Thursday, August 25, 2016

U.S. Adds Hindu Stamp to Collection of Religious Holidays Including Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid

By Julie Zauzmer
The new stamp, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service
WASHINGTON, DC---It took petitions from everyone from schoolchildren to members of Congress, and 12 years of waiting. Soon, a long-hoped-for goal will be a stickum-backed reality of less than a square inch: a new postage stamp recognizing the holiday of Diwali. The stamp, announced by the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday, will be the first stamp honoring the Hindu religion, joining U.S. postage that has marked Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays in the past. What’s the value of an old-fashioned stamp in a society that uses less and less snail mail? “Stamps are miniature pieces of art that reflect the American experience,” Mark Saunders at the U.S. Postal Service said. [link]

Monkey Tales at UK's Ashmolean Museum

Hanuman sets fire to Lanka with his tail, Ravi Varma Press, Bombay and Lonavla, India Chromolithograph, Early 1900s
UNITED KINGDOM---One of the most popular Hindu gods is Hanuman the Monkey, in some tales described as a manifestation of Shiva. Revered for his bravery, strength, loyalty and dedication to justice, Hanuman’s heroic exploits are told in the great Hindu epic Ramayana, in which he is depicted as a warrior fighting for King Rama against the evil demon king Ravana. He is also mentioned in several other texts. Some scholars believe that Hanuman mythology might be the origin of the Chinese Monkey King story. "Monkey Tales: Apes and Monkeys in Asian Art" is on exhibit at the  Ashmolean Museum through October 30, 2016.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jean-Michel Othoniel Showcases The Treasures of Saint Pierre Cathedral

By Claudia Barbieri
One of about 200 liturgical objects and vestments on display. Credit Jean-Michel Othoniel/Othoniel 2016, via ARS, New York, via ADAGP, Paris.
FRANCE---A year after unveiling his “dancing fountains” in the newly reimagined Water Theater Grove at Versailles, the French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel is finishing another piece of spectacular theatricality, this time in the southwestern French town of Angoulême. In the remains of a former bell tower and an adjoining deconsecrated chapel in the cathedral of Saint Pierre, Mr. Othoniel has created what he describes as a totally immersive artwork, a three-room grotto in blue, gold and silver that serves as a showcase for about 200 liturgical objects and vestments from the cathedral’s past. [link]