a choir rehearsal with no latency?’ NOT UNLESS YOU BREAK PHYSICS, YA DUMMY.” Baritone David Newman replied, “Physics are not insurmountable.” And his solution requires only some inexpensive audio equipment available at almost any Walmart or Best Buy. – Los Angeles Times

Europe’s Largest Movie Market Saw Business Down By 70% This Year

That would be France, where total box office receipts were more than $1 billion lower than in 2019. (For a year like 2020, those figures may not be so terrible.) Unusually, no French film was in the top five this year; equally unusual is that French movies had a higher share of domestic ticket sales than American titles for the first time in 14 years. – Variety