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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

What to do, and where and when to do it

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Coronavirus Warning

Dear Reader,

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, please be sure to double check dates and availabilities with the venues directly.

The Arts Intel team

Open Book

Dior Dreaming

Accompanying an exhibition on Christian Dior at New York’s Brooklyn Museum, an elegant volume spans the many iterations of the French fashion house

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Close-up

Glory Edim

The writer and entrepreneur behind the Well-Read Black Girl volume, book club, and festival has started a literary movement for Black women

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Doom and Bloom

It may be inappropriate, when seeking to praise a world-class visual artist on the occasion of her first, full career retrospective, to talk about your visit to her house for dinner. But one of the first aesthetic experiences I had in connection with Dawn DeDeaux occurred when I was a guest in a slightly deconstructed shotgun shack that was part of her studio compound in the Gentilly neighborhood of her native New Orleans, not all that far from the grand house on Esplanade Avenue where she lived as a child with her grandmother, down the street from where Degas once stayed. READ ON

Daisy Space Clown in Black Field, 2013, by Dawn DeDeaux, who is currently the subject of a retrospective at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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An illustration by Istvan Banyai for the 1995 children’s book Zoom, included in an exhibition on wordless picture books at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Big Picture

As a picture-book writer, but not an illustrator, I can say this: wordless picture books stand tall as the medium’s purest expression. If you don’t believe me, ask Charlie Chaplin what he thought about the difference between silent movies and talkies. “Dialogue, to my way of thinking,” he once observed, “always slows action, because action must wait on words.” That’s true of picture books, too. Ditch words (sniffle), gain immediacy. READ ON

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Hidden Gems

While on a trip to Russia in 1911 to court new clients, Louis Cartier sent a letter to his father, Alfred, writing, “It seems to me that the selections of new items we should offer for sale must inevitably be the Russian or even Persian style.” By this time, Louis had been collecting Islamic art for several years, having seen the exhibition of Islamic art at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1903, in Paris, and an important 1910 exhibition of Islamic art in Munich. READ ON

Among the treasures going on display at Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs next week are a Cartier bib necklace in gold, platinum, diamond, amethyst, and turquoise, commissioned in 1947 by the Duke of Windsor for the Duchess of Windsor, and a sketch proposal for a Cartier powder box.

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