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How Japanese Kintsugi Masters Restore Pottery by Beautifying the Cracks

A few years ago, we featured here on Open Culture the Japanese art of kintsugi, whose practitioners repair broken pottery with gold in a manner that emphasizes rather than hides the cracks. Since then, the idea seems to have captured the Western imagination, inspiring no few online investigations but also books with titles like Kintsugi...

Fri Sep 29, 2023 13:21
When a Young Sofia Coppola & Zoe Cassavetes Made Their Own TV Show: Revisit Hi-Octane (1994)

It makes sense that Sofia Coppola and Zoe Cassavetes would be friends. Not only are they both respected filmmakers of Generation X, they’re both daughters of maverick American auteurs, a condition with its advantages as well as its disadvantages. The advantages, in Coppola’s case, have included the ability to get Zoetrope, her father...

Fri Sep 29, 2023 13:21
A Determined Art Conservator Restores a Painting of the Doomed Party Girl Isabella de’ Medici: See the Before and After

Some people talk to plants. The Carnegie Museum of Art‘s chief conservator Ellen Baxter talks to the paintings she’s restoring. “You have to …tell her she’s going to look lovely,” she says, above, spreading varnish over a 16th-century portrait of Isabella de’ Medici prior to starting the laborious process of restoring years of wear...

Thu Sep 28, 2023 14:02
Noam Chomsky Explains Why Nobody Is Really a Moral Relativist, Even Michel Foucault

Noam Chomsky made his name as a linguist, which is easy to forget amid the wide range of subjects he has addressed, and continues to address, in his long career as a public intellectual. But on a deeper level, his commentary on politics, society, media, and a host of other broad fields sounds not unlike a natural outgrowth of his specialized...

Thu Sep 28, 2023 14:02
Martin Scorsese Breaks Down His Most Iconic Films: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, and More

“Did Scorsese make the best movie of each decade since the ’70s?” asks GQ‘s Zach Baron in a recent profile of that long-lived auteur. “Probably not (I think his case is weakest in the first decade of this century), but you could argue it, and many people have.” And indeed, you may well find yourself believing it after watching the video...

Wed Sep 27, 2023 12:53
Behold the Jacobean Traveling Library: The 17th Century Forerunner to the Kindle

Image courtesy of the University at Leeds In the striking image above, you can see an early experiment in making books portable–a 17th century precursor, if you will, to the modern day Kindle. According to the library at the University of Leeds, this “Jacobean Travelling Library” dates back to 1617. That’s when William Hakewill, an English lawyer...

Wed Sep 27, 2023 12:53

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