Friday, November 27, 2015

Judas painting survived Reformation by being turned around

By Mark Brown
The Kiss of Judas. Infrared photography revealed that the painting must have been turned around in the 16th century. (Please scroll down for full image.) Photograph: HKI Institute/The Fitzwilliam Museum, Image Library
UNITED KINGDOM---A rare medieval panel showing Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Christ survived the Reformation due to a remarkable instance of 16th-century recycling, researchers in Cambridge have discovered. The brightly painted wooden panel of The Kiss of Judas escaped the systematic destruction of thousands of church paintings because someone turned it around and used the back for another purpose – most likely to display the Ten Commandments. Estimates say up to 97% of English religious art was destroyed during and after the Reformation. [link]

Jewish publishers seek new models in struggling industry

Screenshot of American Jewish Press Association websiteScreenshot courtesy of AJPA
Jewish newspapers across American are struggling to find a business model that works for today, and more and more within the American Jewish Press Association are seeing mergers and nonprofit status as their future. “Our older readers are dying off and our younger readers aren’t replacing them,” said Marshall Weiss, AJPA’s immediate past president. “We’re also not making money from the ads on our websites.” With these readership changes also comes the challenge of keeping their "editorial independence" as they must rely instead on increased funding from their local Jewish federations linked to Israel. [More @RNS]

$100M grants from Lilly Endowment a 'game-changer' for arts in Indy

By Wei-Huan Chen
Karl Unnasch's installation, "Playtime Indianapolis" adds a new twist on the Christmas holiday tradition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Photo: Eric Lubrick/Indianapolis Museum Art)
INDIANA---In a move many arts leaders are calling "historic" and "game-changing," Lilly Endowment announced Tuesday $100 million in grants that will be used to support 14 arts and cultural organizations throughout Indiana. The grants range from $5 million to $10 million to support museums, performing arts organizations and cultural institutions. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Zoological Society each will receive $10 million. [link]

#GivingTuesday bloggers – working together to change the world

By Ernest Disney-Britton

As religious people, we are also more generous, but how much of a difference has our giving made this year? Pope Francis lamented last year that, "Truly there are so many tears this Christmas." I suspect we will hear much of the same this year. That's why we are partnering with bloggers from around the world to support the #GivingTuesday movement. Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. Observed this year on December 1st, it coincides this year with World AIDS Day and follows the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. We're making gifts that matter this year to the arts via power2give, a crowdfunding platform just for the arts, and we ask you to join us. [power2give]

St. Patrick's Cathedral is born anew after a $177 million restoration

By Sam Cochran
Photograph of the restored Saint Patrick's Cathedral designed by James Renwick Jr. in the mid-19th century
NEW YORK---All eyes were on Pope Francis when he visited the U.S. earlier this fall. But sharing the spotlight with the pontiff during his stop in New York City was St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which officially unveiled its spectacular three-year restoration for the occasion. The $177 million project reversed decades of decay and removed layers of soot darkening the Gothic Revival masterpiece, designed by James Renwick Jr. in the mid-19th century. The results are, quite simply, heavenly. [link]