• In more art copyright news this week, fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier is being sued by Uffizi Galleries for using images of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” the Guardian reports:

The Uffizi uses special software to monitor whether its artworks are being used to sell products online, and is often kept informed by sharp-eyed followers on social media. Screenshots of the Botticelli range on display on Jean Paul Gaultier’s Instagram account included a Venus dress selling for €590, a €150 Venus scarf and a pair of stretch trousers with the buttocks area featuring the painting’s god of Zephyr, who is blowing in the wind.

  • Sophie Gilbert writes for the Atlantic about wellness and exploitation, delving into some of the arguments in Rina Raphael’s new book The Gospel of Wellness:

Raphael incisively lays out how wellness got inevitably corrupted by the big, big business it begot: how frequently it gussied up what was simply “weight loss” in dusty-pink packaging, (in 2018, Weight Watchers rebranded itself as WW, which the company said stood for “Wellness that Works.”), how companies such as Goop popularized pseudoscientific ideas to people who felt failed or dismissed by conventional medicine, how platforms such as Instagram turned wellness into an aesthetic ideal rather than a holistic one. (From 2000 to 2018, Raphael writes, the prevalence of eating disorders in the United States doubled.) Wellness puts the onus on the consumer to make up for everything modern society can’t or won’t provide; it extends the illusion of control.

  • Frieda Vizel, who gives tour guides of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, explains and debunks misconceptions about common career paths within the Hasidic community:
YouTube video
  • South Asian SOAR (Survivors, Organizations, and Allies — Rising), a collective founded in 2020, just released its first report on the movement against gender-based violence in the diaspora. Their analysis focuses on frontline care providers, the needs of survivors, and how caste, gender, sexuality, and classism manifest in these efforts:

In conversations with organizations, frontline staff shared their pride in leading
authentically, which includes breaking down hierarchies, consciously making space
for vulnerability, and fostering a supportive and transparent culture. Simultaneously, many organizations reported the imminent need to address inequities and inequalities that manifest within the work and workplace … many direct service organizations are led by privileged individuals within the South Asian community, which further results in marginalized survivors experiencing an added and often invisible power dynamic, hindering their ability to seek and receive help.

  • A museum in Chicago dedicated to telling the story of public housing in the United States just got a new home. Michael Loria reports for the Chicago Sun:

This is the first museum dedicated to telling the story of public housing in America, said executive director Lisa Yun Lee.

The museum has operated out of 625 N. Kingsbury St. in River North for several years. The larger space will allow them to expand programming and recreate apartments residents lived in, in the style of the New York Tenement Museum, which Lee described as a “sister museum.”

  • An important thread from Alec Karakatsanis about a hearing this week in Houston, where dozens of cops showed up en-masse “to intimidate witnesses, advocates against police violence, and legislators voting on expanding the police budget”:
  • In case you haven’t been following the news, Mayor Eric Adams declared an asylum seeker state of emergency in NYC. Writing for The City, Gabriele Poblete speaks with asylum-seekers about facing housing insecurity, legal challenges, and an overall lack of structural support from the city:

New York continues to experience a wave of asylum seekers, many of whom arrive in the city without a place to stay. But migrants are struggling to leave shelters, with several key housing programs unavailable to them because of their immigration status. Many also don’t have access to free legal services to help them manage their asylum cases in federal immigration court, as they apply to be granted permanent stay in the United States. While migrants often say their long journey to the United States has been worthwhile, many also say that adapting to the city has been an uphill battle. 

  • Though arriving two and a half years late, Amtrak’s new fall 2023 trains have all the bells and whistles — reading lights in the seats, minimal side-to-side swaying, and an extender to once and for all put “mind the gap between the train and the platform” to rest:
YouTube video
  • A neat trick:

Required Reading is published every Thursday afternoon, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

Lakshmi Rivera Amin (she/her) is a writer and artist based in New York City. She currently works as Hyperallergic's editorial coordinator.

One reply on “Required Reading”

  1. Really ?

    Winslow Homer is now a silk scarf? Who allowed that?

    I thought it had come to an end with the A. Gorky baseball cap I bought at his retrospective in Philly years ago. Then I thought the Jack Bush socks at the McMicheal were a bit of a joke and would not last. Wrong there.

    And to think I studied marketing in addition to art history and studio.
    Somethings are just not right though…

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