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While institutions are closed amid public health concerns, we’ve all enjoyed stories of animals being given free rein to wander around zoos, but news out of Kansas City this week really underscores how much we’ve been limiting their cultural options. As reported by TIME, three art-savvy Humboldt penguins from the Kansas City Zoo were given leave to wander a couple of the galleries at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art earlier in May.
A video produced by the museum shows the little fellas wandering the marble floors and pausing to look at Impressionist and Baroque master paintings, in galleries that were carefully checked to ensure the safety of both the works of art and their avian visitors.
“We’re so happy to welcome our colleagues from the zoo,” said Nelson Atkins Executive Director Julián Zugazagoitia, in the video, “and they’ve brought special friends, and actually, we’re seeing how they’re reacting to art.”
“At the Kansas City Zoo, we’re always looking for ways to enrich their [the animals’] lives and stimulate their days,” said Randy Wisthoff, Executive Director and CEO of the zoo. “During this shutdown period, our animals really miss having people come out and see them.”
According to Zugzagoitia, the penguins responded most strongly to Caravaggio, which seems a little dark for such cute birds, until you realize the existential pain of flightlessness.
“I am earthbound, trapped in a prison of my own biology, and another of concrete and metal,” said the third penguin, standing a ways off from the others and staring deeply at the image “St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness.” “I too am lost in the wilderness, but to me, humanity is the wilderness.”
I think we can all agree that this heartwarming content is excellent news during uncertain times, and it’s wonderful to hear that at least a few art-goers are able to enjoy our institutions during the shutdown. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to a pitch meeting at Netflix. I’m about to sell a totally original script that’s a mash-up between We Bought a Zoo and Night at the Museum. It’s called, We Bought the Zoo a Night at the Museum.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.