Article by Hyperallergic
Bashford Dean in 1900 wearing Japanese armor; the Japanese Edo period armor now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)
“The museums of New York City sprung out of wealth and curiosity, but few of their turn-of-the-century boosters were quite so eccentric or prolific as Bashford Dean. The expert in both fish and armor — and armored fish — was the major proponent and collector behind the Arms and Armor Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
To celebrate both the centennial of the department and its adventurous founder, the museum opened Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department in 2012. It was originally only planned to go until last fall but has been extended through this year, and it’s worth stopping by the small show tucked in a gallery just outside the main armament displays. Not that any one artifact is going to compete with any on permanent display, except the character that was Bashford Dean.
Dean started collecting armor as a child, but his first academic love was fishes. At Columbia University he studied both paleontology and zoology, especially intrigued by those ancient fishes with flesh that seemed born for battle. He soon became a professor at the university and started to travel, and while that would be achievement enough he branched out into a full obsession with Japan, especially its military history. Soon he had the most impressive Japanese armor collection outside of Asia, and this transitioned into an extensive delve into the whole history of military protection that entailed the building of a whole display hall at his home of Wave Hill. Eventually in 1912 he became the first curator of arms and armor at the Metropolitan Museum, in addition to already being a curator of fishes at the American Museum of Natural History. He’s still the only person to have held curatorial positions at both places simultaneously.”
Read the full article here.
“Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil leaked into a river within the Arctic Circle.
The spill happened when a fuel tank at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk collapsed last Friday.
The power plant’s director Vyacheslav Starostin has been taken into custody until 31 July, but not yet charged.
The plant is owned by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which is the world’s leading nickel and palladium producer.
The Russian Investigative Committee (SK) has launched a criminal case over the pollution and alleged negligence, as there was reportedly a two-day delay in informing the Moscow authorities about the spill.
Ground subsidence beneath the fuel storage tanks is believed to have caused the spill. Arctic permafrost has been melting in exceptionally warm weather for this time of year.
President Putin expressed anger after discovering officials only learnt about the incident on Sunday.” – BBC, Read the full article here.
“Set in the snow-capped Urals, this multi-genre anthology reveals the lives and traditions of Russia’s indigenous Mari people through stories of 23 women.
The Mari, a Finno-Ugric people that live along the northern bank of the river Volga, are considered to be Europe’s last pagans. Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari, the award-winning ethnofiction film by director Aleksei Fedorchenko, paints a beguiling picture of a culture driven by the ritualistic appreciation of female beauty. The script, written by Denis Osokin, is divided into 23 novellas, each focused on a woman whose name starts with the letter “O”. Through these short chapters, each different in terms of tone and visuals, Fedorchenko creates a vivid portrait of the diversity of Mari people and the idiosyncrasies of their culture.
Shot in their native language, the film features local Mari people as actors. However, the film is by no means an anthropological study, as fantasy and witchery interweave with local traditions in a colourful interplay between magic and reality. Described as a “Mari Decameron”, Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari is a captivating example of a local female reality that transcends language barriers and cultural borders, and proves to be universally relatable.”
Text: Maria Muzdybaeva
Alexei Fedorchenko’s Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari from DEPESHA on Vimeo.
This 12 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself: The people who are most likely to get seriously sick from COVID-19 are those who have long suffered from the impacts of pollution and climate injustice in America — here’s why. In US news and current events today, people who are most likely to […]
via United States coronavirus crisis and environmental crisis — Dear Kitty. Some blog
I found this amazing piece on Icelandic idioms and phrases posted by The Voyaging Viking. Here were my favorites:
Blind is a Bookless Man
Blindur er Bóklaus Maður
“Icelandic people read the most books in the world per capita. Reading is a huge part of the culture, and therefore this saying exists.”
You are such a Latte-drinking wool scarf
Þú ert nú meiri lattelepjandi lopatrefillinn
“Degrading term to someone that lives in Reykjavik.”
An absolute butt
“If a baby, puppy, kitten, or something very cute then you would call it an absolute butt.”
Read the full article here!