Arts and Culture Magazine Articles




March 20, 2021

Writer:

Daniel Kim

Emasculated and neutered or evil and calculating? Domineering dragon lady or helpless concubine? In twentieth-century Hollywood, the choices for Asian-American actors were few and far between. Often, the roles available were reductive and one-dimensional—stereotypes come to life.

Nasher Museum with banner by Carrie Mae Weems

March 19, 2021

Writer:

Scott Huler

The Nasher Museum of Art staff were facing COVID reality last summer. Their Ebony Patterson exhibit, “...while the dew is still on the roses…,” a rich, complex installation with art, video, patterned walls, and more than 12,000 individually placed flowers throughout the gallery, had to come down after having been open only ten days. It was impossible to predict when the doors would reopen. “We were devastated,” says Wendy Hower, director of engagement and marketing.

Scene from "Juneteenth"

December 9, 2020

Writer:

Tom Kertscher

Film producer, director, and writer Neil Creque Williams ’06 wanted to make movies by the time he was seven, when in second grade, his teacher let him show his home videos during lunchtime.

December 9, 2020

Writer:

Sarah Robertson

Brett Tyne ’97 can seamlessly switch from a Western Texas twang to a lyrical Scottish accent straight from the Highlands. Some might call her a modern-day Henry Higgins, but she’s really a dialect coach, who traverses the world to help actors learn tricky accents for movies and television shows. Tyne recently worked with Renee Zellweger to master the breathy Hollywood accent of the 1930s for her 2019 Oscar-winning performance as Judy Garland in the movie Judy.

December 9, 2020

WE ASKED Marjoleine Kars ’82, Ph.D. ’94, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and author of Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast (The New Press), about how she found this untold story and what compelled her to write about it.

Rap Godz image

December 9, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

In the spring of 2020, JaBria Bishop built her first video game.

It was a 2D side-scroller—think Super Mario Brothers—which she believes she called Lunar Dreamscape. In it, a little girl wakes up in a lost world. Bishop’s idea for this whimsical game was for the players, too, to feel lost, so she designed it accordingly.

“I wanted the player to also feel how the little girl feels,” she says.

David Perpich in front of the New York Times headquarters in New York

December 8, 2020

Writer:

Julia M. Klein

In his final year at Duke, David Perpich ’99 wasn’t keen on writing an economics thesis. He told his father that he had a better idea: working as part owner of Devil’s Delivery Service in Durham. “So,” Joseph G. Perpich fired back, “you want to deliver food instead of writing a senior thesis?”

“I said, ‘Don’t think about it that way,’ ” David Perpich recalls. “ ‘Think about the experience of learning about what it is to do something entrepreneurial.’ ”

September 29, 2020

Writer:

Phil Tinari

He appeared on East Campus one tobacco-scented September morning in 1998, his reportorial concentration rendering him as inconspicuous as a man in a bright white suit and spats can be. At the front of the sun-drenched, wood-floored classroom, history professor Ronald Witt (1932-2017) taught Petrarch and Bruni to a few dozen rapt undergraduates. At the back sat Tom Wolfe (1930-2018), scribbling away in a steno pad.

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Stoney Portis

On October 3, 2009, more than 300 Taliban fighters overran Combat Outpost Keating, the outpost held by my reconnaissance troop of seventy-six cavalry scouts. During the eighteen-hour battle, the Taliban killed eight soldiers, wounded nineteen more, and burned our base to the ground. Describing my unit’s mission, President Obama asserted we had to “defend the indefensible.” This was the longest day of my life, but it only prefaced a struggle that has lasted for years.

Power Plant Gallery director Caitlin Kelly helps an artist install her work

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Janine Latus

Caitlin Margaret Kelly M.F.A. ’14 studies a photo of a back-to-the-lander teaching a younger woman how to aim a rifle, then slides it along the floor toward the center of a wall. Placed there, though, the gun appears to threaten the boy in the photo next to it, standing in his patch of poison ivy. She moves it again, but here it targets a decaying church, its steeple slumping into its sanctuary.

Duke MFA student Ayan Felix

July 21, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

AS COURTNEY LIU ’13 walks away from the Ark on a cool and cloudy fall day, she considers the class in which she has just participated. She had been asked to sink into the floor of the Ark, the smooth gray floor on which over the years thousands of the best dancers in the world had moved. To sink even through that floor, into the earth beneath.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Kyle Harvey

AS A MAJOR in both computer science and visual arts, I had been eager to design a project that merged these two fields through the use of machine learning. I quickly gravitated toward doing a black-and-white relief print and then experimenting using other mediums in combination.

February 26, 2020

We asked Laura Huang B.S.E. ’00, M.S. ’01, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage, about why she believes you can flip stereotypes and obstacles in your favor.

On how her research reconsiders hard work:

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

In the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room at the Rubenstein Library, Duke radiology research fellow Fides Schwartz unrolls a little hand-sized puff of bubble wrap and lays out on the table all the pieces of a neat, slightly translucent white medical manikin, about six inches tall. The body of a woman: She’s pregnant, and her midsection lifts off, revealing removable heart, lungs, baby. “You see?” Schwartz asks. “Actually it does all fit together.”

images of various book covers

November 19, 2019

We asked Jason DeParle ’82, a New York Times reporter and author of A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century, about what he learned about global migration from following a family for thirty years.

A headshot of NCMA director and Duke alumnae Valerie Hillings

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

When her phone rang last fall, France Family Professor of art, art history, and visual studies Kristine Stiles recognized the voice on the other end of the line. “Do you know who you’re talking to?” the voice asked.

“Of course,” she said. “Valerie.” Valerie Hillings ’93: student, research assistant, protégé, then friend and ultimately colleague, curator at the Guggenheim. A voice Stiles would never mistake.

An image of Duke alumnus Frank Konhaus and his wife, Ellen Cassilly

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

Early evening. A crowd of fifty or so mills around two levels of galleries and assembly space: a modernist house filled with visitors, the living room lined with folding chairs, the kitchen island covered with wine bottles, pimento cheese dip, ham biscuits, and fruit. Framed photographs cover every wall, and people leaf through books and read gallery guides left in easy reach on shelves and windowsills.

August 7, 2019

Writer:

Ken Chu

Imagine you are a chess player and you’re given a gift, where you can put any one of your pieces anywhere on the board. The possibilities would be boundless! There’s actually a chess strategy called the Christmas Present Game that’s a version of that gift. Once you have the piece and square in mind, you move your pieces to make it happen.

Kora Kwok's Ocean Room project

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Kora Kwok

I grew up by the sea. Hong Kong is right on the coast, and you can catch a view of the ocean pretty much wherever you go. Even if you’re deep in the city or up in the mountains, the ocean is always close by. It was a constant in my life: I grew up with the sense that this massive, beautiful piece of blue was always nearby and that it would always be there, wherever I was in the city.

Nasher exhibition examines pop art

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

It’s a little scary to talk to an academic about the first time they have an idea,” says Esther Gabara, “because we kind of muddle things. You look at something in an archive; you have a spark here. You start working on other projects. It’s not this sort of straightforward process.”

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

Start with scales.

You’re playing the cello, and you want to get used to new players, so you go back to the beginning. And you play scales.

“Scales are something you do your entire life,” says Ciompi Quartet violist Jonathan Bagg. “So it’s kind of like calisthenics. But we weren’t in the habit of doing that as a quartet before Carrie came.”

May 16, 2019

The sweet release of spring break beckons, but the day is dreary. How dreary? Perfectly dreary. The very definition of dreariness. The ideal, ultimate expression, the Platonic Form, of dreariness.

Nadia Orton '98

February 8, 2019

Writer:

Janine Latus

Nadia Orton ’98 steps carefully around concrete vaults and sunken spots where pine caskets have collapsed inside century- old graves, her knee-high camo boots laced tight.

“I’ve had snakes and stray dogs come out of holes like that,” Orton says, nodding at a grave split in two by a fallen tree branch. Her family insists on the snake boots, a walking stick, a companion.

They tell her, “We know you love history, but you’re not supposed to be part of it yet.”

December 16, 2015

Writer:

Ashleigh Shelby Rosette grew up in rural, working-class East Texas. Race and class divided her community.

So it makes sense that, as an associate professor of management and organizations, she likes exploring inequities in the workplace. Workers, she’s observed, don’t always get out of the system what they put in.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 29, 2014

Music can bring us back not only to where we once lived, but to places in which we’ve thrived, felt comfortable, and had a niche. Laura journeys to several homes using audio and imagination.

July 29, 2014

Warm… Safe… Home. To be ripped away from it and endure a near-death illness at only nine months old, and still be alive to make it back home in the end — was a miracle.

Produced for The Short Audio Documentary course taught by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies.

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Annabel Wharton

Why do most of us love our homes? Because, of course, they are saturated with the memories of how we became who we are. Like the family photographs displayed within them, homes tend to archive good times, not bad ones.

July 18, 2014

In the afternoon, Don visits the third cabin, which he recently made his workshop. He lifts a pine plank and secures it between two bench vices, checking to see that the grain runs in the right direction. Over one edge, he steadily passes an old-fashioned hand plane, forming a groove in the wood. Pine shavings curl at his feet, reminding him of golden angel hair, and he inhales the woodsy, clean scent of pine, tinged with the perfume of wisteria.

Don Byrne enters the garden through one of four gates.

July 18, 2014

ON A MORNING in early 2006, Don Byrne walked through an overgrown field of grass. Alongside trudged his father, who, despite the early hour, carried a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey. At the highest point on the land, the two men paused. It was here that they wanted to drill the well. In a makeshift christening, they sprinkled the land with liquor.

July 18, 2014

The willow oak has written in it
an ink of time-underlayment.
I say the word emeritus
and the wind-rubbed coppery surface
touches my eyes like a worn rug.
Corded by limbs to a base in soil
it recovers those years of toil
that layered other leaves in another place.
The library’s vellum and coffee still drug
my memory, like Gothic walls and trees above.
There I and my gnarled masters strove,

April 29, 2014

A Duke researcher has developed a 3D imaging technique for peering into the layering of a painting. Warren Warren, a chemist and biomedical engineer at Duke, develops laser systems to image human tissues. But he thought his work might be useful for art historians as well.

April 29, 2014

The study of the human body was intimately connected with art during the Renaissance era. From this visual culture emerged fugitive sheets, three-dimensional illustrations of human internal organs. Although widely disseminated from the 1530s until the late seventeenth century, fugitive sheets were typically printed as a single broad sheet rather than as part of a bound volume, explaining why so few exist today (hence the “fugitive” designation).

April 29, 2014

Duke senior Martin Shores’ grandmother made a mean steak. She had a way with food, transforming basic ingredients into delicious dishes, he says. Like a tasty carbonara pasta sauce, “which I still need her to teach me to make,” he adds.

Nausicaa

April 28, 2014

Japanese filmmaker and artist Hayao Miyazaki has won international acclaim for such visually stunning animated films as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl’s Moving Castle. In the early 1980s, Miyazaki wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which he later adapted for a film of the same name.

April 28, 2014

One of the most joyous highlights of this past fall was the reopening of Baldwin Auditorium. Just as Duke Chapel is the focal point of West Campus, so Baldwin, with its graceful Georgian Revival dome, is the focal point of East Campus. Over the last two years, Baldwin has undergone a $15 million renovation in line with Duke’s philosophy of architectural renewal on campus: Preserve the historic exterior while creating state-of-the-art interior spaces to meet key campus needs.

April 28, 2014

THE CATALYST: In 2000, Congress passed legislation to create the Veterans History Project. Housed in the Library of Congress, the ongoing collection includes correspondence, audio narratives, and visual materials from veterans of every American war since World War I. Several years ago, Center for Documentary Studies instructor Michelle Lanier and then-visiting professor Elaine Lawless saw an opportunity to contribute to the project at duke.

Phil Watson performs An Iliad

April 28, 2014

“Nine years,” the Poet begins intensely, in media res. “Fighting on and off, fighting to the wall and back. Greeks win one day, Trojans win the next, like a game of tug-of-war.” He pulls at a black rope hung ominously from a scaffold. “And nothing to show for it but exhaustion, poverty, and loneliness,” he says, articulating each word with a maniacal kick to the air.

Pleiades Gallery logo

September 19, 2013

At the opening of Pleiades Gallery’s exhibition “Truth to Power” this summer, patrons included prize-winning architects, Duke professors, community activists, tattooed artists, blues musicians, local politicians, and curious passersby on their way to one of downtown Durham’s many hip restaurants.

Scroth: Nasher leader. Photo by Chris Hildreth

July 25, 2013

Sarah Schroth, the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art, is the museum’s new director. Schroth has been serving as its interim director since November. She succeeds Kimerly Rorschach as the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the museum.

An expert on Spanish art of the seventeenth century, Schroth joined the Duke University Museum of Art—as it was then known—in 1995.

Image of an arrow

July 25, 2013

Growing up in New York in the 1970s, Michael Marsicano ’78, M.Ed. ’78, Ph.D. ’82 loved the English horn and the oboe. But with his sights set on medical school, he couldn’t see himself going to a conservatory. Instead, he chose Duke—a place known for training doctors that also had an outstanding wind symphony. Under the leadership of longtime music professor Paul Bryan, Michael went to Vienna with the Wind Symphony for a semester-long study-abroad program and concert tour.

(Courtesy: Nasher Museum of Art)

May 24, 2013

Marriage of Jupiter and Juno (c. 1720-30), by Nicola Maria Rossi, is in the Nasher Museum’s permanent collection. Floating in the clouds at the center of a swirling entourage of winged attendants, the Roman gods Jupiter and Juno are joined in marriage by the young torch-carrying Hymenaus, god of weddings.

Photos by Alex Maness.

May 21, 2013

How do Americans come together - and fall apart? That question fuels the works produced by Hoi Polloi, an Obie-winning New York-based theater collaborative.

Engaging artists: Milazzo, right, in conversation with actor Willem Dafoe as part of the Film: Masters series. Credit: Oriel Pe'er/The Modern School of Film.

May 15, 2013

Robert Milazzo is a patient, persistent man. Back in the late ’90s, as he was figuring out how to break into the film business, he made it his mission to somehow connect with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright/screenwriter/director David Mamet.

Illustrations by Arlen Schumer

February 13, 2013

One morning last semester, a Duke undergrad peeled off from a busy day on campus to hustle to a basement office in the Sociology- Psychology Building, where scientists were waiting to peer into her brain. Within minutes the slim first-year student, chic in a black-and-white shorts set, was sitting before a computer screen in a narrow, beige room. For more than an hour, her fingers clicked answers to hundreds of questions about her tastes, behaviors, quirks, and feelings.

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Kimberly Sims

One of the most notorious pieces of Duke’s theatrical history—an anonymously written play titled The Vision of King Paucus—never actually appeared on a campus stage. But when 300 copies of the three-page script showed up mysteriously in student and faculty mailboxes in late 1933, it caused a stir felt across the university.

February 13, 2013

1891: Students of Trinity College in Randolph County put on The Womanless Wedding—an appropriate production for the all-male student body.

1922: Female students in the Dramatic Club played all the roles in a production of Monsieur Beaucaire in March 1922. The Dramatic Club was coached by Gladys Gross, wife of chemistry professor Paul Gross.

November 29, 2012

Opera singer: not the first career choice of your average Blue Devil. The typical opera singer, if there is such a thing, goes to conservatory, followed by a master's in singing, then a preprofessional program at an opera house, and finally, a career. But Talya Lieberman '07 has been forging her own path, one that will take her to Latvia on a Fulbright Scholarship to study her craft in a country with a little-known penchant for the musical form.

Chain-link canvas: Attendees at the Arts Annex opening reception create a living mural by decorating a fence with materials provided by Durham's Scrap Exchange. Credit: Jared Lazarus

November 5, 2012

Inspiring is hardly the word most alumni would assign to the old Duke Linen Service Center, a nondescript warehouse off Campus Drive near East Campus. Gray and spare, the building befits its utilitarian roots as the site where massive quantities of campus bedding were laundered.

Modern master: Matisse in his apartment at the Place Charles-Felix in Nice, 1934. Photo courtesy of the Henri Matisse Archive.

November 5, 2012

In the early years of the twentieth century, the Parisian cognoscenti sniffed at avant-garde artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. But Claribel and Etta Cone, sisters from Baltimore, bought their works anyway, assembling what would become known as one of the world’s greatest art collections.

August 8, 2012

 

Carla Antonaccio may not seem like a bullwhip-brandishing, Indiana Jones-type adventurer, but the classical studies professor nonetheless wound up in the middle of an international detective story.

April 1, 2012

Born in Charlotte in 1911, Romare Bearden moved with his family in 1914 to Harlem, where he spent much of his adult life. He studied at the Art Students League of New York under George Grosz in the 1930s, and for much of the next three decades, he worked full time at the New York Department of Social Services, leaving only nights and weekends to paint.

January 31, 2012

Pastoral Art
Divinity explores theology in creative expression.

January 31, 2012

Photo above: Marble Chair,2008.
Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China. Purchased with funds provided by the Estate of Wallace Fowlie, 2011.15.1.Peter Paul Geoffrion

January 31, 2012

 

Nasher exhibition explores a master's influence on contemporary artists.

School's in: Rachel Weeks, far right in black shirt, during catalogue shoot in Gothic Reading Room. Michael Zirkle

August 1, 2009

Writer:

As Washington Duke and his sons, James and Benjamin,gazed down from portraits hanging in the Gothic Reading Room, a leggy brunette in black platform shoes, a yellow tank top, and boy-cut underwear adorned with Blue Devil logos struck a come-hither pose for photographer Stephen Hurst. The model, Jane Moore '12, had been recruited for the photo shoot the previous day as she ran down the Bryan Center walkway, late for class.