July 4, 2020 | Michelangelo outlived his patrons, assistants, friends. Late in life he took on huge, daunting projects, fully aware that he would not see them completed... more »


July 3, 2020 | What’s it like working in publishing while Black? Seven industry insiders on rank discrimination, systemic racism, and the misconconception that “Black books don’t sell”... more »


July 2, 2020 | There’s no reason that the art gallery as we know it, a 19th-century invention, should last forever. Does it have a post-pandemic future?... more »


July 1, 2020 | The social cost of cheap food. In Victorian England, rock-bottom prices meant poverty for food growers and sellers. So, too, in the rest of the world today... more »


June 30, 2020 | Joyce Carol Oates and the war against literary pieties. Novels should have “symmetry, unity of tone, precision” the thinking went. She is having none of that... more »


June 29, 2020 | You may not have heard of Jean-Michel Frank, but he helped create minimalism. To channel his vision: “Throw out and keep throwing out!”... more »


June 27, 2020 | "The worst-case scenario, which is entirely possible, is a historical bloodletting in academic research unlike which you have never seen"... more »


June 26, 2020 | Sianne Ngai renovated the field of aesthetics by studying the small stuff: the cute, the zany, and now, in her magnum opus, the gimmicky... more »


June 25, 2020 | Victorian women with the temerity to harbor their own ambitions faced a bitter sequence of humiliation, betrayal, and scandal... more »


June 24, 2020 | Despite their pivotal role in our lives, we read so little about door handles. Yet their story is, in microcosm, that of architecture... more »


June 23, 2020 | It was in the gym that Bruce Lee, a failing philosophy student, turned his musings into mantras: Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation... more »


June 22, 2020 | Until 1834 there was no general name for those who studied the material world. Then the English philosopher William Whewell coined one: scientist... more »


June 20, 2020 | The end of the performing arts? The pandemic has muted symphonies and opera houses. When they return, things will not be the same... more »


June 19, 2020 | Mozart wrote some of his most sublime works in E flat major. There is no better key in which to hear music in dark times... more »


June 18, 2020 | Darwin and the earthworms. To prove their intelligence, he glued leaves together, shouted at them, and serenaded them with a bassoon... more »


June 17, 2020 | In the 15th century, “correctors” toiled away in printing shops, earning a pittance for their scholarly labors. Such is the quintessential fate of humanists... more »


June 16, 2020 | Flannery O’Connor’s racism. She was a product of her time, her defenders say — but that understates her intellectual independence... more »


June 15, 2020 | Philip Roth and Robert Stone were anarchic in their hedonism, yet fanatically disciplined as writers... more »


June 13, 2020 | For Hollywood’s silent-film stars, celebrity faded quickly — and no family experienced it as intimately as the Costellos... more »


June 12, 2020 | “When intellectuals can do nothing else they start a magazine,” wrote Irving Howe. What sounds like an admission of futility is the opposite... more »


June 11, 2020 | The Lake District poets, so radical during the French Revolution, quickly turned conservative. Wordsworth’s apostasy was the hardest to swallow... more »


June 10, 2020 | Things unlikely to go viral: a classical musician’s monotonous practice. And yet the rise of the bassoonfluencer is real... more »


June 9, 2020 | The project to collect and publish Samuel Johnson's massive oeuvre began during the Eisenhower administration. It has finally come to fruition... more »


June 8, 2020 | After the publication of “The Song of Hiawatha,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was everywhere. Then he was ejected from the pantheon. What happened?... more »


June 6, 2020 | The George Floyd protests may remind you of those in Ferguson, or Baltimore, or Los Angeles after killings by the police. But this time is different... more »


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