“An unprecedented number of obituaries and appreciations of Lena Horne, following her death at 92 on May 9, streamed over the internet and can now be found at IJS. From all over the United States but also from Canada and Great Britain, they celebrate the life and career of this extraordinary singer, actress and activist who was the first African American performer to be signed to a Hollywood contract not as someone to portray menials, but as a glamorous presence in her own right. Initially, she was only featured in musical numbers, but in two widely distributed all-black feature films, “Stormy Weather” and “Cabin in the Sky,” she demonstrated her acting skills. Prior to that, she had established herself as a jazz singer, recording with the bands of Noble Sissle, Charlie Barnet and Artie Shaw, and under her own name. It is primarily in this role, which eventually became the dominant one in her career (her outspoken views on racism and friendship with, among others, Paul Robeson, got her in trouble during the McCarthy era) that her legacy is represented in our archives.” (Rutgers).
02. Ask an Academic: In the Buff
“Nudity is our most basic state, yet there are few things that cause the same extreme mixture of titillation and horror. Still, if one looks closely, it’s everywhere. Mass nude weddings with as many as sixty couples take place every year at the Hedonism resort in Jamaica. There’s nude sky diving and nude boxing (so-called “bouncy boxing”) in Australia, nude skiers in Austria (brr), nude synchronized swimming in Spain, strip poker, naked flights (no hot drinks are served, to prevent scalding), organized nudism, anarchic streaking, Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl. Why does donning the birthday suit get us in such a tizzy? I recently wrote to Philip Carr-Gomm, a psychotherapist, writer, and author of “A Brief History of Nakedness,” to ask his opinion.” (New Yorker).
03. How England won the World Twenty20 (Above)
“It might have been 35 years in the making, but some will argue that only made England’s triumph in the World Twenty20 in the West Indies on Sunday all the sweeter.” (BBC)
04. Meet the New MOCA Logo, Same as the Old MOCA Logo
“Museums are great at keeping musty artifacts around, but L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art actually brought a dead icon back to life on Tuesday. Fresh off of the announcement of actor/director/artist Dennis Hopper’s show and the appointment of Jeffrey Deitch as curator, the museum has decided to dig up a 30-year-old logo, designed by Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, who designed identities for NBC, Mobil, PBS, and National Geographic. (So fresh is the decision that the museum’s Web site still hosts the old identity.)” (Fast Company).