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Karl Lagerfeld: ‘Paris is a Nightmare Now’

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Paris (CNN) In a post-Godard world, to imagine Paris is to imagine glittering lights by nights on the Champs-Élysées; members of the intelligentsia debating politics at Café de Flore; and chic, slender women, the picture of sophistication and insouciance, wearing the world’s most elegant labels.

“I must say, in my whole life I never saw Paris that gloomy.”

But if you ask Karl Lagerfeld, the German-born creative director of the quintessential Parisian brand Chanel, this is all a myth — and has been for a long time.
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“It was another world. There was no feeling of danger, and not even a boy of 16 years old could walk in the street. Things are changing, but I have the feeling I lived in a world that no longer exists.”

“This is not the most glamorous moment in Paris,” Lagerfeld told CNN Style presenter Derek Blasberg ahead of Chanel’s Autumn-Winter 2016 haute couture show. “Paris by night is a nightmare now. It is not a cliché anymore.

“I must say, in my whole life I never saw Paris that gloomy.”

Lagerfeld, who has been at the helm of Chanel since 1983, and who first got his start in the city working under Pierre Balmain in the 1950s, says he’s seen drastic changes since the times when Paris “looked like an old French movie.”

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“It was another world. There was no feeling of danger, and not even a boy of 16 years old could walk in the street,” he explains. “Things are changing, but I have the feeling I lived in a world that no longer exists.” Read the rest of this entry »
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MacDougall’s to Host the First Soviet and Post-Soviet Art Auction

Aleksandr Deineka’s oil “Behind the Curtain," 1933. Estimate: £2–3 million ($3.1–4.6 million million). (MacDougall's )

Liza Muhfeld writes: On October 12, MacDougall’s Fine Art Auctions will hold its sale of Soviet and Post-Soviet art, the first combined auction of Soviet and Post-Soviet art to hit the market. It will also be the house’s first auction in a series of mid-season sales dedicated to Russian art.

Roughly 177 lots will be offered—spanning paintings and porcelain by Russian artists from the late 1920s to the early 2000s—and the house expects to bring in a total of more than £3.5 million ($5.3 million). The majority of works come from several major Western collections of Russian and Soviet art, and estimates range from £1,500 ($2,300) to £2 million ($3.1 million), with most lots valued at £15,000 ($23,000).

The auction will offer works bridging nearly every major 20th century art movement in Russia and the Soviet Union. Work by artists from the Academy of Fine Arts of the USSR, including Arkady Plastov and Dmitri Nalbandian will be available, along with Soviet Nonconformist artists Vladimir Nemukhin, founder of the Lianozov group, and Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg. Work by members of the Society of Easel-Painters (OST) will also be represented, including by Aleksandr Deineka and Yuri Pimenov. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Women Delivering Ice, 1918

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Source: Historic Black and White Pictures Restored in Color


[PHOTO] Reverdy, Picasso, Cocteau and Brassaï in Picasso’s Studio at rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, 1944 by Brassaï

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Reverdy, Picasso, Cocteau and Brassaï in Picasso’s studio at rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, 1944 by Brassaï


‘The Angel of Peace’

(c) William Morris Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Angel of Peace

by Walter Crane

Date painted: 1900

Oil on canvas, 153 x 92 cm

Collection: William Morris Gallery

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Ellis Island, Past and Present: Tracing the First Steps of Millions to America

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Ellis Island, past and present: Tracing the first steps of millions to America.

Washington Post


[PHOTO] Books, Babes, Bullfights, Bravado; 20th Century Man, Ernest Hemingway

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From LIFE magazine

[Explore the vast Hemingway collection at Amazon]


The 50 Best Books of the 20th Century

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From  of the Intercollegiate Review:  The turn of the century is a time to take stock of the path we have followed, the better to discern where we ought to be going. Historical discernment requires coming to judgment about what has been noble, good, and beneficial in our time, but also about what has been base, bad, and harmful. In the life of the mind, what has our century produced that deserves admiration? What has it produced that deserves only books-tallcontempt?

Earlier this year, the Modern Library published a list styled The Hundred Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century. A list of significant books can make a compelling statement about how we are to understand an age. In judging the quality of a book, one necessarily judges the perception and the profundity which the book displays, as well as the character of the book’s influence.

Yet many were dissatisfied with the several “Best” lists published in the past year, finding them biased, too contemporary, or simply careless…

Our “Worst” list reveals a remarkable number of volumes of sham social science of every kind…(read more)

Prominent on the “Best” list, on the other hand, are many volumes of extraordinary reflection and creativity in a traditional form, which heartens us with the knowledge that fine writing and clear-mindedness are perennially possible….(read the full list here)

This list was edited by Mark C. Henrie, Winfield J. C. Myers, and Jeffrey O. Nelson.

1. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1907)

Pessimism and nostalgia at the bright dawn of the twentieth century must have seemed bizarre to contemporaries. After a century of war, mass murder, and fanaticism, we know that Adams’s insight was keen indeed.

2. C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1947)

Preferable to Lewis’s other remarkable books simply because of the title, which reveals the true intent of liberalism.

3. Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952)

The haunting, lyrical testament to truth and humanity in a century of lies (and worse). Chambers achieves immortality recounting his spiritual journey from the dark side (Soviet Communism) to the—in his eyes—doomed West. One of the great autobiographies of the millennium. Read the rest of this entry »