Going Back to the Classics

first_imgThis week visual arts in Oxford was nowhere near boiling-point. The new exhibitions in the Ashmolean such as Spectacular Impressions and An Englishman’s Travels in Egypt, despite their promising titles, were more lukewarm than usual. The former, showcasing prints from the 15th to 17th centuries by artists such as Mantegna, Durer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, was definitely enlightening. Every one of the images on display has been recognised internationally as to be of the highest quality, and each could probably inspire an exhibition in itself. However, to the untrained and uninformed eye, they were impressive more in terms of technical skill than emotive power. Similarly, the Englishman’s Travels in Europe though interesting in its revival of the story of Edward Lane, a renowned Arabic scholar and fine draughtsman, invited only a passing glance.In the same way, Ornamentation: drawings for the decorative arts, running in the Christ Church Gallery from 30 April to 30 July, seemed to me to be pleasant but entirely insipid, drawing on the College’s existing collection of graphic art and featuring particularly prominently the designs of Giulio Romano. Apart from a slight physical resemblance to Punch cartoons, the collection was unremarkable, offering plenty of faint drawings of ornamental vases, curlicues and seals.In comparison to these, the permanent collection of paintings in Christ Church seems much more impressive. Needless to say, the 300 odd Old Master paintings and almost 2 000 drawings are definitely overwhelming in their grandeur and scope. I particularly enjoyed the detailed work in paintings such as The Devil, where a certain Abba Moses the Indian (i.e from Ethiopia) is painted a lurid shade of green, with sagging breasts, a beard, tails, winds and bird feet in one of the Nine Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits (Tuscan Schoolc.1440- 1450). Other gems include the Fragment from a Lamentation by Hugo van der Goes (the tears on the Virgin’s face glisten with tangible emotion), and Filippino Lippi’s The Wounded Centaur, which beautifully depicts the dangers of playing with love.These, of course, are just a few examples of the wealth of delights provided by this small gallery, mentioned in every tourist guide, but under-utilised by the members of the University to whom, after all, admission is free (on presentation of a Bod card). In fact, I would recommend any bored visual arts buff to go spend an afternoon at Christ Church. More often than not, the permanent collection of the  college shows more dynamism and promise than newer arrivals to the city.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Rutland Free Library gets $463,000 to fix roof

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) report that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Friday made it official that the Rutland Free Library will receive $663,000 in federal support for repair of the library’s roof. The funding — a $200,000 grant and $463,000 loan — comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Program as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, enacted last year to promote economic recovery from the recession that began in 2008. The funds will also address the drainage issues of the building, as well as de-humidifying the basement.The award for the Rutland Library rehabilitation project was the second largest nationwide of the investments awarded by USDA on Friday. Collectively, 129 projects in 30 states were funded to build and enhance libraries in rural communities across the nation.USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities program helps finance essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. Through this program, USDA ensures that such facilities are available to all rural residents. These funds are available to public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes. More information about USDA Rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov(link is external).Source: Congressional delegation. 9.24.2010 # # # # #last_img read more

Australia’s Qantas cuts 6,000 jobs in post-COVID restructure

first_imgIn addition to the Aus$15 billion in cost-cutting, the plan includes raising up to Aus$1.9 billion ($1.3 billion) in equity.The 6,000 job losses will hit both Qantas and its budget subsidiary Jetstar, while the company hopes half of the 15,000 staff placed on leave since March will be back at work by the end of the year, Joyce said. Qantas grounded around 150 aircraft in March, including most of its wide-bodied planes, and 100 of those will remain out of service for at least a year, it said Thursday.In addition to a gradual recovery of domestic flights, which Joyce said should be up to 40 percent of pre-COVID levels in July, there are hopes for a limited resumption of international flights between Australia and neighbouring New Zealand, which has also successfully contained the disease.Australia’s second full-service airline, Virgin Australia, went into voluntary administration in late April.Two US-based investment companies have put in rival bids to rescue Virgin Australia.Topics : The coronavirus pandemic had already forced Qantas to cancel nearly all its international flights until at least October and slash domestic routes.While domestic travel is beginning to pick up as most Australian regions have successfully contained the epidemic, the country’s international borders are expected to remain closed to most passenger traffic until next year.And a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city, has served as a reminder that the pandemic remains a threat.”We have to position ourselves for several years where revenues will be much lower. And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short-term,” Joyce said in unveiling the “post-COVID recovery plan”. Australia’s Qantas is cutting 6,000 staff and grounding 100 planes for at least a year in a US$10 billion cost-cutting blitz in response to the COVID crisis, the airline announced Thursday.CEO Alan Joyce said the three-year plan to save Australia’s flag carrier from “the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced” would also see half the company’s 29,000 staff remain on leave for months.”This year was supposed to be one of celebration for Qantas. It’s our centenary,” Joyce said in a statement. “Clearly, it is not turning out as planned.”last_img read more

Archer should play in third Test against Pakistan: Robert Key

first_imgSOUTHAMPTON: Former England batsman Robert Key feels speedster Jofra Archer should play against Pakistan in the third and final Test starting here on August 21.Archer was rested for the rain-affected second Test here, with all-rounder Sam Curran coming in as England rejigged their side in the absence of Ben Stokes owing to family reasons. “I would pick Archer,” said Sky Sports pundit key, while admitting that being without Stokes has caused England a few headaches. “If you ask all of those Pakistan batsmen, I reckon they would have been cheering when they heard he (Archer) wasn’t playing in the second Test. I would do a straight swap between Curran and Archer. This is the problem when you don’t have Stokes,” he said. “That would weaken the batting in conditions that, if it’s like last week, won’t be easy to bat in but I would go for an out-and-out bowler. I think England would then have their best bowling attack,” Key said. England lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first match. Pakistan have drawn their previous two Test series in England in 2016 and 2018, and Key feels they could follow suit this time around too. “Pakistan got 230, which I think was a good score in the worst of the conditions. This is a very good Pakistan side and they have a very good chance of levelling the series,” he said. IANS Also Watch: Govt Acts Tough On Schools Without Licenceslast_img read more