RELIGION AROUND BILLIE HOLIDAY

Holiday was no poster child for political correctness. She frequently chose—in fact, sought out—men who abused her physically and emotionally. She was notoriously profligate with money, food, and space, sharing her apartment at times with pimps, prostitutes, addicts. Her fondest wish was to have kids, open a home for orphaned children, and have her own little supper club, maybe 200 seats, where she could feed people and sing.

Instead, she was “existentially correct”….

ARCOSANTI

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture piece begins: Arcosanti has been called an “experimental city,” ” an “urban laboratory,” a “caravanserai.”  Seventy miles north of Phoenix, the 25-acre compound, built on a 4,060-acre land preserve, rises from the desert like a mirage. The project was the brainchild of “visionary” Paolo Soleri (1919-2013). Arcology—a concept combining […]

HORACE PIPPIN

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: I first came upon the painter Horace Pippin on a trip several years ago to Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, an art collection and educational institution boasting one of the world’s greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings. Albert C. Barnes (1872-1951), a wealthy businessman with cash to […]

ART WORTH DYING FOR: JAMES DICKSON INNES

Born in Llanelli, Innes studied at Carmarthen Art School and the Slade. A colleague there noted that he ‘was of middle height, black haired and thin featured, handsome to many people… there may have been something satanic in his look.”… He was already dying of tuberculosis, having been diagnosed at 21.