- Adding the Personal to the Purely Sacred: "Illuminations of sacred and ritualistic texts are forms of eruptions. Out of familiar and formulaic script leap the strange and extravagant. Rigorous textual arguments give way to decorative ornamentation. Formulaic words submit to a rich brocade of image. Go to the Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History and you can begin to see how this urge to illuminate text helped shape the Jewish tradition. An exhibition there, “A Journey Through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books,” has extended its stay until Aug. 1; it will then travel to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem..." read more
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June 29, 1613: The Globe Theatre in London, England burns to the ground. "The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. The Globe was built in 1599 using timber from an earlier theatre. On 29 June 1613 the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry the Eighth. A theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching. According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a man whose burning breeches were put out with a bottle of ale. It was rebuilt in the following year."
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June 29, 1805: Hiram Powers, American sculptor, was born. "The son of a farmer, Powers was born in Woodstock, Vermont, on the July 29, 1805. In 1826 he began to frequent the studio of Frederick Eckstein, and at once conceived a strong passion for the art of sculpture. In 1837 he settled in Florence, where he remained till his death, though he did travel to England during this time. He developed a thriving business in portraiture and "fancy" parlor busts, but he also devoted his time to creating life-size, full-figure ideal subjects. In 1843 he produced his celebrated statue The Greek Slave, which at once gave him a place among the leading sculptors of his time. It was exhibited at the centre of the Crystal Palace Exhibition and Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a sonnet on it. The sculpture The Greek Slave became an abolitionist cause and copies of it appeared in many Union-supporting state houses."
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June 29, 1908: Leroy Anderson, American composer, was born. "Leroy Anderson (June 29, 1908 – May 18, 1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. John Williams described him as "one of the great American masters of light orchestral music." His pieces and his recordings during the fifties conducting a studio orchestra were immense commercial successes. "Blue Tango" was the first instrumental recording ever to sell one million copies. His most famous pieces are probably "Sleigh Ride" and "The Syncopated Clock", both of which are instantly recognizable to millions of people. Anderson's musical style, heavily influenced by George Gershwin and folk music of various lands, employs creative instrumental effects and occasionally makes use of sound-generating items such as typewriters and sandpaper. Anderson would occasionally appear on the Boston Pops regular concerts on PBS to conduct his own music while Fiedler would sit on the sidelines. For "The Typewriter" Fiedler would don a green eyeshade, roll up his sleeves, and mime working on an old typewriter while the orchestra played."
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