Coffee, tea, and chocolate were all
the rage in Enlightenment Europe. These fashionable beverages
profoundly shaped modes of sociability and patterns of consumption,
yet none of the plants required for their preparation was native to
the continent: coffee was imported from the Levant, tea from Asia,
and chocolate from Mesoamerica. Their introduction to 17th-century
Europe revolutionized drinking habits and social customs. It also
spurred an insatiable demand for specialized vessels such as hot
beverage services and tea canisters, coffee cups and chocolate pots. More Books
Coffee comes in what
seems endless varieties, but one of them, espresso, is especially
popular in Europe, particularly in Italy. This video discusses the
history of espresso and its effect on coffee culture around the
world. Click on the
title to view.
And look for other videos in selected articles.
in 1842 in Hartford, Connecticut, the Wadsworth Atheneum is one of the oldest
continually operating public museums in the country. Undermined by debt and
crumbling building, it almost ceases to be. Museum Director Susan Talbott pulled the institution out of the abyss as part of a $33 million
The Museumís collection ranges from the decorative arts to old masters
and the Hudson River School, from impressionism to most of modernism and
the sometimes still shockingly new. After a complete overall, the
Wadsworth Atheneum now boasts 17 new galleries, adding 27 percent more
space, achieved by moving all storage to the basement.
The Museum was the first American museum to mount a Picasso
retrospective and the first to buy a Mondrian. Talbott indicates a
portion of ceiling in her office. It is an extension, above it a "tiny
little gallery that was an electrical closet, now a boudoir to show off
our 18th-century silver. Those are the little things, the jewels," she
Atheneum contains larger treasures. Willem de Kooning's Montauk I and
Jackson Pollock's Number 9 are among a collection of abstract
expressionism part-donated by Tony Smith and now shown with his
sculptures. Curator Patricia Hickson's contemporary wing is organised
like a generous primer: Robert Rauschenberg and Cindy Sherman share
space with a beautiful and disturbing work by an Iraqi-American, Ahmed
Alsoudani, spun from the aftermath of a Baghdad car bomb. There is also
room for video, currently the hour-long STREET by James Nares, a
hypnotic portrait of hypermodern Manhattan life.
Upstairs, past wall drawings by Hertford native Sol LeWitt, Robin Jaffee
Frank's Coney Island exhibition collects high and low art, ephemera and
carousel horses, all to tell the story of the Brooklyn pleasure resort
from the Civil War to the modern day. A Joseph Stella from 1914 - Battle
of Lights, Coney Island, Mardi Gras - explodes from the wall, the polite
cubo-futurism of Severini or Nevinson shoved through a particle
accelerator. After that, the show is a blast.
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