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 […]

LOTUSLAND

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Madame Ganna Walska (1887-1984) was the type of Southern Californian eccentric over whom  people from back East love to roll their eyes, muttering “land of the fruits and the nuts.” Born Hanna Puacz in Brest-Litovsk, Poland, she was an opera singer who was married six times. […]

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.