April 4, 2012 |
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art finally has fulfilled the vision it had for its biggest foray into Islamic art - a goal thwarted until now by the government of the Russian Federation. The only problem is that Angelenos would have to travel more than 8,000 miles to see it. In "Gifts of the Sultan: the Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts," now on view in Doha, the capital of Qatar, art that Islamic rulers had sent long ago to the czarist courts are finally on display - courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum and National Library of Russia inSt.
April 3, 2012
Hunting for buried treasure - whether it's in the ground, in an abandoned storage locker or at the bottom of the ocean - seems to be a primal urge. But when does digging up your backyard cross the line into sullying the study of history and culture? According to some archaeologists, two cable TV reality shows have done just that. National Geographic's "Diggers" and Spike TV's "American Digger" follow the exploits of the archaeological equivalent of bounty hunters who, with property owners' permission, dig and occasionally blast their way to underground artifacts, which they hope to sell to collectors for profit.
March 31, 2012 |
Inside Wayne Lensing's auto museum, down a remote road from a body shop, visitors can see Elvis Presley's 1972 Lincoln, the Mayberry squad car from "The Andy Griffith Show" and three Batmobiles. A few steps from a Cadillac that has been covered in 120,000 coins, the curious also can view a decidedly different artifact: Lee Harvey Oswald's tombstone. That's right. The 130-pound gray granite slab that marked the final resting place of one of U.S. history's more notorious figures is about 90 miles northwest of Chicago, on the outskirts of Roscoe, Ill., best known perhaps as the hometown of race car driver Danica Patrick.
March 30, 2012 |
The government of Turkey is asking American museums to return dozens of artifacts that were allegedly looted from the country's archaeological sites, opening a new front in the search for antiquities smuggled out of their original countries through an illicit trade. The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection are among the institutions that the Turkish government has contacted, officials say. Turkey believes the antiquities were illegally excavated and smuggled out of the country after the passage of a 1906 law that gave the state ownership of antiquities in the ground.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2012 |
Occupy L.A. protesters want their murals back. During their eight-week encampment on Los Angeles City Hall's lawn, protesters painted colorful pictures and slogans on plywood walls that city workers installed to protect two monuments near Spring and 1st streets. After police cleared the park in the early morning of Nov. 30, arresting about 300 people, the walls were taken down. In January, the city's Department of Cultural Affairs issued an open call "to public and private entities, including but not limited to museums, galleries, arts organizations or educational institutions" wishing to store and exhibit the murals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2012 |
Archaeologist Deanna Jones couldn't believe her eyes as she hunched over a shallow pit dug next to railroad tracks in front of the San Gabriel Mission. She was inside the recently excavated foundation of a long-gone adobe building that once stood in the mission's 40-acre Bishop's Garden, first cultivated in the early 1780s. As Jones scooped a trowel full of dirt from what had been the adobe floor, a silvery glint caught her attention. "It looked like a piece of scrap metal at first," said Jones, a 29-year-old Van Nuys resident who has worked four years as a professional archaeologist.
January 28, 2012
The most interesting gasoline stop I've ever seen is at Exit 106 on Highway 99 at Traver, Calif., between Tulare and Fresno. Called Bravo Farms, it's like a small, enhanced Knott's Berry Farm without the entrance fee. Bring your camera and your kids. There are shops and hundreds, if not thousands, of old artifacts: barrels, antique advertising signs, bicycles, meat grinders, etc. There's also a cheese factory where you can watch it being made. Don't forget the courtyard, where you'll find rabbits, chickens, turkeys, a parrot and an amazing seven-story tree house.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2012 |
State coastal regulators Wednesday criticized and fined a property owner for unearthing artifacts at a 9,000-year-old Native American village site near the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach. In a settlement with the California Coastal Commission, the Goodell Family Trust agreed to pay a $430,000 penalty, rebury artifacts and restore areas disturbed when archaeologists dug a series of pits on the family-owned land on the Bolsa Chica Mesa in 2010. The work was conducted without the state's authorization and without a Native American monitor present, a requirement under state law. State officials said the excavation damaged prehistoric shells, animal bones, scorched rocks and other cultural artifacts that might help determine the boundaries of the 9,000-year-old village and burial site on the mesa, above one of the state's most treasured coastal wetlands.
January 5, 2012 |
For sale: one puppy. Appraised value: about $189 million. OK, it's not a puppy, but if you've had one, you have an idea of the all-consuming commitment of owning the treasures from the Titanic, auctioneer Arlan Ettinger said Thursday as he warned off casual buyers tempted to bid on the collection when it goes on sale in April. For one thing, the items — more than 5,000 of them — must be sold in bulk, Ettinger said at a news conference announcing the auction, held just up the Hudson River from where the Titanic was due to dock in April 1912.
October 14, 2011 |
In a tiny South African cave, archaeologists have unearthed a 100,000-year-old art studio that contains tools for mixing powder from red and yellow rocks with animal fat and marrow to make vibrant paints as well as abalone shells full of dried-out red pigment, the oldest paint containers ever found. The discovery, described in Friday's edition of the journal Science, suggests that humans may have been thinking symbolically — more like modern-day humans think — much earlier than previously recognized, experts said.