December 28, 2005 |
The documentary "Hoop Dreams" and footage of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake are among the 25 movies picked this year for the National Film Registry, a compilation of significant films being preserved by the Library of Congress. Fictional films chosen by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington range from the Buster Keaton comedy "The Cameraman" to the Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street" to the 1982 teen comedy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
October 23, 2005 |
THREATENED by the wear and tear of the ages -- never mind periodic and predictable fig-leaf controversies -- Michelangelo's iconic masterpiece "David" was in need of major restoration to reverse the effects of environmental damage and well-meant but misguided restoration efforts. Enter independent restoration expert Cinzia Parnigoni.
September 4, 2005 |
HERCULES and Hippolyta are the J. Paul Getty Museum's most famous heavy lifters. Carved in oak and swathed in gold, they are also impressive double-taskers. As Greek mythological characters, the sculptures personify strength and bravery. As the base of a towering French cabinet, they dig in their heels, flex their muscles and hoist a chest of drawers decorated with scenes of Louis XIV's military victories.
April 6, 2005 |
Astronaut Neil Armstrong's first words from the moon, speeches by President Woodrow Wilson and Gen. Douglas MacArthur and songs by Al Jolson, Muddy Waters and Nirvana are among 50 recordings being set aside for special preservation by the Library of Congress. The library on Tuesday announced the new selections for its National Recording Registry. News broadcasts include Wilson's speech of Nov. 11, 1923, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2005 |
A monolithic public artwork has become a cultural irony in downtown Los Angeles. Despite its size, it is easy to miss by passersby. When it was erected in 1962, the 80-foot by 20-foot mosaic mural in front of the Los Angeles County Hall of Records stood as a glittery testament to the region's booming growth. Today the mural -- a highly stylized topographical map of Los Angeles County fashioned by one of the nation's best-known mosaic artists -- is dingy and decaying.
January 4, 2005 |
Custodians of Michelangelo's "David" are thinking of blasting air at dusty, sweaty tourists to stop them from sullying the Renaissance sex symbol. Months after a painstaking and costly cleanup of the 500-year-old nude statue, experts at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Italy found dust and humidity brought in by streams of tourists had begun to tarnish their top crowd-puller again.
December 16, 2004 |
When most people drive on the Golden State Freeway, just north of Los Angeles, they worry about traffic. Michael Feinstein worries about George Gershwin, Cole Porter and a priceless musical legacy buried near the onrushing cars. He knows that MGM officials, in a 1970 housecleaning, dumped film scores, musical manuscripts and recordings by some of America's greatest songwriters into a landfill by the freeway near Valencia.
October 4, 2004 |
When the Los Angeles County Museum of Art acquired "Video Flag Z" in 1986, the piece by video artist Nam June Paik canonized a culture driven by technology. A 6-foot-high grid of 84 white Quasar monitors flashed a changing mosaic of images that together formed an American flag in pulsating red, white and blue. Today, the screens of "Video Flag Z" are dark, victims of the very modernity to which they paid tribute.
June 6, 2003 |
The left hand, forearm and wrist were fractured in a riot and a toe was angrily smashed with a hammer. The chest looks as if grimy sweat hasn't been cleaned away in more than a century. Still, the imposing physique attracts 1.2 million admirers each year, and woe to anyone who messes with Michelangelo's masterpiece, David, which stands aloofly on a pedestal in the Accademia Gallery in the heart of this Renaissance city.