Alfred Rosenberg’s diary recovered

This is an interesting enough article at National Geographic about Rosenberg, but it doesn’t really tell us much about the diary.

The diary of Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg disappeared without a trace after his trial in Nuremberg. Sixty-four years later it’s been recovered in upstate New York.

Where in upstate New York? Is this one of those things that resurfaced when a member of the so-called Greatest Generation died and his safety deposit box was opened? Not quite - here’s the story at the Huffington Post.

German over-reaction to a Swastika?

It’s not that I’m in favor of Nazis – let alone tattoos! But really, if a young Russian is in a metal band of COURSE he will have lots of tattoos. And then he becomes an opera singer . . . and the Bayreuth Festival doesn’t want him to sing because of the lamentable association between Wagner, his descendants, the Festival, and anti-semitism.

The article on CNN has no pictures, so I googled. Yes, Evgeny Nikitin has a lot of tattoos, but you have to go to the second page to see the swastika on his chest. It wouldn’t show in performance, but Bayreuth is queasy just that audiences would KNOW Nikitin has a swastika. Is that an overreaction?

Zollverein Essen – the herbarium

I’m still posting pictures from Germany! This was taken inside a display at the Zollverein XII museum in Essen. Sandwiched between glass plates were examples of all the flora found on the grounds as they were transforming the old factories into a culture-space.

This is about my favorite picture of me (me me!) this year.

My Zollverein XII photos on Flickr.

Your Blogger at the Museum Folkwang, Essen

Museum Folkwang, Essen by Michael Tinkler
Museum Folkwang, Essen, a photo by Michael Tinkler on Flickr.

Finally! I’ve gotten the pictures uploaded and mainly sorted! Danyal and I went to several museums – the best art museum was certainly the Folkwang. They have a splendid collection of 19th and 20th Century German and French painting and some good sculpture. The building is brand new (built since I was in in Essen in 2009, which was one of my main reasons for going back!). It’s by David Chipperfield – here’s the story of the competition. It’s a very serene building – the colors are very subdued, and the galleries are strung around a series of courtyards. Every courtyard is different — some are partially paved, some have trees, some have sculptures. Here are my photos (or photos of me there). Here are everyone’s. We weren’t supposed to take interior photos, but I really don’t see why we can’t photograph for architecture.

The exterior surface is made of what I think is a cast glass – irregularly smooth, but very satisfying to touch and look at.

Arezzo

I’ve really enjoyed my first little visit to Arezzo. I saw Piero della Francesca’s Invention of the True Cross Cycle, a Cimabue Crucifix, some Luca Signorelli paintings, and more Vasari than you can shake a stick at (he’s a native son). The food is splendid and MUCH cheaper than Rome or Milan (though still not really a deal – but comparison makes it seem so).

Arezzo is pretty bustling, but even here there are signs of The Crisis. Milan was worse. The piazza in front of the Stazione Centrale is still unfinished, though it’s further along than last year. Most times I passed there were a grand total of 3 workmen active working on laying the pavement for that enormous square. And there were lots of vacant store-fronts. That’s a noticeable element here in Arezzo.

The contrast with Germany couldn’t be more stark. Something’s going to give – and I hope it doesn’t turn ugly.

Placeholder for the Folkwang Museum

Sorry for the slowblogging, but I’vehave very limited wifi and am having trouble getting pictures off my camera And onto the iPad. But take it from me, the Folkwang Museum in Essen is a great collection — worth a detour, though not a trip on its own. Maybe a Rhineland Art Swing?

19th-21st C, very strong on expressionists and graphic arts (drawings and a major collection of German poster art). And the new building is splendid. More later — off to look at an Alvar Aalto symphony hall on the other side of the train station!

May Madness

Back to Geneva from Kalamazoo – need to call Mother – need to do laundry – need to re-pack for 3 weeks in Europe. There’s a whole lot of “what was I thinking?” going on right now.

further: and that was before I found out this afternoon (see, - need to call Mother - )that my father’s only brother died Saturday. Now add – get to and from West Tennessee before departure for Rome - to the mix.

Testing from the iPad

Just seeing how well this works. I’m about to make a short trip to Italy and perhaps Germany, and I’d like to make the trip with only the iPad!

So – how about keyboard cut and paste? Yes, here’s the link for our Center for Global Education.

Gesture cut and paste? Ok:
The mission of the Center for Global Education is to provide students with academically challenging study abroad experiences that foster an in-depth understanding of another culture, with the aim of encouraging them to embrace the concept of global citizenship. Being a responsible, effective citizen of the world involves assuming an active role in one’s own community and in the larger world; it requires an understanding of the relationship between actions made locally and globally and a commitment to the betterment of people’s lives everywhere. Through our rigorous study abroad programs and innovative on-campus predeparture and reentry programming, the Center for Global Education strives to provide students with a transformative learning experience that inspires them to live lives of consequence.

The thing that annoys me most about trying to WORK with the iPad is the impossibility of sending an attachment from inside the Mail app. I’m sure there’s a better solution than the workarounds I’ve seen out there!

Where DID I file that photo of Roman phallic amulets?

So – if I had paid closer attention back at abstract-submission-time to the dates for the actual Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, I would not be stressing about the quality of my photographs shot of objects in cases at the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne.

Yes, yet another conference paper on detached body-part badges, but this time I’m going to try to suggest a prehistory for the little things.

What could I be doing this weekend? I was feeling very guilty that my travel was going to interfere with doing Skype interviews for Early Modern Candidates . . . but then one of my colleagues suddenly has an unexpected funeral to attend, so the weekend wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Oh, well. I’ve never been to Phoenix, so that part (and seeing some old Emory friends) will be fun!

Major Purchase for the Met – 16th C Painting, Gothic Revival Frame

I’m looking forward to seeing this! The Met just bought a double-sided panel painting by Hans Schäufelein. One side is Christ Carrying the Cross, the other The Death of the Virgin (only one shown at the link).
But the big painting is only part of the story for me — A.W.N. Pugin owned it, and probably designed its current frame himself! I’m becoming fonder, in my late middle age, of Gothic Revival furniture and furnishing. Pugin had a nice touch, though he suffered from the usual misapprehension that Gothic woodwork should be dark. Gothic woodwork is dark because it’s old. For American readers, you might have noticed that Upjohn and Renwick had the same problem.
This excerpt from the article explains why this may be the best the Met can ever do in this line of country:

Schäufelein, one of Albrecht Dürer’s most gifted pupils, worked in Dürer’s workshop from 1503 to 1507. While the Met has two paintings by Dürer, both are fairly small, devotional works and neither represents the monumental altarpieces for which he is best known. The problem is that for an American institution, Dürer altarpieces are simply not available. Most are in churches or museums in Europe and should one — or part of one — ever be put up for sale, it would likely never be granted an export license to come to the United States. So this panel, which is in the style of Dürer, is as close as the Met can get. It is large, roughly 4 ½ feet by 4 ¼ feet, and will become the new anchor of the museum’s German Renaissance paintings gallery. “It is also the most important painting by Schäufelein in the United States,” Ms. Ainsworth said.
The main side of the panel shows the death of the Virgin as told in the 13th-century “Golden Legend” of Jacobus de Voragine. Here the Virgin is surrounded by the Apostles in her bedroom just before her death. Scholars attribute the reverse side in part to an anonymous artist known as the Engerda Master and in part to Schäufelein, who is thought to have painted the figures of Christ and two henchmen.
What makes the panel more unusual is that it came in a neo-Gothic frame from the 1840s, when the panel belonged to Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the English architect and major figure in Gothic Revival England. Ms. Ainsworth says it is quite likely he designed the frame himself.