Design collective Dorothy images more contemporary toy soldiers that deal with the horrors of war (h/t BAGnewsNotes) (via

This week’s Required Reading explores the restoration of earthquake-damaged Haitian murals, an archeological mystery in West Asia, the 18th C toilette tradition, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge on pandrogeny, connecting the dots on Mona Lisa, the Banksy app, the year’s worst first sentences, cool iPhone cases and even Death has a generational divide.

 Over at C-Monster, San Suzie (aka Art Nurse) has a fascinating post about her work to preserve an important mid-20th C. Haitian murals at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, which was badly damaged by the earthquake.

 Archeologists have uncovered a bit of an ancient mystery. 4,200 years ago, civilizations across West Asia collapsed, possibly because of a major drought, but it appears that one settlement in present day Syria, Tell Qarqur, not only survived by expanded. Why?

 A post on the Getty’s Iris blog explores the 18th C. Parisian tradition of the hours-long toilette, which was a “ritual of rising and dressing.”

 Artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge talks to Douglas Rushkoff of The Believer about a great deal of topics, including the difference between pandrogeny and transvestism or transgender.

 The Mona Lisa in 6,239 dots.

 There’s a new Banksy iPhone app, which shows you where you can find the locations of works by the anonymous street art creator.

 The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest was started in 1982 by San Jose State University’s English Department and it awards “accolades” to the worst opening sentence of a novel that year. This year’s “winner” is Sue Fondrie, an associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Here is the opener for her novel, which is unnamed in an effort, I assume, to protect the other sentences:

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

 A tumblelog by a company that makes awesome iPhone cases.

 And on the lighter side, an animation that explores the generational conflict between Death and her son, Morty.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.